Card Fighter's Clash is a fun, if simple, collectible-card game that combines some of the best elements of Pokemon and Magic: The Gathering, except that you build decks composed of cards based on characters from various SNK and Capcom games.
Like other collectible-card games, Card Fighter's Clash is composed primarily of three parts: collecting cards, building your decks, and playing them. Fortunately, since nearly every one of the game's 300 collectible cards is available within the game itself, you won't need to go out and pay even more money for those one or two killer cards in shops or online auctions. You win new cards automatically by defeating your computer opponents, and you can trade cards, either at the in-game trading kiosks or with your friends via link cable. Collecting cards is something of a game in itself, especially for longtime fans of Capcom and SNK games, who will likely want to add the colorful superdeformed visages of both the popular, mainstream characters of each company's games and the characters from more obscure games, like Capcom's early CPS3 failure Warzard/Red Earth and SNK's quiet Neo Geo flop, Super Tag Battle, to their collections.
Building and playing decks in Card Fighter's Clash are considerably simpler than in other games you may have played, partially because you're limited by the number of cards you have on hand and also because Card Fighter's Clash simply isn't as strategically deep as other games you may have played. Each player takes turns playing character cards, which can attack or defend, and action cards, which can affect character cards or cause some other effect. Only one character can be played each turn - up to a maximum of three characters on either side - and can't attack or use other abilities until the following turn. When characters attack, either alone or in union attacks, or use other abilities, they enter freeze phase, much like tapping from Magic: The Gathering. In fact, Card Fighter's Clash plays more or less like a simpler, scaled-down version of Magic, but it doesn't have Magic's convoluted rules or its fragile cardboard cards. And between its collecting aspect and its simple, enjoyable card battles, Card Fighter's Clash is extremely addictive, guilt-free fun, without the $50 cards and the stigma of being a Pikachu fan.
Card Fighter's Clash isn't going to revolutionize collectible-card gaming as we know it. But its colorful graphics, addictive card-collecting aspect, and fun gameplay make for a game that, with Match of the Millennium, makes the Neo Geo Pocket Color a truly worthwhile purchase and a force to be reckoned with in the handheld market.