Tag Archives: Yugioh

Yu Gi Oh! Duel Links First Impressions

Note: Yu Gi Oh Duels Links Image found on http://www.konami.com


In my last article, I wrote about my experiences in the paper version of Yu Gi Oh! That reminded me that I had learned of a digital game available on Steam. My lab assistant from last semester also played the game a couple of times before class. Since this week’s podcast centered around Yu Gi Oh, I figured it was a good time for me to finally try the game myself and give my impressions. I have just finished playing through the tutorial and a couple of the “quizzes” for about an hour.

Note: I have not done any PvP dueling yet, so I can’t discuss things like matchmaking. However, as this web page makes perfectly clear, I’m not much of a competitive gamer, so if you’re coming here for that analysis, you’re in the wrong place. I can talk about how much fun I had playing the game and whether or not the game will make it into my daily rotation of digital card games.

The Good (Yu Gi Oh! Duel Links is Polished)

I’m not sure how long the game has been available, but it is a well designed and polished game. Given the target audience, I didn’t expect much. I thought it might just end up being a Hearthstone clone. This isn’t an unreasonable expectation. Many digital card games coming out are using the basics of Hearthstone as their template. It has slowed down a bit, but Hearthstone was a force on the level of Fortnite not too long ago. It makes sense for games to emulate it.

I couldn’t have been more wrong. Yu Gi Oh! is a completely different experience from other those games. First, the game appears to try to mimic the experience of the show for fans. The board is not simply a top down view like other card games. It’s a small touch, but different enough to make it noteworthy.

As this screenshot shows, there are some decent animations in the game, too.

Add in decent voice acting for the characters that almost made me feel like I was watching an episode of the show. The game has a very different feel to it from other card games. On the strength of the game design alone, I recommend people try it. However, those aren’t the only things that make it worth your time. Like many card games, it is initially very noob friendly.

There is a quick tutorial that deals with the basics of the game, monster summoning and spell/trap cards. While the tutorial is short, it is helpful. I think I’ve mentioned more than once that I never quite understood Yu Gi Oh! to any satisfactory level. This tutorial changed that. There are also quizzes to help you understand more of the game. Even better, the quizzes give you prizes to help advance in the game.

The Bad (Yu Gi Oh! Duel Links is a digital card game)

Admittedly, this isn’t much of a “bad”. You might even argue that it isn’t a bad at all. Yu Gi Oh! Duel Links is a digital card game. Okay, we are in agreement. As such, we have to take the bad with the good. I’m only including the bad to stay on format. Why? Is it even that great of a gimmick?

Plus, this movie is 50 years old. Who on the internet has even seen it at this point?

The tutorial is short. Maybe for some of you that’s a good thing. As a longtime novice in the game, this worried me. Also, I enjoyed the spectacle of the tutorial. Hmm, maybe I would like the show, but probably not. As a card game tutorial, it was fun. As a full length show, not so much. But, I digress. My main point is that I wish the tutorial was a bit longer.

Another point of contention follows directly from the idea about the show probably not being very good. I had to walk away from the game for a few minutes. When I came back, I started to notice the background music. Rarely is that a good thing. It wasn’t this time. The music is annoying.

Two weak “bad” points about the game and I still nothing about why it is “bad” that the game is a digital card game. Patience, I’m getting there. After finishing the tutorial, the main game opens. On the right hand side, there is “news”. Part of the “news” was a welcome pack of 3 packs plus an ultra rare card. Only available for 7 days! Sure, it was only 99 cents, but this constant push to get people to pay real money for digital goods is annoying to me. Plus, the packs only contained 3 cards.

The Verdict (Yu Gi Oh Duel Links is Fun)

I reiterate that I haven’t played any PvP duels yet, so I can’t comment on that aspect of the game. What I saw of the interface I liked. I could only come up with two minor bad points and the one thing that irritates me about all digital card games. There is no ugly as far as I could see. Usually, those show up pretty early in the experience. I can say with confidence that I will be playing more of this game. I’m not sure yet if it will make it into the rotation as a regular, but maybe I’ll sign the boys up and we can play a few games of digital Yu Gi Oh!

Yu gi oh!


Those who know me know that I have always loved trading card games. I have been playing Magic: the Gathering for a long time. Recently, I discovered that might have been since the beginning of that particular game. During my ill fated semester as a student the first time at the University of Pittsburgh, I had a couple of friends who introduced me to the game. I then bought a beginners “Portal” deck to try to get Christine to play the game.

I had just moved from Erie to Massachusetts at the time and I didn’t know many other people. Ultimately, that experiment ended in futility for one reason or another. I’m not sure exactly why and it doesn’t matter in the context of this article. There are several reasons. First, I met and then reconnected with Chris, who became my nerd (and MtG) buddy for the last decade. Then, the boys have grown up and started to develop some of the same interests as me, including the card games. Finally, Christine has also come around and joined us for a few of our nerdy pursuits, most notably a Dungeons and Dragons game.

You got MtG in my D&D! You got D&D in my MtG! Two great tastes that go great together? I honestly don’t know because I haven’t tried it yet, but I really want to!

For the Love of the Games?

I mentioned my love and enjoyment of card games in the introduction. I only “proved” that love by sort of humble bragging that I’m old enough to have possibly seen a Mox or Lotus played at face value. Oops, I did it again. I can’t say one way or another. If I was truly bragging, I’d say it unequivocally. All I can say is that I’ve been playing MtG since 1993, so the possibility exists that I either saw a Mox played or played one myself.

You’d be correct to assert that as proof of my love of “trading card games” is flimsy and inconclusive. At best, it simply shows an enjoyment of one particular game. I can assure you that I have played (and sometimes simply collected because I couldn’t figure out the convoluted rules set of some of them) any and all trading card game that I could find over the years. Many of them have suffered the same unfortunate fate of my old comic collection and ended up at the bottom of a recycling bin, so I can’t remember most of them.

One that I have in mind is an old out of print Star Wars card game. I could only find one person (before kids and Christine started to show interest again) to play MtG in my life. There was no chance of finding anyone at all to play that game. I often thought that I was the only person in the world to have purchased the game. Thanks to the magic of the interwebs, I can no longer make that claim. There is at least one community out there that is developing expansions for the old game and it might just be enough to get me interested again. Check them out at https://swtcgidc.wordpress.com/

This is not the set that I had, but it is the same game. It always looked like a fun game but, as I say, I never actually got the chance to play it.

The Good (Yu Gi Oh is an established game)

None of that was ever a problem with Yu Gi Oh. Aiden was the first to find the game because he is like me and likes to try new games. He introduced us to Heroclix. He introduced me to Yu Gi Oh. Liam may have already known about the game, but has always been a PokeKid at heart, so he never gave it a second though. The point is that we got into Yu Gi Oh after it was already proven. There was little chance that the game would go defunct (or at least in a deep sleep) after I became invested in the game.

Even with that reassurance, it took me a while to actually become invested in the game. Aiden does try new things but, sometimes, his interest is short lived. I might still be left with cards that I bought for a game he no longer finds interesting. In fairness, that did happen a couple of times, but he has always come back to the game eventually.

After all, how can you stay away from a game that releases cards like Exodia?

It also took me a while to warm to Yu Gi Oh because of things I heard from other people. There were the warnings of power creep, but that doesn’t bother me too much. It does to an extent because in my time in World of Warcraft. I saw critical damage go from the low hundreds to over a million before they scaled that back. Numerous warning to keep my kids away from the game kept me away from the game. I never got a good reason why other than maybe the aforementioned power creep. The warning was so ominous, that it did build a nest in the back of my brain and settled there.

The Bad (Yu Gi Oh is complicated)

I did finally break on Yu Gi Oh and buy a preconstructed deck. I actually bought two, but I’ve only ever played one. Aiden was helpful and made the deck better by combining both of the decks for me. Even with that help, I think I can count the number of times that I’ve actually won a game of Yu Gi Oh on one hand. Note Pun absolutely not intended.

Some of that is traceable to the fact that I’m not that interested in the game. I only started to collect because by that point both Aiden and Quinn were collecting cards and I’m always looking for different ways to spend time with my kids. Might as well jump on the Yu Gi Oh train before it leaves the station for good.

Would you look at that? There is an actual Yu Gi Oh train.

The main problem is that I find Yu Gi Oh confusing. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not dumb. I’m not a professional at any of the games that I play, but I can understand the intricacies of those games quite well. Not so for Yu Gi Oh. I don’t understand how to build a deck properly. Up until recently, I didn’t completely understand how the turn structure worked. I still am not certain how to tribute summon monsters. I am just a disaster when it comes to this game. But, it does give Quinn a kick to know that he’s beaten me every single time we’ve played.

The Ugly (Yu Gi Oh still has a short shelf life)

Aiden still enjoys Yu Gi Oh enough that it devastated him when the washing machine destroyed his number cards. We bought him some new ones for Christmas. He, Quinn, and I played a three way match the other day (not with his number deck as he can’t find the rest of that deck. Quinn had a bit of a flip out because he lost that match. I actually won!

The point is that I don’t know how much Aiden will still enjoy the game once he goes off to middle school and his time is devoted to sports. I’ve already seen it a bit with Liam and his dedication to theater. We hardly ever get to do anything together However, he did ask to record some video this weekend because I got a new cord for our video capture card, but we didn’t get around to it. Either next weekend or the following, for sure.

We’ll get together then…

The Verdict

While Yu Gi Oh isn’t by any stretch of the imagination my favorite trading card game, I wish that I hadn’t waited so long to get a deck so that I could play against the boys at least. It can be a fun game and it gives me another excuse to have quality time with them. As kids get older, their interests change and you become less and less of a part of their lives until you don’t exist at all for a few years during high school and college. That has changed some in recent generations, but there’s still that risk. Oh well, for now I will appreciate the time that I have and try to get better at the game to give them more of a reason to want to play.

Exodia X Pikachu

(Editor’s Note: That title just made me wish that Namco/Bandai and Nintendo/Game Freak make that game.)

Last week, I faced a bit of a dilemma. I could use the remainder of the tax refund to either get caught up on our mortgage or buy a new laptop. Yes, I am in the market for yet another new laptop. This time, though, it actually isn’t entirely my fault. I think I already told this story, so I won’t go into much detail. Just know that one laptop stopped charging and I screwed up trying to fix it. Then, my backup fell off of the ottoman and busted the screen. Yes, that truly seems to be my curse in life.

Of course, I made the correct and adult decision of replacing my laptop. Seriously, though, for those of you worried about me and the future of my children, I paid the mortgage. It would have been a very different story if the bill to be paid had been my student loan. Those guys can suck it.

I’m not entirely sure why I tell that story other than as another example to illustrate my commitment to gaming. I mean, it’s not relevant to the topic of this article. But, hey, non sequitur is one of the things we do best around here. Something else we do around here is awkward transitions from the non sequitur. In keeping with both of those traditions, allow me to continue.

Because, without tradition, what are we? No, seriously, what are we. With tradition, we stuff chocolates in socks, so I think it’s worth a shot.

I got the idea for this article a couple of days ago. I knew that I wanted to write another Pokemon article to finish out that game until our next podcast about the game in a couple of weeks once Aiden and Quinn are able to play Sun and/or Moon. Well, Quinn has played it, on my file (and I recently found out that was never saved, so progress was lost!), but Aiden hasn’t played it at all, so we have to give him a chance.

But, that is in about a month, so I have time to come up with more articles then. For now, though, let’s get this one written. The other day, we found ourselves int he middle of a blizzard. I was already home on spring break (yeah, a bit of irony there from Mother Nature) and the rest of the family was also home due to the snow.

For once, I’m not talking about this Blizzard. Except, now I am. But, earlier, I wasn’t. Why can’t I quit you?!

We’ve been trying to ween Aiden off of his “addiction” (I’m not sure if that is the proper word, but he acts like a junkie glued to the screen at times) to technology. The latest attempt has been absolutely no technology until he can show that he can function without it. Yes, we are those parents.

But, I have to say, it seems to be having the intended effect. He’s been reading more. He’s played with Legos (that’s not new, but he’s showing off his creations on Instagram. See themhere), and during the snowstorm he asked to play YuGiOh. I thought this was interesting because I found one of his decks a few weeks ago and remarked on Facebook how I missed the time when he was so into the game. He never saw that post, but still we ended up playing. Sometimes if feels like there might just be a Creator watching over us after all. (S)He certainly answered that prayer.

I know what you’re thinking. YuGiOh? The answer to a prayer? Well, it wasn’t entirely about YuGiOh, okay. It was about father and son time and doing something that he once loved. Judging by our game, he still does. Not only did he ask to play, but he used the deck that I found. What’s so special about this deck? Well, this time it is mostly about the deck. But, it’s also about that coincidence that may have been more.

Okay, I certainly questioned the existence of God after he played this card against me.

When he was really into the game, I got him one of the 1000 assorted card lots. He was so grateful and overwhelmed by the cards. He still talks about it to this day. Both Quinn and Liam asked to make decks and he replied, “Sure, I have over a thousand cards!”

After getting the cards, he spent some time researching decks until he found the perfect deck. He built that deck–Yugi’s deck, he calls it–and put it into a holster like pouch. That’s the deck that I found and that’s the deck he used to pound me into submission the other day.

The most encouraging sign came at the beginning of the match before we even started playing. As I built my deck, he spent the time trying to set up his Kindle to record a video of our match. When that didn’t work, we were going to use Liam’s new camcorder to record. That didn’t work either because the SD card that he got with it malfunctioned. Okay, so where’s the encouragement?

First, and this is total proud parent stuff, he didn’t quit in spite of adversity. He kept trying and that is to be commended. Second, and this is related to the game, he said that he’d be willing to play again once I got a new SD card for the camcorder. With my newly found commitment to the web page, look for that video soon.

I wouldn’t use this much, but it would come in handy for times like this.

So, ostensibly, this article was to compare the two card games that I have played with the boys over the past month. It has taken almost a thousand words to get here, so let’s take at least a couple of paragraphs to explore this. First off, I think that I prefer Pokemon. That’s not a slight against Yugioh at all. I enjoy playing YuGiOh and I can’t wait to play against Aiden again and get our video recorded. The main problem that I have with it is that there are seemingly too many rules that aren’t as intuitive as Pokemon or Magic. I mean, I haven’t played Pokemon in months, either, but I was able to pick it up and play through with only a few questions about mostly status effects. Those always get me. We are never able to keep the tokens around, so it makes it even harder to keep track.

I feel like every time I play YuGiOh, I have major questions about every aspect of the game. The turn structure is similar to Magic, but I just can’t seem to wrap my head around them. I completely forgot about my trap and spell cards because they are played face down and I had a lot of them on the field at one point in the game. Maybe that’s a flaw in my deck design. See, that’s the kind of thing that I mean. I can’t tell if it is my own incompetence or the design of the game. Oh well, I won’t let that get in my way and I will continue to play through as many times as it takes to get to the point where I feel at least competent. I owe it to Aiden to try.