After the abomination that was Reshef of Destruction,
i decided to see if Konami learned from their mistakes on the same platform.


2 years after the US release of Reshef, they made “Yu-Gi-Oh! GX - Duel Academy” in January 2006 in Japan and the US for the GBA.
It’s not know if it got a proper release in Europe though…
Very few copies were released in Europe and only in the UK∕Germany it seems.

This game is based on season 1 of the then-new Yu-Gi-oh! GX series.
You play as you in the Duel Academy and you got selected after impressing the councellor.

The goal is to score high at the exams and duel everyone you encounter.
I mean, EVERYONE. And don’t waste time !

Anyway unlike Reshef of Destruction, the game starts you with a tutorial…
except that it is excessive in lengh and content.
Nobody will want to sit and watch for 3O minutes watching the CPU play the game for us…

I skipped it anyway because i already know how to play Yu-Gi-Oh!.
Speaking of the game itself, it is a much better recreation of the card game than
Reshef which screwed over the rules.


No crappy continuous monster effect detection, better graphics, managing your deck
is more pleasing than it was in Reshef and overall, it feels much more polished than previous games.

Getting cards is much easier than it was in Reshef and much more fair.
Plus, you start with 3000DP thanks to your parents which makes things easier.

Unfortunately, where the game fails is the plot.
Simply put most of the time, you’re on your own and not much happens.
It’s slow-paced and outside of dueling, there’s not much to do.
Clearly, it was an after-thought for Konami.


After a while, you need to pass a test at the academy.
The “Theorical” test can not be easy, even if you know the game well,
and you have limited time to answer each question.
The “Practical” test is easy though, just make sure to destroy at least 10 monsters by battle.


I got the perfect score of 500/500.
Despite this, they let me know that i’m still an “Apprentice” because i did not duel enough people !

If you want to study segregation, this is the game you need to play.
Silfer Red is the lowest-ranked of the three dorms and most people there drop out.
Your professor even goes as far as to conspire against them and trick them into expelling them !


Then you have people like Chazz Princeton treating you like the lowest of the scums,
because you’re a Silfer red and Alexis Rhodes calling you weak, even tho you beat the shit of them at the exams.

If you don’t “upgrade”, then you can’t talk them, simple.

Anyway, i didn’t finish the game because it’s too slow-paced and kind of boring.
Especially since i’ve also played Yu-Gi-Oh Tag Force for the PSP,
which is in the same vein but so much better.


Also, the music is a bit better in quality : it certainly does not sound like a Game boy color game,
which Reshef did at times unfortunely…

Conclusion

It’s a marked improvement over the prequels but i would recommend you play the newer games in the series instead.
If you have a GBA though and you want to play a Yu-Gi-Oh game, it’s probably your only option.
Be careful though because the game can be expensive, especially the European version complete with box.