yugioh world championship tournament 2004
Of all the collectable card games based on oddly named kids with
unrealistically spiky and angular hair, none has been quite as
successful as yugioh The little guy and his pals have made the
concept of having pictures of monsters come to life and fight
each other just as much a part of our culture as Thanksgiving
dinner or baring one's breast during the Super Bowl. The Yug-ster
is back on the GBA with yugioh World Championship Tournament 2004,
and if you're a card-carrying duelist, you might want to hold
off on buying a few of the latest booster packs so you can drop
the dough on this cart.
Konami has been cranking out yugioh-based games on a pace rivaled
only by the late 3DO's prolific extrusion of Army Men games. The
difference here, though, is that for the most part -- and especially
for the GBA -- the games have all been solid. WCT2004 brings us
back to what Yugi does best -- dueling. Unlike Dungeon Dice Monsters
or Sacred Cards, which took the whole dueling thing off on tangents,
this latest release is all about summoning, setting, traps, and
This is the third dueling sim released for the GBA, and like
Eternal Duelist Soul and the epically titled Worldwide Edition:
Stairway to the Destined Duel, it's best if you already have some
inkling of just what the heck to do before you start whipping
the cards around. The instruction manual outdoes its predecessors
in explaining how the actual dueling process is supposed to unfold,
but it still falls short due to the complexity of the game.
Avoid hotels that offer "Needle Ceiling."
Quickly, here's what a typical duel entails. You start with 8,000
life points and a deck made up of 40 to 60 cards featuring either
monsters or more magical traps and spells. The idea is to use
your monsters to attack your opponent and whittle away his life
points by defeating his monsters and dodging whatever mystical
whammies he tosses your way. That may not sound very sexy, but
you should see the way the chicks flock to me once I start spouting
off on the relative merits of Empress Mantis versus Summoned Skull.
Newcomers to the dueling scene may want to check out the somewhat
maligned PC title Power of Chaos to help them learn the ropes.
It's slightly more accessible than any of the GBA carts and playing
on a 15-, 17-, or 19-inch monitor as opposed the GBA screen makes
reading the cards a bit easier on the eye bulbs.
And you will be reading cards. There are 1,000 ghouls and spells
to become familiar with. A lot of them are old faves, but there
are over 100 new cards that can be added to your deck. Also new
is the way you encounter your fellow duelists. Unlike Worldwide
Edition with its Virtua Fighter 4-style map that let you jump
from area to area, here you make your way up the ranks by taking
on familiar faces from the yugioh universe. Start with the easy-to-whup
Tea Gardner and move your way up the ladder. While the set up
screens may be bright, shiny, and new, the duels themselves look
the same as they did in earlier games. It's not a bad thing. Things
are presented clearly and logically, and there really aren't a
lot of ways to play around with the Deck Zone layout without losing
some of this functionality. After all, this is a game about being
able to read really tiny numbers.
One improvement over Worldwide Edition is that you're no longer
able to import cards from your own real-world deck into your GBA
virtual deck. It was a cool concept -- the idea being that you'd
be able to test your deck against the A.I. at any hour of the
day instead of being forced to actually hunt down another living,
breathing duelist. It made it too easy to cheat, though. As long
as you knew the eight-digit code printed on the front of a card,
you could own that card in the game.
Konami is still pushing the multilingual aspect of the game --
you can play in Japanese, German, Spanish, etc. The lofty goal,
apparently, is that this will finally break down the age-old language
barriers that prevented, say, the French and Italians from doing
any meaningful dueling in the past. You will want to check out
what the cards and their descriptions look like in Japanese kanji,
but I seriously doubt you'll end up using your link cable to take
on a duelist who might only know German.
Think of yugioh World Championship Tournament 2004 as being like
the latest version of Madden. Gameplay is essentially the same
as it's been in the past and the only differences are some minor
tweaks and an updated roster. In Madden, you get to play as a
young hotshot like Michael Vick -- in yugioh, you get to bring
it as an evil clown-looking dude with a mess of arms and really
pointy teeth. If you played any of the earlier dueling sims and
are into all things yugioh, it's time to duel ... again.
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