Dated Review - Yu-Gi!-Oh!: Legacy of the Duelist

Dated Review - Yu-Gi!-Oh!: Legacy of the Duelist

People often don't ask me what I think of things. They give many varied and valid reasons. You're not entertaining, you're too stuck in your ways and the cherry on top 'you like what I don't'.

For my group of followers, I'm sorry to disappoint you now - I have crap taste. I liked the latest pokemon, I like lime flavoured milk AND I like the AFLW. Nice bit of cross-promotion there. I can taste the ad-revenue now.

It is this absence of taste that led me to try Yu-Gi!-Oh!: Legacy of the Duelist. Incidentally that's a wicked pain to type out every time, so I'm going to shorten it to YGO from now on. Okay? Okay.

Growing up I played several of the Konami YGO games. They started out simple and were a very basic parody of the trading card game. As the game slowly evolved, got more popular and people clamoured for more - and more that actually resembled the paper trading card game - the games became more advanced. They more closely resembled the card game.

Now, both Hearthstone AND Magic have demonstrated that you don't have to sacrifice quality in order to have an excellent online TCG application. Both make money hand over fist, have a dedicated playerbase, successful streamers and esports backgrounds. The key element is the polish these applications have, in addition to the quality of the game itself. I've spoken at volume about what 'feel' can add to a video game - the snappiness of the interface, the catharsis of windmill slamming a 'card' onto the board - these things matter.

For an example of why these things matter, look no further than YGO: Legacy of the Duelist.

Where to start - the interface is all mucked up, using different fonts, not having a proper cursor (using the default windows one - ugh). The deck editor uses text boxes that look like they come from Windows XP. The button prompts are mundane. The entire thing feels totally unfinished and underdone - like daddy Konami decided that the D-list studio had been given enough time and they should try and make whatever return on investment they could.

There's a half-hearted attempt at a 'story' mode which feels like a power-point presentation, with no voice lines - just lines of text, character cutouts put over a static background. I'm not sure what I expected, but I know I didn't want this. Whilst I can appreciate that legacy of the duelist is intended to be closer to an online TCG offering, if you're going to include a story mode, there's merit in putting more than thirty seconds into it and not constructing it out of lego. Between this and the UI, I'm amazed I'm playing a Konami IP game at all - the whole thing feels like it could run in a web-browser - at least then it might not feel so bloody out of place.

Of course, much like Duelyst and other fringe TCG offerings, quality gameplay can save you from the executioner's axe. Can, but doesn't. Admittedly as a fan of the game I didn't need a tutorial, but the tutorial offering is pretty rubbish. Add to that the fact that if you have a spell or trap card that has a conditional activation clause, the game will prompt you non-stop between every phase to ask if you'd like to activate it - and isn't clear about how to adjust that setting. Admittedly that was resolved with a thirty second google search, but I shouldn't have to do that to prevent your game from being so irritating I'd like to bore out my brain with a drill.

I'm not going to go so far as to call this title an insult to YGO, because father Konami has much worse up its sleeve. But considering the pedigree of games like Forbidden Memories, Duelists of the Roses and a handful of other diamonds in the rough, I expected more. Its one redeeming feature is that aside from DLC, everything else in the game is acquired at quite rapid pace. You don't have to spend money on card packs - although that would probably be even more of a reason to go thermonuclear if you had to pay for packs.

Overall I don't recommend this to hardcore YGO fans - even with its faithful recreation of the card game. I picked it up and put it down inside a week and didn't click with it. I wouldn't expect many people to click with it unless they played the card game religiously and weren't looking to dip their toe in to enjoy the flavor imparted to them by the television program.

One to avoid, for sure.

Catch you next time,
Vulkan

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Rowan Naveau

About Rowan Naveau

I'm Rowan (Vulkan) - and this is my blog. Here you'll find a stream of consciousness about video games, wargaming and just about everything else.