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Yu-Gi-Oh! The Sacred Cards Package Art
  Card-Based RPG

Yu-Gi-Oh! The Sacred Cards

The popularity of Yu-Gi-Oh! is booming. It now sits among the most popular franchise of this modern day. Obviously it makes sense that most popular franchise expand into other forms of entertainment media, aside from their origins. Yu-Gi-Oh! banks on the ever so popular notion of collection, the items in question being collector cards. However, instead of just collecting these cards, you are also able to use them to create a deck and challenge others to duels. While such card games have been popular across modern times, Yu-Gi-Oh! sets itself apart from others with its deep variety, non-linear gameplay and rules that are easy to learn but hard to master. After a few successful stints on the GBC, GBA, PS1 and PS2, Komani looks to deliver something new. While the past games were purely focused on duelling and deck construction, this latest entry into the Yu-Gi-Oh! world of video games takes the previous two elements and combines them with a standard RPG formula. While this sounds great to fans, it probably may sound alright to RPG fans as well. However, it seems that Yu-Gi-Oh! The Sacred Cards has gone the way of most franchise games. Not the Zelda’s and GTA’s but the Superman’s and Aquaman’s, worthy of entry to the discard pile.


Firstly, the presentation is bare bone, absolutely nothing special or unordinary. The graphics are very first generation, and frankly, they’re worse than previous Yu-Gi-Oh! titles. The backgrounds that you traverse are fully pre-rendered. While there isn’t anything wrong with this, they are placed in such a terrible manner. There is no synchrony, you’ll find that in one map there is a city and the next is a graveyard with no sign of any connection. Character models are very basic, with your own character and anonymous NPC’s looking like ordinary people. However, the characters from the show are distinguishable, though sometimes barely. They are also stuck in very limited movement cycles. As for the battles, the field has been condensed into the entire screen, so not to waste anytime fiddling around, moving left or right. This decreases the resolution of the cards, which makes it difficult for them to be seen in any detail. When viewing the cards themselves, they’re difficult to make out and the positioning of the writing is very inconvenient. In all, nothing that shows that a lot of effort has been made to deliver something really good.


For all that its worth, I turned off the audio after about ten minutes of play. Its not worth wasting my GBA battery with it. Aside from the usual sounds that accompany text and selection conformation, there are a few less than memorable tunes. No voices and no themes from the show. In the end its not really existent.


Really shallow and really disappointing. In terms of story, its nothing special. Basically, you are some anonymous character, who is out to win a duelling tournament. Within this you meet and duel both anonymous characters and those from the TV show. In the over-world, there is bare-bone interactivity, mainly with NPC’s and when you go into shops. Otherwise there is a great limit to what players can do. One neat feature in the over-world though, is you can press the A-button to talk to someone, but to challenge them you press the R-button. This is something different but it barely makes up for the rest of the shortcomings. Your objective in here, other than to win duels, is also to find six locater cards. These create a map, which will allow you to progress to the finals.

For those who don’t already know, Yu-Gi-Oh! duels are similar to most card duelling games of the modern era, though its based on whose life-points reach zero, that person is the loser. Since TSC is an attempted RPG, what the developer has decided to do is strip some of the duelling rules in order for battles to flow faster. This was a huge mistake. Stripping the rules has not only decreased the games challenge, it has also taken a lot of fun out of the game. This is because most of the complex rules, those that involve a choice being made, have been automated to an extent. For example, in a normal duel “Monster Reborn” allows you to revive a monster of your choice from the graveyard. In TSC, it just picks the one off the top. Its rules like these that make the game more of a pain than pleasure. There are rules that limit what you can put in your deck, depending on your level. This makes the duels at the beginning of the game very boring, since most of your monsters are just extremely weak things that no one serious about their game would even consider. In the end, the rules make way for duels devoid of strategy. It’s a case of the one with the strongest monster wins.

Most of the time you’ll find that the AI is actually quite stupid. So getting through the early stages of the game should really be a breeze. With this in mind, it should be know that the game overall lacks sufficient challenge and can be finished in a very short amount of time.


None to speak of whatsoever. Big deal. I doubt any people would want to utilize anyway.


While the other games in the series so far have been solid incarnations for fans, they had little appeal to anyone outside the fan base. Unfortunately, Yu-Gi-Oh! The Sacred Cards is not only virtually unplayabe for non-fans but I find it extremely difficult, almost impossible to recommend to fans, period. The rules are poorly explained and presentation is terrible, so there is no middle ground for outsiders. As for the fans, they could probably put up with the shallow RPG facets but the changes to duelling and deck construction makes the game more of a pain and inconvenience, rather than an enjoyment.

final score 3.0/10

Staff Avatar Jeremy Jastrzab
Staff Profile | Email
"I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer."

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