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[Nintendo 3DS] Cardfight!! Vanguard Ride to Victory

14/05/2013

I just got this game at the beginning of May 2013. A friend of mine helped me to order it and he also let me borrow his Japanese region 3DS to play it for a while. Some information here and here for further reading. The game is region locked due to the way the Nintendo 3DS is made so currently you can only play this game in Japanese on a Japan region console.

PS: No pictures at the moment, maybe later.

So far I’ve played through the first quarter of the game, winning only the shop tournament thus far. Similar to the anime, your main objective is to win tournaments. There is not tag match available in the game as far as I know and there are no teams. The tournament battles are not continuous so you can save in-between if you are afraid of bad hand start but there is no penalty for losing except for your fight performance record. I’ve finished the main part of the game. There are 3 tournaments in total starting from the shop, regional (?) and finally VF Circuit. After the tournaments are over with, you can save a clear data and come to the end event area where events are “looped”. You can endlessly fight a certain set of fighters and they will give you a bonus random card at the end of the fight if you win other than the usual one from their deck when you win.

At the start of the game, you’ll be asked a few questions by Aichi but will ultimately pick 1 of the available Trial Decks in the game, from Royal Paladin to Aqua Force (as the game only cover up to the last box of last year – BT09 Clash of Knights and Dragons). Pick any 1 and you’ll get 4 of each card in the trial deck. Doesn’t really matter which TD you pick at the start as you can easily get them all by battling Miwa using the TDs and beating him will net you the TDs with 4 of each card too. Shin will also give you 1 booster pack to start out with which I’m not sure if its supposed to come with a RRR at first or not as I got King of Knights Alfred there. Your first introductory battle will be with Morikawa which for those familiar with the series should be an okay 1st fight. From there, you can go meet people by clicking on their icons on the world map. Icons with an exclamation mark is for story progression. Sometimes you get free cards and sometimes you have to fight them but in the ultimate end, you’ll get free cards. =P

Buying boosters is like real life and each booster costs 100 VP (and you earn around 750-850 VP plus bonuses when you beat someone in a cardfight – except against Morikawa’s dysfunctional deck which gives you 300 VP plus). You can even grab the whole box of cards if you want as in this game as you’re the only one buying boosters (ironically). The cards feel quite random to a rain of SPs to the lack of key cards being present in good quantity. Shadow Paladin is rather hard to get as far as I played. The game keep giving me Giraffa. Even if you see that you opened many boosters until you get more than 4 pieces of a certain card, you’ll only keep 4 each. I wish the number can go beyond that to show you how many times you get certain cards. XP

You can only have 1 deck at a time but you can save the deck you made as a recipe. There are in-game recipes you can collect as well from Trial Decks to character decks (though some are more complete-looking than in the anime). Do not fret over the 1 deck limitation as the game allows you to pick any recipe, other than your current deck, before any cardfight begins. Unfortunately you can only save up to 50 recipes total. I’m personally reaching that limit with the various variety in clan builds that you can do (unless you really have a limited playing style/preference).

As far as dueling the characters in-game, they seem to have a fix pattern. Once they have 3-4 damage, they will guard like no tomorrow. They would even put down a numbered null from your Vanguard attack even if it reaches 30k+ if they are able. They will mostly attack your Vanguard, rear-guards are particularly safe and I tried to run 4 special intercepts – quite effective. Certain characters may attack your rearguards for on-hit effects however (Asaka) or when your Vanguard base power is too high to hit.

The only short duel you can ever have is if either of you mis-ride and it can happen very painfully in the game, more-so against certain dues-ex-machina characters. When you think you can finish off a character on the next turn, there’s a high chance for them to get a heal trigger so always be prepared for a long fight. The longer the fight, the more triggers the opponent may get. They will get a heal trigger at 4th-5th damage, they will double trigger you at a critical moment. Even if they have no stand triggers, if their rearguards have low power, they will attack your Vanguard first before their Vanguard attacks. Triggers seem to have a pattern sometimes, especially the heal trigger. Maybe someone can do some research on this. Otherwise, don’t get overconfident even if you seem to be in the lead. The game doesn’t usually let you relax for too long and you should finish a match as soon as you can else you’ll spend too much time on it (and possibly deck-out for certain builds).

Overall the game is pretty addicting to play especially if you enjoy the car game itself. There’s also that possible enjoyment from playing against certain characters from the series though the basic AI processing can be a bit weird or desperate at times as the characters can mis-ride and not get their usual cards. I personally find the enjoyment of being able to build decks I do not own the cards of as well as trying out weird combos. I should spend some time online to play the game against real-life opponents though.

Random Notes (of interest) – Breakdown;

  • The best deck I’ve tried so far to get the “5 turn win” bonus is by using a soul-swap Pale Moon (go first, utilize Mirror Demon, Midnight Bunny and Alice to move in and out of soul – have some on-call soul charge units as well to fill up the soul). Pellinore can also work but requires more luck.
  • The best deck to farm points are Dragonic Overlord The End and Phantom Blaster Overlord. In most cases, you’ll get more than 1000 VP if you pull of a successful Persona Blast by the end of the fight. Following these are any Persona Blast/Limit Break decks although they can be less stable and defensive against the AIs in the game.
  • After you finish the main game scenario which being battling Kai’s Narukami deck (with The Blood), you can go through an endless loop of event battles (on the map). Winning them will net you some random cards.
  • Play online to get cards you haven’t collected. Winning nets you two random cards, losing will still net you one card.
  • The AIs rarely attack your rear-guards. They will only attack them if your Vanguard base power is too high to hit without triggers. Using certain cards that are rear-guard sensitive is actually more viable for AI fights (The Dark Dictator, stand decks). They will normally attack with lower power units first even if their decks do not have stand. Be wary that AIs can gain an advantage over you easily if you’re not careful.
  • The AIs will try their best to assault your Vanguard whenever they can. They will call units regardless if they can be used later for “on-ride/call” skills. This can be a good or bad thing for you.
  • The AIs will rarely guard their rear-guards being attacked so you can utilize this for “on-hit” skills as well as potentially reducing their rear-guard attack power. If you mow enough of their rear-guards down, they will call weaker column units such as triggers and so forth just to attack you.
  • The AIs usually ride once unless they have a Cross Ride. In some cases they will ride again if they can increase their Vanguard’s base power.
  • The AIs will guard even harder if your Vanguard has an extra critical on it (Majesty Lord Blaster, Reijy, Great Daiyusha, etc). It is one of the best ways to keep their Limit Break in check, especially Ultimate Break although certain characters will utilize damage manipulators to overcome this (similar to real life).
  • Aichi and Ren both have 4 Blaster Blades and 4 Blaster Darks respectively in their first deck.
  • Kai’s deck, however, is represented faithfully to the anime.
  • Murakumo deck used mainly by Ninja Master M utilizing Mandala Lord and Shirayuki runs 8 draw, 4 stand triggers and 4 heals.
  • Never buy a whole box of cards at once, buy a few at a time as the cards that come out are completely random. You can get a lot of RRRs/SPs in a single box through it! I bought a whole box once and only got one RRR but when I buy slowly, I can get well over three RRRs and two SPs in one box.
  • Stand triggers are good against AIs since they tend to full guard your Vanguard’s attack (around three and above damage) whenever they have a large enough hand (usually greater than five cards).

Luckiest Characters to Fight – Naturally gets good rides and/or triggers overall;

  • Sendou Emi
  • Sendou Aichi
  • Rekka
  • Daimonji Nagisa
  • Kyou Yahagi
  • Ninja Master M
  • Milky Holmes Cast (except Sherlock)
  • Tenchou Dairi (Sub-Manager – the cat)

Unluckiest Characters to Fight – Will get into a problematic situation when they do not ride their main units, misses the chance to Cross Ride and/or lack trigger power overall;

  • Morikawa
  • Izaki Yuuta
  • Suzugamori Ren
  • Kai Toshiki
  • MiwaTaishi
  • Katsuragi Kamui
  • Daimonji Gouki
  • Souryu Leon

The rest have mixed results as to fighting them although some I’ve fought less with than the ones I listed here. If you have mixed results fighting these characters, do tell! At times it could be my deck of choice is very good against their decks since I built various decks which can counter certain combos (but generally Kagero does that best or a Royal Paladin with Blaster Blade).

Glitches;

  • Zanbaku – If an opponent decides to ride to Grade a 2nd time, the game will freeze.
  • Superior Call (empty rear-guard circle requirement) – If you decide to superior call and part of the condition is an empty rear-guard circle, the game will freeze. Easiest way to try this is through Blond Ezel.
  • Toypungal Loop of Doom – Only happens with Kourin who uses the card. If she calls 2 of them to the same column, she may try to switch their front/back positions due to Toypungal’s skill. She’ll do it indefinitely if that happens. One way to cause this to do enough rear-guard lost with one column having an existing Toypungal at the back.
  • After-Battle Error – Randomly after a fight, the game may cause an error and restart.
  • Save Data Lost – Unknown reason. Happened to me once, decided to re-play the game again. So far so good so I took it slow this time.
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