Naughty Dog’s Uncharted series has become a major player in the gaming world with its blend of third person shooting and action oriented adventure. Fight for Fortune takes the established Uncharted name and places it into a genre that couldn’t possibly get any further away from the series’ roots if it tried. With the PS Vita, however, a card-based game with excellent branding could be a small gamble worth taking. So is Uncharted: Fight for Fortune holding all the aces, or is it just one blind short of a flop? Read on to find out.
Game: Uncharted: Fight for Fortune Review
Developer: One Loop Games
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Essentially a downloadable title that has you battling with virtual stat-blazoned cards based on the Uncharted universe, Fight for Fortune is overall a pretty mixed bag. The game itself, whilst initially seeming a little complicated, is really very simple: You’ll be asked to draw cards in three phases in the form of characters, fortune cards and resource cards in an attempt to reduce the opponent’s health to zero. The laid down character cards act as a shield to your own health as well as your method of attacking your opponent’s, whilst fortune cards increase your gold pile – the currency you’ll use to purchase upgrades and bonuses via the final resource phase.
Perhaps not surprisingly to some, the tie-in with Naughty Dog’s action adventure works nicely by allowing you to reacquaint yourself with favourite characters, use their strengths and weaknesses you’ve become accustomed to and then offering it all on an endlessly re-playable format to boot. There’s no doubt it all works well as a handheld title but niggles manage to hamper the experience from a visual and gameplay perspective.
Firstly, the layout can be problematic. There’s a lot of cards on screen meaning you’ll never get to see your hand up close without scrolling through a slightly clunky interface back and forth. Then there’s the loading times which are regular and detracting, making a simple molehill task feel like a mountain – so much so you’ll spend less time examining your deck and making careful decisions just to progress. It should also be said that whilst the Vita system is a perfect fit with the game’s drop in and out nature, there’s really very little progression to be found apart from playing with friends for thrills or bolstering your strategic skills for another playthrough.
The gameplay itself is deep and can be addictive, however. Characters come in the three flavours of heroes, villains and mercenaries and each carry their own attack and defensive stats that’ll shape how things play out. Most of the game’s depth and strategy comes from picking the right cards to play at the right times but the risk/reward mainly originates from banking fortune through killing other cards.
The biggest problem with Uncharted: Fight for Fortune is its lasting appeal to anyone but those who love card games. It’s not Uncharted with cards, it’s most definitely cards with an Uncharted branding. The single player offers a number of missions against an A.I opponent, but there’s no cutscenes or even story; no one-liners form Sully or quick-witted sarcasm from Drake; just cards, and then some more. Multiplayer player is available via local, wi-fi and asynchronous online play and makes the whole experience a little more enjoyable – cards is after all, one of the more classic social pastimes.
Uncharted: Fight for Fortune sadly feels largely unpolished and really is quite modest with its content. For what it’s worth, however, if you can stomach the game’s more annoying foibles and have a genuine love for the Uncharted universe, then you’ll find a decent time burner that offers a good amount of strategic card-based goodness, all at a good price – and who doesn’t like Doughnut Drake, right?