Oh dear, would you look at the time! Yes, It’s time to dudududu dudududududuel! It’s been a long while since my last post which was partly due to the recent release of Yu-Gi-Oh Legacy of the Duelist on PS4. I decided to take a trip down memory lane and boy was that a bumpy road. Not only did I get sucked into the game but also went back to have a look at the OG anime series I enjoyed back when it aired on TV here in SA. In this article, if I may, I would like to point out 10 things I learned as a long time Yu-Gi-Oh fan returning to find some new monsters. Hope you enjoy the read and please let me know your Yu-Gi-Oh experiences in the comments section below.
10. I prefer the Yu-Gi-Oh Dub
I am usually quite gung-ho about watching anime in its natural state. listening to most dubs will all but draw blood from my ears. Yu-Gi-Oh like Dragon Ball Z is an exception to the rule. The western and Egyptian themes in Yu-Gi-Oh makes it quite palatable in English which was the version shown on TV. I even tried watching it in Japanese but despite how cheesy the dub was, the Japanese sounded even cheesier and not as fun to watch.
9. The OG Yu-Gi-Oh series bent a lot of rules
Now being a grown-ass man, re-watching the anime with a slightly more analytic lens, it was clear to see that the creators may have been playing fast and loose with the rules of the game especially in the early seasons. There were instances were some characters just ended their turn without attacking even though that would have helped them win. It seemed that the majority of screen time was actually taken up explaining what the card does than actually playing them. This made a game of 4000 life points take multiple episodes to complete when a standard duel of 8000 life points should only take a few minutes. I guess it is a TV show so exposition is needed but bending the rules is not cool. Thankfully the later seasons had fewer instances of this.
8. Duel monsters is an awesome game
The Yu-Gi-Oh card game might seem complicated to some, especially if you are not clued in about trading card and tabletop games. But I had no trouble getting back on that bike and riding it into my opponent’s life points. Like many great games it is easy to learn but difficult to master. The Legacy of the Duelist allowed me to relive some of the best historical Yu-Gi-Oh battles and every match I played wanted me to watch more anime and every episode I watched wanted me to play more duels. I was caught in a feedback loop of awesome.
7. Character decks are actually quite weak
Even though I have played a few Yu-Gi-Oh games before on GameBoy Advance back in the day. I remember that I usually had to build my own deck from the start. But, in Legacy of the Duelist, you have the choice of using your own deck made up of cards you win or booster packs you buy, or, you can play with the characters deck. It was clear to see that even though these decks beat the antagonists on the show, they usually require a very particular set of cards drawn and used at the right time to pull off a win whilst the opponent has totally OP cards. If you make your own deck you can make a mixed but fairly reliable strategy that does not rely on the use of certain cards to pull off a win. My strategy involved annoying my opponent with a strong defense rather than brute force attacks. While this was hit or miss online, the CPU opponent’s usually dropped like flies.
6. Yu-Gi-Oh is not for babies
Whilst it was shown for kids here in South Africa. Despite appearances Yu-Gi-Oh is not a show for kids but kind of walks a fine line with many gray areas. Much of the show deals with some very mature themes and there a many times where characters lives are put in danger. You can clearly see in the dub version that many things had to be censored, from over sexualized or gory card designs to guns used by security. I remember the first time watching that there was some shady stuff but watching a second time around I could see a few extra little things. Also, the game may be a bit complicated for a kid.
5. I got old
Yu-Gi-Oh stopped airing in SA midway through GX so my knowledge of Duel monsters is mostly OG old school. Even though it was easy to pick up again there where two major changes that were a bit jarring for me. These where the Synchro and Xyz. Remember what I said earlier about many characters needing a specific set of cards to pull off their strategy? Well these are the creators answer to that. Synchro and Xyz summons enables you to bring out strong monsters on the the field with little effort or sacrifice. I agree that this is an interesting mechanic, in many cases it is also broken. But I may just feel that way because I am from the old school. There’s even another new mechanic called Pendulum monsters which I have yet to use yet in the game. But I don’t like the sound of that either whatever it is.
4. Synchro and Xyz breaks the game
Like I said before I might be biased toward the OG Yu-Gi-Oh but I will state my case nonetheless. I think that Synchros and Xyzs breaks the game for one simple reason, summoning from your extra is supposed to be difficult. Those cards are essentially not in the game unless very specific conditions are met. For example, in the OG game, in order to summon a fusion monster you had to have material monsters PLUS a polymerization or fusion gate. Ritual monsters similarly needed a ritual spell card. Synchro and Xyz don’t need spell cards but rely on monster level and attributes. This makes summoning then far easier than a fusion or ritual card because its easy to stack your deck with multiple monsters that you can summon but having 2 or 3 polymerization cards in your hand with no monsters is just silly and has happened to me a couple of times with Jaden Yuki’s deck. But now days you can chain multiple monster effects and create multiple combos with relative ease and lack of skill which is just not fun to play against and I don’t want to play that way either.
3. The new game favors the new cards
Following on from my previous point it seems that Legacy of the Duelist prefers you play with the newer strategies. There are many cards such as pot of greed and graceful charity which are banned in multiplayer. Why? I wanted to make an Exodia centered deck to play with online, an essential part of this strategy is having Sagan or Witch of the Black Forest in your deck which allows you add Exodia cards to your hand. But these are banned. I wouldn’t normally be pissed by this if the banning of cards was totally fair but it is not. Because playing online in one of my matches I had to go up against a guy who was able to synchro summon a monster with 4000 attack points and was immune to card effects ON HIS THIRD TURN. All I did was place two cards face down but he was able to somehow chain multiple card effects to summon that beast and I couldn’t even use swords of revealing light to buy some time. If he is able to do such things I don’t see why I can’t have a Pot of God-Damned Greed in my bloody deck.
2. Yu-Gi-Oh is not very popular anymore
This is not necessarily something I learned from watching the anime or playing the game. But I do feel like Yu-Gi-Oh was particularly more popular back in the day. Like other old school things we enjoyed like Pokemon and Dragon Ball Z, the initial rush and mind share we may have experienced in our youth has diminished. Nostalgia is still a hot commodity though and I enjoyed going back and watching and playing those OG duels. Now as soon as I got into it again, I also wanted to have some actual physical cards in my hands. This would prove more difficult than I initially thought for two reasons: 1) you can’t buy these cards online easily in South Africa, 2) Hobby and game shops don’t stock Yu-Gi-Oh cards because of lack of sales. Where I could find cards or decks, only the newer sets where available for a reasonable price and finding OG cards would prove an expensive affair.
1. The new Yu-Gi-Oh stuff does not grab me as much as the OG
Following on from my previous points, the new Yu-Gi-Oh series and cards are just not as fun for me as it used to be. The stories don’t seem as engaging (at least from the Legacy of Duelist game) and the cards are sometimes broken or maybe it’s just too much of a good thing. But maybe that’s okay, maybe it was not targeted for me in the first place. But at least attempt to make me feel that I am coming back home and not returning to something I barely recognise. I do commend Legacy of Duelist for having the OG stuff in there and I had quite a bit of fun with the game. I will probably tackle the GX series next to see how it goes. Hopefully I can also get my hands on some affordable recognizable cards. In the meantime let me know what you guys and girls think below in the comments below!
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Image credits: Imgur, DeviantArt, Konami, 4Kids Entertainment