Review by Mykas0
"Yu-Gi-Oh! Nightmare Troubadour, version 1.2"
When someone is buying a Yu-Gi-Oh game, they expect it to contain several duels and tons of cards. While both of those elements are available in this game, it seems to lack some more important features. At first, it may resemble a clone of the "Yu-Gi-Oh! Nightmare Troubadour", previously released for this very same console; however, after a deeper look, you'll notice that not even the addition of a Wifi battle mode makes it an interesting title for those who are not fans of the playing cards.
It all starts when you turn on the game, name your character and get to create him. Unlike what happens in many other games, here you just get to pick your characteristics from 10 different sets of hair and face, which is just disappointing, as they could have included some more ways to modify your character.
Then, a few minutes later, you finally get to face the island where most of the game occurs, containing not only the school but also all the characters from the GX installment of Yu-Gi-Oh series. Oddly, most of them seem to already know you, and those will be the characters that you will be facing several (and perhaps too many) times across your adventure. With the gameplay being split into "days" and moving from a place to another (or simply battling a character) spending a small part of a time bar, the game can be sum up in a simple way: fight as many times as you can, with the sole purpose of acquiring money and experience.
With the adventure seeming to follow a weekly schedule (no classes on Saturday or Sunday), it is perhaps weird that you have no way of checking what day of the week you're currently in, or what time of the month. This way, you've got nothing more to do than fighting battles (usually including the action of facing certain characters over and over again) until you gain enough experience to raise yourself to the next level and be able to spot new storyline sequences, which usually require you to be in a certain place of the map at a particular time.
Unlike what happened in the previous Nintendo DS title, the map is now split up into 5 different areas, which makes it harder to figure out where to go and how to find a specific character that you may want to battle. Bearing in mind that defeating characters for a certain number of times unlock new cards or simply you to spot new storyline events, such difficulty makes the game slightly harder and less interesting for all of those who are not willing to face characters several times. One could state that you are able to see the location of each character after a certain number of duels, but that hardly changes anything at all, with a player still being required to explore the map in order to finally understand where he should be heading next.
However, as a pseudo-sequel to "Yu-Gi-Oh! Nightmare Troubadour", the game also has its strong points. You can change the title associated to your character (which hardly matters, and it seems to be just for fun), change their clothes to the ones of another dorm, fight online against other people from around the world (a feature that I wasn't able to test for this review) or add a spirit companion to your character, which justifies the name of this game. Interestingly, the game doesn't explain how to properly use that spirit companion, letting the player to figure it out all by himself.
The duels, obviously the most important thing in the game, are mostly played in the very same way as before. Each turn of the duel is split into several smaller phases and, in case you have a Spell or Trap card that you can use at a particular point in time, you will be asked if you wanna do it. Summoned monsters, while face up, can be seen in 3D in the upper screen, alongside with the rest of the duel screen.
In case someone is wondering about the story contained in the game, it sort of resembles an adaptation of the anime. At the beginning of the game, your character joins an academy and you'll try to improve your skills and try to defeat the most powerful students, while collecting new cards to strengthen your deck and following the normal, day to day, life of a student. You'll also face several multiple-choice tests, all of which are quite hard.
If you're wondering about replay value of the game, that's probably the best feature about it, as it not only contains more than 1000 different cards (but be aware that some of them are forbidden or just limited for the duels), several enemies to battle and a newly added Wifi mode. Such type of replay value only matters to the fans of the card game and, if you're not one of them, you may want to stay away from this game.
The graphics haven't changed at all since the last Nintendo DS title, with the in-battle monsters still being 3D (of poor quality, but still recognizable), with hardly any animations, with the rest of the scenes being in 2D and clearly showing the characters of the series. The cards now actually feature text in them, but they are too unclear to read and therefore it turns out being nothing more than a minor graphical improvement.
The sound is quite bad, with the same themes and sound effects being played tons and tons of times. Their quality is not very good either, and you'll probably turn it off as soon as possible.
As I already stated, this is probably one of those titles that only the fans of the card game (or the anime series) will enjoy. Be aware that the Japanese version of the game also features English text, making it so that nobody has any problems playing the game.
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 12/01/06
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