Review: Yu-Gi-Oh Legacy of the Duelist
by Bryan Scheidler
From the very first time I tried trading card games (a.k.a. TCG’s) like Yu-gi-oh or Magic the Gathering I have been a fan. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any friends willing to invest the time or money into the games. That being the case, I would try every digital version of a TCG that would be released, which brings me to the latest Yu-Gi-Oh game from Konami. Konomi just released their Yu-Gi-oh magnum opus of video games, and I had to check it out. A big thanks to Konami for sending me the game so I could give it a try, but the real question is how does it stack up?
Gameplay: The best way to describe the gameplay is smooth. To say that in general, TCG has a lot of variation in the rules is an understatement and Yu-Gi-Oh might just be the king of unique card rules. However, players of all skill levels have no problem picking up this game and understanding how to play. The only thing that really breaks up the game play is the function of spells and traps. The game is fully aware of what cards you currently have in hand or in play and continually asks if you want to use them. While it can seem to get out of hand, it is a necessary evil for this kind of game. The only real gameplay mechanic issue I have is accidental moves. Sometimes if you tell the game, you want to do something because you hit the wrong button you have the opportunity to cancel that decision, as in the case with spells or traps. However, If you accidentally tell the game to summon a creature but haven’t placed it, there is no way to back out, and you are stuck. Yes, this is nitpicking since it is more an issue of player error, but sometimes I just really needed to cancel a move and wasn’t able to. That is the crux of my complaints with the gameplay though, I make mistakes, and the game doesn’t always allow me to change course. Just to be perfectly clear, my biggest complaint in gameplay is that I’m not a better player or not careful with what button I push on the controller.
Graphics and Storyline: Like most video games, the graphics and storyline go hand in hand. Visually the game is simple. It is simple during the actual gameplay and simple during the story elements. I personally found this a nice change from other games I have played where the graphics are distracting and were more of a focus during the game’s development than the gameplay. The story has players re-enacting the iconic duels from all of the seasons of the various Yu-Gi-Oh stories. The stories are simply told with static images that look like they could have been character images pulled directly from the show. No fancy cut scenes to watch, just simple text-based storytelling. The best part, you can skip the entire thing quickly if you have seen it or don’t want to watch. I found myself skipping most of the story elements from the original Yu-Gi-Oh series but watching everything I wasn’t familiar with. One thing about the game taking players through all the duels from the series is that for players familiar with those duels, you have a massive advantage over people that are new to the property. For example, the battle city duel vs. the rare hunter with the Exodia deck was super easy for me since I knew what his deck was about. All in all, the familiar story with graphics that are not distracting is a huge plus.
Learning Curve: TCG’s are notorious for having a steep learning curve. Yes, the basic gameplay is straight forward. How to play the different cards and what order things take place in are all very easy and quick to learn, but after that things get complicated. When I say, complicated understand this isn’t in a bad or frustrating way but stems from the depth of unique cards in the game. Even the basic cards that have no special rules, when used in combination with spells and traps and other monsters can require a whole new level of thinking. This is true for most TCG’s and isn’t limited to Yu-Gi-Oh, but considering that this is the complete collection of YGO cards, it can get a little overwhelming at times. The other part of learning the game is deck creation. Looking for an excellent way to spend a few hours, try building a deck after you’ve unlocked a bunch of cards. The game will always let you play with character decks, but the task of building your own deck and making it yours is a complicated joy.
With all of that being said, I can honestly say I have loved my time playing this game. I find it to be the perfect game to unwind with at the end of the day. The beauty of it being on the switch is I can be as lazy as possible while playing it and still have a great time. The biggest issue with this game in my opinion currently isn’t a problem, and that is additional content. The game has no planned content updates (although that could change, don’t hold your breath) but at the moment there is nothing else to add. Konami set out to make this the most complete Yu-Gi-Oh game possible, and it is. Every card is in the game, no required expansion packs, no need to spend additional money to unlock things, it is all in there. Will there come a day when this game is missing content, of course. However, I don’t expect to feel like anything is lacking in this game for years to come. My Nintendo Switch will most likely die before I have fully exhausted this game and what it offers.