Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist is the latest chapter in the long-running Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise published by Konami, and arrives on PlayStation Network at quite the attractive price point. While the game already has plenty of DLC for sale—mainly increasing the length of the Arc-V campaign— you do not need to purchase it to get the full experience, with Legacy of the Duelist already feeling complete enough as it is.
Legacy of the Duelist’s campaign covers all the major and minor duels from nearly every TV arc in the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise, with each duel allowing you to use the related story based deck that was used in the TV show episode. You can also use your own custom-built deck should you desire. I used the story deck for most of the campaign, and it always feels pretty balanced though the only deck I found kind of useless was Yami Yugi, as he had mostly spell and trap cards with a lot of high level monsters, and as you need to tribute monsters to summon them, it meant I had a lot of useless hands especially on the first draw. As you progress through the main story you will win the signature cards used by the opponent, this will help make you build your own deck faster, you also win the recipe to create their deck, though you will need to duel them several times to be able to get the cards to build it.
The campaign will last you hundreds of hours thanks to the fact every TV show is featured in the game, from the original Yu-gi-oh to the current TV show Arc V—though Arc V is mainly just a training battle to teach the new Pendulum summoning. Each TV show introduces a new type of summoning, and as a nice gesture every first battle teaches you the new rules and summoning conditions from synchro summoning to the new Pendulum summoning. In addition, Legacy of the Duelist also has a solid tutorial mode also for those that are new to the card game. Still, the lack of voice acting or even proper video cutscenes illustrate the fact that this is a budget title; even the 3D animations for some card are pretty lackluster, and would probably make an early PS3 game look good.
The game also has currency which is used to purchase booster packs; these packs are unlocked by playing the main campaign, and are not that expensive, with one win normally allowing you to purchase four booster packs depending on the type you go after. The cards in the pack seem to be based on the character, with Kaiba mainly using the dragon type and Yugi possessing a lot of spell casters. There is no card list for each booster pack, which means you don’t know if you have collected all in a set. This would have be a nice feature see as you may end up buying too many packs and keep getting the same cards without really noticing it. There are over 6,600 cards in total, going up to the February 2015 TCG set, though some people have noticed there are a few cards that have been released after that in this game, so it is a mystery on when the game stopped when it comes to the inclusion of card sets.
Elsewhere, Legacy of the Duelist also features sealed play, where you purchase several booster packs and have to use whatever you pull from the packs as your deck, with the ability to remove certain cards but not able to switch them with anything you already own. This is a pretty cool feature, and you have three different card sets for sealed play, which helps keep the mode fresh as you won’t get the same deck twice. Sealed Play mode can be played online or against the AI, though I have to point out that the AI never really feels like it is cheating unlike a lot of TCG where they suddenly know everything you have or have a counter to everything you do. And, while some duelists in the main campaign are quite annoying, overall the A.I. is nothing short of brilliant.
The game also supports online multiplayer with the ability to change the rules including standard rules or even allowing forbidden cards. Legacy of the Duelist has a very recent rule set, meaning most things banned in real life tournament play are banned in the game. You can also decide on how much life points both players have. The online runs very smoothly, though being a card game I kind of expected as much, while the matches can also be ranked to keep a taily on who is the top player. You can use premade structure decks with basic cards or you can use your own deck when playing online; the deck creation is deep enough in my opinion to keep gamers satisfied, with a multitude of cards to pick from. Nonetheless, I’m hoping the game gets patches to help keep it up to date with future rule changes, though I suspect as a budget release Konami probably won’t go to that effort.
Legacy of the Duelist isn’t without its flaws, though some can be fixed by tweaking the settings menu. The game also has some random frame rate issues, though for a title with such rudimentary graphics this is not something you’d expect to happen running on a PS4. For fans of the series, this is really the title to get your game on. On the flip side, if you have never played a TCG or are not a fan of the series, this is a solid entry point, with the comprehensive tutorial and the campaign allowing you to get to grips with things easily enough. As such, it’s great for veteran and new fans alike, and comes highly recommended.