Review by Chaos Control

"Unmatched by previous Yu-Gi-Oh games, this game is near perfection"

Konami has been trying all these years to come up with some solid Yu-Gi-Oh game, only to get close with games like World Championship Tournament 2005, but still coming up short. Finally, they decide to throw out the useless stuff like a story and focusing on what makes this game perfect, the cards. There are very few glitches in this game. Konami included over 2000 cards in this game, which leads to so many deck possibilities that previous games didn't offer and the card count alone makes this game worthwhile.

Story:

By not including a story, Konami does us a huge favor. None of the characters from any series of Yu-Gi-Oh make any appearance, except for Jaden on the box cover. Instead, you will be dueling with Duel Monsters like Kuriboh and Scapegoats.

Gameplay:

This game actually follows the rules of the game, so there are no elemental trumps like Reshef of Destruction (dark-->light-->fiend-->etc). With over 2000 cards, there are many deck possibilities. Most of the cards you are familiar with (up to Shadow of Infinity) are found in this game. You can only have one deck, but you can have up to 60 recipes of decks that you can load, edit, and use.

The deck building feature has a lot of filters that you can use to find a card relatively quickly. You can search based on Magic/Trap/Monster, as well as card type, like number of stars, type of magic card, and more. Whats new is that you can now search themes, like Destroy Monster, Elemental Hero, Deck Destruction, Level monsters, Toon, and so many more. This gives many new ideas for deck types and is another major improvement of this game.

The controls in this game are similar to previous games, so Yu-Gi-Oh vets will only need to skm through the instruction manual briefly before they play. Beginners who make the smart move of picking up this game will have a slower start, but after a couple duels, they will get used to this.

The enemy monsters you duel will have cards in their decks that relate to their name. For example, Kuriboh will have... Kuriboh in his deck and Scapegoats will have the Scapegoats magic card. Each monster has a unique theme that you can duel against. Be warned though, the AI is especially relentless in this game. The AI is smart, doesn't make mistakes, and has a good deck even at level 1. This game provides such a challenge that you can be frustrated at times, but will be smooth sailing if you can build a deck that can win against any duelists. By completing a certain requirement in each level, you can unlock the next level of duelists.

After a duel, you win DP (duel points). The amount of DP is dependent on what happened during the duel. You can win DP for things like amount of damage done, monsters destroyed in battle, Exodia, win during opponent's turn, and much much more. You can use these DP to buy cards.

There are 2 ways to obtain cards in this game. You can take the card in real life that you have an enter the 8-digit password found on the lower left hand corner of the card. The game will check the password, and if the card is in the game, you will be prompted to buy the card using you DP, ranging from like 500 DP to several thousand. A good thing is that there is no limit to the number of cards you can get from the password machine, all you need is enough DP. Like older games in this series, you can buy cards from boosters. However, the boosters you can buy are transported directly from REAL LIFE! That means that booster packs like Legacy of Darkness and Lost Millennium are in this game! The cards found in those packs are the same as cards found in real life packs. This adds so much more realism to this game and was actually surprising to me. Each booster pack will also keep track of how many cards you've gotten with a completion percentage.

There is also a Challenge mode where you can play mini-games. You could try duel puzzles, where the game gives you a unique scenario and you have to win in one turn. You can play the Theme duels, where you have to build a deck with a particular theme, like Exodia and win. You can play the Limited Challenge, where your deck is restricted, like no traps, only level 4 monsters, and more. However, I don't think the opponent is restricted, which is unfair and makes these challenges hard. The difficulty of these challenges will frustrate you to no end, but it provides a real challenge. By completing a certain % of challenges, you could unlock new booster packs for new cards.

Even more amazingly, this game is so realistic that it even has a Ban list! You could play using the September 2005 Ban List like they do in real tournaments. If you feel too restricted by this ban list, you can change to a ban list from a previous year.

Something else that's new is that the game no longer prompts you at every opportunity. In old games, I'd be discouraged from setting certain cards because the game will prompt you like 5 times every turn. This game however, prompts you occasionally and you can hold down the A button to activate cards yourself or just to check out the field. This game does very well by not overdoing it.

All these brilliant factors make this game nearly perfect. The only slight problem is that the challenges, especially theme and limited duels are really hard and long, since you need to build a specific deck for each challenge.

Graphics:

Very nice for a Gameboy Advance game. You can see the face on every card, so you can recognize each card based on its picture. This did not happen in previous games and I feel very comfortable playing this game. Whenever you activate the card effect, a little pop up will appear showing the card and a strip of light will cross the card. When you summon a monster, the monster card will pop up on the screen, giving you a close up shot. You can actually see details on the cards, so you can see the beautiful art.

Konami gives you the opportunity to name yourself in this game. You can also choose an icon for yourself, which is just a head of some arbitrary figure that won't be familiar to you. These are just little details that makes this game interesting.

The duel field is now a flat overhead view, and you can see the entire playing field on one screen. When a field card is played, the actual field will change too, which is a returning feature that thankfully was not lost. Monsters used as tributes disappear in a cool little tornado and cards that are destroyed disappear in a neat puff of smoke. Very cute.

Sound:

Each level of monster has some new tune. These tunes are repetitive, but not so bad that you would have to turn it off. I don't really pay much attention to the music, because the gameplay is what really matters. The menu music is fine as well.

There are little sound effects when you summon a monster and tribute a monster like in old games. The sound is above average and for once does not hinder the overall game.

Playtime:

This game will last a very long time, since you have over 2000 cards to build decks with and a challenges mode to accompany the campaign mode. This game will suck up a lot of time, which is why it's good for the summer.

Replayability:

It's not likely to complete this game without cheating so you probably won't finish the game. This game is really fun though, so it's always worth playing.

Rent/Buy:

I'm not sure stores rent these games anymore, so I highly suggest that you go out and get yourself a copy because this is the best game out there. Like every other Yu-Gi-Oh game, you can get some promo cards with the purchase. The cards included in this game are some monsters that Banner uses in his Alchemy deck from the TV show. Yu-Gi-Oh fans should not hesitate to buy this game while other people should consider whether they are willing to commit a lot of time to this game.


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 06/15/06


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