Review by kingalen0130
"A very unique twist to the classic with some minor flaws."
Yu-Gi-Oh is a very popular card game and TV show franchise that still continues on today. During it's early years in America, Yu-Gi-Oh had many spin-off games that never truly got attention, which is a shame because they did look very promising. One of these spin-offs was, of course, Capsule Monsters. This would lead to a video game being produced about each of the spin-offs. While there have been no outstanding console games based on the actual card game (World Championship is your best bet if you want a game based of the card game), the spin offs had very good games. This is one of them.
Not much of a story here. You, as Yugi Muto, are told to win the Capsule Monsters Tournament. Why there is a tournament at all is not explained. At least in the TV show, you knew why the tournaments were made: so that Yugi could defeat the bad guys and save the world! Here, not so much. You basically have to win this tournament to prove that you truly deserve the titile of King of Games. While playing, you will encounter familiar people from the TV show, such as Joey, Marik, Bakura, and the man himself, Seto Kaiba. In that sense, the story is a bit interesting, but it's not canon to the actual story from the show. In fact, this doesn't even follow the plot of the spin-off series about Capsule Monsters. If you're familiar with it, which you're probably not, then I might as well tell you that Alexander isn't here. Most of the characters up to Battle City (the important ones anyway) If you're looking for a great, in depth story, this isn't where you'll find it. I suggest buying Persona 3 if you really want a good story game, but that's a bit off topic. Overall, the weakest point in the game. It's certainly not horrible, but it's not suspenseful and shocking either. If this game had a decent story with some cutscenes and longer dialogue, then I would be recommending it to everyone, both fans and non-fans alike. Unfortunately, this game will near certainly never get a sequel, which is a true shame, seeing as how much I enjoyed this game.
Truly the best part of the game. The strategy and depth that this game has is simply phenomenal. There are eight different attributes in this game: Earth, Thunder, Light, Dark, Fire, Wood, Wind, and Water. Each one has one strength and one weakness. Fire, for example, is very strong against Wood, but is susceptible to attacks from Water. Think Pokemon. This will make choosing your pieces for battle a real challenge. The game is played on a rectangular, chess- like arena. Each piece has it's own movement range and attack range. Some are great at attacking, but cannot move very far, while others can move in great lengths but cannot attack from long distances. You will want to set up with all of that in mind. There are two ways to win: either take out all of the opponent's pieces, or simply defeat their leader piece(kind of like the king piece). There is also a lot of difficulty in this game. For example, fighting against someone with a Wood attribute, you would think to use only Fire pieces. However, most times enemies will have pieces that counteract their weakness. In this case, the opponent would also have Water pieces, so choosing which pieces to use and where to set them is quite challenging and entertaining. There are also AP, which is the points you use to move your pieces or summon them( as you must summon them before you can move them), and MP, which is how much points you will need to set up your team. There are lots of other things that would take days to explain, but it's better to play and understand them yourself (the game does a good job of easing in new players and showing all the intricate mechanics) My only gripe with the gameplay is that you cannot battle an opponent twice, meaning you HAVE to battle the next opponent, which is a bit annoying, but there are lots of save files open, allowing you to save before a battle in case you ever feel like battling them again or you messed up when you battled them somehow. Also, the whole story will take you about 10 hours to complete, but that's if you completely rush.
Nothing amazing, but the graphics do their job. Most of the time you'll see the pictures of the characters with their mouths moving instead of anime cutscenes, which I would prefer, but it's not to bad as It is. The core graphics are with the stages and pieces. Some of the stages do look rather impressive and unique. It's not very eye-catching stuff, but it doesn't hinder the experience either. My biggest problem with the entire game is that there are NO cutscenes. Absolutely none. This game would be wonderful and nearly perfect if it had actual animated cutscenes. I would even take small clips from the show, just as long as there was something to watch. The graphics feel terribly bare and boring without anything to really look at, Even the environments begin losing their flavor as they are the only parts of the game that you really enjoy looking at.
Music/ Dialogue: 9/10
Nearly every piece of music in this game is amazing. Every soundtrack perfectly fits the stage that it's set on. Every single stage has it's own background music, which makes this game amazing In the music department. My personal favorite is the little jingle-like music playing when you battle Tea. As for the dialogue, it's usually the I will defeat you! scene nearly every time, but some of the scenes are very witty and hilarious, so that department is also a good thing. This area fits in with the story as it's not very great (the dialogue, not music), but it does its job well enough to not annoy you.
You will come back to this game time after time, trying out new strategies, using new capsules, etc. There are quite a few capsules to collect as well, which is also a challenge. Some can be bought from the store, while others can only be obtained by defeating certain opponents. You can even fuse some pieces to make very powerful new capsules, such as the Blue-Eyes Ultimate dragon or the almighty Exodia the Forbidden One! Some pieces can also evolve if certain criteria are met, which can also be a challenge to do. Overall there are 200 Capsules in the game overall, and trying to get them all can take 20+ hours, which adds to the games overall value.
This is a new and unique twist to the classic card game done very well. It's well worth looking around for in game stores.This would be a masterpiece of a game, even as a Yu-Gi-Oh game, if it was longer, had more pieces, a compelling story, and some cutscenes. If you're looking for a classic Yu-Gi-Oh game, them this isn't it, but if you're looking for a new take on the game, then this will be a pleasant addition into your PS2 collection.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 07/02/12
Game Release: Yu-Gi-Oh! Capsule Monster Coliseum (US, 10/26/04)
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