Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters
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Almost everyone that was around in the 2000’s will remember the anime and card game phenomenon that swept the globe. However, this franchise has been around for quite some time, stretching as far back as 1998. This is the year we would see the first video game from the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise in the form of Yu-Gi-Oh – Duel Monsters.
This game would release on the Game Boy Colour and only be on sale within Japan. It’s a particularly hard game to get your hands on now but as a point of reference, the game plays very similarly to the handheld games that proceeded it such as Yu-Gi-Oh: Dark Duel Stories or Yu-Gi-Oh: The Eternal Duelist’s Soul. The game heavily features the anime characters of the time, the key cards from the series and allows players to use a series of decks to battle against beloved cast members.
A Smooth First Outing
This game uses the traditional top-down set up to convey the action of each duel which has become the trend for almost all games for the franchise, aside from Duelists of The Roses for example. The display is pretty primitive as is a sign of the times. However, what has to be commended is the incredibly detailed card design art. Each monster is displayed beautifully and although limited by the platform, each design is instantly recognisable if you know the source material.
This is the same for the character models which include iconic characters such as Maximillion Pegasus, Yami Yugi, Bakura, Kaiba, Joey and many more. Each of these characters has some dialogue that helps to push the string thin plot along. It’s well written and keeps the game chugging along which is all it really needs to do as the gameplay is the core focus.
Handles Limitations well
The game couldn’t include the entire roster of cards even with the series in its infancy due to the platform of choice. So it would include 300 monster cards and 50 magic cards. You are gifted a starter deck of 40 cards at the beginning of the game and the goal is to obtain all the cards, create the best deck possible and best every character you can duel within the game.
The game has a rather lengthy campaign considering the hardware it had to work with and even records your statistics so you can see just how successful you have been throughout. Plus, this title has a very charming 8-bit musical score that reflects the tones being conveyed in the environments and plot being told usually through manga stylings very well.
Play and trade
Much like the iconic Pokemon series for the same system, this game would make use of the link cable so that players could trade cards and fight each other in one on one duels. This would take the same format as the normal AI matches but with the novelty of having to tactically best your buddy with your cards you obtained through the campaign.
It’s Time To Duel!
Let’s be clear, this game has its limitations, it’s very outdated amongst the plethora of games within the franchise that have proceeded it and it has only got a handful of cards to work with. However, you can’t escape the charm that this game has and how brilliantly it presented itself on the hardware of the Game Boy.
The AI is adept and will keep the player on their toes, the art style is fantastic and accompanied by a great musical score and for fans of the series, this is a hidden gem that you have to see for yourself.
- Brilliant art style
- Great 8-bit soundtrack
- Familiar core gameplay
- Can link up and play with friends
- Obsolete when compared to more modern games in the series
- The pool of cards is rather small