Review: Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s Decade Duels Plus
It was kind of odd how excited I was for Yu-Gi-Oh! to finally come to PSN. Sure I have played other card games on the Network before, I mean I think I put something close to 50 hours into Elemental Monster Online Card Game, but nothing is like your first card game. And when I was growing up that was Yu-Gi-Oh, which is why I was so disappointed in how this game turned out.
Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s Decade Duels Plus is a card game based around the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime, Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s. Apparently the 5D’s stand for 5 legendary dragons which I am sure followers of the show know all about. This isn’t the Yu-Gi-Oh! I remember, but even though there have probably been thousands of rule changes since I last played a game of Yu-Gi-Oh! I still picked up right where I left off.
I don’t want to get too technical about how each duel is handled but the basics are you take turns fighting each other with Monsters that you summon into battle. There are numerous ways to do this, like fusions, rituals, synchros, tributing… It gets complex pretty quick. The game does offer up a tutorial, but it is rather slow and dry. I got bored with it rather quickly so I basically just went off my memory from playing the game back in middle school. I hope you also like getting asked if you want to do this tutorial because every single time you start a new tournament it asks if you want to do it. Even after defeating both of the main characters from the show it still asked me. It is beyond frustrating that I have to do this every time I want to play.
Besides monsters there are the ever popular Trap and Spell cards. If there is on thing I love to do, it is to activate a trap card. But this game makes it a chore to do really. During a match each section of your turn is divided into phases. Draw, Standby, Main, Battle and if you happen to have any cards placed down on your board the game will ask you if you want to activate a card. This really drags the pace of game down. It seems that probably 80% of your duel will be selecting Yes or No during one of these pop-ups. This isn’t the only problem with pacing the game has though. Unlike Magic where you can pause the game pretty much at any time and read effects of cards, your competitors when playing single player will rapid-fire lay about seven cards while summoning five monsters on the field leaving you scratching your head and in a daze.
It doesn’t help that your starting deck in this game is extremely weak. It is so weak it almost lead me to believe that it was weak to the point that you are almost forced to buy some of the game’s DLC booster packs or structure decks. Sadly which I ended up doing. While you can earn cards from dueling, it is based off how well you do. Throughout the duel you are scored and for every 20 points you earn a card is given to you when you win or lose. The thing here being when you lose, you are probably only getting 20-30 points. So you can either lose hundreds of games praying that the Heart of the Cards gives you some excellent luck in this crap-shoot or you can pay.
One thing that I really didn’t like about the DLC was that it really didn’t give you any clue to what you were buying. Sure I could understand if these were just random booster packs, but from checking a few Yu-Gi-Oh! sites it seems that the packs are all themed around someone you play against. What is even worse is that it doesn’t tell you what cards are in Structure Decks. Sure booster packs are one thing, but pre-built decks should give you at least a small hint at what you are buying. I am sorry but, “Structure Deck 02- A card deck for Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s Decade Duels Plus” just doesn’t cut it.
Playing against other players is another big draw to card games. You want to see how the deck that you crafted using the game’s deck creator matches up against what others have made. It would be one feature that would keep me coming back to the game, but Decade Duels Plus has some of the worst net code I have seen on PSN in quite some time. The lobby system is totally busted, games have frozen before they even start, random disconnects at random points in battle, all of these things happened to me not once, but all of the time. It is really sad because it is quite fun to play the “Tag Duel” system they have set up, a 2 on 2 battle where you take turns all using the same field. Besides the connection problems I also had a lot of lag while playing this game. So much so that it took upwards of 1 hour to complete just one simple tag duel. But the broken lobbies really take the cake here. From what I could tell, not only do they not hide lobbies which are full, but there are also expired lobbies present in the list. It seems totally random when you get in one that works and then when you finally think you are about to start playing… your old friend disconnect error appears.
I can say all of these things, but the sad fact is Yu-Gi-Oh! fans like me will still deal with all of these issues just to play a game that they really love. Sure there is slowdown, annoying prompts, weak starting decks, but in the end it is still Yu-Gi-Oh. The core gameplay that makes the card game so fun is still there, though hidden behind these issues.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes. For more info on our review policy click here. This review is for the PlayStation 3 version of the game.
What I Like:
- It is Yu-Gi-Oh!
- Great deck builder
What I Dislike:
- Sometimes the games moves too fast
- Sometimes it is too slow
- Broken net code
- First deck makes winning really hard
- Terrible DLC item descriptions