If you are a fan of the genre, you know you don’t have many options. It’s been a while since the boom of playing the original Yu-Gi-Oh card game fade away. It used to be something common while we were growing up, and finding a friend or someone to play with wasn’t difficult at all. The game was challenging, fun and deep, but quickly everything moved to the digital world.
Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist is probably the most satisfying Yu-Gi-Oh video game I’ve ever played. If you know nothing about the series, this is all you need to know to get hyped: it is a strategic battle game based on an anime in which players duel with cards. Decks are made of monsters, spells and traps. The goal is simple: drain your opponent’s HP to 0. It is deeply detailed and has over 6,000 cards to collect, but you can use from 40 to 60 per deck.
You also get to relive the duels of all five generations of the Yu-Gi-Oh TV series: Duel Monsters, GX, 5D’s, Zexal and Arc-V. If you are new to the game or you simply know nothing about the series, let me tell you this: what I just said implies endless hours of gameplay. There is a massive amount of duels. As if this were not enough, you can also play as your opponent. Yes, you can even play with Pegasus’ deck vs Yugi, our protagonist. Amazing! Each battle can also be played with a pre-made deck based on the story or with your own custom deck, if you feel confident enough.
You can build up to 10 custom decks of your own, and the deck builder is a joy to use. It is perfect for both experienced players who know what they want, and for newcomers that want to read every little aspect of each cards. There is no excuse to use just a jack-of-all-trades deck either. You can build specific themed decks by picking cards you like and then getting smart recommendations from the tool of what cards to use them with.
For every duel you complete, you win all sorts of goodies so you can feel proud of yourself. The range of rewards is wide, and it includes signature cards, pack unlocks, duelist points (to buy the packs you unlocked), etc. Winning duels will not only grant you more battles to enjoy, including special challenges.
Finally, if you are itchy to demoralize some strangers on the internet, you can play competitively online. Ranked matches are as real as it gets and some folks out there are really, really skilled and more often than not you will want to go back to single player.
So, there isn’t any issue with the game?
There are some, but not from a technical level. You won’t experience FPS drops. I didn’t find a single glitch or bug. The issue with the game is the lack of effort made to make it visually attractive. Yes, the cards look cool and all of them are very detailed, but characters are not. They look ok, but the console is powerful enough to deliver more. And there isn’t any excuse to use ok-ish models, because we don’t even get to explore the world like in previous games. The story is presented by robot historian INF-N8 in a pseudo comic style, very cartoony, but at least HD. All duels are divided in an endless list in a simple menu, and that’s about it.
This issue also persist in battles. Card effects and animations are ok, but minimal. We only get to see some really short cut scenes when using special cards and they are no longer than 5 seconds. I must be honest, it is hard to complain about this because long animations would interrupt the flow of the battle, but that’s easily fixable by allowing the player to skip them. We don’t even get a clip after completing a duel. The game doesn’t do any effort to close the gap between the anime and the digital game, it simply allows you to play it in a chronological order hoping you get hooked in the online competitive scene.
Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist is the latest version of one of the best card dueling games for your next gen console. You will be able to build custom decks, play competitively against others online, relive the anime and play a massive amount of hours. This is a surprisingly good package for die-hard fans and interested newcomers. Just don’t expect anything extra to attract people who doesn’t like the franchise.