Back in the early 2000s Yu-Gi-Oh was a massive phenom that engulfed not just my existence, but pretty much everyone not over the age of 35. I remember leaving school every afternoon, and sprinting down a hill with a group of mates with absolutely zero concern for safety just to have a chance to purchase the best cards from university students who sold them to us in front of a police station.
AHHHH Good times, Good Times…
Once we had our cards we’d duel at lunch, or break times, heck sometimes we’d even meet up after school just to get some duel/ trading done. We were engrossed in the trading card game and the anime to the point of obsession. From the scent of the cards to the iconic words of the anime; “it’s time to duel”. Everything about it excited me, and then came the pitch fork carrying religious folks who infected the minds of parents as they did with Pokemon before it, calling the game and show witchcraft, evil things that needed to be abolished. And our parents being the superstitious folk they were got rid of the cards. The schools banded them, and slowly over time we all moved on to something else. At my college they took away our cards till we graduated, but by then we were long over the craze.
So…. Enter Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution. The newest entry in this popular franchise.
Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution attempts to pack more than 20 years of the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise into a single game. The game encompasses the stories from the original animated series all the way through to Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V and Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS. The gameplay consists of duels between characters of from the anime which are broken up by visual novel style text dialogue. After each duel you’re returned to the campaign menu where you can select another. The campaign covers each arc of the anime series and players can begin at whichever arc they’re comfortable with.
Within each arc the player must progress chronologically through them by playing through scenarios from the anime with either the cannon deck or their own user built decks. These duels can then be reversed and played from the opposing perspective for a grand total of 308 unique duel scenarios.
The game also has over 9000 different cards which can all be accessed from it’s offline in-game card shop or from winning duels, and get this;
THERE ARE ABSOLUTELY NO MICRO-TRANSACTIONS AT ALL!!!
It’s pretty simple, you pay for a game and you get a complete game. Who would have figured we’d get something like this in 2019 from a well-known publisher? Certainly not me. With all these cards you’ll have an almost infinite amount of deck combinations from official decks to your very own custom decks. This is all encapsulated in a single player campaign, Duelist Challenges which allow the player to challenge any character unlocked in the campaign, Battle Packs which allows the player to use temporary decks for duels, and of course online and local multiplayer.
All online multiplayer aspects require a Nintendo Switch Online membership.
This game is robust in almost every aspect to the point that sometimes you may get lost in the menus while trying to find what you’re looking for. There are even full tutorials for each arc that teach players about all the different types of dueling strategies possible in the game.
Visually the game is simple enough, but captures the essence of the TCG game and anime. Cards look very detailed on the Nintendo Switch screen and some of the character favorites monsters from the anime even have their own little summoning animations. There are however no serious sound effects or voice acting to speak of in the game. It’s to the point that I just muted the whole thing and played the game in silence while running YouTube videos on my phone in the background.
The game also has what I’d consider a bit of a confusing menu system for the deck builder, with some of it being limited to touch input, even though this never explained to the player. It was something I figured out purely by luck while trying to wipe some dust off my screen. Add to that the game also lacks customization with regards to its multiplayer aspects. There is no option to remove certain cards from play and as far as I know the game doesn’t use any of the official rules used in the real life TCG game played by the most hardcore fans.
Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution is an almost perfect package for fans of this illustrious franchise. Boasting an impressive amount of content, however I’m a tad bit disappointed that they couldn’t have gone a bit further to include full voice acting for the campaign, custom rules/ card exclusions for multiplayer as well as the possibility for future DLC past this entry. These minor grievances aside, this title is easily one that I’d recommend to fans of the Yu-Gi-Oh franchise and anime. It’s got more cards than you’d know what to do with and enough single player content to last an insane amount of time.
The copy of Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution used for this review was provided to us by it’s publisher Konami.