Tag Archives: Eternal

2 Generations Gaming 2017 in Review


It’s the first day of 2018. This is the time every year that is traditionally set aside for reflection on the previous 365 (or 366) days. There are countdowns, marathons, and years in review. This article falls into the last category. While it has been difficult to maintain a consistent video or podcast schedule, I’ve done okay at updating the web page with at least one article a month. I’ve also kept busy with plenty of other geeky fun. Let’s reminisce on the best, the worst, and the ugliest.

The Good

APBA Baseball: I only recently rediscovered this game in one of my closets and I’m going to write an article this week about the couple of games I played last week. I know that others might prefer Strat-O-Matic or another simulator, but this is the only one I’ve played and it does what I want it to do. Overall, this has been a great addition to my gaming life again and I can’t wait to dive deeper into the baseball simulation greatness.

Mobile Gaming: Old school favorites like Candy Crush and Angry Birds. New favorites like Sim City Build It, Fallout Shelter, Magic the Gathering Puzzle Quest, and Pokemon Go. All of these games have been played with great regularity over the past year on my phone. In fact, most of my video game time has been spent on my phone. That’s saying something for a person who used to denigrate all mobile games as shovelware.

Eternal/Hearthstone: Yes, these are both games that could have technically been included in the mobile section. However, they’ve had more impact on me than the other games included in that list. I started playing Eternal during one of my rage quits from Hearthstone earlier in the year. I had seen Brian Kibler playing the game on stream and figured I’d give it a chance. I’m glad that I did. While I don’t play it as much as when I first started, it still has a place in my weekly rotation. I have had an up and down relationship with Hearthstone. However, as I said to Chris a couple of days ago, I seem to have found my comfort zone in the game. I have little to no interest in competitive play of any sort. I generally just log in every couple of days to do quests, earn gold, and every now and then win a pack that I won’t open.

Comics: 2017 was the year that saw me get back into comics. Marvel’s Secret Empire event led to a discovery of the well executed DC Rebirth titles. Following them for a few months led right into Metal and sticking with Secret Empire to the end let me experience the start of Legacy. Almost all of these events were well executed, but it wasn’t all good for comics this year. More on that later.

Magic the Gathering: You wouldn’t think that I’d rank this so highly in the good category. Given that Chris and I discussed a few times how little we had played the game this year. I wasn’t even watching streams. It just looked like the game had run its course for us. Then, a couple of things happened. Well, on my end, one major thing happened. During one of our summer trips, I played Magic with all three boys. First, we played a couple of two headed giant games with decks that I had built over the years. Then, I picked up the Nicol Bolas box set and finally the Explorers of Ixalan. We haven’t played the Explorers yet, but there is time. Any game that gets me closer to my kids is a great game.

The Best: I know that it came late in the year, but any time a Star Wars movie is released and it is half decent, that will be the best thing about my year. When it is one of the best of the franchise, it will be the best thing of the decade. When I get to experience it with my kids and father in law, it just might be one of the highlights of my life. I won’t say much more because I have an article planned to go into more detail, but I absolutely loved this movie and it was a perfect way to start my holiday break.

The Bad

No New Console: This is the first year in a few that we haven’t gotten a new console. I was going back and forth for a few weeks on whether or not to buy an XBox One Minecraft edition. I’ve had my eye on it for a while. Then, there seems to have been a mix up with my last December check and unless I sub in January, I won’t get paid at all, so economics won out. Liam did buy himself a Gamecube and we found the Dreamcast (but it needs to be repaired), so there are some “new” games being played right now, but no new hardware makes me feel a bit sad. We won’t be down for long, though. We are looking at a Switch and I’m almost positive that I’ll get an XBox in February.

The Worst: Only two for this one? Yep, and only two for the next one, too. By now, you should know my very positive outlook on things and this shouldn’t come as a surprise. Also, the fact that I just talked so much about how comics were a good thing this year might also make this choice for “the worst” seem weird at best and probably perplexing. But, I have a valid explanation. I loved the stories and art of the comics, but hated the cover prices. I was spending far too much money on them and I couldn’t justify doing so anymore. At least with games, I get massive replay value from them and they allow me to spend more time with my kids. Comics did neither of those. It was 3-7 dollars spent on 10-15 minutes of enjoyment. That’s just awful.

The Ugly

Our Podcast Lineup: I was just talking to a friend (and one of the first fans of the page) about the 2 Guys Gaming podcast. He said something about how he thought it was damn good and that it could have been something. Not one to take compliments very gracefully, I changed the subject quickly. However, the podcasts are fun for me to do and I really want to get back to doing them. There have been a few that I listen to that have taken long breaks and come back stronger. One, in particular, stopped and started a few times, but it is again one of my favorites. So, our planning is ugly, but hopefully by this time next year, it will be good.

Nerd on Nerd Violence: This is something that I’ve often spoken against. However, as nerd culture has become popular culture, the nerd on nerd violence has increased to an unacceptable level. It used to be that when you were picked on by somebody, you always had your nerd buddies to get your back. If there was an actual fight, you’d all get your butts kicked, but they were there to take your mind off of being the brunt of some sort of physical or psychological abuse. Now, some of the worst abuse of nerds is coming from other nerds. It isn’t just good-natured joke fights about whether Star Trek or Star Wars is better. It’s full on attacks of each other and the things we hold dear. I’m going to talk about this more in my Star Wars article and it might just be that all violence is increasing, but this makes me incredibly sad.

The Verdict

2017 wasn’t all fun and games. It wasn’t all poorly executed puns, either. It was a good bordering on great year that gives us an excellent foundation to make 2018 even better. Happy New Year, All! Make it the best one ever!

Love is “Eternal”?


I was watching Brian Kibler’s stream about a week ago and he was playing a card game other than Hearthstone. It wasn’t Magic, either. Now, that would be news. It was called Eternal and, from what I could gather, it appeared to be a cross between Magic and Hearthstone. As I explained it to Chris, it has the mana and interaction on your opponent’s turn of Magic, but the quick matches of Hearthstone.

Heck, it even looks and sounds like Hearthstone.

I know that might sound antithetical. Hell, Chris and I have spent many a text conversation discussing how much better Magic is than Hearthstone for a variety of reasons. The only thing that we agree is better in Hearthstone is the mana system. Gaining one mana per turn instead of hoping on a wing and a prayer that you curve properly is the best thing about Hearthstone. We tried a version of Magic with the Hearthstone rules and, it turns out, being able to do stuff every turn is a good thing.

Nevertheless, I watched the stream and the game. I also chatted with several others since Kibler’s is one of the few streams that doesn’t descend into spam/meme chaos every day and you can have a conversation. It was especially easy since only about half his viewers care about Eternal or don’t care at all what game he’s playing. They politely answered my questions, as well as questions that others had. After about a half an hour, I was convinced. I needed to try this game. I was going to download it via the Steam client and try it. Then, something even better happened. I learned that it was on mobile. I downloaded it, started playing through the tutorial, and immediately texted Chris.

Okay, Grandma. Why don’t you just call him? Nobody texts anymore. It’s all about the Snapchat emoji…or something. I’m even too old to trash talk myself about being too old.

The Good

This whole game is good. In fact, it’s great. One of the selling points was that it is very F2P friendly. I’m still the grumpy old man gamer who refuses to pay good money for digital goods/currency, so if a game doesn’t let me compete without dropping hard earned cash, I’m not playing. I was skeptical at first, but that skepticism soon faded. The tutorials give away starter decks, which isn’t different from Hearthstone on the surface. Underneath, though, it only takes 4 wins to earn a whole deck, where Hearthstone makes you play through 10 levels of the character to get all of the basic cards.

There are also puzzle levels that teach you about the basics of the game and give, as far as I know, 20 gold per. I have only finished one of them as of this writing. The reason for that is because I am having so much damn fun playing the game. Who wants to read the instructions when you can just be out there slinging spells and minions at your opponent’s face?

I’d like to phone a friend.

There are a ton of game modes in the game. In addition to the typical casual and ranked versus modes, they figured out a way to do an actual draft mode where you don’t have to wait for people to sit down at your “table”. There is also a PvP mode called “Event”, which has a special rule and loot attached to it. While most come to a card game to test their mettle against other people, guys like me are perfectly content beating the snot out of the overmatched AI. Thankfully, Eternal takes care of us with two single player modes. In “Gauntlet”, you choose a constructed deck and fight against AI until you win 7 games or lose 1. “Forge” is a draft like mode similar to Hearthstone Arena where you pick from 3 cards to build a deck and then fight the AI until you win 7 or lose 2. The difference here is that you get to keep all cards drafted.

That brings me back to the best part of Eternal. The individual who told me that the game was very F2P friendly was not lying. Nearly every day you are getting at least one pack. The packs are full. None of this 5 cards per pack nonsense. Modes cost more than Hearthstone, but you are also compensated better for performing in them. I won 7 games in Forge and got the 2,000 gold entry plus in rewards. I also received a couple of packs for my trouble. There is no problem in building a decent to good collection in this game.

The Bad

In keeping with my pie in the eye optimistic gamer attitude, there isn’t much that I can categorize as bad in this game. The most obvious is that the mana system is like Magic. Sure, they give you less of a chance of flooding and screwing with one mulligan of your opening hand and by limiting the number of influence (mana) you can draw in the opener and mulligan. Also, there is a card that lets you draw influence for the cost of one. Still, the flood and screw will not be denied and some games you just sit there and stare as your opponent beats you mercilessly.

An exclusive 2GG investigation reveals that statistics are broken.

The only other “bad” in the game is mostly likely just due to the fact that I’m a noob and don’t have the time to dedicate to getting better at drafting. Because of how it is set up, the skill cap for drafting is much higher than it is in Magic the Gathering. Again, instead of sitting down with a pod of players, you are “passed” a pack that has been opened sometime, somewhere, by someone and had cards taken from it. So, you can’t really pick up on signals or bully players off of strategies. What you can do is draft much more with synergy in mind. I just don’t have the skill to do it, so my only draft has ended with a very embarrassing 0-3 and I haven’t been back to try again.

The Ugly

I always worry with these types of games. Before you know it, the developer pulls the plug and you are left with a stagnant game or, worse, one that gets shut down completely. Now, honestly, I haven’t seen either of those happen with any of the games that I play. They must all maintain a high enough player base to justify keeping the servers open.

That’s not entirely true. I did join this game right before they decided to shut down the servers. Fare the well. I hardly knew ye.

I’m not saying that Eternal will shut down. However, I am worried that it won’t be able to maintain the player base in the face of all of these other games. One thing that it has going for it is that it is mobile and it seems to be quick paced, which has so far been a recipe for success with these types of games. The other side is that Magic is releasing their new digital property and it appears to occupy a lot of the same space as this game. I hope that Eternal can hold its own, but if not, it’s going to be ugly for me.

The Verdict

Eternal is a fun game. I have been playing it regularly for the last week. Unlike Hearthstone, which I log in to every couple of days to clear out quests and don’t really have much fun playing, I lose hours to Eternal and don’t regret it one bit. I know that it won’t ever reach Hearthstone levels of popularity because Blizzard just knows how to hook and then keep people running on that treadmill. However, I have had no problem in finding a match any time I log on and play to do the daily win quest.

Eternal is a cheap gamer’s game. They advertise it as a game where you can collect every card without spending any money. While that is probably true for Hearthstone and I’ve done pretty well by it, Eternal’s quest rewards are just an embarrassment of riches and I don’t doubt that I’ll have most, if not all, cards in a relatively short period of time.

Eternal is a well designed game. It is made and distributed by a company that employs prominent names in the gaming community. While that doesn’t always work out, I think of them as the Image of gaming. Image broke off from Marvel and DC to allow their creators to keep their creations and market them as they see fit. It didn’t work for everyone because not everyone is a marketing genius or able to keep a tight schedule. However, Image is still around, they are still allowing their creators full reign, and they are still making great comics. I hope to see the same from Dire Wolf.