TheGamer covers all things gaming far and wide, and even makes time for film and television. We cover so widely, in fact, that we even have a tabletop editor at the site. If anyone asks I'll deny it, but I quite like the guy. But here's the problem. He keeps trying to get me to play Magic: The Gathering. I don't want to play Magic: The Gathering. I don't want to have a deck full of Kyrysy Xkattoo and Pomegranate Aquarium Lands. I don't want to learn any of this. I'm enough of a nerd to play Dungeons & Dragons semi-regularly, but not enough to take it seriously. But now a solution has been provided: Disney Lorcana. This is (I'm oversimplifying, but sue me) a Magic: The Gathering rival starring classic Disney characters like Stitch, Captain Hook, and my special favourite, Elsa. This is what it takes to get me to buy in.
I have a strange relationship with the concept of IP. I resent that our culture is being reduced to "hey it's that guy from that thing!", and I loathe the live-action remakes of classic cartoons. They add nothing of value besides box office receipts. For all I've enjoyed MultiVersus, I still feel deeply critical about its existence, a feeling that will only grow as they add a wider range of Warner Bros. characters to the mix. The Matrix is one of my most cherished movies, and knowing how protective the Wachowski Sisters are of it, it hurts to think that Neo will soon be beating up Batman… but if that happens, I'll probably want to play as Neo immediately. I contain multitudes.
What helps here is it doesn't feel like properties are being taken advantage of, nor are they selling their souls. It feels like a celebration of Disney's all-star roster, a perception aided by the fact that no Marvel, Star Wars, Fox, or even Pixar characters feature in the first set. It's 100 percent pure, uncut Disney. The cards feature a charming art style that stands on its own yet clearly pays homage to the original depictions of them all. Cruella's card is neither Close nor Stone, but focused entirely on the animation. They feel much more like Pokemon cards, like an extension of the character's reach, more than they do the cheap gimmick of something like MultiVersus.
The fact it is Disney specifically helps too. While I've been heavily critical of Disney's hypocrisy, pandering, and monopolisation, the House of Mouse does have a unique hold on me. I am officially a Disney adult. I've seen every single Walt Disney Animation picture, from the big hits like Sleeping Beauty and The Lion King to the cult classics like Basil: The Great Mouse Detective and The Sword in the Stone. I've even seen the ones nobody has seen, like Make Mine Music, Fun and Fancy Free, The Three Caballeros, Meet the Robinsons, Saludos Amigos, and Melody Time. They're so unheard of I bet you can't even tell which one I made up. Care to guess? What was that? Nope, wrong, they're all real. Better luck next time, bucko.
The main issue is that it's impossible to get invested in Magic: The Gathering. The lore is too dense, too established, too meaningless. I mentioned before that I don't take Dungeons & Dragons too seriously, and I'm currently in the midst of trying to kill off the random character I created from reading massive tomes I didn't care about in order to create an ice mage like Queen Elsa. Having Lorcana be Disney stars I already know and care about is an easy investment, and while I'm (clearly) not a card aficionado, I do like enough games and other nerd paraphernalia that with the right push, I could become one.
There still might be barriers from stopping me from fully investing in Lorcana, but if you were going to design a card game for me specifically, this is pretty much the blueprint on exactly how to do it. With more details yet to come, this is the first card reveal I'm finding myself being drawn into.
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