Available on: PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Release Date: July 30th 2015 (Xbox One), July 31st (PS4)
Genre: Card & Board Game
Legacy of The Duelist is the latest in a long line of games based on the Yu-Gi-Oh card game phenomenon, a strategic game in which players battle with decks of cards. It’s based off a manga, or comic if you will, which spawned a long running anime TV series and a real life card game which is by far the most popular in the world of its kind. It all might sound like a game based on a specialist interest or even a niche title, so how does Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist appeal to both fans and non-fans alike?
I’ll start by saying I’m in that ‘non-fan’ camp, I’m not into the Yu-Gi-Oh franchise overall as I’ve never read the manga nor watched the anime. Even as far as the video games are concerned I’ve only played Forbidden Memories from back in the original PlayStation days and Duelists of The Roses on PlayStation 2 – the latter of which I really didn’t get along with. So after 14 years I decided to try the latest game mostly because the story mode consists of four ‘arcs’ and follows key moments of the manga and anime series – the original Yu-Gi-Oh, then GX, 5D’s and finally ZEXAL, which all meant absolutely nothing to me before I bought the game. What appealed to me most is that the original card game can be played – the one I enjoyed – and then for people like me who don’t have a clue what’s going on it gradually introduces the rules to each new game mode and gives a short narrative on key parts of the story as well.
Legacy of The Duelist costs £16 in the UK and I believe $20 in the US, and for those on the fence a demo is available that covers the opening tutorial of the absolute original card game in the story mode and you can then play the next match unaided too, which is plenty to help you decide whether or not to buy the game.
The gameplay is simple yet entertaining, the aforementioned tutorial does a great job of introducing you to how the basics work and then matches gradually get harder and each opponent offers new challenges for you to overcome. Some are as simple as just having better cards, others require you to win the match before certain parameters are met. As you progress through the story and win matches you gain rewards such as new character avatars, battle decks and individual cards, which brings me to my main gripe with the game – you can get very good cards incredibly early in the game and build a near unbeatable deck after only a handful of victories. For example you obtain a Blue-Eyes White Dragon after only the second battle, which is one of the best cards in the Yu-Gi-Oh universe. From there you can gain powerful magic cards which aid your regular monster cards, for example one which completely wipes out any attacking opposition cards, of which a friend and I had three in our deck of 40 cards after 10 matches or so. By the end of the first story arc we had an incredible deck, in fact one that consisted of many cards that we’d never been able to obtain after hundreds of hours playing Forbidden Memories, and that took away a lot of the challenge particularly during early battles. Graphics and the background battle tracks are poor for a current-gen game too while we’re here.
We only briefly played the second GX arc after finishing the first one, but this is seemingly very similar to the first part of the game with minor tweaks added in. What’s odd about this is the first match was again a tutorial, this time about fusing two cards together to make a more powerful single card, but this was something we’d figured out by ourselves about 25 matches beforehand. But even so our time spent with the game was enjoyable and addictive, we played it for ten hours straight before calling it a night and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Over-powerful decks aside Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of The Duelist is a great game for fans of the franchise and anyone with a passing interest in card-based games. Not only do you get four story arcs each consisting of about 30 battles but a single battle mode and online multiplayer, so you get a ton of content for what is a reasonably priced downloadable game considering what you get for your money. So with all that said this is a highly recommended game, at least try the demo if you’re even vaguely interested or check out this gameplay footage of me playing the game:
£16/$20 is a steal for what you get
Which is four story arcs to play through, online multiplayer and 6600+ cards to discover
A great tutorial eases in those who haven’t played Yu-Gi-Oh! before
It’s far to easy to build a killer deck
Tutorials are oddly spaced out, explaining things you mastered hours beforehand
Graphics and background music is a bit pants