The Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise has been around for over 20 years, and thus, has played around with various types of media in its time. While predominantly an anime and manga, there have been various Yu-Gi-Oh! video game adaptations over the years. Some are great, some are okay, and some are Legacy of the Duelist.
Though most of the license's gaming adaptations attempts haven’t been great, there is a chance for Yu-Gi-Oh! to make a great video game again, by adopting a few things and staying away from others. However, considering the rights are owned by Konami, let’s not hold our breath.
10 Should Have: An Open World
An open (even linear) and explorable world is a must have for a quality Yu-Gi-Oh! Game. Being able to explore a large environment, whether it be a familiar place or somewhere new, would really help immerse the player in their adventure.
Have us flying around on motorcycles in the middle of Duelist City! As long as there is a world to explore, the game will be much fuller. Let us visit that one arcade where Téa had a dance battle for no reason at all, please.
9 Should Not Have: No Exploration
Some Yu-Gi-Oh! titles, such as the aforementioned Legacy of the Duelist, sent players from battle to battle. There was no world to explore or an overarching story at all. There were just duels.
While this is fine and gets the job done, it doesn’t do anything special enough to stand out. For a truly great game, you don’t want to be shuffled from duel to duel. This leads perfectly into the next thing a great Yu-Gi-Oh! game needs. Assuming it is not free-to-play, the game needs to feel like a proper adventure rather than just a string of loosely connected matches.
8 Should Have: Great Story
If you’re going to make a truly great game, you need to have a good story. This story can be entirely new or take some sort of inspiration from the manga and anime. Either way, this interconnected world should be occupied with a fascinating and gripping narrative. If iCarly 2 for the Wii can at least attempt to accomplish this much, then Konami has no excuse.
Seriously, an interesting story for a Yu-Gi-Oh! game will get players invested. However, what it shouldn’t be is a complete rehash of previously used plots.
7 Should Not Have: Nostalgia Baiting
Legacy of the Duelist played it a bit too safe, didn't it? The only story the game featured was exact replicas of what happened in the anime. While these scenarios are fine, they shouldn’t be the only thing that the game has to offer.
An all-new, original story should be at the forefront of this title. Of course, playing through the entirety of the horrible season four of the anime is ESSENTIAL if you want this game to sell at all. Seriously - The entire season recreated beat for beat.
6 Should Have: Online Elements
Another key component for a great Yu-Gi-Oh! game is obviously online elements, specifically, dueling. Being able to duel with friends or any stranger from around the world is essential to creating a gripping card game.
It could be an online hub world, or just a matchmaking system. No matter what, it needs to be present. Yu-Gi-Oh! seems designed to be an online experience, so multiplayer should be given importance.
5 Should Not Be: Solely Online
What the game shouldn’t be, though, is a solely online experience. While Legacy of the Duelist condensed all five anime storylines into a single campaign, the primarily static cutscenes left a bit to be desired and the online was clearly the main appeal. That’s fine, but it certainly isn’t worthy of being called a full-priced game.
There needs to be a nice balance of online and single-player content in this game that we have all dreamed up together (that already sounds too good, especially with Konami handling development). There can also be all sorts of extra modes, such as trading and deck building elements in this online section.
4 Should Have: Consistent Updating
Is it clear that Legacy of the Duelist is a bit of a disappointment? Because it is. There were no updates or content drops for that title at all. In fact, Konami released an updated Nintendo Switch version and declined to add the new content to the older iterations. Thus, when new cards came out, even the brand new Link elements, they weren’t ever added to the game, which aided in the game being outdated immediately and abandoned by fans quickly.
In this dream game, consistent (free) updates will be key to making sure the online community doesn’t abandon the game. Make it the go-to digital dueling arena for all Yu-Gi-Oh! fans.
3 Should Not Have: Microtransactions
Oh wait, there was a bit downloadable content in Legacy of the Duelist (the trashing of this game will never cease), paid nonsense DLC! While a game certainly can have paid DLC, what it shouldn’t be is a bunch of still images and some text.
This game should be free of all sorts of unnecessary paid DLC and microtransactions. Don’t make the players pay .99 cents for new card packs. Big story missions though are worth a bit of money.
2 Should Have: Anime Inspirations
One thing that will make this game really stand out is anime and manga inspirations. As previously stated, the game shouldn’t be solely made of stitching previously used content together. However, if there were anime characters present, and a few storylines here and there, it wouldn’t be a bad thing at all.
It would make a lot of fans want to buy the game, to see their favorite characters and be able to interact with them. So, inspiration from the source material? Yes. Ripping straight from it for content? No.
1 Should Not Have: Duel Links Inspiration
Another thing that this game shouldn’t have is inspiration from the mobile game Duel Links. Arguably, this is the biggest Yu-Gi-Oh! property on the market right now, and while it certainly suits a mobile game, it doesn’t work as a true, dedicated Yu-Gi-Oh! game.
While this might bring some people into the game, keeping it a full-fledged title that doesn’t feature the speedy nature of the app is the way to go. Some sort of connectivity with the app, though, could be a great way to incorporate it into this dream game that Konami needs to make ASAP.