Platforms Xbox One, Playstation 4
Developer Other Ocean Interactive Publisher Konami
Genre Card Game Platform Played Xbox One
Legacy of the Duelist is the latest Yu-Gi-Oh! game to be released, and the first on current generation consoles. The sheer amount of content found in this title is nearly baffling, and will keep fans busy for hours on end.
Staying true to its recent predecessors, the latest rules for the TCG are in effect, as are all cards, past and present. In addition to this, the title has some striking similarities to Resident Evil’s Umbrella Chronicles and Darkside Chronicles games on the Nintendo Wii in that Legacy of the Duelist allows you to play through the stories of each Yu-Gi-Oh! era, taking part in key battles and giving you an overview of plot developments. While dueling mindlessly or in the name of some vague tournament is fine, being given a reason to duel is slightly more satisfying. In order to maintain the authenticity of these key battles, some dialogue and context is given prior to and after the battle, but if you choose to play with the “story deck,” you actually duel with the character’s deck from that time. Your other option is to duel with a deck of your own construction, which would likely be far more powerful. Regardless of your choice, the opponent will play with their story deck so the battle will be at least 50% historically accurate. This may seem like a minor and unimportant detail, but it can be interesting to observe the evolution of a protagonist’s (or even antagonist’s) deck over the course of the show. There is also something to be said about trying to pull out an iconic win using the same cards played in a nail-biting battle from the television series.
Legacy of the Duelist offers four campaigns, each representing one of the unique series from the television show. There is the classic campaign which follows Yugi Moto, GX with Jaden Yuki, 5D‘s starring Yusei Fodo, and lastly the ZEXAL story which focuses on Yuma Tsukumo. There is technically a fifth campaign involving ARC-V but it acts solely as a tutorial for pendulum summoning. You are able to play through any of the various campaigns at any time, although you must complete the duels in chronological order within each campaign, as the next battle does not unlock until you have completed its predecessor. Not only does this approach provide players with some semblance of a plot, but also presents an enjoyable difficulty scale, ensuring that the earlier battles familiarize new or rusty players with all of the mechanics. In an interesting twist, after completing a campaign duel, the reverse duel is unlocked, allowing you to play as the antagonist in the same scenario you just completed. While it can be challenging to win duels with a character’s story deck, allowing the player to instead battle with their own custom deck prevents a scenario from becoming so difficult it removes the fun from the title. There is always a large percentage of luck associated with all trading card games, which is still present in Legacy of the Duelist, so simply losing once or twice due to terrible hands or having your opponent play Destiny Board on their first turn (which actually happened to me while I played) should not deter you from trying to play with story decks. However, eventually there comes a time when you may grow tired of seeing the same one-two combo destroy everything you have on the field and wish to defeat the opponent with relative ease.
As you progress through the campaigns, various booster packs are unlocked, allowing you to spend the points you earn in duels to pick up new cards. The mystery and allure of opening booster packs is kept alive as each new card is flipped over one at a time with a moment of hesitation before revealing the final, rare card. Each booster pack has a pool of cards it draws from, generally with several themes so you will be unlocking cards which work well with one another. Unfortunately the game does not reveal which cards or strategies each booster pack contains, so it takes some trial and error to deduce which cards are found in which packs.
While building your custom decks, the game does everything it can to streamline the process. Given the number of cards which exist in the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG, trying to sift through each one without any kind of organization would be enough to make even the most devoted fan stop playing. For this reason, all of the cards in your trunk may be organized via qualities such as attack, card type, and card name. In addition to this, you may also search for cards with very specific criteria such as attributes, levels, attack and defense, and pendulum values. Between the two organizational methods, finding ideal cards to fill your deck is a breeze, even if you are not entirely familiar with a large portion of the current cards. The game also has symbols to identify any limits or restrictions on cards including banned cards. If you do not wish to create your own deck, but want to use an opponent’s deck, that is a possibility as well. Like in previous titles, you gain the recipe for an opponent’s deck after besting them in the campaign, and providing you have all of the cards needed to create the deck, the push of a button will form their deck for you.
In addition to the significant number of campaign battles, there are also duelist challenges, online multiplayer (both ranked and unranked), and booster pack duels. The latter of these is the most intriguing as within the game type, there are still two vastly different options. You may choose to duel against the computer after completing a draft of cards stemming from opening up several booster packs, or you may choose to play with all of the cards in several unopened booster packs, making your deck a complete mystery. This does a phenomenal job ensuring that two duels are never the same and can provide a true challenge to those who believe their skills rank them in the higher echelons of duelists.
One new detail found in Legacy of the Duelist is the brief animation which plays when a strong, iconic monster destroys an opponent’s monster on the field. The first few times you encounter one of these creatures rendered in 3D above the playing field, it is a charming quality and can even intensify an epic comeback. However, after the tenth, fiftieth, or hundredth time you have seen these monsters appear, you realize that they have lost their charm and serve more as an irritation than anything else, prolonging the duel unnecessarily. These unskippable scenes only portray the strong monster performing an attack, and do not show anything being destroyed. Thankfully, these clips only play when one of these monsters destroying another monster on the field, so any direct attacks show nothing of the sort.
Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist provides an authentic dueling experience, containing all the cards produced to date, all current rules and regulations, and offering more content than any previous Yu-Gi-Oh! title. With the number of game modes available, any fan of the TCG will be kept busy for a relatively long time, being capable of entertaining for several hours straight or killing a couple of minutes when you have some time to spare. The strongest feature of the title is the ability for players to duel their way through each series. Receiving pertinent information before and after duels, meeting characters only when they hold importance, and utilizing the actual decks used at those same moments in the television series is a phenomenal way to include all previous Yu-Gi-Oh! seasons and reach the broadest fanbase possible. The most noticeable shortcoming of the title is the iconic monster animations, as the charm wears off quickly and leaves you with something you are forced to sit through every time a powerful monster launches an attack at a creature. The current price tag of $19.99 may seem steep to casual fans, but those who love the series will undoubtedly find the content more than justifies the cost. Legacy of the Duelist provides countless hours of monster-destroying, synchro-summoning, life point-damaging, dueling fun.
- Wide variety of game modes available
- Reliving key duels adds significant payoff to victory
- Deck creation is streamlined through filters and organization
- Reverse duels add unique twist to campaigns
- Brief cinematics during duels are unskippable
- No way of knowing which booster packs draw from which pool of cards
The Score: 8.8
Eric is an Xbox editor for Analog Addiction where you can find all the latest gaming news, previews, reviews, and everything else that rhymes with those words. ‘Like’ Analog Addiction on Facebook to receive all of the updates as they’re posted.