Yu-Gi-Oh! has always been my go-to card game, — or at least, it used to be. As I grew up, it became harder and harder to keep up with the game and I stopped playing for several years. A few weeks ago, I got the itch to play again… and lucky for me, Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution was about to launch on the Switch.
Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution provides a perfect jumping point for people like me. It takes players through the mechanics of the card game by having them play through the stories of each arc of the Yu-Gi-Oh! anime. All of the series are represented in Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution, and each successive series introduces a new mechanic with an in-depth and easy-to-understand tutorial. I dropped off of the card game shortly after Synchro summons were introduced and only kept up with the game peripherally. The game helped me understand how to comfortably play with all of the other summons that were introduced since I stopped playing.
Almost all of the cards introduced up until November of 2018 are included in the game as well, but they’re broken up into packs represented by characters from the anime, rather than in their original release sets. Each character’s pack is primarily full of cards relating to them, but subsets of cards not related to any particular characters are divided equally among them as well. Best of all, buying packs of cards won’t cost you a single cent; instead you spend BP, or Battle Points, to purchase packs of eight random cards. It would have been easy to implement the option to buy extra, or better, sets with real money as a microtransaction — but you won’t find anything of the sort here. Winning duels grants a large amount of BP, often enough to purchase at least two or three packs, but you’ll also get compensation BP even when you lose duels.
Being able to play Yu-Gi-Oh! on the Switch has been a real blessing as well. Long car rides go by quickly when playing through campaign duels and building decks, and it’s easy to throw on a movie at home while devoting at least some attention to the game.
Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution runs great on the Switch, probably because there isn’t much to run in the first place. Other than basic graphics during duels and some admittedly poor-looking animations that trigger each time on of a few signature monsters is summoned, there isn’t a lot going on on-screen. As a result, battery life is phenomenal when playing portably — I was able to play for hours on two successive days without needing to charge my Switch in between, which is almost unheard of for a lot of other games I’ve played this year.
I’ve had a blast playing through Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution over the last week. It’s been entertaining to try and recreate old decks I remember running when I was a kid, but I’ve also been able to experiment with new cards and new card types that I’ve never had the opportunity to use before. Best of all, I never have to purchase cards with real money. Card collecting can be an expensive hobby, no matter what your card game of choice is, but just by owning a copy of this game, I get to enjoy what my favorite part of Yu-Gi-Oh! has always been: building decks and dueling with them. With over 9,000 cards to spend my time with, I don’t think I’ll be getting bored anytime soon.
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