PC REVIEW: YU-GI-OH ONLINE

If Yu-Gi-Oh! came out on toilet paper I wouldn't wipe my…hey!..I've got to remember this is a G-rated website.

If anything, Yu-Gi-Oh!, like Pokemon, is a lesson in marketing. Sure it's a decent card game but these types of card games have been around for hundreds of years. Don't believe me? Did you know that Nintendo began as a card game manufacturing company over 100 years ago? Do you think they just made cards for old people to sit around and play Bridge with? Strategy style card games have been big in Japan for centuries.

The actual card game of Yu-Gi-Oh! itself is good enough to stand the test of time but the card collecting, animated TV shows, comic books and videogames make this series almost impossible for youngsters to resist. Youngsters is Konami's target demographic. It's the equivalent, to me, of a fried chicken wing smothered in hot sauce. The only thing better than a fried chicken wing smothered in hot sauce is lots of them.

It never fails to amaze me how Konami can wring another buck out of this tired, old, goldmine. In this attempt they offer online play. It probably won't win any new recruits but it will allow the fanatics to play against other like-minded freaks anytime, anywhere. This is especially good news to those kids that have dissed all their friends in the hood. Now they can diss kids from Israel, Pakistan, Japan and Saskatchewan. I bet you don't know where Saskatchewan is. Don't worry, even they don't know where they are. I know, I've been there.

If you don't know how to play Yu-Gi-Oh! you're going to need a very patient friend to explain it to you since you won't get a comprehensive tutorial in any of the videogames, including this one. At best you'll get a rough idea of the premise but you don't want to experiment with this game since it will cost you money for each duel. The price of the game is less than ten bucks but that's just the software. You have to purchase duel passes. A card of 150 of them works out to about a dime a game. It can bet expensive if YGO is your life.

Once you set up your account you will be sent to the lobby where you can choose your own game or let the server set you up with one. You'll be dealt 40 cards which you can add to later on in the game. Collecting and trading cards is one of the franchise's most addicting features and you can do that online. It's claimed that new cards will be offered online as long as kids are still playing the darn thing.

You can chat with your opponent online but it opens up a window that obliterates the screen. It's also easy to miss a communication from your opponent as the only signal you have that someone is trying to reach you is a tiny blinking light in the corner of the screen. There is a language filter that is supposed to eliminate any bad words. See how many bad words it recognizes - and remember that someone had to program them in there in the first place. You'll also be amazed at some of the words that the filter deems as offensive.

The interface looks like your basic YGO set up. There's not a lot of animation, special effects or sound effects but that kind of quality is not expected to accompany this game since it never has and kids don't miss what they've never had; another good marketing strategy implemented by Konami.

If you're a fan of YGO then nothing I say will dissuade you from getting this game, and in a way I do feel somewhat jealous that I can't get excited about this game as some kids obviously will. Think of me while you're crippling your opponent with the Magic Ghost and I'll think of you while I'm inhaling my 20th hot chicken wing with a song in my heart and a tear in my eye.

System: PC
Dev: Konami
Pub: Konami
Release: Aug 2005
Players: 1 - 8
Review by Cole
RATING (OUT OF 5)
OVERALL
2.5
GRAPHICS
2.5
CONTROL
4.0
MUSIC/FX
2.0
VALUE
3.0