IMPRESSIONS: Yu-Gi-Oh! Link Evolution DLC

Thursday, April 2nd, 2020

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A few months back, I had the privilege to review Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution. I tackled it cause not only am I a fan of video games, but I’ve really grown to appreciate the Yu-Gi-Oh! card game over the last several years. It’s full of complex strategies, crazy archetypes and lots of colorful characters. But as much as I enjoy it, and as much as I liked Link Evolution, there was one area it fell short – the card database. To put it simply, back when the game first released, it was several packs behind the current TCG releases. Meaning that while you could certainly build a lot of fun decks, you wouldn’t be able to build the most recent ones. Well, that shortcoming has officially been addressed with the latest DLC update, which is free to those who already own the game. It adds nearly a thousand new cards to the database, bringing the card list almost completely up to date. Even more importantly, it implements a new Master Rule change that not only makes the game more fun, but brings it back a step from the convoluted Link and Pendulum game changes. Suffice to say, it makes Link Evolution significantly more entertaining, giving fans hundreds of new ways to play the game and develop unique deck strategies.

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Before the DLC hit, the VRAINS campaign in the game only had a handful of Duelists, Duelist Challenges and one pack. After the DLC, there are many more Duelists, Challenges and 4 more packs. That last part is what matters most, since it gives the Link Evolution game much more lasting power. It brings in cards from recently released Yu-Gi-Oh! products like the Shaddoll structure deck, Duel Overload and many different real life packs. And though I won’t spend a ton of time explaining it, the Master Rule change is very nice. Before, the advent of Link monsters meant you had to be much more strategic and specific which monsters you summoned first from the Extra Deck, to provide arrows that open up more zones for Extra Deck monsters. Now, so long as you aren’t solely focused on Link and Pendulum monsters, you can spam as many other Extra Deck monsters to the Main Monster zones as you like, including Fusion, Synchro and Xyz monsters. Meaning a lot of older Yu-Gi-Oh! decks, such as Karakuri, Laval, Six Samurai and much, much more, suddenly can compete with the modern deck themes. Though I do play a lot of the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG in my free time, I am far from a competitive focused player, meaning I love trying out weird and unpredictable decks. With this new mechanic and all the new cards, I am much more free to experiment to my heart’s desire.

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It was fun playing through the expanded VRAINS campaign and playing against new Duelists. There were some really challenging decks to face off against, including the dreaded Altergeist, Rokkets, Noble Knights, Marincess and many more. The only downside to all these new battles? They completely lack any actual story in the Campaign, whereas all the other Yu-Gi-Oh! series represented in the game all have dialogue, banter and a bit of lore before and after battles. While this is hardly a devastating problem, it is disappointing. Thankfully, the fact that the Link Evolution DLC is totally free softens my disappointment quite a bit.

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I would spend some time talking about changes to the Forbidden / Limited list, but honestly it’s hard to compare and contrast any of the lists in-game. I’m pretty sure that they have updated the cards on the various lists here, but since the Forbidden / Limited list in the game is apparently some middle ground between the current US and Japan lists, it’s tricky to be certain. Thankfully, the game lets you use cards even if they’re Forbidden from use or Limited to a certain amount. Just be sure that if you play someone online that you do them the decency of using decks that would be legal on the current Forbidden / Limited list. That said, if Konami is reading, I’d love it if Link Evolution got updates to the list every few months, much like in real life.

Link Evolution | Glitch

Though nearly all of my experience with the Link Evolution DLC has been positive, I still encountered a few irritating issues. One is an ongoing quirk that only pops up some of the time, where the game can freeze for upwards of several minutes while the CPU opponents are “thinking.” I wouldn’t mind if it only took 1-2 minutes, but sometimes it can take so long I worry my Switch has frozen up on me. A stranger glitch unique to the DLC is the following. Prior to downloading the DLC, I had 100% beaten all the Campaigns in the game for every Yu-Gi-Oh! series. So imagine my surprise when I had beaten all the new VRAINS campaign missions, and it said I hadn’t unlocked 100% of the story Campaign. I investigated, and found a couple missions I had previously beaten in 5D’s were for some reason locked, and that forced me to beat them a second time. Afterwards, everything was fine, but this definitely made me scratch my head.

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Overall, I really appreciated the new content added to Link Evolution via this update. It definitely makes it a more robust and long lasting experience. Sadly there are still some lingering minor issues, but I’m confident those can be addressed easily. Now I just have to cross my fingers that Konami has more similar updates planned for the future, since that would make Link Evolution a must own game for any fan for years to come.

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About Josh Speer

Josh is a passionate gamer, finding time to clock in around 30-40 hours of gaming a week. He discovered Operation Rainfall while avidly following the localization of the Big 3 Wii RPGs. He enjoys SHMUPS, Platformers, RPGs, Roguelikes and the occasional Fighter. He’s also an unashamedly giant Mega Man fan, having played the series since he was eight. As Head Editor and Review Manager, he spends far too much time editing reviews and random articles. In his limited spare time he devours indies whole and anticipates the release of quirky, unpredictable and innovative games.