"Kids today are playing Yu-Gi-Oh!, the hot new collectible card game which simulates battles of dark magic between pagan sorcerers. Or to be more precise, the card game simulates a card game that simulates magical battles. (That probably got unnecessarily confusing, but there’s a Japanese cartoon involved.) Typically, to obtain these cards one would have to go out to the store and purchase numerous and costly booster packs, but Yu-Gi-Oh! World Championship Tournament 2004 offers the card game ..."
Kids today are playing Yu-Gi-Oh!, the hot new collectible card game which simulates battles of dark magic between pagan sorcerers. Or to be more precise, the card game simulates a card game that simulates magical battles. (That probably got unnecessarily confusing, but there’s a Japanese cartoon involved.) Typically, to obtain these cards one would have to go out to the store and purchase numerous and costly booster packs, but Yu-Gi-Oh! World Championship Tournament 2004 offers the card game with the benefit of a convenient package and an easy-ready travel-sized computer opponent.
Now, perhaps some background is in order. The game of Yu-Gi-Oh originated from an anime/manga which stars a group of grade-school kids who particularly enjoy a card game known as Duel Monsters. But they aren’t just any ordinary grade-school kids; the leader of the group is a boy named Yugi, owner of a mystical artifact known as the Millennium Puzzle. And there’s the spirit of an ancient Egyptian pharaoh inside, with special gaming powers, who inhabits Yugi’s body at opportune times to card battle rivals for the sake of things like love, honor, and the fate of the world.
Of course, when you’re playing World Championship Tournament 2004, the stakes won’t be quite as high, but the game remains woefully addictive nonetheless. The fundamental parts are simple enough; each player has a library of cards, which represent various monsters and magical spells. On your turn, you place a monster onto the field, and then you sic it on the opponent and his monsters. Magic and trap cards are played in between, each containing a unique effect designed to confer its caster some sort of advantage. And to win, your opponent needs to have taken enough damage from your monster attacks that he falls below a predetermined level of life points.
It might not sound like much, but Yu-Gi-Oh is truly a game of strategy. Properly played, every game is an elegy of intelligence, courage, and sheer unabashed dorkiness. Witnessing the exchange of magic and monster bites, it’ll make you feel like a part of something bigger. That, or it’ll make you want to watch the TV show.
Note: For best results, announce all your card plays aloud, like the characters from the show do. I play Dark Magician, bitch!
Yu-Gi-Oh! WCT 2004 is a more financially practical alternative to the physical card game, but it still has its disadvantages. For instance, the interface for the deck setup menu is a bit of a hassle to use, as you’ll have to scroll through every card you’ve collected on a fairly tiny screen to find what you want for your deck today. An option for rule variations is also conspicuously absent. Not to mention how the computer opponent isn’t perfect, either; it still makes the occasional fool’s play, and at higher difficulties it’s often prone to playing like it can see your facedown cards. Just imagine that while he’s slightly incompetent, he also happens to be the wielder of the all-seeing Millennium Eye.
Inevitably, the number of cards available here is limited, while the amount available in the physical version ever-grows. But rest assured: they’ll release a sequel, similar to its predecessor, yet greater and more complete. And so on, the cycle will continue.
Your delightfully Machiavellian marketing scheme shall be emptying wallets every moment until it’s not cool anymore.
Community review by disco1960 (October 07, 2005)
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