Review by Devilzoa

"Not so fast, Ojama Yellow!"

-Introduction-

Oh no! It's another depressing review by Devilzoa, detailing how horrible this game is and why you'll demand back the five minutes of your life it took from you!

...Well, despite the measly score of 3/10 that I have given this game, 2k6 actually gets a lot of things right. I have scored it so low for reasons that will become clear to you at the end of the gameplay article, assuming you're actually reading this and not just skimming it.

The reviews for this game are generally positive, and I tend to avoid using positive reviews as the basis for buying a game, as most of the time they ignore any real flaws the game has. I always check the negative reviews first, because the reviewer found some things about the game that he didn't find enjoyable and actually wants to enlighten people on why they shouldn't buy it. Then I look at the positive ones and compare.

So here's the token Negative Review, though I'm not doing it to be nonconformist. Read on and you'll find out my REAL Evil Plan.

-Gameplay-

If you're reading this, you probably know how the card game works, so I'm not going to bother detailing it. Buy a structure and read the manual or something.

The game is very much like Eternal Duelist Soul, which was probably my all-time-favorite GBA Yu-Gi-Oh game. You begin with a tier of five opponents, and as you beat them you unlock more. Beat THOSE and more pop up for your dueling pleasure. Once you get to the end of the game, you unlock the ability to play against your own deck, and you also get an opponent that you can create your own decks for. There's a hearty amount of Beat-This-Scenario puzzles, which as I have said many times before are my favorite part of the series.

And the amount of cards in the game is not so much massive as it is ABSOLUTELY INSANE. Almost every card you can think of is in this game, including all the cards from every US expansion and just about every Japanese promo. You can also hold loads of decks this time around, somewhere around sixty. And the AI in the game is fairly decent, playing non-sucky decks that might actually give you a bit of challenge.

And, joy of joys, the game no longer prompts you at EVERY opportunity, even the most obscure ones, if you want to activate a trap card. It only does it at times you might actually want to activate a card, like at the start of a Battle Phase. (Though, for some reason, the game occasionally prompts you with the message "There is no card that can be activated at this time. Do you want to check the field?" for reasons I pray at least made sense to the programmers.)

On paper this all sounds good.

But, Konami made a fatal mistake. They are lacking the most important thing, the thing that every video game needs:

Fun.

I don't really know how to explain this one. You would think, with all the effort they put into finding all the cards, creating some good decks for the computer to use, and giving you the option to make your own computer-controlled decks, you would be having lots of fun with the game.

But, no. What should be fun quickly becomes tedious and dull. The game moves at a snail's pace. Previous incarnations of the series actually move faster.

At the beginning of the game, you are given a choice of several different decks to serve as your initial one. These decks all mirror real-life structure decks. The problem is, if you don't pick the Zombie deck, the game has a 90-degree learning curve. One of the Tier One opponents should be up a tier or so, as he gets impossibly good draws and generally has a better deck than you.

Many of the people reading this are "Angry Gamers". Those who aren't probably know someone who is. This is the type of gamer who eventually gets sick of dying at the same spot every time for God-Knows-How-Long and proceeds to take his frustration out on the walls, his system, and human associates. If you are one of the people prone to these Hulk-like outbursts, there is a good chance you'll hate this game.

The difficulty eventually levels out a bit, but by the time that happens, the people who find it hard in the first place will probably have quit the game.

Even if you aren't one of these people, you may grow bored with the game, as the duels, which are supposed to be the most fun part get incredibly tedious and repetitive after a while. It just doesn't have the immersion factor that other games in the series have.

It's kind of hard for a GBA game to be immersive, but all the previous incarnations DID give me a motive to continue playing. (Except 2k4. That game was horrible and we should just put it out of our minds.)

Summary: Konami made a damn good effort, I'll give them that. But the game just...isn't fun. I don't think I can state that any other way.

Gameplay: 2/10

-Controls-

First of all, I would like to use this space to vent on the fact that I HATE how the game defaults your cards as the target whenever you activate an effect. Accidentally playing Shrink on my own monsters or MST-ing my own face-down cards probably caused some old ladies to explode from the amount of swearing I did.

That said, the game seems to work fine. The controls are the same as how they have always been in the series, and the controls have always been good. But points off for the flaw detailed above.

Controls: 7/10

-Story-

An epic tale of revenge, betrayal, romance, and space pirates awaits you in this--Oh, wait, never mind, it has no story at all.

You don't even play the anime characters anymore. All your opponents are monsters from the game, and they generally have decks that reflect themselves. You pick one to duel, and that's it. There isn't even dialogue.

No story at all, so...

Story: NA/10

-Graphics-

I like how only part of the field changes appearances when a field card is played. Looks cool.

The cards themselves look, as always, just like the real thing, and the problem of the names never quite fitting on the cards has to an extent been solved, as the cards aren't often enlarged to that point, save in menus if you hit the Examine button. It's also kind of cool that in-game, you can still see the pictures on the cards if they're just sitting there, rather than having to rely on the names.

Graphics: 9/10

-Sound-

Since the sound effects and music are basically unchanged from the previous games, I'll just reiterate what I said in my review of Yu-Gi-Oh GX:

The sounds are your generic beeps and crashes and so forth, as usual.

The music is an awesome supply of fast-paced hard rock that's sure to get you air-guitaring. On a completely unrelated note, I was listening to the Guilty Gear soundtrack during most of the time I was playing this game.

It's a known fact that GBA games that aren't RPGs tend to have bland sound effects and bad music, and this is, of course, no exception.

Sound: 2/10

-Playing and Replaying-

I have no incentive to replay this game at all. I have all the cards and all the opponents unlocked, so I could quite literally do whatever I wanted within the limits of the game. And yet, I have no interest to keep going. I probably wouldn't have been inclined to get past the second tier if I wasn't a guy who plays his games into the ground.

If you have the patience, though, this game can be quite time-consuming. It'd be good on a long car trip, I imagine. I personally would take along something like Advance Wars or perhaps some sort of RPG, but I'll try to put my opinions on hold and rate this from a neutral point of view.

Game Length: 9/10

Replay Value: 1/10

-Buy or Rent?-

If you live and die by Yu-Gi-Oh, you'll love this game. If you plan to enter the 2006 Championships, you pretty much have no choice BUT to buy this game.

But if there are any parents out there who want a game for Junior to play on the way to the beach, I'd advise you to pick up something else. I'm an old codger (17? That's practically 50!) and there are parts of the game I found to be quite difficult. I can only imagine how a little kid would react to them.

Maybe you should rent it and give it a whirl first. If it floats your boat, pick up a copy.

THE FINAL TALLY OF AWESOMENESS

Gameplay: 2/10
Controls: 7/10
Story: NA/10
Graphics: 9/10
Sound: 2/10
Game Length: 9/10
Replay value: 1/10

FINAL SCORE ZOMG: 3/10 (Not an average)

In closing:

Maybe I'm jaded. Maybe the fact that the last few games have been mediocre has put me off the series. I know a lot of people on the boards like this game, so they may see something I'm not.

Do what I do when I want to pick up a game: Compare this negative review with the positive ones on the site. If you think the pros outweigh the cons (and both parties actually know what they're talking about), give it a shot.


Reviewer's Score: 3/10 | Originally Posted: 05/14/06


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