“Yu-Gi-Oh Dual Links” excels in mobile landscape

The classic card game welcomes a new range of players albeit with simplistic gameplay.

When I first heard of “Yu-Gi-Oh Dual Links,” I was a bit hesitant. When it comes to mobile games, I’m always a bit skeptical, especially when it comes to the implementation, with games such as “Pokemon Go,” developers seem to cut corners when it comes to the integrity of the game in order to make quick buck in the mobile gaming landscape.

Thankfully, “Yu-Gi-Oh Dual Links” stays true to its roots.

During the summer when the “Pokemon Go” craze was in full-effect, I was fuming. As an avid Pokemon player for almost 20 years, I was appalled to see a series I loved so much completely change its formula in order to target mobile users.

While effective, it seems that the long term effects of the game have died down, at least from my point of view. It is something I had anticipated from the get-go as I boycotted playing the game with my friends.

“Yu-Gi-Oh Dual Links” on the other hand, allows me to reminisce with my childhood as I traverse through the game and level up. While the game may be skeletal in terms of mechanics, cards and actual things to do, it is this simplistic nature that makes it as addicting as ever.

The game starts off with the user choosing either Yami Yugi or Seto Kaiba as they reignite their classic rivalry in a tutorial-based battle. After learning the basic structure of the game (and seeing a completely badass mascot card summoning animation) the game effectively drops you in what is called “Dual World” where your only objective is, you guessed it, dueling.

From here the repetitive nature of the game takes over with you, the user, dueling random duelists (all of whom don’t pose a challenge initially), leveling up your character and your stage while simultaneously collecting cards, opening packs and battling, what the game considers, “legendary duelists” who are really just relevant anime characters making cameos and then becoming playable after completing a few challenges.

With all that being said, “Yu-Gi-Oh Dual Links” does cut its share of corners. The battle area is cut from 10 monster/spell/trap summoning spots to six and no new mechanics past the first series of cards have been introduced. But, even so, the game has its unique charm to it which allows it to be so repetitive while not being boring.

From a “Pokemon Go” hater point-of-view, I can understand why a serious “Yu-Gi-Oh” player may be angry at the mobile attempt. However, at the same time, the classic battle system stays true and the core values of “Yu-Gi-Oh” are as ever present. Konami, at least in my book, has shown its success in turning a niche card game into a viral, mobile phenomenon.

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