Triple Triad is probably the most popular of the Final Fantasy mini-games, so it only makes sense that Square Enix decided to bring it to mobile devices, as they recently did in Japan, by making it a free-to-play exclusive for their Final Fantasy Portal App.
The difference between the new Triple Triad and the old is that the mobile version contains cards from not just VIII, but all of the Final Fantasies—including Final Fantasy XIII. Lightning has her own card, and she’s breaking the game, according to Hachima Kikou.
It becomes clear from the following images why:
This is Lightning. Lightning has two sides with an “A”, the highest value in the card game. This means that she will beat any card along those edges, or at least draw with it.
Below, you can see a player selecting five Lightning cards, and beginning the game by placing her in the upper right corner. How does a game progress after that? The outcome is evident in the last screenshot.
There is a rules set in the original mini-game in which draws count as wins, which may well balance against this specific card selection, but it’s unknown (to us, at least) whether that rules system is even in play in the game; and that doesn’t fix games in which this mechanic doesn’t apply. This card may well have broken the game.
A Japanese player even claims the following has been happening in PvP matches:
Some will certainly interpret this as more evidence that Lightning and Squeenix’s unholy love for her have ruined yet another Final Fantasy game, but the actual problem (if it is indeed a problem) is that players are allowed more than one of each hero card. Whereas the original Triple Triad only had one each of the cards that represented main and important characters, like party members, villains, and GFs, the developers behind this Triple Triad seem to have removed that limitation. One can only speculate as to the thinking behind this design decision.