Review by pancakes771

"Definitely flawed, but it still has its finer points..."

If you're reading this review, you most likely already know what YuGiOh is, or (in the least) what it's about. Essentially, you take control of a deck of diverse and widely applicable cards with different uses and effects and try to make your opponent run out of Life Points before you do. Simple, right? Well, not exactly. If you haven't played in a few years, you're about to get your mind blown.

The days when controlling one Blue-Eyes White Dragon meant an automatic victory are gone, and 10-card strategies are the now the norm. Today, it's usually just about who can get Dark Gaia to the field first, which has essentially reduced the game to a "whoever goes first, wins" kind of scenario. It was bound to happen eventually, as each great card game can only produce so many good cards that will keep generating money, but not cards which are so good they can't be replaced. However sad this conclusion may seem, the video games based on the card game are still extremely enjoyable and replayable. Unless you play with people over the Wi-Fi capabilities, you won't find yourself often at the mercy of a first-turn loss - That's the reason I liked this game so much.

I used to play the card game right up until everyone, and I mean everyone, started abusing the Cyber Dragon cards, along with the Chimeratech Dragons. It was at that point that I realized the game was no longer fun. It simply boiled down to who had more money to buy better cards, and not who had better strategic skill. In retrospect, I suppose every card game is based on that premise. Needless to say, I quit after losing every single Saturday to the same 2 or 3 styles of decks each week. I picked up a copy of World Championship 2008 to start anew, however, and my entire interpretation changed.

Perhaps it's just the fact that not every opponent in the game uses the same, overused, bland style of deck, or maybe it's the fact that the average player can become a god in his game. Whichever may true, I found a new love for the card game with my copy of WC2008.

Gameplay: 8\7/10
Duel. The end.

... Oh, you want a real description? There are two main modes of gameplay in WC2008 - The Duel World and World Championship Mode. The Duel World is like a series of different areas and realms, if you will, which features different CPU duelists at a gradually increasing level of difficulty. The world is presented as a map of the terrain you're on, with several different Duel Spirits (otherwise known as monsters from selected cards who are CPU opponents). There are numerous features which can be unlocked by completing certain tasks throughout the 6 areas of the Duel World, such as unlocking new packs to buy by beating Duel Spirits 5 times each, gaining new cards from friendly allies, taking on a specific-card challenge in Stone Seal Duels, etc. It's actually quite fun, if you're really into dueling.

The World Championship Mode, however, is fairly simple to understand. You just pick an opponent from the list of CPU duelists and fight him/her. After winning, you will receive a Duelist Point (DP) bonus for your troubles. Once you get enough Duelist Points, you can head over the Card Shop and purchase different packs of cards to unlock newer and better cards to add to your deck. You can also enter passwords here, using the 8-digit code on real-life cards to add them to you game by giving up Duelist Points. It should be said, however, that you must've already obtained the card, in the game, you're trying to add through Passwords, or else the password will not work for you.

I briefly played World Championship 2006 and deeply enjoyed the near-endless list of Duel Puzzles and Challenges to take part in. I don't know whether they were in WC2007 considering I've never played it, but the extra puzzles and challenges have since vanished from the game. Because of this, you are either stuck with just straight-up duels against the seemingly-idiotic AI, or cruising around the Duel World, trying to beat each opponent 5 times. For this reason, I lower the score to 8.

It should also be stated here that one of the areas in the Duel World is strictly tag-duel-only, meaning you can only duel with an AI partner throughout the entire area, against another tag team of duelists. You will become frustrated. You become angered. You will become an adrenaline-pumped grizzly bear of rage and terror. All because of the fact that no matter how well your deck is built, your AI partner will find a way to ruin your strategy and leave himself wide open to attack. The thing to remember is that your partner is just as dumb, if not more, than the opponent is. For this reason, I lower the score to 7.

One thing I did enjoy, on the contrary, is that this entire game can be played with either the stylus and the touch screen, just the buttons on the DS, or any combination of both. Whichever way you prefer to play is no longer an issue, You don't need to go to a menu to change it, either. You can just press a button and touch on the screen at any point throughout a duel and it'll work fine. It's actually quite handy when you're not fully dedicated to your DS, to be able to hold the stylus and use it for a bit, then just use your other hand for the buttons when the stylus hand is busy doing other things.

Graphics/Sound: 5
Konami isn't exactly trying their best to improve the quality of the graphics and sound, to say the least. Considering the fact that the only thing to really change about the graphics in 3 years of the World Championship series is a lame, 1-second-loop-animation, badly-pixelated image of your monster floating above the card, it's safe to say a lot of effort wasn't added to this area of the game. ... Ok, I lied. They also added a 2-second-long scene for when your monsters battle. Don't get too excited, though, as it's just the cards and pixelated images of the two monsters standing face-to-face, then 1-of-6 different types of attacks hits the defending monster, depending on how the attacking monster presumably attacks. Then it goes back to how they were on the field beforehand.

I don't think the sound has ever changed throughout any YuGiOh handheld games. The music is still somehow appropriate to dueling and seems to fit the game well, but there's also still at least one song you'd much rather just turn the sound off for and listen to yourself breathing instead because it's so annoying. Music aside, the sound effects are still functional yet bland, as always. You still hear the basic shuffling noise, draw-card noise, and the "select ding" when pressing buttons, so it's still fine.

Overall, it's essentially just a reusage of the standard, outdated graphics and sound from previous YuGiOh handheld titles. It'd be nice to see something different with the technological capabilities of the DS and cartridges nowadays, but on the other hand, graphics and sound aren't what make YuGiOh fun.

Replay Value: 9/10
I'm not going to lie to you, mainly because I don't know who "you" are, and because lying to strangers is mean. This game starts out predictably slow because of the lack of available, useful cards in the beginning. It's a slow and tedious process to rack up enough DP by winning to buy enough packs from the Card Shop to actually get cards worth using. However, once you DO start to get better cards, the effect keeps snowballing. You take forever to get a little DP, get some good cards. Use some good cards to get more DP, get better cards. Use better cards to get lots of DP, and so on and so forth. Essentially, the better cards you have, duels will be faster and easier for you, earning you more DP in less time.

Trust me. The game IS boring for the first few days. You're more-or-less stuck with the 1 Structure Deck you chose before you started your game for a little while. Once you start unlocking more packs and stronger cards, the game will start picking up the pace. It won't be until a little while longer you'll be able to actually build a themed deck (like a Dark-deck, or a type-themed deck) simply because it takes a long time to unlock well over 1000 different cards.

Once you DO manage to get a good deck going, though, you begin to race through the Duel World and unlock different opponents, more packs, and ultimately more DP at a much faster rate, multiplying your opportunities to build a deck closer to the style you like to play with, which will make the game more fun in the long run. The more you play, the more fun the game gets.

The Replay Value for this game is so high because of the amount of time it actually takes to complete everything, while still presenting you with nearly all the cards you need to build your dream deck. I've been finished with everything in my game now for almost 2 months, and I still whip it out to duel a few times a day simply because trying out new decks and experimenting with new strategies is still a blast, partially due to the fact that real-life players hardly ever get to try out new, original ideas, or decks styles off the beaten path, like Gate Guardian. Y'know. Decks for fun. Like the game, both video and real-life, should be.

Recommendation: Buy
Whether you have been playing the card game since the days of school-lunchtime Yugi Starter Deck vs. Kaiba Starter Deck, or you're just interested in the way the game works, the game caters to all levels of skill. A built-in tutorial is there to help out anyone who wants to start learning the game now, and the two modes are there to allow seasoned veterans of the game to jump right in. Mind you, there are still reasons why this game is not the best it could be, but it's possible to overlook these factors and just enjoy the metagame, complexity, and outstanding replay value. This game should be bought, not rented, since the game starts out so slow. If you own the game, you can build on it over a period of time of however long you want. Taking time to earn the awesome cards you'll eventually need for your dream deck is, in my personal opinion, what makes the YuGiOh video games continuously successful, despite the minor flaws and bugs which occasionally occur.

Overall: Good game. 7/10

If you wish to further discuss this game with me, please feel absolutely free to contact me through my email on my person profile for GameFAQs.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 07/21/08

Game Release: Yu-Gi-Oh! World Championship 2008 (US, 12/04/07)

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