Prepare your deck-building skills and get ready for a deluge of epic battles. This year marks the 20th anniversary of one of the world’s most popular trading card games. You can celebrate with the release of Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist Link Evolution for Nintendo Switch!
Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist Link Evolution Details
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Reviewed on: Nintendo Switch
Developer: Other Ocean Interactive
Genre: Trading card battle game
Modes: Single player, Multiplayer
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)
The Legacy of Yu-Gi-Oh!
The first Yu-Gi-Oh TCG (trading card game) released in Japan in 1999. Ever since it has been spawning numerous releases, including a steady stream of video game adaptations. Twenty years later the franchise still has enormous appeal and is growing stronger and stronger.
Enter Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist Link Evolution, the latest offering in the franchise. This title is exclusive to the Nintendo Switch console, and one of only a handful of TCG genre titles on the platform. It’s actually a re-release of 2015’s Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist, but with all previous DLC and a few new features packed in.
Yu-Gi-Oh! and Nintend-oh!
The Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise has a long history with Nintendo, dating back to the original Game Boy in 1998. Nevertheless Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist did not release on a Nintendo platform. That makes Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist Link Evolution the core game’s Nintendo debut.
At first I was a bit concerned with how well Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist Link Evolution would perform on Switch—primarily in handheld mode. Like other TCG video games, reading card text is imperative. This can be more easily accomplished on a big tv, but not so much when trying to pack everything onto a smaller screen.
Luckily Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist Link Evolution handles this very well, with the card text printed in large font on the left side of the screen without overlapping the field of play to the right. I had no issues enjoying the game on the go—and frankly it’s my favourite way to play.
Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist Link Evolution naturally comes with a few new additions for its transition to the Nintendo Switch. First off, it contains all-new content from Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS, the most recent Yu-Gi-Oh! anime series. You can even play as the antagonists from the series using Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist Link Evolution‘s reverse duals mode.
Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist Link Evolution also introduces “Link Monsters” to the fray. A link Monster is a type of monster card that do not sit in the main deck (or subsequently in the player’s hand). Instead they must be summoned from the extra deck under special conditions.
Naturally Link Monsters are more difficult to bring into the field of play, but yield more powerful results. As such, they take a greater amount of skill and strategy to play correctly. Mastering the use of Link Monsters however can be very rewarding.
Finally, Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist Link Evolution also sees the introduction of the “New Master Rules”. These came into effect for the core Yu-Gi-Oh TCG in 2017. This makes Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist Link Evolution up to date with the most current rules for the game, including the introduction of Link Monsters.
Learning to play
As with most TCG and collectable card games, Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist Link Evolution has a lot of rules. Luckily, if you are new to Yu-Gi-Oh! but familiar with other similar card games, you shouldn’t have any difficulty picking the game up rather quickly. I am well-versed in Magic: The Gathering for example, and the similarities were strong enough for me to quickly feel comfortable with most of the game’s mechanics.
The primary difference between Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist Link Evolution and other similar games is in summoning cost. The Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG dispenses with the concept of mana—or other similar currency uses to “buy” cards out into play. Instead, players can simply summon what they please within the number of spaces available (which is limited). They can also only summon one “Monster Card” per turn (unless other mechanics allow for more).
This makes simply getting started a bit more forgiving for newer players. However do not fret—the deeper mechanics that make it an interesting TCG are still there. Still, I find the concept of eliminating the initial casting cost in favour of this method is nonetheless beneficial in allowing new players to dip their toes in and gradually experience the deeper elements of strategy.
Furthermore, if you are new to Yu-Gi-Oh or similar games entirely, Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist Link Evolution does feature an excellent and in-depth tutorial section. If you are willing to put in the time and patience to go through its comprehensive lessons, then you’ll have no problem jumping in with ample preparation and knowledge.
Keep your reading glasses handy
I’m not very familiar with the story of Yu-Gi-Oh, so I relied on the dense narrative of story mode to engage me during the lengthy campaign. Unfortunately I had a difficult time being drawn in, particularly due to the lack of voice acting. Instead interactions and story beats exist entirely as text.
For hardcore fans of the anime, reading pages of dialogue between their favourite characters may be intriguing. For new players such as myself however, it can end up as a bit of a drudge. The flavour of some voice acting may have done a better job of drawing me in, but as it stands I found the story elements to mostly consist of endless text standing between me and my next exciting card battle.
That said, even if you are not a fan, the narrative does add context to the game. It serves its function of helping you understand why these card battles are taking place between various characters. It really just boils down to your preference of how much story vs. game action you like.
Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist Link Evolution is an exciting TCG that plays well even on the go
Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist Link Evolution is the perfect game for the mobile Switch TCG fan. I love jumping in for a quick card battle on a commute or in the waiting room, and it manages to really play well even with a smaller amount of screen real estate to work with.
The lack of voice acting in story mode is a bit disappointing however. I wish it were there to inject the narrative with a bit more life than it has. That said, I personally don’t play card games for a story—I play them for strategy and competitive action. Luckily Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist Link Evolution does have that in multitudes.
+ Plays great for a TCG on the go
+ Easy to learn with dense tutorials
+ Addition of Link Monsters and New Master Rules
– No voice acting between matches in Story Mode
OVERALL ASSESSMENT OF YU-GI-OH! LEGACY OF THE DUELIST LINK EVOLUTION
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4/5