Eye of Judgement for PlayStation 3

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SCE Japan Studio



Release Dates

10/24/07 Sony Computer Entertainment
10/25/07 Sony Computer Entertainment
10/26/07 Sony Computer Entertainment

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Review: Eye of Judgment (PS3)

By Bladeneo 01st Feb 2009 | 2,279 views 

The Eye of Judgment: An undoubtedly daring attempt at transforming a collectible card game into a video game, but how does it fare?

Collectible card games and video games may seem at first glance to be entirely incompatible genres, but apparently SCE Japan scoffs at such judgments (no pun intended), and has decided to put the two together in a small arena and see what happens.

The result of this combination is The Eye of Judgment, a rather peculiar little title that perhaps beats all others to the ‘Niche Genre’ crown. Its credentials are unquestionable; With Wizards of The Coast, practically the Godfather of trading card games responsible for the actual core mechanics of the game, all that Sony has been left with is to create a successful stepping stone in order to bring it to life. So, just how well do they do?

First things first; the setup. Eye of Judgment is played on a 3x3 square, cloth like grid, using the Playstation Eye as the aforementioned stepping stone. The initial setup is incredibly simple, a flat surface is all that’s necessary; you’re provided with an easy to assemble, albeit slightly tacky, stand for the eye, a (thankfully) balanced starter deck of cards, as well as a booster pack. The on-screen instructions are concise and brief, and after a quick recognition test to ensure the lighting and camera position are correct, you’re ready to begin battling. It’s imperative that I mention that one of the major faults many people have found with Eye of Judgment is that the card recognition is, for lack of a better word, ambiguous. Quite a number of people have found that it’s very difficult to create the needed lighting, it seems as though the line between too dark and too light is very fine indeed. Contrary to these reports however, I had no problems whatsoever. Most would agree if they saw my living room that the lighting is on the dimmer side of said line, but despite this I found that the Eye was able to recognize the cards immediately during the preliminary setup.

Unfortunately, the TV is not included in the package.

I did however run into a fair few problems with card recognition during my various plays as the cloth would often fall out of alignment with the Eye unless you were pretty exact in the removal and placing of the cards; it was fairly easy to realign the two, but, and this may just be my own personal preference, I did find it slightly annoying that the game requires you to use such caution while playing. For any of you who may have troubles, a quick scout of the internet found that most players found the Eye to be much more responsive when the lighting was set to “warm”, rather than automatic during the setup.

Another important point to mention is the ridiculous update process; if you’re buying this game in the near future, or have bought it recently, I implore you NOT to ask the network to look for an upgrade. There are many, many files to download (2600 or so), and after sitting through the download for half an hour and the bar only just hitting 2% or so, I realised I had made a grave error and quit the game immediately. I don’t even want to imagine how long it would take to install. Thankfully, ignoring the update didn’t present me with any noticeable issues during my playtime as the update is primarily to allow the game to recognize newly released cards. Unfortunately, Eye of Judgment’s trophy patch is included amidst those 2600 files, but with no way to select which files to download, I imagine the trophies will be largely overlooked.

After you’ve successfully ignored the update (or not for the masochists out there) and set up the playing field, you will be introduced to the rather bland menu screen. From here you can battle locally, online, watch the many and frankly laborious video tutorials, play the singular mini-game, (which is hardly worth a mention as it’s a simple ‘top trumps’ style comparison game), scour through your card collection or, perhaps most importantly, build and edit your decks. Looking through your cards offers an interesting way to interact with your cards, you can see your creatures up close and personal, and even poke them and watch them fire an attack off. It’s a nice way to get better acquainted with your cards and the creatures involved in the game.

Eye of Judgment already has the basic starting deck, consisting of 30 cards, pre-built into the game. Editing your decks is a relatively simple affair. You can build a new deck from scratch by simply scanning your cards into the game; multiple cards can be scanned in at a time which makes the process a lot faster but unfortunately, if you’re wanting to build a deck with more than one of the same monster you have to manually add this monster afterwards as there’s no way to tell the game to scan the same card again. Battling can, at first, be quite bewildering. The previously mentioned tutorials obviously help in this respect, but I found the best thing to do in order to get to grips with the game was to battle a friend locally, which allowed us to play the game at our own pace, and making beginner mistakes didn’t immediately result in defeat as it did while battling the computer, even on the easiest difficulty. In terms of gameplay, there’s not much to be said that shouldn’t already be expected, given the pedigree of its designers. The gameplay is solid; each card is of a particular element, has a Summoning and Activation cost, which cost mana, as well as health and attack stats, including damage as well as range of attack (this range also serves for counter attacking purposes also). At the beginning of each turn, you are given 2 mana, but it can be gained through item cards and will sometimes be returned when one of your monsters is killed.

Not really a fair fight, is it?

The element of your monsters has a very important influence on the game; each grid on the board has two elements, with one being in play while the other takes a passive role. Different items and monsters can flip the grid so that the secondary element becomes active. These elements are important as if you place a water monster on a water square for example, it will gain health, but will lose health if placed on a fire square, and vice versa; this forces a more tactical approach to the game as you’re constantly trying to decide which monster is best for which square.

The aim is to have a monster placed on 5 of the 9 squares available, regardless of creature strength. The overall goal is relatively simple, but this simplicity is in fact reason for criticism as it removed some of the focus on the actual monsters themselves. Rather than trying to save up mana for a powerful monster, it seemed much more effective to place lesser creatures on the board in the hope your opponent cannot defeat your monsters fast enough. Unfortunately, this is also the only way to win, which I feel is a rather large detraction from what is otherwise a very solid battle system.

The battling is, of course, where the real charm of Eye of Judgment lies; the premise of being able to see your cards on screen, I felt, was by far the most promising experience Eye of Judgment has to offer. The game is quite attractive; each monster is quite diverse and well designed with a unique attack, but the monster interactions can become quite repetitive. Each monster has a singular move so to speak which is used both when attacking and counter attacking, and despite the possibility for counter attacks there is very little in the way of an actual battle which I felt was slightly disappointing. I for one was salivating at the prospect of seeing a small skirmish unfold between the creatures, one reminiscent of the opening cut scene of the game, but what actually occurs is a simple process of creature attack, defending creature damage and, if possible, creature counter attack. It would have been nice to have seen different animations programmed for different monster encounters, incorporating the grid elements involved etc, rather than your tiny dwarves attacking similar sized goblins and towering monoliths in the same fashion. Spell cards are also, unfortunately, quite bland; when activated, a rather large monk-type character appears out of the board and proclaims in a booming voice whatever it is you’ve cast. There is little in the way of sound to speak about, the same booming voice is heard when summoning, attacking or casting, but other than that there is a small collection of vaguely interested rock-based songs which evoke thoughts of ‘Dynasty Warriors’.

Actually witnessing the battle unfold in high-definition is a fantastic novelty to begin with, but unfortunately it’s a novelty that quickly wears off. It soon becomes evident that by implementing the Eye as a means to play the game, what is fundamentally a very good and functional card game becomes a slow, laboured experience, one that cannot be rescued by simply seeing your battle unfold on screen. I found the average battle with a computer opponent lasted around 10-15 minutes with very little opportunity to explore your more powerful monsters, while local battles with my friends lasted quite a bit longer as we allowed each other more freedom in our actions.

There is a silver lining for Eye of Judgment however, as another of its major attractions, the inclusion of online play, is implemented very well. To combat the presumed issue of people cheating online, you are required to scan in each card for a particular deck individually, which, while rather tedious and time consuming, ensures a fair match. That is, if you can ever actually find someone online to play against. Given the poor sales of this title, you will struggle to find anyone to battle online as I did, but once you do, the experience is quite enjoyable; there was no lag to speak of and voice chat is also a nice addition, but it must be said that the experience of playing a friend locally cannot be replicated.

Consequently, what exactly does Eye of Judgment achieve? It’s hard not to appreciate what Sony set out to accomplish, but they fall far from the mark; the core card game is solid and is fundamentally enjoyable, but after the initial excitement of being able to battle with your cards in a fashion reminiscent of “Yu-Gi-Oh!”, being forced to battle via the PS3 only serves to hinder the overall experience. Combined with the complete lack of any sort of story, something which is surprising given the rich backgrounds of some of Wizards of the Coasts other creations, an incredibly repetitive soundtrack and a less than enjoyable single player experience, Eye of Judgment definitely fails to offer a complete experience.

Eye of Judgment was originally launched with a £60 price tag, although it's now available for much less. Included in the pack are 30 cards (with loads of other decks available to purchase separately), the game, game board mat, and a Playstation Eye with stand. The inclusion of the Eye does make Eye of Judgment a worthwhile purchase if you can find it for a budget price, as there are many games available over the PSN that take advantage of it, however, unless you have a dedicated circle of friends who want to battle often, Eye of Judgment will most likely be sat in its rather large box gathering dust for the majority of the time.

VGChartz Verdict


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Sales History

Total Sales
1 6,934 12,826 n/a 2,483 22,243
2 2,153 15,545 n/a 2,947 20,645
3 1,685 11,322 n/a 2,148 15,155
4 1,317 8,956 n/a 1,699 11,972
5 1,220 11,154 n/a 2,111 14,485
6 1,040 9,335 n/a 1,767 12,142
7 902 10,676 n/a 2,019 13,597
8 899 11,415 n/a 2,157 14,471
9 1,075 12,985 n/a 2,455 16,515
10 975 7,706 n/a 1,460 10,141

Opinion (39)

Boutros posted 16/12/2009, 10:57
This is one very good game. It's really unique.
I love it!
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jneul posted 16/12/2009, 10:15
i am sure they have made a huge profit out of the cards lol, anyway tracking is not accurate for this because i own it and i live in the eu
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Severance posted 09/12/2009, 02:11
they should make adverts for this for Xmas, it will sell loads!
in Xmas parents love to buy stuff like this.
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nexzen posted 19/10/2008, 05:50
jeez to mke money u g2a waste some, they shud be smart n just use this technology with yugioh, they know it will sell a million
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Beja-Beja posted 16/09/2008, 02:36
Deserves to be a solid hit but ita not.
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ssj12 posted 25/07/2008, 01:24
miss EU data..
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