Review by losszoul
"The cards! THE CARDS!"
If people ask me about trading card games (TCG), the first thing that comes into my mind is Yu Gi Oh, almost the whole time. I'm not actually into TCGs, it's just that I'm a fan of creativity, that I decide to give them some tries. After playing some Yu Gi Oh GBA games, I decided to try some other TCG, and this one caught my attention.
Okay, this game has very minor plot in it, and that being the same old boy who compete to be the best duel master. Not many can be given here, only a few characters actually have characters, the rest are just, well, your enemies. Plain and simple.
The interface-related gameplay of this game is quite well done. When walking around the map, you'll see some things: people, shops, and later some other things. The people can actually interact in 3 ways: Being an NCP which does nothing but talking, taking your duel challenges, or even do an in-game trade. Very amusing.
Next, we have the shop. The shop acts like a market: You can buy cards at random, and sell them anyway you please. Of course, usually a card is worth more when you buy it, and less when you sell it, though this may not always be the case. Speaking of cards to sell, when you win duels against NCPs, you get cards, quite at random (that is, one NCP will give you some of the cards they can give you after every loss), so if you need more cash, just win more duels, that's it. The shop also has one more feature: tournaments, in which you can compete to gain more cash and other features.
Now, onto the duel gameplay. For a TCG, Duel Masters has a unique play style, which is of course good. In terms of games, you have 6 lives, 5 which are both yours and your foe's to manipulate (because these first 5 lives are basically your cards), that is, you don't always lose a life when your foe attacks, but you can lose one when you do something yourself, or even more, you can add more of them. The last life is otherwise, lose it, and you lose the duel.
Then there goes the torture devi- ahem, I mean, the cards you and your opponent uses to beat up each other, though the battle system can get rather annoying here, sometimes you need so much luck or game reloads to avoid losses. Still, at least it's unique, so it's good in one way.
This game isn't actually that hard, but in a lot of cases you need a god-like set of cards or a ton of luck to get through, which can be frustrating. Anyone's still free to enjoy iy though, especially since unlike Yu Gi Oh GBA games, this game doesn't auto save after you duel, so if you lose at some point, you can retry with different strategy (or luck), though this also means you need to save often, which is actually a must; you don't know what tricks your opponent has until you get to fight or until you get good luck.
Pretty good if you ask me. The overworld is quite well done, and the battles are even better. You get to see your monsters fighting, either animated or otherwise (you decide). This game properly sacrifices the need for animation for the game play aspect, which is fine. Moreso, you can even get to see different environmental look in your menu, the battlefield etc depending on what setting you wish to use and which NCP you're beating up.
There's nothing really outstanding with the sounds. Nothing actually stands out, and nothing actually breaks your ears....
Replay Value: 4
Not good. The only thing which makes a new game differ from a previous game is that you get a random starting deck everytime you start a new game. Other than that, well, playing this game a long time only means one thing: You are in need on completing your collection.
Well, if you like TCGs, you can try this one. Nice game, nice creativity, nice uniqueness... oh well.
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 04/12/05
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