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Yu-Gi-Oh! World Championship Tournament 2004 Package Art
†GENRE
††Card-RPG
†DEVELOPER
††Konami
†PUBLISHER
††Konami
†NUMBER OF PLAYERS
††1-2
†CONNECTIVITY
††No
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Yu-Gi-Oh! World Championship Tournament 2004

With already a great deal of success across all of the platforms it has been released on, the Yu-Gi-Oh! series of games has established its place within the gaming world. With the Game Boy Advance being such an obvious vehicle for a lot of this success, the good guys at Konami have decided to send more Yu-Gi-Oh! love to the fans. This incarnation is what you could call an expansion upon last yearís very successful ďWorld Wide EditionĒ. While that game was already quite full on, was it really necessary to provide merely an update or are we going to get an annual renewal from now on?

visuals

WCT (as Iíll be calling World Championship Edition from here on out) makes use of the World Wide Edition engine from last year. That said, the developers havenít made much headway since then. The cards themselves are sharper and look a bit better than before. The gameís presentation is different since there is no ďstoryĒ yet it makes a much better impression. It looks much cleaner and is certainly easier to navigate through.

However, there are still no fantastic effects or overall improvements within the duels. There is even a backwards step, where once the duel field would change with certain cards, it no longer does so. As solid as the visuals were in the previous game, the very minor changes donít really go as far as they probably should.

audio

The track this year is slightly improved but still nothing memorable. There still are no special sound effects or voices from the TV show. Simply put, there is nothing here that youíd want to use up your battery life on.

gameplay

The same warning that goes with all Yu-Gi-Oh! games needs to be sent out here. If you know nothing about Yu-Gi-Oh! donít bother with this game. As with all the card-battling games in the past, there is no tutorial or learnerís guide or anything else that will help you familiarize yourself with the game. Youíre thrown straight into the deep end. That said, people who donít actively participate in the game but are familiar with the TV show can adapt without TOO much difficulty.

WCT has a slightly different structure to that of World Wide Edition. It is more along the lines of the much earlier version, Eternal Duellist Soul. The opponents that you battle are within a set of tiers. That is, youíll start at tier 1 and once youíve defeated all the duellists in that tier and fulfilled the required criteria, move onto tier 2.

All of your opponents are from the TV show, so it is not as if youíll run into characters just conjured for the sake of the game. As per the last game, they all have a certain theme/strategy that theyíll stick with. One addition made to the game is the inclusion of stats for each opponent, indicating things like their attack, defence and so forth. If anything, it makes the characters more distinguishable and the game a bit more interesting.

The duel engine is virtually the same as in previous games and anyone who knows Yu-Gi-Oh! will be familiar with the field layout and how it is meant to work. The only real differences within the duel are related to rule and interface changes. That is there have been some changes relating to the automated rules and towards your deck restrictions. Some are for the better, though some make it very advantageous for the opponent. The deck construction interface is now much more user friendly and you can organize your deck in a matter of seconds.

Please let me reaffirm my earlier stance. This game is not for non-fans. In fact, the way the opponents are made, much experienced duellist skills are required. The AI can at times be quite relentless, while the duellistsí patience and mettle will be put to a very sharp sword. Another thing about the game that bothered me is that it only contains 100 new cards on top of the 1000 from the previous game. It leaves a taste that is really all too familiar.

multiplayer

The game contains a cart-to-cart multiplayer mode, where you can pit your best deck against your friend in a standard duel. Taking on humans as opposed to AI is a good battle of strategy and can be a lot more fun, especially when you can take on any one of your friends from all around the world.

overall

As a stand-alone game WCT 2004 is probably the best representation of the Yu-Gi-Oh! card game to date. However, as an update to what was a very good game in WWE, it doesnít go as far as it probably should. Some contentious issues such as rule changes and AI difficulty may even turn off a lot of potential players. If you donít own WWE, by all means have a go. However, if this is going to become an annual thing, maybe itís better to wait and see what we get next year? On its own merits I just donít see this game keeping a player for the 100+ hours that the previous could have.

final score 6.5/10





WRITER INFORMATION
Staff Avatar Jeremy Jastrzab
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"I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer."


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