Sunday, March 20, 2011

Yomi - A review

I don't know about anyone else, but I love playing fighting games. I don't really know why, but in college I could just sit there glued to the TV playing Soul Caliber 2 with my roommate for hours. Unfortunately, he played many more hours than I did: he eventually was able to pull off the ultimate button combo with Ivy, and I was no longer a worthy opponent. I would, however, joyfully watch he and another friend - who played just as much as my roommate- get into guard brake battles that could last for up to half an hour.

Photo courtesy of Digital Entertainment News

Yeaaaaaaaah... I'm gonna go to class now....

I still played, and I got better. Quite frankly though, I was never really good at getting those button combos down. I just really enjoy mashing buttons in certain sequences to see if a combo can magically appear. It usually doesn't.

Thankfully Sirlin Games has come out with Yomi. I don't know why, but I am positively gleeful when it comes to seeing video games hit the table-top format (SDE for example). From the very first time I played Yomi, I was in love.

The Game:

Yomi is a non-collectible card game (thank the Lord) that accurately simulates a fighting game. I went out and bought this game the second I got home from playing a friend's copy. The game revolves around pre-constructed 52 card decks. Each deck is representative of an individual fighter. Currently there are ten different fighters in the game. Each fighter plays in a very unique way even though each deck is basically a deck of normal playing cards (of course, there are special rules on most cards). Each deck contains the basic rules, a referance card, a special character card, and the 5 combat cards that make up the deck. 

Yomi essentially means "to read your opponent." That is the nature of the game. It is based on a rock, paper, scissors system. A block or dodge card beats an attack card, a throw beats a block or dodge card and finally an attack card beats a throw card. Each offensive card also has a speed attached to it. The lower the speed, the faster your attack. 

The game even allows you to string combos together. If you hit with an attack, you have the option of continuing the attack via sequential cards or linker and ender cards. This gives the perfect ambiance to the fight.

The way combat works is simple. You and your opponent each choose a card from your hand and place it face-down. Each card has two sides to it. You pick the side you want to use and face it toward your opponent. You each flip your card and resolve the combat based on the rock, paper, scissors model on the reference card. Of course, there are a few more advanced rules, but that's the gist of it. You can download the full rules here.

The Product:

Buying Yomi is like buying an Apple product: you get an expensive product that is long-lasting and will be used frequently. You also might just end up petting it- the box is so pretty. Of course in this article I am just talking about the Yomi: Complete Collection. You can also buy the fighter decks in packs of two. 
The complete collection comes with 2 beautiful play mats, life trackers for use on the playmats, ten fighter decks and an expanded rules pamphlet. If you just buy the decks they also each come with a rules pamphlet. 

Another nice thing about the company is that most of their games can be downloaded as a print-and-play option that is significantly cheaper than buying the actual game. I have never really seen a game marketed this way, but think its a pretty neat idea. 

My opinion:

Yes, very yes. This is a great product. It is clear this game has had a lot of thought put into its mechanics. The replay value is great and the game is addicting. I will sit down and play this game, and just like a fighting game, you will go multiple rounds without fatiguing. The playmats are a wonderful addition. They have life points printed on them and it's a very enjoyable experience to use them and play on them. Turning your cards makes you want to say FIGHT! every time. 

Photo courtesy of

Of course everyone, has their complaints about games. For Yomi, many complain that the game is based too much on luck: that is to say, people consider it luck if you play a card that beats your opponent via the rock-paper-scissors (-lizard-Spock) system. If you think about it though, this is essentially the same system fighting games use for determining the outcome of an attack. 

8 1/2 of 10 
I'd give it more, but I want to see future expansions. As with any fighting games, the more fighter selection, the better the game (though this is much nicer than the 8 options the original street fighter had). Basically though,  I think this is a great game to own and has wonderful tournament potential.

News and the Future:

So I have been approached to write for an online magazine called Handcannon. While this is a fun opportunity for me, it means i will be updating this blog with original content less frequently. I will try to do bi-weekly but it may be monthly updates. Either way though, I will put links up to my articles in this blog. 

Peace out all, keep mashin' those buttons, 
Steve (a new challenger has entered the ring)

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Welcome back, everyone. It's been a little while since I last updated. It is Sunday night and I just got back from a wonderful weekend at PAX-East. So here is my rundown of the Con; however, I must issue a disclaimer. I am not someone who is overly concerned with video games, thus the primary focus of this update will be my goings-on at the miniature alley area. I will go over some cool video game stuff I saw, but it will be at best an awestruck and uniformed opinion.

So on to the wonderful things. When I first entered the convention center this is the sight that confronted me and many others.
It's a good thing Ramona was there with Gideon. He might have been a real tool but Ramona and he quickly dispatched the Bioshock monster.

 Being the hopeless Scott Pilgrim fan that I am, these were easily my favorite costumes.

Anyway, let's start with the place that I spent the majority of time at the Cool Mini or Not Booth. Here is where I was demoning Super Dungeon Explore and Malifaux for most of the convention.

Super Dungeon Explore Special Sneak Peek! 

The Girl Super Dungeon Explore shirt as modeled by my hot wife.

So there has been A LOT of work done on this game recently. I am not going to go into specifics. Instead, I will introduce you to the masterminds behind it and show you some uncaptioned pictures that you may interpret at your discretion.

First, we have the masterminds behind it all: John, Chris and Deke. Unfortunately, Deke was a little too wily for me to get a picture of him, but here are John and Chris.

These three guys were great. I had a wonderful time demoing with them and conversing about the creation of SDE and it's future. These three men are brains of the operation. I g,ot in on some ground level super secret info about the game and I will share none of it with you. Why you ask? Well because I would be hunted down by Relic Knights and strung up by my ears as an example to all. So instead, I will show you pictures that anyone who went to PAX-East would have been able to see had they come by and said hi to me or one of the two beautiful women I was demoing with (the talent).

On to the shinies!

Um, those weren't in the demo rules....

Hmmm, that sure looks like more than 5 heroes to me....

He just looks like he wants a hug.

So cute you won't even notice them gnawing on your shin guards... killing one of these is just like clubbing a baby harp seal.

Sorry everyone, but the stats are edited so don't bother to try and get a closer look

We were giving everyone a slated release time for the starter of around August or September.


If you had stopped by the Cool Mini or Not Booth you would have seen me demoing one of my other favorite games: Malifaux. Pretty straight forward on this one. I put pretty models out and people came to learn to play! 

Needless to say, there was a lot of Malifaux moved at the convention. 

On to the Rest:

The rest of the convention was a kick too. I didn't see too much 'cause I was too busy playing games and demoing, but I did get some cool pictures of things that I thought were pretty cool. Let's start off with a small wonder that was being sold by Child's Play, the charitable organization: a cookie in a cookie! this blew my mind more than a lot of the awesome video games that were there. 

The Plants Vs. Zombie people were there too! They brought plants and, um, zombies.

They also had a kick-butt advertising idea. They had people wear little paper traffic cone hats that had plants and or zombies on them. They were really cool, but unfortunately, my friend from Cali, who was with the Soda Pop crew, had some difficulty figureing out how to wear them. 

Well, I did manage to get about 3 or so hours in the Expo hall. I saw the many adventures of Barry Steakfries at the Halfbrick booth. They produce games such as Age of Zombies, which features a Zombie T-Rex (because a regular dinosaur isn't awesome enough). Then I looked up and was horrified to see a giant Pokemon, but then I realized it wasn't real and my nightmare had not come true. 

There were a lot of really great games that were previewed and demoed there. My favorite thing that I saw was "Star Wars: The Old Republic". The intro video was amazing. I sat in awe of the storm trooper/ Jedi battle that took place and quite honestly it made me want to buy the game and a system to play the game on. There were also some cool fighting games, like Arcana Hearts, that I got to see. I am a big fan, but unfortunately, I am getting to that age where my friends don't play them anymore.

So come Sunday I had finished my demoing shift plus two and a half hours... and I'm taking one last walk around the expo and who do run into at the Munchkin stand? Steve Jackson! He was really nice and took a picture with me.

If you don't know who Steve Jackson is, your probably not reading this blog.

In the End: 

In the end, I would like to thank the folks at Cool Mini or Not, Soda Pop Miniatures, and Kevin from the Warstore. Without them I would not have had a badge for this event and would probably have just sat at home painting not even knowing what I was missing. Please go check out all their websites. They all sell amazingly high quality products, in my opinion. I know I picked up some awesome minis I will be painting up. Thank you to all the people that came by for a demo too.

Future posts:

I got to play some awesome games at PAX-East. Among them was Yomi, an almost-finalized version of Pocket Kung Fu and We Didn't Play Test This At All (WDPTTAA). I will be doing an in-depth review of Yomi soon, and when PKF has it's finalized rules, I'll give you the run down on it and WDPTTAA. Hopefully I will be getting some games of Anima in this week or next, but I am swamped! I'm backlogged in painting commissions and I have a Malifaux tournament to run at the Hobby Bunker this Sunday. Either way though, you will get something next week! 

Signing off for now, keep poppin' those sodas, 

Steve (your guide to 8-bit dungeon crawling)