Yu-Gi-Oh was at first only a Manga.
Only in the late nineties did they agree to expand the series to make real cards, anime and of course, video games.
I won’t cover all the Yu-Gi-Oh games mind you, only some of them.
The first Yu-Gi-Oh game ever released was Yu-Gi-Oh! Monster Capsule: Breed and Battle for the PS1.
I never played the game but it looks like a tactical rpg game. (with some virtual pet elements, according to some ppl)
The odd thing is that the monsters look nothing like the real cards or even the anime.
It’s quite an oddity for me.
Yu-Gi-Oh Duel Monsters
Yu-Gi-Oh Duel Monsters for the Game Boy is the first game that tries to implement the rules of Yu-Gi-Oh.
It’s also one of the later GB games that support the Super Game Boy borders.
Of course, the game had to be quite downsized :
No monster effects, magic spells are very simplified etc…
The overall game itself also plays very slowly and can be at times very unforgiving, like here for example :
I was playing against Bakura and he summoned Blue-Eyes White Dragon like it was a normal monster. O_O
However, there’s a trick to get rid of it : If your monster field is full, the game requires you to place a monster anyway.
In this case, the cpu always ends up putting the monster over the Blue-eyes dragon. (lol)
So that’s how i was able to beat him.
The game requires you to beat each duelists 5 times ! Yikes…
I did that, but then the game throws at me more duelists to my face !
I beat them like 10 times each but the game won’t let me continue…
Considering the Gameboy’s limitations, it’s not a bad first attempt.
Managing the deck is also not too hard, despite the language barrier.
I absolutely love the graphics, the characters are nicely drawn.
But the game itself does not look so hot.
Yu-Gi-Oh : Dark Duel Stories
Here’s what is probably the first Yu-Gi-Oh translated in several languages : English, German and French.
This one uses the same engine as the first one, with some differences.
Except this one you don’t get to have Super Game Boy borders :’(
Compared to the B&W game,
you need here to explicitly end the turn whereas on the previous game, you needed to do so by setting each monster’s position each turn.
However, this game is even more difficult than the first one was.
The first one had limitations that could be used to work around that but this one will not fool you around.
They also give you crappy monster cards as rewards whereas in the first game, you could get several blue-eyes white dragon.
Even though it’s in color, i don’t like how they re-colored the monsters or everything else for that matter.
They picked the brightest colors they could, it seems.
I dislike this one even more so than the first one.
Yu-Gi-Oh : Forbidden Memories
Most people are familiar with this one,
even though it was released quite late in the PS1’s lifespan.
Interestingly enough :
the Japanese version was released 3~4 years before the US/PAL release.
It’s infamous for being brutally difficult, with CPU opponents often having better cards than you could wish to have.
(Looking at you, Henshin !!!)
The game also differs from the TCG rules (and the anime) by allowing you to combine monsters to create new monsters.
However, doing so means that you are closer to being decked out…
It also restricts you to placing one card each turn so forget about using magic spells, you’ll get mauled by the enemy.
It’s better than the old Game Boy games but not by much…
After this, several (tons) GBA games were released. One of them is even based on the GX Anime series !
Sadly, i played none of them extensively. Maybe i will do a review of some of them in the future.
Yu-Gi-Oh! Power of Chaos: Yugi the Destiny Power of Chaos was released at discount shops in Europe such as Gifi for the low price of 10$.
However, this game is perhaps the biggest travesty i have ever played.
Simply put : there’s only one opponent, no animations, no story, NOTHING !
It’s more boring than the Gameboy games i swear !
Yu-Gi-Oh : Nightmare Troubadour
Nightmare Troubadour is quite an improvement over Forbidden Memories, let alone the GBA games.
Managing your deck with the stylus is much easier and the graphics were also vastly improved.
It doesn’t an amazing storyline (even though it’s based on the old Anime series) but it still makes things a bit more interesting.
It becomes quite boring after you defeated Gozaburo and Noah though.\
At the time, i was complaining about the lack of support for Wi-fi.
(it was released shortly before Mario Kart NDS)
However, this does not matter now as servers are now dead. Interesting note : the game has some kind of a primitive “love” system.
The more duel and trade cards with him, the more he/she likes you.
Hell, you can even befriend with Pegasus !
At the time, this was a great addition to the NDS’s library. (especially at launch)
It did not aged very well in my opinion though, especially compared to newer installments.
Then after Nightmare Troubadour…
After Nightmare Troubadour, tons and tons of Yu-Gi-Oh games were released for the NDS (and the PSP).
They weren’t received well by the press, especially since most of them were rehashes of Nightmare troubadour.
After the last 5D’s game was released in 2011, we got no Yu-Gi-Oh games until Legacy of the Duelists came out.
I heard that it’s a pretty good game but sadly, i haz no monez.
Yu-Gi-Oh : Duel Links
Duel Links is perhaps the biggest leap to Yu-Gi-Oh games since Nightmare Troubadour.
The online-aspect of the game, even though it’s quite minimal, makes it hard to go back to the old games.
Compared to the original board game, some changes were made :
This might sound like they crippled the game but in the real game,
you rarely have more than 3 monsters on the field anyway.
Plus, it’s makes it easier to make a comeback victory.
The game has a PvP arena where you can fight friends or random opponents.
I would lie if i said that all duels run smoothly but most of the time, they do.
(even with a crappy wifi connection)
The game also contains a chat but it contains a filter for swear words.
(my guess is that Apple imposed it to Konami and Konami brought that “feature” to the Android version as well)
Most of the time is not spent in the PvP arena though, even though you could.
Instead, you farm for cards and gems by fighting CPU opponents.
They respawn every 4 hours or when you fill all the missions objective. What keeps you entertained are the numerous events this game has.
Sometimes, it’s the boring ones like the additional Bonus but sometimes,
it’s a bit more involved like the Pegasus, Bakura or the KC Cup.
It’s not a perfect game…
Some events mostly look like the same right now and once you reach a high stage, there’s not much to do.
But it’s mildly entertaining for most people.
It has micro-transitions but it’s only to respawn enemies faster or buy more cards via the shop.
I would suggest you give it a try.
(unless you boycott Konami due to the Kojima fallout)