Platforms: Switch| Developer: Other Ocean Interactive Publisher: Konami Release: August 20, 2019
Since as early as 1998, the Yu-Gi-Oh! series has seen tons of video game spin offs to the popular manga, anime and TCG. Although we’ve seen titles based on the capsule monsters, the majority of titles are focused around the cards. Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist was originally released in 2015 for console and 2016 later for PC. Link Evolution is the enhanced version of the original Legacy of the Duelist that comes with all the original DLC and further expanded upon single player. Now that players are getting another chance to drive into one of the most packed TCG experiences, how well does it do its job comparing to the real deal?
The single player in Legacy of the Duelist acts more or less like a story mode. Players can pick from any generation of anime series and it’ll give a brief overview of what’s going on with some character dialogue before a duel begins. The story isn’t truly important at all to dueling, as the only thing it will really determine is the deck the player is up against. It’s a great introduction to anyone unfamiliar to the anime series, but is more or less just there to give players a temporary antagonist they’re dueling against. The duels themselves will be all major ones where a character wins and skips over some of the less memorable ones to stay focused on the main story at hand. While not important to pay attention to, it’s great fanservice for those who haven’t watched in a long time while easing them into gameplay against AI.
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Basic dueling comes down to one simple goal: lowering the opponent’s life points to zero. Each player begins with a deck of 40-60 cards and they take turns summoning monsters, placing traps and slowly whittling down each others life points. Each story duel will offer two different ways to play, either with the original deck used by the character or with the player’s personal deck they’ve created.
Early on it’s best to use the chosen character deck, as it will take a bit to unlock more cards. Much like real life, packs of cards will need to be bought using the in-game duel points. They can’t just be bought immediately, however, as each pack of cards will need to be unlocked through the story mode. Each series of the anime has its own selection of cards based on a character, and it will take a good few matches before they’re all unlocked. This works out well though, as winning or losing duels will still reward the duel points needed to purchase them. It makes it well-worth playing through the single player as it rewards tons of duel points, and it’s easy to replay duels time and time again to get more. Dueling in story mode will also unlock the opponent’s deck in addition to their signature cards, and has a chance of unlocking them in challenge mode to duel for even more decks and cards that can’t be obtained in normal packs.
Collecting the cards from any TCG series is fantastic and rewarding, but realistically not everyone can afford to participate in such a hobby. Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution gives players a way to access over 9000 cards by simply playing and earning them as they go along. No micro-transactions or DLC keep them locked behind a wall; it’s all wrapped up in one package. Those who love the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG will be happy to know this is an amazing experience for as simple and straight-forward as it is. It’s hard to stop playing when there’s so many cards waiting to be unlocked, a variety of modes and near endless decks that can be made. There’s no better time to duel than with the current best digital take on the TCG that is Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution.