8 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Yugioh Double Pack Review


It’s time to look at a Yugioh game that has been on the backburner for an extremely long amount of time. I remember playing this game for ages a super long time ago. I wish it kept track of the play time because it must have been at least 20 hours. Neither one of these games are short and they are both quite challenging. Reshef of Destruction in particular is extremely difficult and it’s a game with an almost impossible final boss. This is definitely one of the best Yugioh games I’ve ever played though and the duo probably has the best plot.

First up is The Sacred Cards. This game basically has the Battle City plot from Yugioh. A big tournament is underway which Kaiba is using to get the 3 Egyptian God Cards as well as to prove that he’s better than Yugi. The main character of the game enters the tournament as well and slowly but surely he begins to wreck every single character in the series. One fun thing about games where they make up an original character is that he is always unbelievably broken. Seriously, there is nobody who can even begin to challenge him which is pretty crazy. Can the main character stop Marik and his plans?

In the Reshef of Destruction game we get a completely original story which takes place after The Sacred Cards. It’s pretty cool that the games have a continuity. Well, the lead has saved the day but a mysterious villain known as Reshef is quickly approaching and threatens to plunge the world into darkness. Pegasus seems to be involved in this somehow and even Kaiba/Yugi are unable to stop him. It looks like they’ll have to call in the real champ to solve this issue, but can even Terry take this guy down? Seeing as how I was unable to beat the final boss I suppose the answer to that will have to be no this time. I’ll go more into that final boss in a second, but needless to say he is completely broken.

Both games have effectively the same gameplay and style which is why I figured I would go over both plots first. The gameplay is about as smooth as I’ve ever seen Yugioh. To date my favorite game in terms of gameplay is World Championship 2004 or 06 while my favorite aesthetic is Tag Force. This one isn’t quite able to top both of those, but it is able to keep up. One nice enhancement is that the game quickly auto scans the field after every turn instead of giving you prompts so it only gives you the option to use a spell card when it’s applicable. The turns go by very quickly as well. Using the back button to look at the details is a little odd so that takes some getting used to, but it’s fine.

One difference in this game compared to others is that you have to get strong enough to use various cards. Your duelist level and deck capacity goes up as you win duels. So for example you may need 250 deck space to use someone like the Summoned Skull and your Duelist level would need to be at least 50. I suppose this is to prevent you from going to the shop and assembling an intense deck but I don’t really care for this mechanic. Maybe I should specify that it is the execution which is a little dodgy. The concept could have worked but by the end game your level only goes up by one per duel and same for the capacity. It would take forever at that rate to ever get anywhere near where you would need to be to get some good cards. It’s pretty sad to have so many cards sitting in the trunk just waiting for their turn at bat. I had some great cards in Reshef which I never got to use because they were so high leveled. Keep in mind that I got to level 200+ but that still wasn’t enough.

The Sacred Cards was a difficult game but not an unfair one. With enough strategies and planning you could really end up having your way with the villains. That was more up my speed and I can tell you that it worked out quite nicely. I built a fire deck with a health amount of trap cards and I was set. As for Reshef, from early on you can tell it’l be tricky. For starters, your health points don’t regenerate between duels. This means that in some sections of the game you will have to beat up to 4 duelists in a row without gaining life points. This means you have to destroy them and even with a great deck it’s hard to show that much dominance. It took me ages to get to that point.

There’s also a new mechanic added into the game which are the type advantages. Effectively how it works is they surpass attack points. If you’ve got a fire monster with 4000 attack points and I have a water one with 200, my water type will bypass damage calculation and just destroy yours automatically. I’m guessing the game did this to counter how powerful some of the monsters are, but I don’t think it was a good idea. At the end of the day all it really did was widen the gap because the computers would really take advantage of this. I think now’s a good time to talk about the final boss and why he is easily the toughest boss I have ever faced. First off, this guy has 10,000 lift points. Next up, he has the Change of Heart spell which he will always save to snipe one of your strongest monsters. It’s hard to have any counter play to this and he can usually win the match here since it comes at such a dangerous point in the duel.

He’s also got a second version of this where he absorbs your monster and adds it to his own. Then he’s got two copies of Swords of Revealing Light which prevent all of your monsters from attacking for 3 turns. Good luck surviving this long because he can still attack during this period which can go up to 6 turns. He’s also got the wave trap which erases all of your spells and traps as well as a card that wipes out your hand. Basically no card you have anywhere is safe which adds another layer of stress. So good luck trying to beat this guy when odds are that you won’t have a high enough duelist level to use most of those abilities. They’re all just too broken and the fact that he has all of them at once is crazy.

Nevertheless, after about 50-60 rounds with him I won…or did I? After you wipe out his 10,000 life points he instantly revives. This time he has 20,000 life points. He’s got all of the cards he had before except there is one big change. He now has the God Cards in his deck. If he summons one then it’s basically game over for you. God Cards have more attack power than anything in your deck and they can’t be affected by spells or trap cards. How does a villain have this in his deck when you should possess the only copies of those cards? The whole thing is crazy and your life points don’t recover as I mentioned earlier so you’re fighting a guy at 2X power while you may be at half strength. I only made it up to this guy 2-3 times total and I got blasted away each time. Outside of codes and such he seems almost impossible to defeat nowadays. You’d need an incredible deck to put him down.

The graphics are fun enough. It’s got a nice chibi style that flows well with the story. The illustrations we get are nice and there are a good amount of backgrounds to enjoy. I do think a solid amount of effort was put into these two games and they’ve aged really well. The soundtrack is a little more on the forgettable side though. Despite the shows having excellent soundtracks I feel like the games have always been quite a few steps behind. Only Tag Force had an awesome soundtrack all the way through.

You don’t need to worry about length. As I mentioned both of the games are pretty long. You’ll be playing for a very long while as you increase your level and improve your deck. Your deck has to be incredibly powerful to even stand a chance against the villains at the end of the game. For replay value there are a bunch of post game duelists to contend with and naturally you can expect those guys to be crazy strong as well. If you are able to take them down then you will have really proven your Yugioh skills beyond a doubt.

Overall, Yugioh Double Pack is really a steal. It’s bringing two RPGs inside one cartridge for a very small price. It’s just hard to beat that, especially when both games are top tier even if the final boss for Reshef is a little too powerful. I’m sure it will feel great when you do eventually defeat him, but that’ll probably take a very long time. He’s not the kind of enemy you can just show up and defeat without a plan.

Overall 8/10

6 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Yugioh 7 Trials to Glory: World Championship Tournament 2005 Review


It’s time for another Yugioh game as I get closer to playing through them all. This one goes back to the whole calendar system which still should not be a thing if you ask me. It’s one of the World Championship titles too which is odd because those are usually all about just taking out all of the duelists a bunch of times and calling it a day. Why mess with a good thing? The actual gameplay is still pretty solid but it feels like there just isn’t a whole lot to do here so you’re spinning your wheels a lot.

There really isn’t much of a plot to be found here. You are playing as a new kid on the block who is going around dueling everyone. As you beat more and more players you feel a sense of pride and accomplishment. There are also tournaments you can enter on the weekend. That’s really just about it as far as plot goes. Keep on dueling and having fun. Unlike the other Yugioh game a day doesn’t end here until you click on the bed and go to sleep. That means you can have a ton of duels in a single day if you’d like. There really isn’t much of a rush either as you can’t even see the calendar so it’s hard to say if there is an end game. There didn’t seem to be any kind of change for me even after playing through a few weeks. It was the same tournaments every weekend and the same duelists on the block.

So I went around town dueling as many people as I could. For the most part the duelists around town are made to be very easy so you can beat them with your starter deck. It makes sense since our deck isn’t all that powerful. You’ve got some great spells and traps like Trap Hole and Change of Heart but most of your monsters are pretty bottom of the barrel so it’s hard to deal with stronger opponents. A good example of this was in the tournament when I fought Mako. That guy’s cards were just way above my own. My spells carried me to a victory in one round but he won the set 2-1.

Around town the characters have monsters with numbers like 800 attack points so there isn’t much of a threat. You don’t directly get cards for winning in this game but you do get money after every duel so that is very helpful. I bought a bunch of packs and in theory the best way to really get a good deck in this game is to keep farming wins off of the weaker opponents. Do this long enough and you should have a winning combo before long.

The problem again is that there isn’t too much of an incentive to doing so. I assume that winning tournaments and beating duelists enough will cause new ones to appear or do something but without knowing that for sure there isn’t a great reason for continuing to duel. That’s often the problem with no story mode. At least nowadays you can duel online to still feel like there is some kind of end game but that wasn’t really an option back in the day. I’d say making some kind of internal goal for yourself like beating every duelist once makes sense, but it’s not quite the same.

The graphics are pretty solid here. There’s not a whole lot for the game to really do with them since not a lot is happening on screen, but I’d say what we do have looks solid. You certainly won’t be confused as to what is happening at any given point or anything like that. The music is also catchy enough to enhance your dueling experience which is all that I would ask of it. It’s not the most impressive Yugioh game out there, but still a solid way to learn the game and have some fun in the mean-time. The actual UI is better than some of the other titles.

Again, it’s hard to really talk about the length since it’ll depend on how you handle this. I’d say that the game is probably about 2-3 hours if you just want to go and duel a bunch of people. If you want to get good enough cards to win some tournaments then you’ll probably need to increase that to around 10 hours. It will really depend on a ton of factors though like what cards you get from the shop or how good you are at building your deck. I imagine that most people’s decks will look incredibly different as they go through the game.

Overall, Yugioh 7 Trials to Glory is a fun game. It may not have changed the world the way that some of the other Yugioh games did, but I’d make the case that it is still a fair experience. You can buy this game for a few dollars at this point so you really can’t go wrong here. That being said, I’d advise you to get one of the other World Championship titles instead. I prefer having the tier system where as you get more and more wins you unlock stronger duelists. It makes for more of a linear campaign and that’s something I always like to see. Now I’ve only got one more GBA Yugioh game to work on, but it is by far the hardest Yugioh game I’ve played so beating this one should be tricky.

Overall 6/10

7 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Yugioh The Eternal Duelist Soul Review


It’s time to take a look at a GBA Yugioh game that I’m pretty sure I played back in the day. I remember going through tons of duels and really getting to master the strategies of taking them all on. The data even reset, but it’s been a long time so I went through the full first tier before doing this review. The game holds up quite well. What keeps it from being one of the definitive World Championship titles is the fact that the loading times are a little on the slow side compared to the others. You can hold B to speed things up, but then it’ll skip your chance to use trap cards which is risky. The game also constantly asks if you want to use the cards in your hand which is a little overdone.

There isn’t a plot in this game. How it works is you go to the campaign mode. There are 5 duelists you can challenge. Once you beat all 5 of them twice then you unlock the next 5 duelists. Beat all of them 3 times and you unlock tier 3. Rinse and repeat through the 5 tiers. So you can expect to get quite a lot of duels in. The duelist in Tier 1 are basically a cakewalk and you shouldn’t have a problem, but as you go through the tiers the difficulty level certainly spikes up. You’ll definitely need to re-tool your deck quite a bit as you go on and will have to hope for good cards through RNG. You get around 6-7 new ones every time you score a win.

Your starter deck is already quite nice though. You get a Monster Reborn card which is still one of the best in the whole franchise. You’ve also got Raigeki which destroys all opponent monsters, Trap Hole which destroys a new monster who has been summoned, Mystical Space Typhoon which blows up a spell or trap card on the opponent’s side of the field, etc. Your deck is quite loaded with the only weak point being the monsters as most of those are intentionally pretty weak. If you get your Summoned Skull onto the field you will be in good shape though. It’s a long process but by the end of the game your deck will be quite formidable indeed. In my experience the best thing to do is to always arm yourself with a ton of spells and trap cards. Those will really help the monsters out. The strongest monsters won’t do much if the opponent is constantly destroying them with effects after all.

The graphics are nice and fit the game pretty well. The UI is on point and everything is pretty streamlined. You can always tell what is happening even if there are minimal effects in the actual game. You don’t really need to be flashy in Yugioh because the gameplay is strong enough to stand up on its own. That being said, it is fun when the games go a bit extra in that like with Tag Force. Those games are really awesome in part because of how flashy they are. this game isn’t quite going to be in the same league. The soundtrack is also a bit on the dull side. You’ll want to put on some background music while playing this one to shake things up a bit.

There’s a lot of play time you’ll need to put into this game so you don’t have to worry about a lack of content. By the time you’ve beaten all of the duelist a number of times in order to unlock the next tier you’ll probably have played this game for 15-20 hours. When you put that into perspective then playing the 5 or so dollars to buy the game is a steal. Yugioh really had a ton of GBA games to the point where they are all dirt cheap to buy at this point. In comparison it feels like they don’t really make a lot of them anymore. That makes sense though because we have the mobile game now so there isn’t a lot of reason to make more of them. The mobile game has everything you could really hope for in a Yugioh title. That one has a ton of content to explore.

Overall, Yugioh The Eternal Duelist Soul is a really fun game. It’s a bit bare bones next to a lot of the other titles in the series, but if you judge the title on its own then it’s as good a game as you can hope for. I expect you’ll have a lot of fun here so long as you enjoy the Yugioh series in general. At the end of the day the actual card game has always been a lot of fun and I don’t really expect that to change anytime soon. Especially the original days where you don’t have to worry about too many combos. Synchro Summoning is about as complex as I get in my dueling strategies, anything past that I don’t really tend to include in my decks.

Overall 7/10

5 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Yugioh GX Duel Academy Review


It’s time to look at another game that uses the dreaded day system. I still cannot fathom why games would ever choose to use such a system. All it does is force you to miss out on huge amounts of the game so it’s like the developers are wasting their time adding a bunch of features that we’ll never get to use. The core Yugioh gameplay is still good which keeps this from being a negative game in the end, but it is heavily limited.

The story (albeit it there isn’t much of a story here) is about a new kid who has arrived at Duel Academy. He’s looking to perfect his craft and become one of the greatest duelists of all time. It’ll take a lot of semesters and training to do it, but practice makes perfect. That’s the extent of the game. Every few months you get to take an exam to try and rank up, but the questions are surprisingly tricky. I did well enough in the dueling part…I actually had a positive record. The problem is that if you don’t do very well in the written exam you go down in rank anyway. I thought this was a bit iffy, but I suppose it is what it is. After a bunch of duels and weeks went by I figured it was time for the review.

In terms of gameplay it’s the usual Yugioh rules that you should be familiar with. In every turn you get to summon a monster and play some spells or traps. The goal of the game is to get your opponent’s life points down from 8000 to 0. Once you do that you will have won the game and you get to duel the next person. Everyone’s always got a bunch of trap cards to play so you want to work around those. For example, always attack with the weakest monster first and if you have more than 1, put the others in defense mode. That way when Mirror Force is played you won’t lose all of your monsters. As you play more and more duels you’ll see why it’s very important to protect your backup monsters. Each day seems to have 3 segments so you can plan out quite a few duels per day. You then get to watch the week days go by with nothing happening except a chance to buy some cards at the shop. Then you go back to fighting off more duelists.

One thing that slows down the duels here though is the fact that the characters like to talk a lot. It’s an interesting idea but I think it should be done without interrupting the flow. I suppose voice acting would have been out of the question for a GBA game, but maybe have everyone talk as an intro instead of during the duel. I believe that would allow you to really get in on the dueling and not have to worry about the rest. I was pretty satisfied with my starter deck though. It had a lot of fun fire monsters that I always like to have along with some good traps and spells. I made a few modifications here and there, but mainly kept it in tact.

When it comes to the graphics I’d say that the game was pretty solid. you could always tell what was happening and the illustrations were nice. The dueling effects were good and we got a nice amount of backdrops. The soundtrack is also pretty good. It’s not quite ready to take on the GX anime ost or anything like that, but it has actual variety which is important since you’ll be dueling quite a lot.

This game’s got a long amount of time if you want to truly complete the game. It’s hard to say exactly what beating the game entails but I imagine you would need to conquer all of the exams and reach Blue Rank. Assuming you have a great deck and don’t mind restarting the game during exams a few times maybe you would clear this game in around 20 hours or so. Technically there is a ton of replay value to be had here as well. Obtaining all of the cards feels like it would probably take a life time to achieve. Furthermore you’ve got to abide by the day system so you can’t just go to the shop whenever you feel like it.

It really all comes back to that system. Not to be repetitive, but I don’t like having the game force me to only be able to do certain tasks at specific times. I like being able to choose what to do next. While games don’t have to be linear I also like to have a concrete goal so I know exactly what I am supposed to do and when I am supposed to do it. Things like that really go a long way in my eyes. I prefer the retro Yugioh style where it used to be that you would fight 5 duelists, beat all of them 5 times to unlock the next row and then rinse/repeat the system. At least that way you always knew you were making progress.

Overall, This is one of the weakest Yugioh games. It’s a shame because I love GX and really wanted it to have a solid game to fall back on. Unfortunately this is not the game to do that. Tag Force would end up being a better option to represent GX. This one feels more like a cash-in and there is little that it can offer in place of other titles. I would highly recommend getting one of the World Championship games instead like 2006 which is still my favorite one. Those have more direct goals and the gameplay is completely streamlined. That’s all I really need in my Yugioh games and then I’m a happy camper.

Overall 5/10

5 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Yugioh Duelist of the Roses Review


It’s time to look at what I’d say is easily the strangest Yugioh game. For starters the game has nothing to do with the actual characters from the series and the plot seems to be based on a war from a very long time ago. The story definitely isn’t very interesting and there isn’t much of one in the first place so the gameplay will have to hold the game up on its own. Will it be able to make this title a success?

When you start the game you are summoned as the legendary Rose duelist by the Red Rose army who are currently losing the battle against the White Rose. You are their last hope to try and turn the tide of the war. Seto, who is the leader of the White side shows up and asks you to join him instead to rule the world. This is where you make your choice of which faction to play as. The game is around 10-11 duels long and the path you take determines which array of fighters you will be contending with. The goal is to get all 8 of the cards by beating 8 guardians and there are some extra fighters along the way.

When you first start the game you get to choose your starter deck. All of them are pretty awful if you ask me and you can expect to lose quite a lot of duels at first. Your opponents have everything whole you’ve got basic cards that aren’t strong enough to win. What I was surprised about is that the computer already has significantly more powerful monsters at 2700 from the start while your guys are limited to 1500. Anyone who was able to beat these guys with a starter deck right off the bat has my respect on this one.

Another complication is that the game doesn’t even follow Yugioh rules. I was surprised about this because of you don’t have the rules or the characters then why is this a Yugioh game anyway? I should mention that the main connection in the story is that the characters happen to look like Yugioh characters…that’s it. It’s like when a show does a Christmas Carol and they are all not themselves for that one AU episode. This is the same concept and I guess you’ve got the monsters even if the gameplay is different.

The gameplays a bit complex, but here’s my best attempt at a solid write up. You start out with your captain or vanguard if you will. You can move him one space a time along a board that is fairly large. Around 10 by 6 or something like that. The goal is to destroy the opponent’s guardian. Both guardians always start with 4000 HP but that can go up or down based on spell and trap cards. If you attack the opponent directly then your attack power will determine how much health is lost. You can summon 1 monster per turn and that monster can move 1 space per turn unless it has a type advantage and then it can move two times. All of the opponents you fight will have the type advantage so expect them to always be moving two spaces at a time. A spell card to change the terrain comes in handy for this although they have a very limited range so they aren’t always too great. It’s still a good balancer in the right circumstance, but keep in mind that playing this spell will prevent you from summoning a monster that turn.

You gain 3 stars each turn and monsters require stars to summon. The strongest monsters need 8 stars so you can choose to either wait a few turns and summon them or keep on summoning weaker ones. Usually you want at least one card to defend yourself with and then you start saving up. Then you’ve got all of the spell and trap cards to deal with and you can fuse some into monsters to make them stronger. You can also fuse monsters from your hand but the game doesn’t let you know if they’re compatible so it’s a lot of trial and error here. If you make the wrong call then you’ll lose the first card in each fusion which can be a bit tiresome. This is the best way to clear your hand out to get more cards though. Just smash all of the cards together and next turn you’ll get 5 fresh ones. There’s a lot more to this gameplay, but it’s so complex that the only way to really get it is to play the game first hand. That’s when it’ll all really start to make sense.

As for the graphics, the game has some pretty good illustrations. For the most part there aren’t too many cutscenes but we get a few paintings at the end and one at the start. I prefer animated cutscenes but there was a good amount of effort put into these pieces of art. In game the stages and effects are decent but not all that fun to look at. All of the stages are pretty similar and the whole thing looks pretty dreamy all the time. Better level designs would have been ideal.

I already spoke to the game’s difficulty level and I can assure you that it’s one of the toughest games I’ve played. Beating the whole thing with a starter deck is impossible so the idea is you beat the first few guys, take their cards and keep on beating them til you get a lot of good ones. Then you move on. It requires a lot of wins as well as rng to get the right cards. Then in the duel you need a fair amount luck to draw the right card at the right time. Ultimately I had to just grab some cards through the password mode to get through these duels. I recommend doing this if you need to save some time because otherwise you will be here for a very long time. It does help with the replay value I suppose. The game should last you for quite a while and once you beat it you get to play all over again as the other team.

Overall, Yugioh Duelist of the Roses is an odd game with a confusing gameplay system. It takes quite a while to learn how to really play the game and even then it’s hard to get invested into it. The duels feel like they take quite a long time although that’s normal for a Yugioh game. Once you turn the animations off it speeds up quite a bit. If you like a good strategy type game then this is the one for you. There are a few similarities to Fire Emblem after all. Otherwise I would definitely recommend playing a different Yugioh game instead. My top recommendations would be World Championship or any of the PSP titles. Those actually follow the Yugioh rules and have a better plot. (Note that some of the World Championships don’t have a plot so carefully choose which one you want to play)

Overall 5/10