Yu-Gi-Oh! 5DS World Championship 2011 – Over The Nexus DS Review

Gaming

Yu-Gi-Oh! 5DS World Championship 2011 – Over The Nexus

Devloper: Konami
Publisher: Konami
System: Nintendo DS
Price: $27.50 US (BUY) – Seriously, you don’t want to be paying local price for this. DS games are region free (though 3DS games aren’t 🙁 ).
Genre: Card Games/ RPG

Overview

Yu-Gi-Oh! 5DS World Championship 2011 – Over The Nexus is a digital trading card game for the Nintendo DS handheld. The game follows a player created protagonist in a story that involves several recognisable main characters from the television show and takes place in related but fully recognisable areas. The title is strangely addictive, I kept finding myself putting off this review for a few minutes longer while I was dueling in the background.  So let’s get into it, shall we (before I start another duel).

Story

The game takes place in what seems to be arc involving those white-robed dudes in the anime (the ~100 episode range, not quite sure where that arc ends though). Without being spoilery, the game does involve the animes arc into the games story, but changes it up a bit, just like how 2009 changed up the whole Signer thing… but not in exactly the same way.

The main character is an older-teen (from appearance) who lives in Crash Town, which is a Cowboy Western style town, and due to circumstance and player input, leaves to live in the city and becomes a great duelist. Of course, the story is a bit more than that, with kidnappings, threats, dangers, thievery and friendships all taking a large part of the adventure being told.

With the game being made the way it is, it makes it difficult to accurately gauge the length of the story. What I mean by that is that each chapter seems to be made up of events that have a few forced duels in them and each duel can take anywhere from 5 mins to a really long time to complete, depending on how good your deck is. And of course, the strength of your deck is almost completely reliant on how lucky you are with the cards you receive from a booster whenever you buy a pack of cards (using in game money of course). My best estimate on story time is probably 4 or 5 hours which can be spaced further by potentially exceedingly long duels. This games story could easily be burned through by a lucky or incredibly skillful player, but someone unlucky or not quite as skilled will probably take a little bit longer to complete it.

As the story progresses, the areas that you can explore will increase in quantity, but you are only able to back track through the game after reaching a certain point. While it’s not really annoying, and not quite un-understandable, I found it a little odd. But it does make sense, especially when you consider the distance between locations.

Gameplay

This game plays similarly to any other 3rd person quasi-birdseye view RPG, in that the control pad moves you around and you use the buttons to do an action that corresponds with that button. Of course, this changed when you’re in a duel though, as you can use the touch screen to select options on the duel field as well as activate cards and the like. The touchscreen can also be used to move and select objects and options within the game.

During your adventure, you will come across many characters that you will need to interact with to further the story. It is quite easy to tell who these characters are as they stand out quite a bit from the rest of the characters in the game. They will usually require you to collect something from another character or location and usually also duel you at the end of the errand. You will find that this is almost the case for every chapter in the game.

As the game progresses, you will be able to access the card store within any zone of the game. I found it strange that they were not available immediately, considering you can just switch to the game menu and buy the cards from there at any point in the game. Personally though, I used the in-game shops for cards as an immersion thing. You can use any card that you’ve acquired during deck construction, which is also available in the game menu, and only if that card is not a part of the restricted card list.

The game includes an epic amount of cards, which I guess to be a large majority, if not all, of the cards that have been released in real life to date. These cards are assembled into a deck for you to use in duels and the decks must follow a certain format of 40+ cards with no more than 3 of each card.

Each duel in the game follows the format of the real life card game, which is similar, but slightly different, to the ruleset used by the characters in the show that this game is based on. At the beginning of a duel, each player begins with 8000 Life Points, which it is the goal of the player to decrease their opponents to 0 in order to win. This can be done in a few ways, but is always doe by using cards within a players turn. A lot of cards have effects that are only trigger-able in certain situations, and using these kinds of cards to your advantage is the best way to win in the game.

During a Duel you can select cards using the touch screen, or by using the control pad. It’s a little more realistic if you use the touch pad, but ultimately it’s more of a personal choice than anything.

The last aspect of dueling is a couple of variations on the rules, such as tag-duels and turbo duels. These duels follow the same basic premise as a regular duel, only a tag-duel lets you team up with an AI opponent, or another human in online play, and turbo duels replace spell cards with turbo spell cards, that require you to use speed-counters to activate. Both variants are quite fun to play, it’s only too bad that they aren’t available for every duel.

One thing that I found displeasing in this title is that while it includes duel runners, it only allows you to race on them, rather than race *and* duel. They get to do both in the show, so why not in the game? While the turbo duels do take place on the duel runner in a story sense, while actually dueling there is no indication that this is the case at all.

Visuals

Visually the game is quite simple, at least while in a menu or in a duel. While it’s possible to get lost in the menu sometimes, it’s hard to argue that it is designed simply. I think that the basic 2D display in a duel is also much easier to work with and easier on the graphics unit of the DS handheld.

This does not mean that there is no 3D in the game though. The entire adventuring aspect of the game is generated in 3D, so that includes characters, duel runners and backgrounds. The 3D is of course, basic modelling and textures as the DS system probably couldn’t handle too many of them at the same time. There is also some 3D in duels, mainly when a specific monster is summoned onto the field.

While the game is aesthetically simple, it is well done and easy to use, so it’s kind of difficult to complain about really. Even the character art is really well done, good job developers.

The one main problem however, is the reuse of assets from previous games. I think an entire town or two was lifted from World Championship 2009 or 2010, but it kind of makes sense continuity wise, considering the characters of the show aren’t just going to move out for some inexplicable reason. That’s my one complaint and it’s really quite minor.

Audio

First duel theme you will hear in the story portion of this game is western style theme with a technoey kind of beat. IT IS FREAKING AWESOME! I’m not sure if I should really write much else on the topic, because I really loved the background music of the game. Even the non-cowboy duel theme is great.

There isn’t really too much to say on the topic of audio, it’s all done really quite well and even the background music in towns and other areas are of an enjoyable quality. The sound effects are great, and aren’t too long or too short. Everything is just right.

Overall

Yu-Gi-Oh! 5DS World Championship 2011 – Over The Nexus is an amazing game. The art, the audio and the duels are all the real standouts in the game. With plenty of things to find and unlock, as well as some references to previous series, it is incredibly entertaining. This game is definitely for any fan of the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise as well as anyone who likes trading card games and an online competitive environment in general. I can’t seem to put this game down!

8-0-capsules-out-of-10

Gaming for as long as my memory serves me, probably longer.

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