Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel Switch review does the game's king still reign?

Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel Switch review does the game's king still reign? ...

Ive been waiting for that one game in all of the years I've played Yu-Gi-Oh, whether it's a fan-made online deck-building tool or a condensed version for the casual player, but a multiplayer online experience that truly replicates the thrill of opening packs, special summoning, and putting your opponent's life points to zero.

Duelling itself is enjoyable. Ive been away from the Yu-Gi-Oh-sphere for a couple years, but within minutes of purchasing Master Duel, I was back in my glory, activating face downs, and watching as terrifying combos hammered my life points into nothingness. It may sound cliche, but the game is a joy to play in every single multi-summon routine.

Im using the Nintendo Switch extensively, and have had little to no issues with gameplay or connectivity. Following on from the success of Duel Links, its nice to see that touch mechanics are as flexible as they are in the mobile game, and ranked matchmaking is equally as quick and reliable. It takes some getting used to returning to the d-pad, since it makes you less likely to make a mistake in the middle of a long combo chain.

Before getting into the online nitty-gritty, I must give the solo mode in Yu-Gi-Oh! some serious credit for not trying to be Nostalgia Simulator 2022. Instead, the game encourages you to pursue newer gameplay while shying away from cosying up to franchise icons or retro gameplay.

After over twenty years of Konami trying to encapsulate anime plots into their games, their absence feels refreshing. The individual scenarios in their place are a welcome change to the formula. It's here that imaginative card designs that often play second fiddle to the spiky-haired anime cast shine with some time in the spotlight.

Master Duel seems to be adroit at taking care of its new players, with each solo scenario nugget equipped with a two-part tutorial introducing you to specific decks and combos. This is one of the new functions introduced to combat the temptation to spend endless hours and gems on one specific card.

The online duel option, although no expense has been paid for it, is the real attraction for this game, as it is situated at the top of the main menu. Similar skilled duellists are vying it out to go further up the ladder and get additional rewards.

Casual duels, on the other hand, are currently lacking. The only free duel option is dependent on a clunky room-based system with no instant matchmaking and only a few customisable rules for funky duels; a legacy mode for returning players who are still confused by Pendulum combos or a simpler to use casual mode for deck testing is definitely beneficial.

This may or may not be the case in the future, as it is clear that Konami intends to add more content to its tournament feature. However, it does make deck-testing more difficult when the only options are playing fast and loose with your ranking or trying your luck in locating a casual room with a responsive opponent.

This game is for duellists, with no glitches or gimmicks in the solo mode or the well-crafted deck-building menus. Instead, it serves as a love letter to the card game core of what has expanded into a franchise of poorly-performing games that are all seeking to elude the perceived injustice of the original card game.

Master Duel has an option to purchase gems that can buy you cards, decks, and in-game cosmetics, just like other free-to-play titles. I've played for over twenty hours and made two custom decks, and haven't had to pay an additional couple of booster packs once.

Master Duel follows the fine line that has tripped up free game developers before, and I feel well compensated for taking the time to study both online duels and grinding out the solo mode. It wasnt even like solo mode was the usual reward found in a free-to-play mode.

Is this the game that will connect the pieces of the millennium puzzle together and kick start a Yu-Gi-Oh franchise's quest for form and mass popularity? I think it's far too early to say until we've seen how difficult it is to amass gems once the launch bonuses have gone, but I think Master Duel will serve as a mainstay platform for Konami's king of card games.

Before going into a completely different experience with the four-player dueling sim, make sure to check out our Yu-Gi-Oh! Cross Duel interview with developerYuya Takayanagi.

Yu-Gi-Oh!Master Duel Switch review

Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel is packed with what all duellists have waited for, as well as a surprise standout solo mode that frees itself from the anime's constraints. With top deck-building mechanics, intuitive duelling, and a massive roster of available cards, this free-to-play game is still going to fail due to its short lifespan.