Monday, 25 November 2013

Game Review - Yu-Gi-Oh! Ultimate Masters:World Championship Tournament 2006 ( GBA 2006 - duh!)

The rather oddly titled "Yu-Gi-Oh! Ultimate Masters: World Championship Tournament 2006" (why oh why do they need to give these games such long titles?) was the 2006 entry into the hugely popular games series which, at the time, were exclusive to the Gameboy advance (I say this because similar games based on Yu-Gi-Oh! released on other systems usually followed some kind of storyline, whereas the "World Championship" games played as an electronic version of the CCG) 

Released during the "Yu-GiOh! GX era, the game featured nearly all the cards and game mechanics that had been employed in the RL CCG up to that point, however, unlike the previous game , the 2006 edition did not feature any of the characters from the anime, nor did it feature any storyline.

Reflecting the lack of storyline, the game itself made various changes to game play modes, which were selectable through the menu screen:-

Free Duel Mode.
The "Main" game mode, in which you duel against various other players, starting off with players ranked at "level 1", all of whom play a deck themed around the particular card they use as their avatar. Each tier contains 5 different duellists, all of whom use different strategies depending on the type of deck they are playing.

Challenge Mode.
This option consists of  4 sub categories of play:
  1. Duel puzzle - You join a game in mid match, and using the cards you already have in your hand or in play, you must win the duel by the end of that turn.
  2. Limited Duel - A series of duels in which restrictions are placed on what cards you may have in your deck.
  3. Theme Duel - A series of duels in which as well as winning, you have a secondary objective of some sort, for example getting the maximum amount of direct damage to an opponents life points, drawing as many cards as possible, etc.
  4. Survival Duel - You face off against random opponents one after another until you are defeated.
 As you begin the game, you get to choose a starter deck, but as you play, you can aquire additional cards by buying them from the in game shop, using Duel Points that you have won from competing in the free duel and challenge modes.
This game has a much wider selection of cards available than the 2003 game, which can make getting the cards you want difficult, as cards from the newer (at the time of release anyway) usually cost 400 Duel Points, whereas booster packs from older sets can cost as little as 150 points.

As a game, it does exactly as it says on the tin, it is indeed an electronic version of the real card game, however, it does present some problems which can put a dampener on new players...

  • Difficulty - The game starting difficulty is WAAAYYYYYYYY off whack, requiring advanced knowledge of the card game and its mechanics in order to get any wins. This will, and did, put off a lot of novice players.
  • Paying for everything - Earning duel points to buy new cards with is extremely difficult due to the above, and even then, the games strict adherence to the "Forbidden/limited" cards list (which was correct for tournament play at the time the game came out) means that sometimes you will open a booster pack and get an awesome card, only to find that it has been banned, and the game will not allow you to use it in any games. In addition to this, although the game allows you to enter the codes from your real life cards into the game, it makes you pay Duel Points in order to add them to your collection, if you dont have the point, you cant have, simple as. Very frustrating in the early game being as the game saddles you with very few powerful cards.
  • Prescience - While playing through this games free duel mode, I got the distinct feeling that the games A.I seemed to know exactly what cards I had in my hand. This may just be me being paranoid, but when your A.I opponent manages to pull just the right card at just the right time 20 times in a row, you know that "the heart of the cards" seems to be giving way to borderline cheating.
  • Whats the point? - The games lack of storyline takes something away from the gameplay. Even though the 2003 games storyline was generally weak, the complete elimination of it from this game makes the game a little dull.
 All in all though, the game isnt that bad, while it could have been a lot better, it still provides one of the best electronic recreations of a collectable card game.

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