Yu-Gi-Oh! Duelists of the Roses

Yu-Gi-Oh! Duelists of the Roses
Yu-Gi-Oh! Duelists of the Roses should have been great. The series is amazingly popular and the card game can be quite fun. Somehow, Konami managed to ruin a game despite the odds.

First, this PS2 game takes the world of Yu-Gi-Oh! and transplants it into the middle ages, with the War of the Roses. The houses of Lancaster and York are vying for the throne of England, and only cards can settle it.

OK, I don't mind that. I love English history, and I also enjoy card games. So into the tutorial we head. While they go over every step in the game, it's one gigantically long rush of about 1/2 hour or more. And instead of letting you practice the commands and repeat them, it's a slideshow-like sequence where you just keep hitting X ... X ... X. You really need a walkthrough to print out to have it all available and ignore their slideshow.

I don't recall Henry looking like this in the paintings ...

Finally you get to the game. You choose a default deck and take it into "battle" as you try to move across England. Problem 1 - there's no practice! You go from that slideshow right into a nasty battle that many find difficult to win. You are often dealt awful cards that even skilled players find it hard to win with. It's hard to learn the game when your monsters are stomped easily left and right.

At least you might have pretty things to look at and listen to while you die, right? Wrong! The graphics for the cards are awful. You can barely tell what element something is or anything else. Even the important numbers are hard to decipher. And for sound, you get the same droning loop of synth music again and again.

The indicator symbols look like impressionistic paintings

Cardplay is new and unusual, with monsters moving across the board and facing each other on different terrain types. It's sort of interesting but can be extremely frustrating, especially for new players. You do get a semi-cool 3d "quick battle" when the cards meet, but even that is on a boring background and lasts maybe 5 seconds.

Perhaps worth it for the incredibly-dedicated Yu-Gi-Oh! fan, but the rest of us should demand something better next time. This game is an embarassment given the quality of PS2 games coming out today.

Buy Yu-Gi-Oh! Deulists of the Roses from Amazon.com

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