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July 26 2007
The Eye of Judgment - PS3 Preview
Release Date Distributer Publisher Developer
25/10/2007SonySonyJapan Studio
Offline Players Online players Price Anticipation
1-22$159.95
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A typical setup for The Eye of Judgment.
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The battle board in action.

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Note the PS3 overlaying the card with 3D models.
When The Eye of Judgment was first shown off at E3 2006 it was a title that generated quite a bit of interest. To be honest we were still keener to see Eyedentify again following it's one and only showing at E3 2005, but that game seems to have dropped off the radar - who knows if we will ever see that game again - but The Eye of Judgment is now due out this Christmas, and it promises to open up yet another genre for Sony to exploit to the 'casual' gaming market. Unlike SingStar, Buzz or traditional Eye Toy styled games this may be a tougher market to crack though. Card based battle games aren't your typical party games, but the combination of a physical card placement, and the overlaying of CG graphics to watch battles could be worth looking. Impressively the game has been developed in collaboration with Hasbro and its Wizards of the Coast subsidiary that produces Magic: The Gathering.

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One of the gorgeous 3D battle scenes.
So what exactly is this game you ask. Well if you have a look at the image at the top left of the preview you'll have a better understanding. Basically you have a board which is split up into a 3-by-3 grid. On this each of the two gamers place cards which spawn a series of monsters. Each of the cards is embedded with a CyberCode, and is brought to life in the 3D game through use of the all-new Playstation Eye which, when placed on the stand above the game board, reads the cards, translates them into the monsters and then places them on the battlefield. Players take turns placing cards as they jostle for control; the winner is the first player to conquer five of the nine squares of the “9 Fields” battle mat. The gamers task is to conquer the board by deploying their cards more skillfully than their opponent.

The Eye of Judgment comes with a starter deck of 30 character and spell cards manufactured by Hasbro. Naturally each of the characters/monsters in the game has their own strengths and weaknesses and this will have to be taken into account when placing the cards. As well as placing them on the deck the player must face them in the correct direction in order to attack enemies.

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The board is starting to fill up.
Another interesting aspect to this title is that not only will you be able to play against another human opponent, but can also play against the PS3, or more excitingly against another human via online gameplay - now that could be engrossing. If you want to sit out the game you can even have the PS3 compete with two AI controlled players. One concern we have about this game is the limitation of only having a board of 3 x 3 in size. Until we actually sit down and play the game though it will be hard to tell if this really is a true limitation or not.

Following the games release Sony are planning to continue to support the game with a variety of additions. If you get tired of the initial 30 characters then pre-constructed decks and booster packs will be able to be purchased in stores to build the perfect deck using the 110 cards unique cards available - we suspect that even this number could climb over time. As yet we do not have prices for these additional decks and cards but they should be pretty reasonable. The developers are also promising a range of data expansion discs as well - what they entail we aren't sure - perhaps different themed games, and we would be surprised if there aren't downloadable updates and content.

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The required 3-headed monster is in place!
As you can see from the screenshots littered around the preview the graphics in the game are pretty nice. The monsters all look superb, the effects and battles in the game are pretty special as well. It will be interesting to see how responsive the characters are when you move the cards around, but at this stage it looks pretty good.

With The Eye of Judgment set for release in Australia this October it will be interesting to see if Sony can replicate the success with other genre-busting titles such as SingStar and Buzz. We suspect this will be a much tougher prospect (especially given the price of the game here in Australia!) but it's an interesting move nonetheless and we'll be more then keen to check this title out.