Yu-Gi-Oh! RUSH DUEL Dawn of the Battle Royale!! | Review | Nintendo Switch

  • Developer: Matrix Software
  • Publisher: Konami
  • Release Date: 07/12/2021
  • Price: £35.99 / $39.99

Introducing: Yu-Gi-Oh! RUSH DUEL: Dawn of the Battle Royale!! Review

I strongly remember the day as a young kid that I got my first Yu-Gi-Oh! deck and thus pushing me head first into the world of trading card games. Fast forward to today and I can usually be found at my local games store on my days off. So, I was pretty excited with the announcement that we would actually be getting the latest Yu-Gi-Oh! console game, Yu-Gi-Oh! RUSH DUEL: Dawn of the Battle Royale!! (which I will be referring to Yu-Gi-Oh! RUSH DUEL from this point forward), this year. Jump a few months later and we are finally here and ready to dive head first to the first console game for the series in years. It’s time to Duel!

Goha Corporation and the Battle Royale

The story puts you into the shoes of a new student to the school. Your first day at Goha Elementary #7, the main setting of the anime within the town run by the Goha Corporation, and you immediately meet the main characters of the anime themselves and befriend them. From a special announcement, a Battle Royale is announced where the prize is for the winner’s wish to come true. The entirety of the story follows you and the main cast competing within this Battle Royale.

The problem I have here is that this game pretty much requires you to know the anime to some extent to really understand what is going on. The RUSH DUEL format, which is the headliner for this title, is basically forced into the Goha duel network by the main character of the anime. Without this knowledge, you literally have no idea why the main cast would suspect Goha of being up to something by suddenly embracing RUSH DUELS. Otherwise, this is your standard card game anime story with a series that makes its protagonists younger and younger.

Time to Learn a New Format

The first thing you do as part of the story is learn how to actually RUSH DUEL. When I heard the rules, draw up to 5 cards each turn and summon all the monsters you want, which reminded me of playing the game as a child. Not sure of the exact rules to the game, but having fun playing by our own rules.

Sadly, this doesn’t have the same charm to me as a grown adult who is used to playing more complicated card games. While I understand that the Yu-Gi-Oh! Card game itself is targeted towards children, the real life mechanics allow older people to still play and enjoy it.

While this format change certainly made duels faster, it took all of the strategy you would need to win. Each duel basically boiled down to get a big monster on board, boost it with a spell, and bully anything the enemy has on the field. Sometimes a duel can introduce mechanics that are new to the player, but rarely is this an actual challenge. 

Develop Your Own Strategy, Or Not

One of the biggest charms to a card game is being able to learn the rules and then use your collection to build your own decks. For those unfamiliar to the game, Yu-Gi-Oh! RUSH DUEL offers numerous deck recipes that someone can just equip and use to duel with, which I suppose would make this game more accessible to more people. 

In the same stroke though, it locks players out of taking the training wheels off right away. A more experienced player is stuck using deck recipes for a period of time. Having to work to unlock the deck building aspect of a trading card video game is just ridiculous. Why would you punish fans of the series by making them slog through using underpowered decks compared to what they could build?

Get Your Grind On

Having to fight a bunch of random duelists repeatedly shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who has played a card game video game. Oftentimes this is used to help players gather cards, or currency to buy cards. Within Yu-Gi-Oh! RUSH DUEL, this also allows duelists to unlock new deck recipes whenever they beat a duelist using one. 

I had a night where I kept grinding the same duelists trying to get a certain card or get currency to buy cards from the shop. It made me realize that the bare bones rules of the RUSH DUEL format just weren’t engaging enough. It simply made me more bored with the grind than excited to get new cards and play more.

Online Dueling is Here

Here is where I had the most fun with the game honestly. Just being able to play against an actual person that won’t just empty out their hand every turn was refreshing. Also, a huge section of the game’s cosmetics go into your online presence. Unlocking new avatars, card sleeves, and duel mats all happen mostly within the store. I actually liked these cosmetics as it gave me something more than just cards to buy, but you need to play through the game a bit before you can even duel online or use these cosmetic items. 

I See Your Trophies and Raise You Achievements

There is a lot of dueling to be done and there are achievements attached to most of it. Anything from using specific deck recipes and duel avatars online, to simply earning currency and winning turn order in Rock, Paper, Scissors, is tracked and rewarded. Rewards vary from more currency, special tickets to open packs and guarantee certain rarity in cards, and more cosmetics to use online. Honestly, without these I would most likely have stuck with only one or two deck recipes and had an even worse experience with this game.

Final Thoughts

Yu-Gi-Oh! RUSH DUEL: Dawn of the Battle Royale!! Is a mediocre title in its entirety. The new dueling format lacks substance. The game is really restrictive early on in letting you use cards you earn outside of deck recipes, and this title overall feels like a hold-over while we wait for the real game, Master Duel, to come out later in 2022. You will have much more fun picking up a structured deck or two and playing a game with your friends for old time’s sake. It will save you some money too.

Pros:

  • Lots of cards
  • Deck recipes for beginners 
  • Simply story, ideal for kids

Cons:

  • Locks out experienced players with deck restrictions
  • Way too much grinding
  • Not very strategic game play

Verdict

Yu-Gi-Oh! RUSH DUEL: Dawn of the Battle Royale!! Feels more like an insult to the people that would actually buy this title than a proper game.

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