Review by KerntheGerm

"Possibly the worst YGO game I have ever played."

Reshef of Destruction is the sequel to Sacred Cards. As such, one would expect it to not only retain the feeling of the previous game, but to also to improve upon its flaws. RoD certainly does the former, but the latter is only made worse. I like to hear myself talk, so the easily bored need not apply.

Graphics: 6/10

If you've played Sacred Cards, there's no surprises here. If you haven't, here's the run-down. Large, crisp, clear, colorful card art; smooth character movement outside of duels; basically there's no real flaws in the graphics. Some of the card graphics have slightly incorrect colors or look somehow "a little different" from the actual cards, but that's to be expected. They get the job done, but that's about it.

Story: 6/10

The Egyptian God cards have been stolen and drained of all their power. The Millennium artifacts, too, are missing. This scenario wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for the resurrection of Reshef, the ultimate being of destruction. Unfortunately for our reluctant hero, this means he must collect all the God cards, find all of the Millennium artifacts, and defeat Reshef.

To me it seemed like the story was too forced. You grab a Millennium artifact, duel a bunch of bosses, find out where the next one is, rinse and repeat. A standard collection quest. Again, it gets the job done, but that's about it.

Difficulty: 1/10

1 out of 10 means bad. One of the major gripes with Sacred Cards was that the enemies were too easy. So Konami decided to be generous and fix it. Unfortunately, they fixed it in the wrong way, by adding something I call "artificial difficulty." In short, the enemies are too hard and give too little reward. Card costs are ten times as much as they were in Sacred cards. Deck capacity increases are halved. Money gained from wins is quartered in some cases. Instead of increasing the capacity of the AI in the game, they simply made it infinitely more frustrating for the player. If you keep the upper hand, you can usually squeak by no matter how barely you're winning. But if you let up for one second or make just one mistake on a boss duelist, God help your soul. The next thing you know he'll have Summoned Skulls and Jinzos just pouring out of his ass and swarming all over your life points.

Gameplay: 1/10

For those of you who have not played Sacred Cards, the numbers I just gave were probably didn't mean a thing. So let me paint a picture. Imagine you've just finished a duel. You've just earned 160 bucks, a free card, and 3 whole deck points, so you're feeling pretty good about yourself. So you try to take on the next Boss. And what does he do? Stomps your ass into the ground. You've been diddling around with 600-ish attack power monsters, but the boss slaps you in the face with that have an attack power of 800-900 plus, and sometimes he'll have a field elemental advantage that boosts him even further. And that's just the first handful of bosses.

Wow! You say to yourself. I bet if I had cards as powerful as his, I'd cream him! So you head on down to the shop, only to find that "cards as powerful as his" means coughing up 3000 bucks. You'd have to battle nearly 20 duels just for the privilege of putting one card into your deck, maybe 15 if you got a good card and sold it. And that's just to go from 600 to 900 attack power. For the stronger cards, the cost increase is even more spectacular. It's ridiculous. The non-boss battles themselves are fairly easy, but that only makes it more frustrating to have to go through dozens of them just to get a single card.

Then you have elemental type advantages. Each card has an element, and they can all defeat each other in a rock-paper-scissors fashion. An Aqua type instantly beats a Fire type, a Lightning type instantly beats an Aqua type, etc. etc. Luckily for you, this elemental system makes it possible for you to beat the bosses. Simply duel them once to see what element they run in their decks, reset, and rebuild your deck accordingly. Unfortunately for you, this means your Blue Eyes White Dragon can be beaten instantly by a Kuribo. So for all the hard work you did building a Lightning deck to beat the Water boss, he can just throw out a single Rock monster to shoot your strategy to hell.

Next there's the abysmal AI. They fall for the same tricks every time. I have a "standard strategy" that works on every single duelist in the game. First, get out a high-power attacking monster. Normally, this forces the opponent to put cards in defense mode. You don't want this, because you can't hurt his life points if his cards are in defense mode. So you start putting your own cards in defense mode to lure him out. The Comps will always attack monsters in defense mode. Always. If your defense monster has an elemental type advantage or a high defense rating, so much the better! So now the fool has his monster in attack mode (or possibly destroyed) and you've got a powerful monster (and your defender if it survived) ready to do life point damage. And they never learn! This strategy works on nearly every duelist in the game. About the only clever thing I've ever seen a comp duelist do is activate a Dark Hole after his attack on my face-down-defense-mode monster failed.

Finally, we have the new permanent effects. After every action (drawing a card, placing a card, etc.) the cursor flicks around the screen and checks for "permanent" effects. These abilities range from the mighty Slifer's +1500 bonus for every card you have in your hand, to the lowly Witch's Apprentice's +500 bonus to all Dark monsters. But woe betide if you actually play a card with a permanent effect. Remember how I said the cursor checks for the effect after every action? When there's a permanent effect, it checks it every time. So you want to declare battle? It checks the permanent, erases the effect, re-applies the effect for the new conditions. So you want to summon a monster? It checks the permanent, erases the effect, re-applies the effect for the new conditions. And it does that for every. Single. Action. Battles are unnecessarily drawn out by this and it only adds to the frustration factor.

Each of these annoyances would be overlookable by itself, but all of them combined make Reshef of Destruction an absolute chore to play.

Overall: 2/10

This is not necessarily an average. But, in this case, luckily the mathematics works out fine. The flaws in gameplay add to the flaws in difficulty, and both add to overall frustration. Even if you liked Sacred Cards (which I did) you will not necessarily like this game. In fact, having liked SC may have actually made my dissappointment in this game only worse. Only play this game if you are a truly HARDKORE Yu-Gi-Oh fan and are willing to withstand dozens of hours of painfully tedious gameplay.

The Good

It's hard to think of anything to put here. Uhh, the decent graphics, maybe?

The Bad

Bad AI, tedious gameplay, overly difficult bosses.

The Ugly

Infuriatingly. Frustrating.

Do yourself a favor and avoid this game like the plague. In fact, avoid it like you would avoid something that you avoid more than the plague.


Reviewer's Score: 2/10 | Originally Posted: 07/13/04


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