Review by Xiao_Fen_Long

"Konami finally gets it right; the greatest Yu-Gi-Oh game."

Yu-Gi-Oh Ultimate Masters: World Championship Tournament 2006 (..quite the title)..is the latest (and probably last) Yu-Gi-Oh game for the GBA. Yu-Gi-Oh games have been all over the place on this thing, with Konami usually spitting out about 1 or more each year, and including free cards inside so silly kids buy them. A lot of the games are complete rubbish, as they're glitchy, have cards missing that were included in previous ones, and just aren't that fun, which is why I'm glad to say that this really is the ultimate Yu-Gi-Oh game. They did it.

Story
There's none. I think many fans, however, will thank god for this. Previous Yu-Gi-Oh games have had you walking around, challenging people to duels, finding the god cards..none of that here. They're not trying to fool you. Just duel people.

Graphics
Usually the graphics in YGO games don't get this big of an upgrade..and it's not that big, but still. As usual, all of the cards are illustrated perfectly, and in a zoomed out mode, their pictures appear blank, but now you can always see the art on your cards while zoomed out, I guess so you don't have to scroll through your hand just to find one card.It's nothing amazing, but it's better then the last ones, and more polished.

Gameplay
Like I said, Konami has done it right. Let's start off with the cards themselves--in the past games, Konami always brags about the number. "1300 cards!" They say. Well, in truth, most of those cards are 100% useless, no effect, nothing, with weak stats. Because they were lazy. WCT2006 features 2,000+ cards, and as far as I can see, ALL of the recent ones, up to Shadow of Infinity. Yes, Vampire Lord is in. I'm sure some are missing, but certainly not the ones crucial to decks, and I have yet to look for a card I could not find.

Let's move on. The duelists. In just about every past YGO game, you have dueled the characters from the series, who use their decks like the ones from the anime. Not in this. There are no Yu-gi-oh characters in this game. The duelists you fight are the monsters themselves. Sounds kind of weird, but, for example, there's a Kuriboh duelist who uses a Kuriboh themed deck. Guess what that means? No more engrish. No more fruity text. No crappy pictures of the monsters floating above the cards. None of that. It doesn't try to lure you in with the anime characters, or a dumb story about the god cards, it just wants you to duel.

Moving onto the duels themselves. The AI in this game has far improved, and even with a solid deck, some of the weaker opponents can give you a challenge. With that said, it's partly because of the new banned and restricted list. WCT2006 doesn't have the most recent list; Tribe-Infecting Virus and Pot of Greed are allowed, while Sinister Serpent and others are not. Some people will miss their extremely broken cards, but it does make for a more challenging, rewarding game.

The other reason the AI puts up a challenge, which is my only complaint, and yet it is necessary--is, usually, their decks feel a little bit rigged, so if they get Card X, which is a good card, but with a drawback, they have card Y to negate said drawback. It doesn't occur all the time, but when it does, it feels a little cheap, but it's not frustrating or anything.

After the duel, whether you win or lose, you'll earn duel points for how well you did. You get certain bonuses for how much life you had left, how many of a certain card you used, how much damage you did, and all of that. Wiping the floor with your opponent earns you more points. These duel points can be spent on unlocking new cards. New cards can be unlocked through

A) Packs - In WCT2006, all of the packs are real packs. Some of them are Japanese packs, however, which were combined to be released in America, but this makes it so you can actually pick from a pack where you'll know what you might get based on the real thing.

B) The card system - Every true YGO fan knows that every YGO card has a password in the bottom left corner which can be punched into your game to unlock that card. Unlike other versions of the game, you can use the same password multiple times to unlock more of that card, which is AWESOME. YES. This makes it so much easier to build your dream deck, which is great. The only thing is, if you want to make your ultimate dream deck, it'll take a good while and a load of dueling to earn all the duel points needed. I almost wish there was a way they could let you enter a sandbox-type mode with all of the cards unlocked so people could just build their best deck possible; since that what the game's about, in the end.

After you've built your deck, as far as I know, you can't keep multiple decks, but you can keep recipes of your decks to easily rebuild them, and you can store up to 60 (SIXTY) of them. That's right. There's room for more recipies then there are valid types of decks.

So, in the end, the gameplay's perfect for a Yu-Gi-Oh game. The only thing that could make this game better, if it was on the DS with more cards (i.e. from future sets), and online play. WCT 2007, anyone?

Sound
The game's music is nothing memorable, but something you might hum while playing. If you don't like it, you can listen to something else, it's not like you need to hear the sound. Nothing much to put here.

Controls
It's a turn-based game, and the controls are all fine. Nothing else to put here.

OVERALL

PROs:
+Over 2,000 cards, up to recent cards
+No more fruity plots, characters
+Improved AI

CONs:
-Should be on the DS and have online play
-Duel points system limits players creativity; making a great deck takes time

This could possibly be the greatest YGO game there will ever be, especially if an online-enabled one isn't made for the DS. Any hardcore YGO fan, or even one who was a fan in the past and is on the ropes, should pick this up. It's just that good.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 02/27/06


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