Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel - Review, the end of a nightmare

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To play Yu Gi Oh! Master Duel for this review it was like stepping out of a nightmare, a nightmare that had been going on for almost a decade and is now finally over. Master Duel imposes itself as one of the best card games on the market and it is, net of some small imperfections, the redemption of the franchise in the videogame field after years of flop. Here because!

A dream come true

With rare exceptions, which however confirm the rule, we can say that more or less all the players born in the 90s have had a passion for Yu-Gi-Oh. In the early 2000s it was almost a cult among kids, it had a popularity that in some ways is very reminiscent of the one that Pokémon had, as Yu-Gi-Oh was also drawn by the animated series. It was proposed as a valid alternative to the much more mature and complex (at the time) Magic The Gathering, also meeting the users less accustomed to card games. However, it did not take long to enrich itself with mechanics, initially the only ones Mergers and then get to the Synchro, subsequently the Xyz and finally ai Pendulum and Link. Right from Pendulum, and in part already from Synchro and Xyz, the passion for the game began to wane among the casual audience. The reason is that, in fact, it was casual and therefore the addition of more and more mechanics it demoralized those users, very different from the avid card players belonging to the Magic fan base. The "hardcore" gamers in Yu-Gi-Oh were there, but they were in the minority, also due to the exorbitant cost of the strongest cards.

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Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel therefore goes to act on several different fronts. First of all it is a free-to-play, with a progression that, as we will see shortly, is quite honest and it does not oblige you to spend money, and then it addresses both the nostalgic and both to whom he wanted playing competitive but, in fact, he did not have the funds to do it seriously. We could talk about the various unofficial free simulators present online, but the appeal of an official game with Ranked equally official is much larger. Without considering the technical aspect obviously, which makes everything much more intriguing to the eye and therefore more pleasant and fluid to play.

We wanted to talk about Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel regarding these factors, as the first topic of the review, because making a cold analysis of the product would not give the idea of ​​what a game of this kind means, especially for those like us who grew up with the original one. Being able to play online and, with anyone official game done so well it's a dream come true for a fan.

Having made the necessary nostalgic contextualization, in what it consists Yu Gi Oh! Master Duel? In some ways we could call him the elder brother of Duel Links, in terms of gaming experience and basic formula, with some features improved significantly compared to the famous chapter for mobile. First of all, the gameplay is that of the real Yu-Gi-Oh !, with 40 minimum cards in the deck, practically every card in the game (where many on Links had been omitted as they were too unbalanced for that context), traditional gameplay with 5 monster and magic / trap zones (+ the two Link zones) e 8000 Life Points. Literally the Yu-Gi-Oh! which is played with physical cards, but in digital form in a video game. Yu-Gi-Oh! in this sense it does not need much introduction, it remains one of the best card games in history, but consequently it keeps all the "flaws".

The real big problem with the game over the last few years has been being based on too many combos, with surreal situations where a player takes turns for even 3 full minutes, if not more. This thing could throw any outside spectators into confusion, which take a look at high gameplay Ranked and they begin to suffer from headaches. It takes a lot, a lot of patience to learn how to play Yu-Gi-Oh! at those levels, as well as a lot of practice and a broad knowledge of the best cards in the format. This is perhaps the first motivation to start playing Yu-Gi-Oh! with Master Duel, why it is not limited to a simple static tutorial or unnecessarily tedious. We obviously talk about the modality "Only" Konami's free-to-play game.

It is a mode composed of mini single-player campaigns, where they can face two activities: short tutorials e actual duels, in which always different archetypes are used against CPU. To complete them 100% you must face duels both with a deck of your choice, made with your own cards, and in a mirror match with the same deck as the opponent, that we are borrowed from the game for that duel. This thing helps a lot to become familiar not only with the mechanics, such as the types of summoning, but also and above all with the dynamics.

They play multiple decks offensive, others that focus on consistency and others even more tending towards a style control (not very offensive but which cages the opponent's strategy). All this knowing always different archetypes, some even quite competitive, complete with structure nationwide very basic for each of the Solo campaigns. These campaigns also contain other rewards, such as elemental points to unlock the advanced duels of each archetype and, most importantly, the gems that are the in-game currency. So let's finally talk about a very thorny topic for every free-to-play: game progression.

Progression and Deck Building

We want to make one thing clear right away, for the review we have been provided 4920 gems (which correspond to 79,99 euros of micro transaction) to be redeemed on Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel. This of course in order to be able to explore things like drop rate of packages (which is slightly better than average), deck building, the advantages of the Duel Pass Gold and so on. We take the opportunity to thank the gesture, not without specifying that this thing does not influence our considerations on progression, as well as obviously the general judgment of the game. Speaking precisely of the progression, we kept track of the gems earned just by playing, thus excluding from the calculation those donated to us by Konami, and we also compared ourselves with other players who they did not purchase the gems to open the packs.

Therefore, net of all these analyzes, collections of opinions and so on, we can confirm that it is possible to quickly build at least one competitive deck, easily and without putting your hand to your wallet. Obviously, removed the initial phase where they are distributed in rain, the gems will soon begin to be less and less. The secret is therefore to don't waste them, if you intend to carry on the game without spending, directing them to the right cards. In this regard, Konami itself comes to meet us with some very useful mechanics and functions.

The first is that of crafting of cards: in short, every card has one rarity classification (N, R, SR and UR). Any cards crafted or found in shop booster packs can be taken apart, to obtain 10 points of the rarity of the disassembled card, Then if I disassemble a UR card I get 10 UR points. Special versions of cards, such as foil or prism, give more points when disassembled but cannot be crafted. Crafting any card, without distinction, costs 30 points of relative rarity, therefore 30 UR points are needed to create a UR. This is a big step forward compared to Duel Links crafting, but it is in some ways a step below that of Heartstone.

In the Blizzard game, in fact, the cards provide generic points that increase in number according to the rarity, therefore applied to Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel a UR could also be done with 9 SRs instead of only 3 URs. Obviously the points on Master Duel were balanced knowing full well of this difference, and it works great even so, but we believe that using generic points would have slightly improved an already excellent progression. Furthermore, craft or find a SR or a UR of an archetype unlock a secret envelope. thematic for one or more archetypes including that of the found or crafted card. So always to do a example, if I find or crafto Stardust Dragon (which is a UR) I automatically unlock his secret envelope.

Secret envelopes are like master envelopes, i.e. those where any card is found, but 4 of the 8 cards in each pack are the "featured cards”Of that envelope, namely Stardust Dragon and the rest of its archetype, returning to the example above. They expire after 24 hours, however, opening them and finding UR or SR of their highlighted cards automatically resets the timer (which can also be reset by crafting them), at the end of which they disappear and must be reactivated. In order not to run out of gems it is advisable to invest 600 of them in Duel Pass Gold, with which you will return with the investment interests if you are good at ladder. And then with the first give the companion in the shape of the Amphora of Greed, so what more do you want?

In Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel is also possible search for public decks, made by other users around the world, copy them and build them step by step keeping track of the cards that are missing. If you are a beginner and want to build a deck based on a competitive archetype, rely heavily on other people's lists both in the game and on the themed guide sites, only those who know the meta well can afford to improvise. To see if a list works, Konami also added a gem, Namely hand simulator initial. How many times have we wondered if a deck turns as it seems? With this function, both internal and in the deck builder is callable displaying its own deck, you can check it properly.

You can too add cards, going to simulate fishing, to understand how fluid and consistent the deck actually is even when the game is in progress, a function therefore not only very useful but almost revolutionary. None of the major card games offer this possibility, but it was already included several years ago in smaller games like Hex, for example. Hopefully Heartstone, Magic Arena and the next Pokémon TCG Live there too take into account. Last note on balance: the game is based on the OCG format (hence Japanese ban list), however it seems that the western one will arrive soon. If you are a competitive player and you don't understand why certain cards were or weren't banned as they should, this is why.

The technical department of Yu Gi Oh! Master Duel

From a technical point of view Yu Gi Oh! Master Duel it's a great game, with a very pleasant aesthetic and functional UI and Menu solutions both to look at and to use. Technically it was done then a great job, going to embellish the excellent overall gaming experience. We also tested it on all platforms, thanks to the ability to connect with your own Konami ID and apply game progress to each version. On PlayStation e Xbox the game is very enjoyable, come on Nintendo Switch the framerate brought to 30 makes it less fluid and there are also small freezes, but nothing that invalidates the gaming experience. Basically in a card game 30 fps or 60 fps only change aesthetically, they don't have an actual game function. On the shields the PC version, facilitated above all by the being able to use a mouse to play, by far the best of the versions and is the one we recommend you try first.

However, net of a not very brilliant technical performance, the second best version is paradoxically the one for Nintendo Switch. Being able to play a card game on the go is great, in fact even the various ones Heartstone e Magic have a mobile version, and waiting for the port for iOS and Android Master Duel only has Switch to be played away from home without a laptop. It should also be noted that on Switch it is possible use touch controls, as well as on PCs that have a screen that allows it, even if they are not yet perfectly calibrated and will probably be finished as soon as possible.

Definitely, Yu Gi Oh! Master Duel saved the franchise's gaming reputation, offering a gaming experience solid e without real smudges. The only things to finish are as mentioned i touch commands, less stability on Switch and not very stable match in cross-play, which, however, is mainly due to the different computing capabilities of all platforms. If Rush Duel was the lowest point Yu-Gi-Oh! Reached, Master Duel is the highest point ever!

  • Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel (Tested on PS5) 8.3 Final grade

    Yu-Gi-Oh! after years of flop titles, he returns to flex his muscles with a video game that manages to give new light to the franchise, attracting both veterans and casual nostalgics. Recommended for card game fans and highly recommended for fans!

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