Reviewed: April 10, 2007
Released: March 20, 2007
Collectible card games are one of those guilty gaming pleasures that almost any geek can attest to participating in at one point or another. Anyone who has played these games can admit to blowing piles of cash on innumerable amounts of booster packs in the search to build the perfect deck.
Considering how much cash these games already accumulate from their swarms of avid players, its only natural that they would find one more way to put their hands into players pockets. Enter the genre of collectible card game video games, whose most recent addition is Yu-Gi-Oh World Championship 2007 for the Nintendo DS by Konami.
This version of Yu-Gi-Oh World Championship sports the most recent list of cards, as well as Wi-Fi support to challenge other players. The game is a fairly straightforward presentation of the Yu-Gi-Oh dueling experience, allowing players to experiment with every card printed to date, with very few boundaries as to what they can do, and allowing them to play head to head with their friends.
Yu-Gi-Oh World Championship 2007 is pretty much what you would expect in terms of gameplay. Players build a deck using cards they have accumulated and then use these decks to play a traditional game of Yu-Gi-Oh against either a human or AI opponent.
The same rules for the traditional card game apply here, players build a deck of up to 80 cards, and summon all variety of creatures, spells and traps in an effort to reduce their opponents life to zero before they can do the same. Fans of the classic collectible card game ďMagic: The GatheringĒ will immediately get the basic concept.
There still is something of a learning curve present, but this is assuming that the player doesnít already know how to play the Yu-Gi-Oh card game; otherwise they can jump right in. The game does come equipped with an easy to use tutorial to show you the ropes, and is something I found to be quite helpful considering that even in all my years of geekery I have never touched a Yu-Gi-Oh card.
The entire focus of Yu-Gi-Oh World Championship revolves around winning duels, as players win duels they gain DP points which can then be spent in the gameís store to buy cards and further enhance their decks. This is one of the minor flaws prevalent in this game, as players start only with the most basic deck and are forced to slowly build their collection, which can often times put them at a disadvantage against players who are better equipped, but a regardless of how many cards the player has, they are still able to build their own fantasy deck from the current roster of cards and save them for later use.
Sadly, the process of building your own deck is something of a complicated ordeal. The interface the player must use for building their deck is incredibly cluttered and a little clumsy even with the aid of the DS touch screen and the stylus, making the entire process annoying and time consuming.
The majority of Yu-Gi-Oh World Championship is found in its multiplayer suite. However, the Wi-Fi differs slightly from that of other DS titles. If a player wants to challenge one of their friends to a duel they must first provide each other with a friend code which they generate themselves before playing. This was installed as something of a security measure to keep the less tasteful crowd from being able to play with little Billy.
Yu-Gi-Oh World Championship may lack a story or otherwise traditional single player mode. But, this isnít necessarily a bad thing, considering that these would probably just get in the way of what Yu-Gi-Oh is really all about. The game still does provide the player with numerous AI opponents, which can get to be quite brutal, as well as plenty of offline challenges to test the mettle of even the most confident duelist.
Iíve always thought one of the cooler things about collectible card games was the unique and creative art that came printed on every card. Sadly this is not a feature that translates very well to the video game format, especially systems that only support lower resolutions like the Nintendo DS.
Yu-Gi-Oh World Championship is certainly no exception to this rule. The art for the cards looks muddy and lacks focus, making them lose much of their original, cartoon like charm. This also becomes a problem sometimes when trying to distinguish one card from the next, which if it werenít for the cardís title being displayed at the top of the screen, would be all but impossible.
The game however does add a few effects to help make the presentation of the duel more dynamic. Like when a terrain card is played it changes the entire playing area to match itís theme. The game also gives all of the creature cards their own 3-D representation. Sadly, this feature is a little underused, because I really wouldíve liked to have seen two creatures actually duke it out, instead it is shown only by their two cards displaying damage on one another.
Yu-Gi-Oh World Championship is very much a no frills game in terms of graphics but lacks the kind of visual appeal one might get from playing the game with real cards as opposed to virtual ones.
With the whole manner of monsters being summoned and doing battle in Yu-Gi-Oh World Championship one might expect to hear the occasional roar, growl or maybe the occasional clash of swords. Instead, players are treated to the same manner of bland sound effects throughout the game, regardless of what happens to be going on in terms of battle making every duel sound very much the same.
There are a small handful of cute, cartoon like loops that play during the duels. But, these are generally so short that they quickly lose their charm, especially when one considers that some duels can last around 20 minutes.
Championship. As if the inclusion of every card to build your dream deck and the ability to challenge your friends wirelessly wasnít enough, the game has more than enough offline content to keep even the most skilled player occupied for hours on end. Even a non-believer such as myself spent an inordinate amount of time plotting the perfect strategy to dislodge my opponentís elemental clayman.
If the robust multiplayer and single player elements arenít reason enough to purchase Yu-Gi-Oh World Championship, consider this. You are paying only a meager 30 dollars to play with every card that has been printed to date, and use them in the same manner you would use regular cards. So unless you are obsessed with the tangible collecting aspect of the game, you technically donít have to buy another booster pack to enjoy every bit of fun the game has to offer.
Yu-Gi-Oh World Championship 2007 is an accurate virtual representation of its real world counterpart. What the game lacks in bells and whistles, it more than manages to make up for with its sheer amount of content, and ability to keep the virtual experience of a game almost as fun as itís more tangible counterpart.
Some die-hard Yu-Gi-Oh fans may find the relatively cold presentation to be a bit of a turn off, but Yu-Gi-Oh World Championship 2007 still remains an easy recommendation for any owner of Yu-Gi-Oh cards, or at the very least, a cheap substitute for the real deal. Fans of collectible card games abroad may also find some guilty pleasure in this often-misinterpreted game; I sure did.