Having played a number of versions of Yu-Gi-Oh!
; from the standard card game itself with friends to the Game Boy Advance versions, to even the Xbox version and now the PC releases; Power of Chaos looks to build an empire of games starting with Yugi the Destiny followed by Kaiba the Revenge with another release coming in the near future. What this all equates out to is money coming from your pocket for what is really a substandard entry in the YuGiOh universe that you’re better off investing in almost any other version of the game. Save for The Sacred Cards, that game is just awful.
Essentially each of the Power of Chaos games is the same, just a few new cards and a new duelist to face with a shiny new interface. Both games suffer from simply a lack of things to do. There is a very limited number of cards to obtain; by the count in Kaiba the Revenge there are 466 cards total. That is less than half of what you get in one copy of any of the World Tournament games found on the GBA. Duelist selection is non-existent as each title spells it out on who you’ll be dueling. Yugi the Destiny has you playing against Yugi and Kaiba the Revenge has you squaring off against Kaiba. Thankfully to break up the monotony of dueling they brought in the voice actors to have them speak during the duel, a little something to spice things up as you hear Yugi/Kaiba deny you of a game breaking move, or vice versa. Why player versus player/online play is not present is well beyond me. Although I would imagine they would have to dramatically increase the number of usable cards if they planned to do that. It’s always something to hope for in the future though.
Playing against Yugi and Kaiba has its highs and lows. When they decide to bring their A game, you’ll know it. I’ve had games where I can be under complete lockdown and can only surrender to stop the duel before it gets any uglier. But then there are times where I can do the exact same thing to them. There is never a consistent level of difficulty in the game and that is also due to the fact that the decks you start out with are garbage in comparison to your virtual opponent. I can understand giving me slightly weaker monsters, but what about magic and trap cards? Yugi gets a Swords of Revealing Light card, which prevents me from attacking for 3 turns, but I get nothing that can destroy it? Or Kaiba gets a Raigeki card that lets him destroy all my monsters but I have nothing to do the same to him? It’s little things like that that make this game a chore to play sometimes.
Card acquisition is just a painfully slow process. When dueling you are given the option to playing a single duel or a match duel. Win the single duel and you get ONE card, win the match duel and you get THREE cards, but you may have to go through three matches to win. Once again it’s slow and you’re never guaranteed good cards. You can sometimes turn up trash cards or even two of the same card in one pull. Konami’s decision to remove the ability to input your own in cards in the last couple of games has done a world of hurt to their appeal because you could be looking for just one single piece of Exodia and weeks could go by without any chance of picking it up. This doesn’t encourage me in the slightest to go pick up and play the game any more.
Graphically I don’t see how this game requires any sort of 3-D graphics card but it does. Thankfully the low-end requirements allow you to play this on any machine that would be at least 3-4 years old. The duels are on a nicely themed field. Yugi has the whole Egyptian Pharaoh thing going for him and Kaiba has the sleek and cold computer world behind him and each character is given art for various situations in the duel, which helps when they have something to announce, it’s especially comical and dramatic when they summon the best monster they have and it’s this great speech about how the card is their heart and soul and pride and honor as a duelist. Each card graphic is nice and clear and there is a sidebar that tells you all the information you would need to know about a card.
Musically the game falls flat on its face, some really weak techno beats on both games that changes according to the flow of the duel. If you’re taking a beating the music will get a bit more urgent and if you’re winning it’ll become a bit more pumped up as you deliver the final blow that wins you that oh so wonderful one card that will make such a drastic difference to your deck.
If you need something to eat up your hard drive space and you enjoy YuGiOh then look no further. But if you want something more portable that you can pick up and play once then go grab a Gameboy Advance and one of the World Championship games it’ll be money better spent in the long run.
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