Friday, October 27, 2023

Snap Judgment

After I finished yesterday's unecessarily long and detailed post on DC Dual Force, I followed through with my threat promise to play Marvel Snap so I could compare the two. Now, with all of forty minutes of MS behind me, I feel entirely qualified to jabber on about it for another half dozen paragraphs as though I had some small idea what I was talking about. 

Actually, y'know what? Let's do it in Bullet Points. They always makes things look more authoritative and they're way quicker to write.

  • It's PvP!
  • I knew that.
  • There is no PvE mode.
  • I did not know that.
  • Everything I said about lack of context  in DCDF applies equally to Marvel Snap.
  • And it's every bit as annoying. 
  • Possibly even more so.
  • Although I couldn't exactly tell you why.
  • It could be because it feels smug, somehow.
  • But then Marvel has always been the smug one.
  • There's a tutorial
  • It's perfunctory.
  • And that's being generous.
  • It assumes the mechanics are so simple they'll explain themselves.
  • They really won't.
  • Not at all.
  • I went into into the game with no idea what I was doing.
  • Not a good idea in PvP.
  • And yet I won every game I played.
  • It was only five games.
  • But still...
  • Stepping back, there's a nice animated movie at the start. 
  • I don't think DCDF has an intro movie so score one for Marvel.
  • Squirrel Girl's in the movie.
  • A lot.
  • I think that might be significant.
  • Because she's not a serious character. 
  • Is she?
  • I'm really not qualified to say.
  • I ought to read Squirrel Girl sometime.*
  • There's very, very little voice acting
  • But it's a lot better than in DCDF.
  • The graphics are snazzier.
  • The UI is intuitive.
  • And yet I prefer both the look and feel of DCDF. 
  • Go figure.
  • Add to that, Marvel Snap just throws free stuff at you. 
  • And there are a bunch of obvious progression hooks.
  • Ladders, ranks, tiered card upgrades - you name it.
  • Missions and dailies
  • All the good stuff.
  • If DCDF had any of that I must have missed it.
  • And yet DCDF is still more compelling.
  • For me, anyway. 
  • Not, it seems, for the world in general.
  • Everybody loves Marvel Snap.
  • I didn't.
  • Here's why.
  • S T R E S S !
  • OMG! The Stress!
  • DCDF against an AI opponent is absolutely unstressful.
  • Relaxing, in fact.
  • Marvel Snap against a human opponent is unpleasantly stressful.
  • Even though there is absolutely no interaction or communication of any kind.
  • Except by playing your cards.
  • Which fricken stressed the hell out of me!
  • Honestly, I was so tense. 
  • It was horrible.
  • I hated it.
  • Pretty good of me to play five games, then, wasn't it?
  • Especially as winning each game just made the next one more stressful.
  • That's the curse of the streak. 
  • I probably should have lost one on purpose just to relieve the pressure.
  • I did learn that I don't want to play any more Marvel Snap.
  • So that was good.
  • And at least now I can say I tried it.
  • Also, DCDF is looking pretty good right now.
  • I really didn't expect that.
  • I thought it would be the other way around.
  • It just goes to show, doesn't it?
  • I think I'm going to stick with DCDF.
  •  If I play either of them.
  • I probably won't play either of them.
  • At least until they add a PvE mode to Marvel Snap.
  • Then I guess I'd give it another try. 
  • Just for science, you understand.
  • Certainly not because I want to.

All things considered, it was a surprising  - and surprisngly unpleasant - experience. I think the reason I found it so stressful was because there doesn't seem to be any kind of time limit on making your moves. I kept angsting about whether I was keeping the other person waiting so I kept rushing my plays, which I found very annoying, although not as annoying as not being able to check what a card did before I played it. 

There has to be a way to do that during a match but I couldn't find it. This is where a decent tutorial would have helped. I found myself thinking that if I was going to go on playing I'd probably need to write all the conditions on every card down on paper and have them on the desk in front of me, at which point I decided it was definitely time to stop.

From posts and comments I've read on other blogs, people seem to find Marvel Snap a bit of light-hearted fun. I can't quite see it myself but I expect that's just me. Anyway, I got a post out of it and it made me feel considerably warmer to DCDF so I guess that's a win.

* I just read the first issue of Marvel Rising - Squirrel Girl & Ms Marvel. It was excellent. I highly recommend it, especially the first eight or ten pages, which are really quite unusual for a supehero comic. The whole thing is likely to be of interest to anyone who follows this blog, for reasons that will become clear if and when you actually read it. 

Oh, alright, that's far too mysterious, not to say misleading. The plot is all about video games. That's all I meant.

To the point, though, as I thought, Squirrel Girl is definitely not the most serious of super-heroes. She is, however, the genuine article, not a parody, something I was less sure about. I can see why they chose to go with her for this game.

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