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Exceed: Red Horizon – Reese & Heidi vs. Vincent & Nehtali» Forums » General

Subject: Exceed branding rss

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Micah
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To preface, I have all of Exceed season 1 from the Kickstarter and I love it. No regrets there. I'm also a massive fan of Battlecon and have played a ton of games of it.

That said, I was listening to Tom Vasel the other day, and he basically said that he'd played Exceed and didn't think it had much purpose in existing since we already have Battlecon. I know he's just one guy and not everybody likes him, but his positive review of Battlecon was what made me pick up that game in the first place. It got me thinking: does Exceed have a branding problem? Is it going to suffer in the marketplace because people don't see any reason to play both Exceed *and* Battlecon?

This is to say nothing of the dislike lots of people have for the Red Horizon property. I've actually been (somewhat pleasantly) surprised by how many people have complained about the scantily clad female characters, and those bother me, too. And outside of that, the other characters are mostly fairly generic anime material, not nearly as interesting as the Indines designs in Battlecon. I don't even know anyone who plays UFS (aside from picking it up out of curiosity after Exceed was announced), and I've never seen any real reviews or coverage of it online, so I have no idea if that player base is transferring over to Exceed at all. I can't help but feel like the whole reason for Exceed using Red Horizon is just so Level 99 could get access to Jasco's Capcom licenses... and disappointingly, that hasn't really worked out so far, leaving us with this one property that a lot of people don't like. I'm hoping that season 2 will be far agreeable to the market.

Summary: I love both Battlecon and Exceed, but I'm concerned that the general market doesn't see much reason to play both, and also that it doesn't like Red Horizon art. Are these problems or not, and if they are, can they be fixed?
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Jared Voshall
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I think there's room for both BattleCon and Exceed on the market. While they're both very similar games, and you can tell they were made by the same designer, they do fill different sub-niches.

BattleCon is the meaty, high skill ceiling fighting game that is so tightly programmed that it comes down to pure player skill on who wins. It has a ton of strategy and double-think, and the fact that there is nearly no randomness really sets it apart from other games of its ilk. Think more Virtua Fighter or Dead or Alive.

Exceed, on the other hand, has a lower skill cap, and more randomness than BattleCon, but it still has a fair amount of play and counterplay. It's less skill-based than BattleCON - but that also makes it much more accessible to new players. It's also more portable than BattleCON, requiring just a notepad or a couple of dice for each player and a total of 67(?) cards.

As for the Red Horizon crossover... My understanding is the idea was that Exceed would be their Mega Crossover system, much like UFS is to Jasco. My understanding is this is what brought Level 99 games together with Jasco for Season 1. However, without being able to get anyone on board for Season 2, L99 is going with a new IP that looks like it should be really interesting.

So, in wrapping up, I think that Exceed works as an introduction to the BattleCON style of game, with BattleCon being the big brother that's meatier but less accessible. If you're a fan of Exceed, but don't like the Red Horizon characters, then Season 2 should be right up your alley - and one that I will definitely be looking forward to a lot more than the Red Horizon characters.
 
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Atnier Rodriguez
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Magius wrote:
Think more Virtua Fighter or Dead or Alive.


Virtua Fighter is a good analogy but DOA is not. You can mash buttons in DOA to some success and guessing counters is...guessing. There's skill involved sure, but not higher than Street Fighter, Guilty Gear, Blazblue, Samurai Shodown, Mortal Kombat, Injustice...etc.

Basically, DOA's main focus is TnA, not the fighting system.
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Brian
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Magius wrote:
As for the Red Horizon crossover... My understanding is the idea was that Exceed would be their Mega Crossover system, much like UFS is to Jasco.


That's how I viewed EXCEED also. You really should seen what original EXCEED was like... it was really close to BattleCON... almost like a BattleCON 1.5. I'm glad they changed it to what it is today.

About the whole branding issue, I see where Tom Vasel is coming from. It really feels weird that the two games are similar and kinda fills in that niche of a fighting game, even if they are implemented differently. I remember Brad saying somewhere that he intended BattleCON to be only Indines (excluding the promos) and EXCEED would be their engine for licensed stuff. I'm disappointed that none of the other companies wanted to get involved but... I'm positive it'll happen one day. All it takes is one other major company to jump on board and the rest will come. I mean look at the Funko Pop stuff... took one major license and look at it now

I own all of BattleCON, including the original War of Indines. Sadly my group doesn't play BattleCON as much due to the sheer amount of AP my group deals with when we play. EXCEED on the other hand has been a huge hit with my group. It plays faster, it's easier to learn, much less AP and my group is willing to just play and make mistakes. I personally like EXCEED more than BattleCON. Sure it's not strategic or have perfect information but the game is just fun, especially after playing UFS, Yomi, and BattleCON previously.
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Joshua Christensen
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I don't think there's room for both. With Exceed out BattleCON should be removed from all collections, haha. Most of Lv99 games have the feeling of being over designed. But Exceed is a refreshing game from them imo. I do like BattleCON but I think Exceed is the better game.

I think the games would appeal to different people or the same people that want different experiences. I like Exceed because I like simultaneous reveal games and 1v1 card battler style games that have more then the average amount of hidden information. Exceed is like these two genres combined. It has the simultaneous reveal aspect plus it feels like a MtG style game a bit with the various boost effects (especially if you're playing one of the boost centered fighters). BattleCON is just a straight up no luck simultaneous reveal game (not a bad thing).

There are also a lot of cool stuff you can do with a deck of cards and a discard pile that open up the design space and allow for some cool abilities.

Also I wouldn't put too much thought into what Tom Vasel has to say. He's just a guy on the internet with an opinion. I mostly just use his reviews as a game overview to get an idea for the rules of the game and not for an opinion. Because I disagree with him often.

Magius wrote:

BattleCon is the meaty, high skill ceiling fighting game that is so tightly programmed that it comes down to pure player skill on who wins. It has a ton of strategy and double-think, and the fact that there is nearly no randomness really sets it apart from other games of its ilk. Think more Virtua Fighter or Dead or Alive.


I disagree with a couple of these points. I'm not sure where BatteleCON's skill ceiling is at but I'd say it has a high skill floor, which isn't a good thing. There is so much stuff in this game to memorize that it takes several plays in the same mu before your actually even playing the game and not just flailing about. The fact that there is so many mu gives the illusion of a really high skill ceiling imo. I think Exceed skill ceiling is just as high plus you get to the skill floor of the game quicker.

Pure player skill is also a not 100% accurate statement. There are a lot of mu in BattleCON which leads to a lot of bad mu. You could be better at the game then some one but still lose because you're in a really tough mu. That's why the tournament rules for BattleCON are the way they are. It is to try and cover up for all the bad mu that will inevitably happen in a game with a huge roster that continues to grow.

I agree with you that there is a solid amount of strategy and double think.

I wonder if Exceed will be as interesting to me when it has 60+ characters on its roster. Lv99 will probably have to come up with some weird tournament rules for that game as well. Something like you can only use fighters from the current season or the current season plus the previous one.

I'm possibly being a tad harsh on BattleCON because I do enjoy the game. But if I was going to pick Exceed or BattleCON to keep it would be Exceed (maybe I'm one one of the few?).


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Jared Voshall
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okami31 wrote:
Magius wrote:
Think more Virtua Fighter or Dead or Alive.


Virtua Fighter is a good analogy but DOA is not. You can mash buttons in DOA to some success and guessing counters is...guessing. There's skill involved sure, but not higher than Street Fighter, Guilty Gear, Blazblue, Samurai Shodown, Mortal Kombat, Injustice...etc.

Basically, DOA's main focus is TnA, not the fighting system.


Eh, no real argument on the focus on TnA, but I was always a big fan of the Counter system that they use in DoA. I found it particularly satisfying on DoA 3 and 4, before they tightened the timing on them in 5. Granted, I never got into the really high-level play with it, but I was by far the best amongst my group of friends, and was relegated to my least favorite character (Bass Armstrong), and was still fairly dominant in my group. But, that may mostly be me, as I haven't really gotten too deep into the fighting game genre overall.

ClanNatioy: There are some matchups that are harder than others that is true. However, I've not seen any that were out and out unwinnable (well, OK, maybe with Voco...), and part of player skill is knowing which matchups are good, and which are bad for your character of choice.
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Dustin Crenshaw
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Exceed has mainstream appeal. It's the kind of game that could have local tournaments and people playing from all gaming backgrounds. BattleCON does not.

Exceed needs a big license though to break out and get lots of notice.
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Atnier Rodriguez
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SeerMagic wrote:
Exceed has mainstream appeal. It's the kind of game that could have local tournaments and people playing from all gaming backgrounds. BattleCON does not.

Exceed needs a big license though to break out and get lots of notice.


I'm getting more and more intrigued about Exceed's great reports on gameplay, but for someone who's been so heavily invested in Battlecon and loves the character designs and art style in it, I think I really need that shining license to push me into buying another fighting series.
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Micah
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In my ideal world Level 99 would somehow manage a deal with FFG+Lucasfilm so we could get a Star Wars season. Not really expecting anything that crazy though. :-P

Right now I'd even be thrilled with an indie video game license. A Shovel Knight season would be ridiculously awesome.
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Atnier Rodriguez
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Kindath wrote:
In my ideal world Level 99 would somehow manage a deal with FFG+Lucasfilm so we could get a Star Wars season. Not really expecting anything that crazy though. :-P

Right now I'd even be thrilled with an indie video game license. A Shovel Knight season would be ridiculously awesome.


If you are thinking indie, they could do SkullGirls.
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Simon
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Or... Arm Joe.
 
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Atnier Rodriguez
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DoubleH wrote:


But that's far more obscure and not as well received.
 
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Simon
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okami31 wrote:
DoubleH wrote:


But that's far more obscure and not as well received.


I'm not sure that Skullgirls would be better received by the same people who panned Red Horizon based on the Genzoman art but... eh, could be!
 
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Atnier Rodriguez
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DoubleH wrote:
okami31 wrote:
DoubleH wrote:


But that's far more obscure and not as well received.


I'm not sure that Skullgirls would be better received by the same people who panned Red Horizon based on the Genzoman art but... eh, could be!


Hmmm, based on just a quick look, maybe. But I feel like SkullGirls has more personality and kookiness than what Red Horizon brought to the table. That might be just me, of course.
 
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Daniel DeMars
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ClanNatioy wrote:
I don't think there's room for both. With Exceed out BattleCON should be removed from all collections, haha. Most of Lv99 games have the feeling of being over designed. But Exceed is a refreshing game from them imo. I do like BattleCON but I think Exceed is the better game.


I disagree with every single part of this except that Exceed is a refreshing game. Exceed is great and easy to pick up and play quickly, but I think BattleCON is a better game.

Thankfully it looks like Lvl99 plans to support both of them - I do hope it works out.
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Dustin Crenshaw
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See I think Exceed is far better. Which is why I think Vasel was unfair with his comments. They are different enough both can exist.
 
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Jared Voshall
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I think which one you find better really depends on what you're looking for in it. As I said earlier, BattleCon is a harder game to wrap your head around, since you have to worry about combining two cards and your characters UA (some of which can be very counterintuitive) alongside the spacing element. But, the non-random nature of the card availability means that, with some learning, you always know what your opponent has available to use, which gives you a tremendous amount of mind games to play with both yourself and your opponent. It comes down to your understanding of both your character, their character, and the other player to get the proper read and play the proper counter to it - which may be to lose this beat and set up for a strong next beat.

Exceed, on the other hand, is significantly easier to understand and teach. It keeps the interesting board dynamic, but makes it easier to move around (as it has two movement options that are not tied to attacking), the attacks are easier to understand (you only need to look at 1 card plus any ongoing Boosts you have in play to understand what they do), and it's much easier to have an unbeatable attack in your hand (because of the random draw, it's entirely possible for your opponent to not have an attack that has the needed range to counter your attack). In short, it's much more accessible to new players.

Both have a very similar feel and mechanics, but they are different enough to at least take a look at each in turn (if you like the general ruleset of either, of course). I feel that BattleCon is the superior design, overall - but I think that, if Exceed were to get a big license, it would be by far the more commercially successful of the two. I own both, and am glad I do - though I really look forward to Season 2, since a lot of the art on the Season 1 packs are... questionable, at best. Well, at least the guys have as much beefcake as the girls, but I'd much rather see an art direction more in line with BattleCon than with Red Horizon.
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Aaron White
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I like BattleCON, but I love Exceed better.

It is definitely an awkward spot one company having two fighting games.

Or is it? Sirlin Games have Flash Duel and Yomi, I love both of these. My current order of favourites is -

1) Exceed
2) Yomi / Flash Duel
3) Pixel Tactics
4) Puzzle Strike
5) BattleCON

Based on the above it is clear the card shuffling type of game is for me. So regardless of what anyone says I am glad Lvl99 pushed through with Exceed despite BattleCON. Thanks very much, I love Exceed to bits.

Edit: Not saying BattleCON is bad, notice it is in top five. The competition is tough.

Edit2: I am not worried about the art anymore, once you have the cards in hand it is all beautiful. Looking forward to season 2 of Exceed.
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