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Alejandra Rangel
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Yu-Gi-Oh! is one of those games that fits perfectly into the proverbial category of appearance that deceives.

Watching an episode of the cartoon, especially over a certain age, you can't help but roll your eyes every three by two and ask yourself what the target of producers is. Looking at a game of cards as perfect ignoramuses, however, it almost seems that the duelists are speaking Martian. We often tend to consider it a childish version of Magic: The Gathering, the well-known trading card game which inspired it, but the reality is that, putting aside the cartoon, and delving into the rules and mechanics of the game, Yu-Gi-Oh! it is definitely more strategic and complex than it seems. It is no coincidence that even today, fifteen years after the first printing, it continues to make proselytes and to be played in tournaments, trade shows, recreation centers and clubs around the world. Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal: World Duel Carnival tries to recreate that feeling on Nintendo 3DS, but fails miserably.

World Duel Carnival is far too incomplete a title for even fans to consider

The story that isn't there

Based on the parent series spin-off of the same name, Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal stars Yuma Tsukumo, a Duel Monsters player who finds himself dealing with an alien entity called Astral. World Duel Carnival's Story Mode is something of a spin-off itself, and features twelve separate storylines, each centering on a different character from the diverse original cast: Yuma, Reginald, Kite, Tori, and so on.

Here the problems already begin, because in the Japanese version of World Duel Carnival the characters proposed in the Story mode were even forty: a senseless curtailment that, in fact, undermines the longevity of a title that, as you will soon discover, certainly does not shine for variety. . Fortunately or unfortunate, do vobis, the loss doesn't seem to have been as devastating since the plots told through dialogues and illustrations are anything but compelling and are presented more than anything else as mere pretexts to justify the succession of various clashes. The presentation, however, is somewhat lackluster. The dialogues are not spoken (another difference compared to the Japanese counterpart) and the texts are extremely childish and inconclusive. Fortunately, you can skip each narrative sequence by acting on the console's touch screen, but some regret remains because the Story mode, being one of only two present, could have been cured much better. Fans of the anime will find that each character has the same, identical cards that characterize their style of play in the original series, which certainly gives a more faithful flavor to the games, but undoubtedly limits the possible strategies as the decks are basically prepackaged. In case you are not able to continue with a certain character, then, it is a cure-all the possibility to change the difficulty level at any time and to retry each game without the terror of a real Game Over. That said, the Story mode is also the only one to offer a minimum of replay value, as the various characters are unlocked by completing the various storylines. In short, for fans of the game itself, there is the free mode.

The 3D effect

So small that you can safely disable it and save on battery.

Relatively free

The Free Duel mode, on the other hand, represents the real tribute of the MCP2 developer to the hard and pure fans of the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading card game! This does not mean that there is no room for newbies: the game, on the contrary, even before reaching the main menu, will ask us if we want to learn how to play or if we are already expert duelists. In this sense, World Duel Carnival does a great job of explaining step by step the rules of each game, which get more complicated as new notions are presented, but never overwhelming or confusing..

We will not be discussing them here because it would result in a papyrus that would not interest anyone, least of all the fans who were probably the first to click on this review, but the game manages to reproduce the idea of ​​a game quite effectively. to Duel Monsters complete with a customizable playing field and card back. Too bad, however, that the low-resolution illustrations of the various cards do not do any justice to the original ones, ruining a bit one of the best aspects of the franchise. The Free Duel mode allows you to step into the shoes of your avatar and face at will the various opponents designed for the game and, of course, their favorite decks: for this purpose it is possible to freely draw on a pool of over five thousand cards and build up to immediately your ideal decks, with no limits or restrictions except those imposed by the rules of the game. Unfortunately, however, the aforementioned pool is not updated to the latest releases in terms of cards and expansions of the game, so the most avid fans could feel the weight of these shortcomings, especially if they aim to reproduce the strategies implemented in reality in-game. Newbies, on the other hand, will not miss it, because there will be another one to weigh on the enjoyment of the title: the multiplayer mode that, simply ... does not exist. Incredible to say, MCP2 did not implement multiplayer either online or offline, betraying one (if not two, including the concept of exchanging cards) of the principles of the game itself, namely competitiveness. A defect, in our opinion, simply colossal.




Readers (18)


Your vote

There is little to say: in the absence of a multiplayer mode of any kind, Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal: World Duel Carnival immediately loses any appeal, proposing itself as a simple simulator - moreover obsolete - of matches against artificial intelligence that could come in handy for those who want to approach the trading card game and are looking for a kind of interactive tutorial. Between the absence of content compared to the Japanese version and the sparse and superficial presentation of the only two game modes, it is impossible not to be disappointed even if you are a super fan of the original card game.


  • It is a good tutorial for newbies
  • The free mode allows you to create many decks
  • The most recent cards are missing
  • Flat and limited story mode
  • No multiplayer features
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