E3 2019 Hands On: Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution

Saturday, June 15th, 2019

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YU GI OH! Legacy of the Duelist

Title: Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution
Publisher(s): KONAMI
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch
Release Date: August 20, 2019

Website
Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution is one of those games that is aimed at those who grew up with the anime series/trading card game and at those who just started to enjoy the franchise with the newest anime of Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS. The gameplay concept in this digital version of the trading card game is simple: defeat your opponent by taking his/her life points to zero or fulfill any other number of ‘win’ conditions that you have in your deck.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution is an updated physical Switch edition of the title that came out back in 2015/2016 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC (Steam). In this new Switch version, there are now nine-thousand cards for you to build your deck from (including those on the Forbidden and Limited List), you can play online or with other players locally, you can compete in sealed play and draft play, and there are now Link Monster cards that were added to the TCG in 2017 that weren’t in the PS3/Xbox/PC version. All of this additional content is experienced by the player as he or she works his/her way through all of the major plot points from every single Yu-Gi-Oh! anime series to have come out. During my hands-on demo, I played with Yugi Moto’s deck from the anime starting from the very first episode where he does a practice duel with Joey Wheeler and then later against Seto Kaiba after he steals Grandpa’s Blue-Eyes White Dragon and they battle at Kaiba Corp.
Yu Gi Oh! Legacy of the Duelist | Characters

You can select from any of the previous and current anime series to see their full storyline from beginning to end, as told through visual novel-style cutscenes and dialogue that is extremely accurate to the American dub. (Image courtesy of KONAMI).

Yu Gi Oh! Legacy of the Duelist | ZEXAL
The storyline itself, from what I saw, hewed very closely to the original anime series. Story cutscenes are told through static images like a visual novel and the dialogue was written extremely well to the point where I could honestly hear the American dub voice actor/actresses talk in my mind. This is an extremely faithful product that was created and localized by a team who knew their Yu-Gi-Oh! anime and clearly loves everything about it.
Yu Gi Oh! Link Evolution | Battle Packs

There are multiplayer modes- including Draft Mode (as seen here)- available to play in Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution. (Image courtesy of KONAMI).

The gameplay mechanics itself in Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution are fairly straightforward and easy to grasp: Draw, main phase 1, battle, main phase 2, end phase. The game requires you to move between phases manually through a phase menu that you bring up, which is extremely helpful so that you can’t accidentally end your current phase. The cards themselves are digitally well done, and when you select a card, you can see on a scrollable box on the left hand side the card’s full effects and stats. In my duel with Kaiba (as the Joey duel was more or less a planned tutorial), I found that the enemy AI on normal mode was quite good and I was seriously worried about losing more than once- especially when he summoned a Blue-Eyes White Dragon to the battlefield fairly early on. Even though I had not played the card game since high school, I found myself quickly and intelligently setting up trap cards, magic cards, and cards in face-down defense mode to try to survive until I could get some lucky draws. Thanks to some timely Swords of Revealing Light spell card draws, coupled with a timely Dark Magician monster card, I was able to ultimately vanquish Kaiba.
Yu Gi Oh! Legacy of the Duelist | Duel

The gameplay itself is easy to grasp, and there are tutorials to help you learn how to play, and a card’s text always appears in a small box to the left in case of if you don’t know what it does. (Images courtesy of KONAMI).

Yu Gi Oh! Link Evolution | Duel

Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution, simply put, is fun. There is a real thrill about playing with Yugi Moto/Yami Yugi’s real anime deck against Seto Kaiba’s real anime deck, and I felt more than a little excited when I was able to sacrifice a monster to summon Dark Magician (this game ignores the Duelist Kingdom anime-only mechanic of not needing to sacrifice in order to summon monsters above a certain star level). Interestingly, I did not have to summon Exodia the Forbidden One in order to win my duel with Kaiba. I had three pieces of Exodia in my hand, but I instead went for the Life Points kill and the game was fine with letting me progress forward. While demoing, I was told that the Switch version would also be getting touch screen controls to it, which would make it so I could play the game on the go even easier.

Yu Gi Oh! Link Evolution | Summon animation

Yu Gi Oh! Link Evolution | Summon animation

While most of the card play itself is devoid of fancy animations, certain special cards -such as Dark Magician and Blue Eyes White Dragon- have special summoning cutscenes when they are brought onto the field. (Images courtesy of KONAMI).

While I could not see all of the new features of the game, or experience online gameplay/Link Monsters in the new Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS story content, I was quite excited with what I found and I think it is quite an easy buy for anyone who was -at any point- a fan of the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise when it releases exclusively for the Nintendo Switch on August 20, 2019.


You can pre-order Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution -now- for the Nintendo Switch.
What is your favorite Yu-Gi-Oh! anime series? Are you excited to build your own deck when Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution is release?
Let us know in the comments below!

About Quentin H.

Likes pina coladas and getting caught in the rain. And video games. Cannot forget those video games. Anime too. Should not forget that either.