Yup, still playing. I've even spent a bit of money on it - mostly to get a few of the super legendary cards which have been...sort of fun to play? I somehow always feel like I didn't get the best ones...
I enjoy the game - there's enough strategy here that I feel like I'm often learning new things about the game, how to play it better, spotting when my opponents play poorly (e.g. play cards in a sub-optimal order), and things like that. The game is still fundamentally broken in that it is unfair by design: I often play against people who have the same cards, but they're leveled-up and are thus incredibly more powerful. I've also been on the "giving" end of that picture. However, I'm still playing maybe because...
a. There's a "season's" system where all your progress on the leaderboard is reset and you start from the bottom again. This is nice because, when you're roughly at your "correct" place on the leaderboard - it can be very frustrating to play because you lose a lot...then win a few, but still lose a lot. Getting sent back to the beginning means you get to win a lot - at least until you climb back to roughly where you were before. ALSO, there's rewards for hitting each of the leaderboard tiers, so it's a nice opportunity to get some currency to buy more cards and upgrade the ones you have.
b. Last season I made it up to "20" and was pleased to learn that at that level I could not automatically "descend" when losing matches. This was nice because I felt better about experimenting with new decks and trying out stuff that was riskier.Otherwise I tend to play rather conservatively...
A few other things I've learned:
a. There's a minion that does a damage to its owners' base when it dies. If that minion attacks your base (and kills you), you still lose! The damage to it's owners base doesn't kick in at the same time! (I thought it would end in a tie, and I lost)
b. The game's final stages (endgame) can get REALLY tedious...I once played a match that went for 30 rounds. I only won it because my opponent quit DESPITE having the board permanently full of minions. I only survived because I was able to frequently freeze them all and had a card that healed my base.
I played enough of it to unlock some permanent upgrades that helped make it a bit easier, but it was never THAT much fun for me anyways - I still think the "genetic" issues you get with each new generation are fun and interesting - but the overall game wasn't that interesting for me. Mostly because I'd die too quickly/easily in a boss fight or I'd reach another major area and the difficulty spike felt too great.
It was cheap and I was curious. I'm glad for that, this game has the addictive "just one more game" that a lot of rogue-likes have combined with an interesting learning curve, a healthy dose of difficulty, and an interesting combat system I enjoyed exploring and learning. It took me about 15 attempts before I was able to "win" (beat the 2nd boss and unlock an ending) which then gave me a new character to try out. I tried it a few times and, while I think there's still some interesting stuff to learn and play with, I've decided to shelve it and move on to the next game (yes, my drawer of unplayed PS4 games is full and I feel like I need to make some sort of dent in it).
a. It's been a while since I've enjoyed learning how to play a game (strategy) while I learn how to play a game (controls, UI). There was quite a bit of stuff going on, and the game is pretty unrelenting in its challenge, so I was losing and learning from my mistakes as often as I was losing (from bad luck sometimes too). The second time I booted the game up it had installed an update that added some additional information (to the UI), and some new game modes. The UI stuff was a blessing because it helped me understand the "candle" mechanic which I had suffered from, but without knowing why. It turns out that when you move to a location you've visited previously, you lose a candle. If you don't have any left, it's game over. For a while I thought the candles blew out on a timer - to prevent players from lollygagging around, but no. So, I lost a few games just because of that.
b. When you find an item/spell/chest etc. I was sure that the location it appears in determines which character can get it. This seemed a bit unfair (and too random) and it wasn't until after I beat the game that I realized you can change the character positions such that the character you want gets the item/spell/etc. That made things A LOT better - obviously only for things you have already found (and thus know what they do).
c. The game combines real-time action with a generous "pause" system - you pause and issue commands and stuff, and then let the real-time "play" until you're ready for the next set of actions (at which point you pause). Pausing was great because I could plan and figure things out - but I'd often unpause by mistake thus messing up any combos/team attacks I was hoping to pull of. I also didn't like how sometimes, when it was up against the fire, I'd have to pause at just the right moment - when an enemy is about to strike, for example, and my character's attack timer was almost ready. I wish it would auto-pause JUST before you're about to get attacked so you could avoid some of those split-second timing moments I ran into (and often suffered from, as in "game over")
d. Thanks to the update I understood the stunning/reducing stamina mechanic which is a pretty cool system. Each character does a different number of attacks and most enemies have stamina cubes. Each attack eliminates a cube and when there's no cubes left, the enemy can lose health on the next attack, gets bounced back and regains it's stamina cubes. However, if your attacks exactly get rid of the cubes (no more and no less) then it's stunned AND if you then attack it (by swapping in for another character) it takes damage, gets bounced back, permanently loses a stamina cube, and regains the ones it has left. This creates interesting tactical moments as you try to, for example, weaken an opponent that has lots of cubes (a pain in the butt to deal with since it takes many attacks before you can damage it) - this is especially useful for bosses!
In all, a REALLY interesting and engaging combat system I enjoyed playing because it didn't require too much in terms of reflexes.
The more I play the better I get. I think. Maybe it's just because my characters have levelled up enough that they're more successful?
I'm already on to Chapter 3 - this time we need to recruit a player from the North of Japan (a snowy town whose name I've forgotten). The story is fun, in a cute charming sort of way, and I'm still surprised they made a bonda fide RPG about football. It makes so much sense that I wonder why others haven't done it.
I thought I was going to quit after chapter 2, but I've decided to keep on going... I recently learned how to change equipment (different shoes and jewelry that give stat bonuses) and I've yet to dive in with the new moves.. it's hard to know which ones to get, why to get certain ones and so on....