Kousoku Card Battle: Card Hero (Hands-On) (Nintendo DS) Preview

By Adam Riley 07.01.2008

Trade & Battle: Card Hero hit the Game Boy Colour in Japan back in 2000 and stayed there forever more, despite Pok

Card Hero is not a particularly visually involved game, but that does not mean it skimps on the presentation side completely. Upon booting up the game, some funky guitar music kicks in and a bold, brash intro sequence begins, complete with beautifully drawn 2D character art that zooms all over the screen, before the title screen flashes up and the background music changes to a more futuristic, laid-back style. Straight away you can see the familiar styling of SPD1's Yoshio Sakamoto-san (of Metroid, WarioWare and Rhythm Tengoku fame), the creator of the original GBC game that is classed by many as the best card game available (far better than Pok

Screenshot for Kousoku Card Battle: Card Hero (Hands-On) on Nintendo DS

Following a lengthy text-based chat (there is no speech included, nor any wandering around), the Hero is given three special cards, all of the same type with a picture of a green-suited man emblazoned on it. A quick press of L or R reveals in their information statistics that they are are all 'Level 2' cards. The Iwata-junior guide also gives you three special items, one is be like a Pok

Screenshot for Kousoku Card Battle: Card Hero (Hands-On) on Nintendo DS

Tap on a card and choose what attack is desired from the pop-up box that appears (when highlighting it, you are shown which enemies can be affected and in what manner) and then tap on the appropriate enemy to execute the move. What follows is a nice little animation of your card spin-kicking (in this case) the opponent, then being greyed out since its move has been completed. Then the player must 'End Turn' as there are only four possible places to move around in at this early stage, with two taken up by the enemy and two by your team. The playing field is something that expands as players delve further into the game, along with the rules and other set-up features of battles, so do not worry about the simplicity here as it is merely an early introduction. Once the 'Enemy Turn' is over, the whole process starts again, with your team carrying out whatever orders given and attempting to strike the deathblow to the first and subsequent other enemy cards in the virtual field. It should be noted that cards can level-up as in normal RPGs, which leads to the usual stat boosts, as well as replenishments in cards' HP, the latter of which can rapidly switch the sway of an encounter with ease. Each team has three black squares on their side (again something that varies as the game goes on to complicate matters

Screenshot for Kousoku Card Battle: Card Hero (Hands-On) on Nintendo DS

It should be noted at this point that you do not get to see what cards were chosen by your opponent first, meaning making your own selection could be risky depending on what cards are chosen and where they are placed. This is an obvious addition, clearly, but still worthy of mention. Upon eventually winning, the shopkeeper lets you choose a pack of new cards, which you cut open by slicing with the stylus across the top in a very neat manner indeed (more can be 'bought' later on using funds collected during other battles). Inside are new cards, just as expected, plus status boosting ones (like a shield that can only be used by characters with a certain amount of HP, but reduces damage taken for a short while) and special attack ones that help your card fighters in the most awkward of situations. There also seems to be a case where cards with lower HP than the opponent cannot attack said opponent, which would add a new dynamic to events. So, even from the very start of Card Hero it becomes clear that it is definitely not for card battling rookies looking for adventure thrills with a modicum of card action on the side. Nintendo's new game is basically a simple text-based story attached to a thoroughly in-depth tactical experience for hardcore trading card lovers. Sadly at the moment it is all but indecipherable due to the language barrier, but it is clear that this early hands-on has not even really scratched the surface of what looks to be a seminal game in its genre, blowing Pok

Screenshot for Kousoku Card Battle: Card Hero (Hands-On) on Nintendo DS

Final Thoughts

Card Hero is a simple to pick up, yet deeply engrossing trading card battle game that exudes charm and style through and through. Intelligent Systems and Nintendo appear to have the pinnacle of this genre on their hands, so it would be a sin for it to remain without translation forever more. Perhaps if we all raise our voices loud enough someone will pay attention? Here's hoping, anyway...


Intelligent Systems




Table Games



C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  n/a

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date None   North America release date None   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date None   


I'm not familiar with the "Anticipation Rating"... Does 5/5 mean that you are anticipating the game very much, or that it might get a 10 in an eventual review?

Top games:
5-The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
4-Super Mario Galaxy
3-Eternal Darkness
2-Super Mario Bros 3
1-Super Mario Bros

It means we're anticipating it lots and that it could well end up being a very good game. We'll be including an explanation of what it means pretty soon to stop people getting confused.

Trying to think of a witty signature after 'Hacker-gate'...

In this case it means I'm anticipating the game as much as I possible can! :-D From what I played it's better than other card trading/battling games, but it'd be even better if Nintendo translated it and I could understand all the details...

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

Seems iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinteresting.

Definitely is, and considering how popular trading card games still are in the West right now, I'm sure that Nintendo Seal would help it be a massive sleeper success over here.

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses
chael (guest) 11.05.2012#6

this game should be translated to english, it would be a waste if not.. let's raise our voice so that everybody can appriciate this awesome game.. please translate this or remove it from being region lock


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