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Monday, March 9, 2020

Rhythm Fest 2020

In February a very rare event named Rhythm Fest was taking place in Zoetermeer at NVGM. It was as the name suggests a rhythm gaming event that featured many rhythm games and tournaments. Until recently I was struggling with my health. By an accident the cause why I was feeling so bad was found and treatment was started. Since then I started feeling better and that is why I really looked forward to this event which would be the first event during which I wouldn't be affected by my condition that much. I couldn't miss it! I was looking forward to finally get out of the country and have fun somewhere playing games, meeting new people, and talking to my friends.

My original plan was to fly to Eindhoven and from there go to Nootdorp where I'd be staying. I had to switch airports though so the plane took me to Amsterdam. In Eindhoven, there is Gamestate that has Dance Dance Revolution A. I wanted to play some DDR there but that will have to wait for next time. In Amsterdam there is also a Gamestate with DDR A so I decided to go there. A dear friend of mine joined me even though he didn't feel that great and I'm thankful that he came to join me. We could briefly talk and I hope he had some fun in the arcades while I was stomping on arrows.

Gamestate Amsterdam

Gamestate is mainly ticket machine arcades but they also have a dance machine at various locations. It's really great that there is more locations with dance machines and that the community can grow. Not sure about if there are any new DDR players but for the Pump community it was very helpful. We arrived to Bijlmer ArenA and went to grab something to eat. We stopped by Burger King and tried to eat our meals outside. It was so windy that it made even our fries fly!

After that we headed to Gamestate where I charged my card with a lot of euros (it's 2 EUR per 2 songs) and went to find the DDR A machine. I saw some players stepping on arrows during tutorial and wondered if they'd even get to play some songs. They did. I watched them finish and then they let me play. I hoped I wouldn't fail any song.

I saw the machine in local mode so I didn't need my eamusement pass which also meant I wouldn't be able to play the songs I wanted. My first song was Polovtsian Dances And Chorus which is an easy 11, coming from game I enjoyed, and a song that has a steady rhythm which I could try to sync to. I have to say that my first attempt at syncing with the machine was a failure. I stared at an AA with a disbelief. I tried another song and stared at another three digit greats.

Then I picked Mermaid Girl. I seriously struggle with timing on that song in IIDX but thanks to trying hard to AAA it I can sync to it quite well. I got the worst AAA you could get and I finally understood that I'm too early. I miss my slow/fast and dark mode settings. After that I played all kinds of songs and for someone who was rather dehydrated I did quite a good job at some songs. The machine was great. The cab looks nice, the pads were VERY sensitive and in overall I had a great time playing DDR.

After some time we had to leave so I could check in to my airbnb. We took the train to Den Haag. I then went to Laan van NOI and took the metro to Nootdorp (it wasn't necessary but oh well, we didn't take the best route to Den Haag either and at least we could talk more). When I got off the metro it was a raging storm outside. I had to walk 2km in that and I have to say that I was totally soaked when I arrived to the airbnb.

The place I was staying at was quite big and very clean. I got an allergic reaction when I entered though and I wasn't sure why that happened. Later I found out why it happened, there was a cat!

I asked the host about some grocery stores and directions and he told me how to get there and also told me to wait till the rain stops. I didn't expect the rain to stop but it actually did after few hours. I tried to find the store but failed. I still managed to grab something to eat and then wondered if I'd fall asleep.

I still had few hours of time before my body would want to sleep so I continued reading Assassin's Creed novel (I don't recommend it). Then I tried falling asleep. I fell asleep at like 4 am and I got up at 9am so I could grab something to eat before we would leave for NVGM with Thumbsy and Noodle. I took a walk around the area and took some pictures, the omnipresent wind was starting to irritate me but then it was time to leave.

Rhythm Fest

At Rhythm Fest I wanted to try out new games, talk to some players and participate in events that were held during the event. I signed up for ITG Doubles, Pump it Up Heavy, Jubeat, Sound Voltex, Beatmania IIDX and Pop'n Music.

Jubeat Festo

I didn't play a single credit of Jubeat before entering the event which was a mistake and I have to say I failed very badly. I showed that I excelled at Good attack and most probably ended up last. I was pretty depressed after that but thanks to Penda who told me I was early I managed to sync after the event and actually enjoyed playing Jubeat. One of the biggest mistakes was not bringing headphones with me because the first time I heard the songs I played was when watching the stream after I arrived home. Here is a video of me trying to play a song I never played before and I didn't hear anything from the machine.

Beatmania IIDX
When I arrived to Rhythm Fest the first game I played was Beatmania IIDX Sirius. I totally failed with all Goods, but then we played Sayonara Heaven with Nebbii, who even asked me if I don't want to play the six instead of the 8. I cleared that one though after listening to Nebbii's hits and realizing it's like half a second off. Then it was time for me to say Beatmania IIDX Rootage hello, so I went upstairs and immediately fell in love with that cab. I logged in and wondered how much messing up with the settings would await me. I set something up during the two songs I played and it seemed fine. So I decided to give some dan courses as try. I tried THE SAFARI and utterly failed. I got to a point where I needed to just survive one measure in order to finish the course but I didn't get past the measure and sadly died. Someone next to me was like 'oh, yeah, that's Safari'. When he saw the course result screen he was like 'oh, you played 7th dan? That was a very good attempt!'. That felt great.

I had to try out doubles on the machine too. I decided to play a dan course right away which was a mistake since I didn't set my settings for doubles. I certainly made the course way more difficult than it already was. I was also pretty rusty but surprisingly I somehow made it through. Someone should have given me a prize for clearing the course with the lowest percentage ever.

The tournament took place right before and during dinner time. I was very exhausted and hungry when I played my first round. The song picked was Playing with Fire. Supposedly an 9. I don't usually have problems with 9s but I got a C. In the following round we were supposed to play Xlø. When I saw the clear rate I knew that I'd most probably just fail the song. And that's exactly what happened, I even just hit the white key to get rid of the result screen (good thing that I have all the stats showed up during play). I thought I was eliminated from the event and went to eat dinner where I briefly talked with the organizer of the event and also had the opportunity to see others who were helping run the event. A IIDX player came to me then to tell me that it's my time to play my round and that is how I discovered that it was a double elimination event. I was up against Jacky whom I saw play some BEMANI games before and assessed his skill as 'good'. He's a 6th dan in IIDX. It was him who played first, the song picked was Yum Yum Jelly. He got a nice A or at least it seemed good to me. After my two Cs that I got I didn't believe I could do any better. When I was nearing the end of the song I heard someone say, it's gonna be close. I didn't know Jacky's EX score but mine was showing something around 1100 which was high for me. I tried to concentrate as much as I could and hit the last note with Just Great. Then I looked at the result screen and saw Jacky's -1. I won somehow!

My join was short lived because my next opponent was Penda who'd just beat me no matter the song or difficulty. We played dAuntl3ss and I got a nice B. Considering it was a ten that I played for the first time it wasn't bad. Penda just single-handedly AAed it.

The event was really fun. I got to see Penda, T_Bone, Nebbii play and that was great. Meeting T_Bone after a decade was also something I didn't expect and it was a really nice surprise. It also showed the difference between old school players and the new players. IIDX event was a success for me even though I didn't win anything and started pretty badly.

In The Groove

Since I'm in a pretty bad shape playing anything but doubles was pretty much impossible for me. I didn't do well in ITG but I enjoyed the songs I played. The first song I played was with Nebbii who casually chose a 15 on reverse to warm up. I played for a while before the song started to get streamy and then later went to play on a different cab. I was looking for some easy songs but it seemed I could choose between difficulties 10 to 20. I picked some Stamina 10 and hoped it would somehow warm me up and prepare me for Pump it Up Heavy that was starting earlier than ITG event. I somehow made it through the song without dying and played few more songs while figuring out what my settings could possibly be. 630, 30% mini, cell seemed readable.

I tried playing some doubles on yet another machine, but it was powdered and I almost fell off the platform. I came back to the machine I played on but the pads were also super sensitive and I wasn't sure if playing the event on a dedicab would be a good idea. I still could play on a SD cab though. I picked that cab to play my tournament songs on and luckily that also meant my failures weren't seen on the stream. For doubles I expected to clear an 11 but somehow I failed a 10 without even noticing it. That made me feel very bad and I just didn't want to play any more dance games. I played my four songs and enjoyed the charts which weren't bad and were quite fun to play. Nonetheless, I have to say that I'm lacking in the ITG department quite a lot. There are new kinds of charts and my legs don't know what to do with them. At the Eurocup two years ago I had to brute force the songs sometimes jumping on one leg. This amused the players watching me and it also showed me that a lot has changed the decade I was on hiatus.

Pump it Up

PIU machines were running StepF2 and featured even XX songs. I also picked the worst looking cab to play on and it actually felt great playing on it. At least for me. It was as sensitive and the panels were more recessed which I prefer than having a really flat platform. The PIU players were good and I knew that my performance would be bad but I didn't expect that it would be that bad. The songs I got to play were two 17s, both of which weren't particularly difficult but my stamina was nowhere to be found when I needed it. I enjoyed both charts and songs but got eliminated immediately.

The players that I got the opportunity to see play were really good and I wished I could be my old self that could play 24s all day.

Pop'n Music
Pop'n Music is the only game I didn't really bother playing much before Rhythm Fest nor during it. I knew though I'd have to set my settings before the event starts because I'm a strange person and play with beat-pop and sudden. So I played one credit on non-Animelo cab and found out the blue buttons were sticky and that made me fail the songs I played. My timing was terribly off and I had no idea which speed would be good for me. When the event started I found out the song level starts at 30 so I knew I'd have some time to adjust on the easier difficulties. Penda seeing me play told me I'd probably make it to the semi-finals and he was right. I made it there and even got to the finals where I got terribly crushed by Nebbii. The song picks were good for both semis and finals. I got to replay Zirkfield which was one of the songs I played on my first play. I won the match even though I failed the song again. Got a better grade and score though.

We played the finals in Taisen mode which was a nice experience. We played Diavolo, カラルの月 and StrayedCatz. I got Bs on all songs while Nebbii AAed Diavolo and Aed Kareru no Tsuki. The final song is one of the 44s I actually managed to clear but Nebbii had already like 50k head start. If he'd just mash some buttons he'd win. While thinking that and setting my speed to something else than 1200 BPM that it showed me I noticed Nebbii staring at the settings screen with OK on it. My thought about him mindlessly hitting buttons could possibly come true. Nebbii accidentally confirmed the settings from the previous song and unfortunately he actually tried to play the song normally. That resulted in a very rare result screen where Nebbii wasn't the winner.

For me Nebbii was the winner already, so he didn't need to replay the song but he decided to played it. To make things interesting instead of playing the 44 he played the 49. I knew it was very unlikely he'd get less than 40k in order for me to be the winner but I didn't expect him to A the song so easily^_~. He got 85419 on the 49, a score I could dream even on the 44.

We got our prizes then and even got a photo of the three of us and our host.

Sound Voltex
SDVX is the event I was looking forward the most and it ended up to be the worst one. Since day 1 it was very difficult to even get a game of SDVX and then I spectacularly failed a 14 on my first stage. That was very depressing. I had no idea why and how. I knew it was because of wrong settings but I couldn't figure out what was right. After several failed 1st and 2nd stages in a similar fashion I set my speed to 630 (TOO SLOW actually) and -6 offset. With these settings I managed not to fail any of my 3 stages and cleared even a 17.

After that I though everything is fine and I'd be able to play and see some normal scores for me. Something went wrong though (probably the fact that I used my hands all day in a way they aren't used to) and I didn't have the strength to even grab the knob and turn it in any direction. I was in a terrible pain and the songs we played were quite laser heavy. Since there were two cabs (thanks Dexx and Viddy) we could be matched. I got matched with a nice player but one who was just somehow breaking into 14s. Even though I won against him my scores were atrocious and I walked away in shame. I wanted to participate in the heavy SDVX division at first but after my hands getting cramped on song number 1 I just decided to give up and play something else that doesn't require using knobs.

Nostalgia
Nostalgia is a game I wanted to try one day and I had no idea I'd get the chance to. After logging in I was shown where to find what and a tutorial. I was a bit perplex from the options but then I got to play a song and I had quite mixed feelings about it. I was able to hit the notes somehow and always clear a song. I just played songs up to difficulty 10 but I didn't really see any difference between the difficulty levels. I was just too confused about the whole game play. It was nothing like Keyboardmania where one played the melody and had to hit the correct notes on a real two octave keyboard. I left the cab thinking I'd never return to it again but in the end I gave it another chance. I opened options once again and this time set different perspective (overhead), speed to 3x, and moved the piano bar as low as I could. After that I finally started to feel like I was in control of the game. I was hitting the correct notes at correct time and I finally felt some kind of feedback when I missed. Thanks to this I also started to listen to the music more and realized that the songs are also keysounded and that what I hear is actually what I was supposed to hear. That honestly felt great and I enjoyed playing the game for an hour or so.

I was surprised when some people came to me to tell me that I'm good at the game. I felt like a total noob (my scores weren't good at all) but then they remarked that I can play different rhythms in each hand and I can also hit singleton notes with single fingers unlike many other players I observed just mashing the keys somehow (I though that was very inefficient way to play, and I also played Keyboardmania just before playing Nostalgia)

Even though I prefer Chunithm I have to admit that Nostalgia is not a bad game.

Groove Coaster
If you follow me on Twitter you probably noticed that I play Groove Coaster for PC. I like the game on PC but I never played the arcade version because I was too afraid to try. I walked around GC cabs many times but never gathered the courage to play. This time I finally had to try. I bought a Nesica card and went to try my first song. I played イニシャルイニシャルエコーエゴー on HARD because I felt confident enough to pass an 8 on HARD on something I never laid hands before. It was a success. I missed a note in the -| looking part and got an A. I tried Love for You next and Aed it as well. I was still struggling with the boosters so I didn't get no miss on it...

I didn't concentrate on hitting the booster buttons at the right time because my hands were figuring out what I was supposed to do with them. When I tried to see if I can get a Great when I want to, to my surprise I got Great! When I felt off I also got a Cool or Good and I knew exactly what the judgment would be unlike on the PC version where I have the impression that I'd need a different offset for each song. I found out that the scores I got were actually comparable to the ones I got on PC and I also realized that not playing the AC version originally taught me some bad habits. I had to quickly reevaluate how I'd play some patterns. On the other hand critical hits weren't such a nightmare for me anymore and playing even harder songs in AC was not as bad as I imagined it to be. It actually felt easier to spam hits on AC than my keyboard. Flying dual slides where a problem on AC version too.

After finding out how enjoyable it is to play the AC version I spent a lot of time playing the game. I played some multiplayer with Aiko which was a nice experience too. Seeing Yume and his avatar fighting who'd be in the lead was kinda fun. You could see that my Yume was falling behind when I was encountering too many critical hits but otherwise she was in the lead.

MaiMai

The washing machine game! After waiting in a line for ages I got to play the game and I got hooked very fast. The game can be picked up very easily (similarly like Groove Coaster) and is actually lots of fun. It seemed that the ideal level as a starting difficulty was ADV 7. I don't really have much to say except that the game was very fun. I burned my fingers when sliding on the screen so I can imagine gloves are a good thing. The buttons were often covered in sweat which is also something I wasn't fond of.

I'd want to write more but I think I already wrote way too much text and will stop here. The event was well organized, we were well informed and I can imagine that it took a lot of effort and hell a lot of work to organize the event. I am very glad I participated and I'd love to attend another event like this. Thanks to all people involved in organizing and NVGM for hosting and their support. Thanks!

Gamestate Den Haag

On Monday after I managed to get up I wanted to get something to eat in Den Haag and go play some Pump if my legs would cooperate. I was exhausted from the whole event and I wasn't sure if playing more dance games would be even possible. I asked Thumbsy if he knows some good places to eat around GS and I was recommended Full Moon. Since I went there several times already I found the place without a problem. I had no idea where Gamestate is though, but then I somehow remembered that it could be seen from McDonalds which I could find on my own. I went to McDonalds and from there I saw Gamestate right in front of me. I just had to cross a construction area. After hopping from panel to panel so I would end up in mud I got inside Gamestate. I charged my card with 20 EURs and wondered if I'd meet any PIU players there.

I found the machine upstairs. Some players were playing on it but they weren't logged in so probably not regulars. After waving my card in front of the card scanner for a while it finally loaded my profile and I could play some songs. I was a bit confused about the XX menu since Prime introduced a two level menu and XX went back to one level. I had no idea where to find what song so I just picked some songs that seemed passable for me. During my first song I realized how HUGE the screen is. All I practically saw was the screen which was quite a strange feeling. I'm used to seeing quite a lot of space around a screen and stare at rather small notes but this was HUGE. This also messed my reading ability so I had to set the scrolling speed to something lower. 573 seemed fine.

My performance wasn't great but considering that I didn't expect to be able to walk that day it was probably good for my condition. I couldn't clear a 17 even though I was close. Still there were many songs I never heard of and I enjoyed playing them. Later on I managed to play some of my favorite songs or charts and I even got to play Canon D D23 which I play at each of my sessions on a well maintained machine. I totally failed it this time and I felt ashamed once again. There are songs and charts I want to play like LIADZ Full Song D21 and I can't enjoy them as I used to. It motivated me to get in better shape though and I hope it will last. Because I can't go to another event feeling so embarrassed again.

I met Offline, Frank69 and few other players while there which was nice too. Looking forward to playing more Pump again soon.

Gentlemen

After work Heat was supposed to join me at Full Moon but since he took longer to arrive than expected we met at Gamestate. I got a katsu ramen and green tea with lemon at full moon, both being delicious, and then I headed to GS. There I went upstairs and joined a player's session already. I couldn't card in thus. He picked some 13 that I somehow got SSS on. Most probably just because I played without HJ, it didn't dawn on me that I should set that. Then we played a 14 and a 15. The player was a bit surprised I could play those. Then it was Offline's time to play and they played Dignity. At least I wasn't the only person picking weird songs^_^. It was nice to see Dignity being played after so long time the song wasn't available in Pump.

Heat came then and we left GS to walk around the area. We were trying to figure out what we could possibly do. In the end we went to a cinema to watch Gentlemen. In order to get to see the movie I had to climb TOO MANY stairs. I thought I'd die of pain, so many stairs after days of playing dance games and powerstancing was a nightmare. I managed to get upstairs though with the help of the rail and then waited for the movie to start. Oh, the movie was really good. Well shoot, well written and funny. I was very glad I got to see it because I hardly go to cinema.

After the movie was over I returned to my airbnb to pack all my stuff and whatnot. I fell asleep at dawn but somehow managed to get up to catch my 9am flight.

At the airport my deckboxes were taken out of my bag and I was asked what's inside. This is nothing new, when traveling with Magic cards this is what happens. But this time my boxes got a swab and I had a hard time trying to hide a smile. Also the body scanner that I'm not a fan of found something strange in my leg. I got quite an aggressive pat down (on my rather aching leg) but the TSA agent didn't find anything on my leg, so he shrugged and let me go.

Our flight was delayed by 30 minutes but the captain told us we'd most probably arrive on time. We even arrived earlier than that so there wasn't even time for sandwiches to be served. It was a bumpy ride and passengers were glad we landed safely in Prague.

I was very hungry and even had troubles to get to the closest shopping mall. I ate the most caloric meal I could find and then headed home. I was totally exhausted and I had one day to recover before going back to work. I spent a great time in the Netherlands and hopefully I'll get there soon.

Thanks for reading
S'Tsung (stsungjp @ Twitter)

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Ripika from Beatmania IIDX

It's been a long time since I tried to draw something. Today I decided to just draw something and see how it ends up. So here's pink Ripika.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Moldypie's art

Some time ago I had the honor meeting one very cool person online - Moldypie. We talked about BEMANI games mostly but also art. He does great artwork and when I heard I could order items with his artwork on them I simply had to order some. I got a Near and Noah t-shirt, some stickers and a keychain. Check his site out (https://www.moldypie.com/)

Ho, the t-shirt fits!

And the stickers found their homes on respective controllers - Ameto on Real Edition Double and Grace on SVSE5.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Snapcardster App - first experience

Snapcardster App is something that seemed like a dream app when it started to be advertised for the first time. I was looking forward to trying it one day and I hoped it would allow me to finally make a sheet with all the cards I own. Doing that card by card and manually is not something I wanted to do and that's when Snapcardster App comes in because it allows to scan the card.

What I knew about the app is that the it would be able to scan the cards, put them in your collection and you'd be able to offer the cards or buy cards you'd be interested in. I've seen some places like that and some work till today and some proved to be a failure. Snapcardster streamlines buying and selling and in general it should make it easier by scanning the cards which is something I didn't encounter yet (there might be apps like that, but are either paid - I ignore those - or they really don't exist). As far as I know this is the first app that can recognize a card, its language and expansion.

One more thing that I read somewhere relatively recently is that it allows for keeping a track of Magic Online collection. That is something I was looking for as well since Cardhoarder has some problems with my big collection and MTGGoldfish would handle it only if I paid for Premium Membership (this would actually be the perfect tool for me and it tracks both Online and paper card prices). I hoped that maybe Snapcardster App could provide me with what I need though for free (spoiler: I was wrong but the app itself seems very promising).

Recently, I saw a tweet that we can try the app for free and so I finally downloaded the app. The iOS version is in Beta as far as I know and might work less flawlessly than other versions. The experience described below comes from using this on iOS 12.0.1, iPhone 6 with should meet the requirements to run the app.

My first impressions were really bad (I could compare that experience to installing and playing Magic Duels) since the App obviously didn't really want to work on my phone. Nevertheless what happened happened and it may affect my final rating (if there will be one at the end of this 'review'). First I had to create an account. I tried but I got several errors telling me that I'm not connected to the internet and I got that both on my iphone and my computer which had Magic Online running and being online (that's the first program that complains about internet connection being bad). I tried Facebook login then, which did something but I was unable to login via the webpage (I tried for a long time). 30 minutes later I tried again on my cell phone via the normal registration route. It went through after three attempts that usually froze the app. First step done! When I launched the app in my flat to finally scan some cards it always froze after I wanted to add some cards. I tried few times until it started crashing so reinstalled the app and it worked 'fine' for the 37 minutes I used the app (note that I encounter the same problem when I tried next time I launched the app).

The app is still in development so the final version might may look or function in a different way.

So how does the app actually look like?

Home

The main screen shows a camera icon in the top left corner that allows you to scan cards. There are two possibilities what you can do with the scanned cards, you either will be offering them for sale or add them to your collection. About the actual scanning I'll talk later. In the top-right corner there is some settings that show your name (not fan of this), email address. It let's you choose your currency, you can anonymise username. It has links to Terms and Conditions, License page that shows big 404 error, Contact us that will open your mail client and will let you send an email to the support (not fan of this either, I'd prefer a form or just the contact info). The last option under the settings is log out (which I had to actually use since I had problems with signing in and syncing).

On the bottom there are five icons, the first one is Home (current screen) that shows latest articles from different Magic sites (like Channel Fireball, TCGPlayer or Hipsters of the Coasts) and also shows Snapcardster news.

Collection

Collection is the place where you can manage your cards. The first screen shows created folders and 'All cards' which is used by default when adding cards. Folders can be created. When creating a folder you can move cards from All cards there, but I didn't find the possibility to move cards between folders later which should be possible (should be possible in the future). You can add cards to either folder via two possibilities - either by scanning a card or by inputting it manually (I'll talk about scanning later). Inputting manually is very tedious as on any site or app, but I found it in general relatively fast compared to other apps or sites I used which were often very slow and that was usually the reason why I didn't use them (the search doesn't really work correctly though). Considering the database contains all languages and includes Magic Online data, it's fast (still it's slow for doing something like this with a big amount of data, it's better to type it down).

There are two views, one that shows the quantity of cards, the second one shows all unique cards in the collection (set, condition and price). If you tap on the card it will take you to the card's info page including image, oracle text, price. You can then show the card on the marketplace and buy it if it is available.

Next button gets you to your submitted/imported decklists. There is a text view again which shows the amount of copies played as we are used to, otherwise you'll see list of the cards that are in the deck, what the cards cost, what their set and condition are. The app itself doesn't have a deck editor, the website does but it is quite tricky and in beta still.

From the collection you can also access want list. That can be populated from different places (deck view, explore etc.). It will allow you to keep the list and whenever you feel like to buy the cards you can put them in your cart and buy them (they may not be available). A Japanese Scalding Tarn I am looking for quite a while is not available for example so it may sit there in the want list for quite a while (it seems that there is a mail notification for when the card is available. It showed a Japanese Scalding Tarn for 103EUR and I'm not sure if that was some bug or not because it immediately went back to just English and German and didn't allow me to buy it (there was a downtime because of changing payment provider).

Shop

The place where you can buy the cards you want. You can search the cards by pretty much anything and there are even groups made for you to check out (by format Standard, or set for example Ravnica Allegiance etc.). The set view (shows images) is nice and can be sorted but I would appreciate if there would be the card's name written as well. You can also just type the card's name in a language it was printed and the app will find it for you and show you a screen which will let you choose preferred language, condition and will then allow you to put it in a cart and buy it (if they have it).

As for the prices, I checked prices of some format staples. Older cards were usually priced lower compared to price trend on Magic Card Market which we use in Europe while newer cards were priced slightly higher. Good Commander cards I checked though very seriously overpriced. Since shipping is free on Snapcardster some cards may be gotten for cheaper than on MKM. The delivery time shown in Snapcardster though was way too much for me (it was showing two weeks, some cards were showing one week, compared to 2 days in average from Germany) but I can't tell you what the actual delivery time would be since I didn't order anything yet (entering shipping address showed me 404 errors so I'm not sure if it managed to understand that I reside in the Czech Republic). The cards are available from different sources and for different prices. The price you see when you browse the cards is the cheapest one, if you want to get more copies, the price may simply go higher.

I am a person who wants to know where the cards come from and how much they cost and when they arrive and in general want more transparency. This system is not something I'd be happy about but it is something that will make things way more simple for the Snapcardster App users and in this era we need things that are simple and easy to use.

Selling should be available in the future and I don't know how it will work. That's the part I am interested in. I'd like to know if I would be able to set a sell price, what the transaction would cost me and where I'd be sending the cards. Anyway one day we'll find out.

In order to be able to buy something you need money in your Wallet. That can be accessed by tapping the word in the top right corner. There you will have several possibilities how to charge it - by bank account transfer, credit card or paypal. Since we will be able to offer cards in the future, there is also the possibility to get money from your wallet account to your bank account.

On the right side of the top bar there is access to your cart which will let you buy the cards you put there. Make sure you have enough funds in your wallet before checking out.

Explore

Here you can look at random cards. If any will interest you, you can add them to a cart, add them to a want list or ignore them (note that swiping right will add them to the want list, swiping left will ignore the card).

Messages

The last icon on the bottom bar is Messages. You can add friends and if they add you back you can communicate with each other both through the app and web (I am not sure if this is the case in all browsers but in Chrome the message popup icon is exactly where the button for next page in collection and should be changed).

Scanning cards

It insisted that Darkblast was either Acidic Slime or Extractor Demon. I get the latter but Acidic Slime?

When I finally logged in I decided to try the app on few cards laying around so I would know what it does. Since I couldn't find more information about how good the application is in recognizing the cards I didn't know what to expect. The app recognized my Black Lotus but it didn't know from which set it was and it created several different copies of it under my Collection (this seemed rather strange since I thought that there is only one white bordered Lotus version?). Since I don't know how it should be really working I decided to wait till I would get home to test the app on more cards.

I decided to create a Folder labeled Legacy and scan some cards I have in a binder I use for Legacy cards. There was 219 cards there. Before I even started the card scanner scanned some normal objects and added them to my collection (namely Plains which was my bed sheet and Winter Orb which was a back of a Magic card). That made me think where I should turn my camera to when not scanning. When I tried to scan some cards it took a while before they were recognized. Some cards didn't want to get scanned or rather were later recognized like a different card. The first card that was so reluctant was Intuition which first scanned as Enchantment Alteration, then as Preemptive Strike and lastly as Aven Windreader. I skipped the card and continued. I run into few more cards like that I couldn't scan. While scanning some Lightning Bolts I saw that three of them (Unlimited, MPR and M11) got all scanned as Lightning Bolt from a set I never heard of. When I scanned original Veteran Explorer it was added as Veteran Explorer from Battlebond and that's when I finally understood that probably 90% of the scans would be wrong.

I don't know if my device specifically has problems with running the app and scanning cards or if for example the lighting conditions or language (Japanese) could be the reason. Note also that my cards were sleeved, most of the time double sleeved which can also make it difficult to scan. Nonetheless I also tried the scanner on unsleeved, English Standard cards and the performance was similar in terms of errors.

EDIT: I tried TCGPlayer app on my cell phone to see how the two would compare. I scanned the same amount of cards in 12 minutes. The recognition of a card takes longer in the TCGPlayer app but it is capable to scan several cards at once. It messed up Brainstorm, Inkwell Leviathan, Darkblast, Veteran Explorer and few other cards but the rest was correct. It had problems pretty much with the same cards as the Snapcardster App (for example Intuition took a while and Veteran Explorer just didn't want to scan correctly no matter what). It scanned Fire // Ice without problems though.

Import and export

Import is possible in several different formats. There is Arena format which I'm not entirely fond of since Arena currently knows only Standard plus few sets (it works for older cards but it won't recognize the set even if you write correct card number and set code). Tappedout-deck and tappedout-inventory comma delimited lists work for everything. It is the last format that is the most interesting because it allows to enter foil/nonfoil, alter/normal, signed/not signed, condition and language information.

You can either copy/paste the cards you want to import or load the file to the text editor. You can edit that in the text editor before importing (I had to do that because it always cut the Qty, from my file for some reason. Then you just click through it, set what you need and then it will import the data. The last page shows the status of a last import. So don't let that fool you, you still have to hit 'Import' in order for it to import the cards.

Export exports data in a csv format using the tappedout-inventory one. You just need to click on the 'share' button in collection/folder view.

On the web app, I looked at the scanned cards and tried to export them by clicking an icon usually used for sharing stuff. I learned that out of the 249 entries only 139 were exported and I didn't know why until I realized that Magic Online sets (and probably sets like CE etc don't get exported either). So I spent some time (about half an hour) changing the entries. I learned that some cards had the correct set and language but most didn't. The actual scanning took me 37 minutes including the time when I had to relaunch the app due to it getting frozen. The editing took me 28 minutes but mostly due to the fact that it was the first time I was doing that. There was a very noticeable delay when changing set so it felt like playing KCI on Magic Online when I had to always wait until colorless mana showed up in my mana pool, because if I didn't it MODO lagged for like 30 seconds and that was really bad since my click time for comboing off was 8-13 minutes. Anyway I didn't need to wait for the set to change and could just go ahead and click it and it eventually changed.

Since I don't have other devices I could use to test the app I can't tell you what a normal performance is. For me I suppose it would just be easier to take my binder and manually type the card's name, language, condition and set and then import it as a CSV file. Since that thought came to my mind I decided to actually do it. Typing the 221 cards I worked with into an excel sheet took me 34 minutes, while doing so I realized that Snapcardster uses 3 letter codes for everything and some of my codes wouldn't match. The import feature actually works but I was stuck with errors and cards not importing for a long time. It was because the word Language is misspelled in the system. This will hopefully be changed so someone else trying the same won't end up with the same 'No card for' error. Set codes have three letter codes, promos and other odd cards use the three letter codes + something that says what it is (promo, masterpiece..etc). Example a Prerelease promo is not PRE but pPRE, MPS cards also need a set MPS_AKH. Language is entered via language codes for example, IT (Italian), EN (English), DE (German), RU (Russian).

I ran into another problem linked to importing cards which I thought was happening sometimes but I soon learned it was always the case. After I imported cards I had to always log back in because otherwise it was just showing me a blank screen (refreshing the page or navigating elsewhere and coming back didn't help) I suppose all this will be fixed later.

Deck view

I imported my Vintage Xerox decklist via simple text and then stared at the possibilities how to edit each entry. The only quantity on Snapcardster is 1, so one cannot edit all Force of Wills for example to Alliances. What you have to do is change all the relevant entries.

The deck view is actually nice. There is a deckbox for it (graphics element I guess which is ok, in the deck view though it shows an image over which you hover. it's just a bit strange), Name, Format, by whom, (date?) and price for which you can get it via Snapcardster. You can see how many percent of cards from the decklist you own. You can add it to your cart or add the missing cards to your want list or cart as well.

I didn't manage to import my sideboard and I also need to figure out how to enter split cards (Wear // Tear, is the correct syntax), so far I was unsuccessful with it. It also shows Länder, Kreaturen and Sprüche instead of Land, Creatures and Spells. Cards in Green are the ones in collection, in yellow it shows that you have some copies in your collection and those that are in red mean there is 0 copies of the card in your collection.

Changing the decklist is a bit more tedious than I expected. I tried to delete the sideboard but there is no way to change the quantity of one card in the decklist. All the cards of one name have to be deleted and then added back. The manual input entry adds those cards in the collection but I'm not entirely sure if deleting them in the decklist deletes them (I ended with like 20 copies of Containment Priest because I always put them main deck and not in the sideboard). If you edit your decklist this way you'll have to add or remove the cards later from the collection. Not being able to type in a number/delete the 1 from there is also something I do not appreciate even though that is a minor flaw compared to what I described above.

This sums up my initial review of the app. Snapcardster App looks like a very promising app that can be used to track your collection and decklists (and that allows full import and export), and will allow you to buy and offer cards with ease. I believe that one day this will be an awesome app and we might get access to a new marketplace that will allow us to buy and sell cards comfortably for reasonable prices. So far if you are iphone 6 user I wouldn't recommend the app because it freezes, sometimes crashes and requires reinstall or re-log in way too often. Scanning cards is practically not working. It is possible though the app works fine on Android. If you are an Android user, I'd be happy to hear how it performs. The web interface requires a lot of work as well.

Since the app is still in development I will (most probably) review the app later once again to see how the development is going.

Thanks for reading
S'Tsung