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Jeremy Jastrzab
20 Jan, 2006

Yu-Gi-Oh! Nightmare Troubadour Review

DS Review | Can we all play?
With a franchise spurting out several games a year, it’s got to be onto something good. However, I doubt that the masses would consider Yu-gi-oh! to sit among the top franchises in gaming. Still, it’s managed to garner its own substantial following (even if most are eight-year-olds) and one can hardly complain about not having anything new to play. Yu-gi-oh! has managed to reach all of the modern-day consoles but seemed to have found its best place on the GBA. Given the success there, it seemed only natural that the game would eventually progress onto the DS. With the release of Yu-gi-oh! Nightmare Troubadour, it’s almost by default that the franchise has found it’s best place.

For those who are unaware, Yu-gi-oh! revolves around spiky-haired anime characters who battle friend and foe with a magical deck of cards. The card game resembles Magic: The Gathering. For the most part, the GBA games have been recreations of the actual card game, with a presence of the characters from the accompanying anime. Arguably, the best game in the series to date was Yu-gi-oh! Worldwide Edition: Stairway to the Destined Duel. It was the first to get the pacing right, feasibly translated the rules and had an interesting way of progression. Since then, the console titles have been messy side-tracks from the core game and the GBA versions have been rather simplified rehashes. Yu-gi-oh! Nightmare Troubadour is the first game in a while to really take the source material, change a lot of the fundamentals and create something that is the greatest step forward since Yu-gi-oh! WWE.


Battles can get pretty hectic

One of the major complaints about Yu-gi-oh! games is that they’re incredibly unfriendly to new comers. Yu-gi-oh! Nightmare Troubadour goes a little way in rectifying this. At the start of the game you have access to a written tutorial that goes through and tries to dictate a lot of the games rules. It’s fairly simple but it doesn’t go as far as actual practical tutorials go. To add to this, there is a puzzle mode that will allow you to go through various pre-set scenarios and attempt to beat the opponent in a limited amount of time. They’re great for skill testing but the difficulty spikes up very, very quickly and can even be quite deterring to players of lesser experience. Regardless, it’s better that these are in the game rather than not.

Yu-gi-oh! Nightmare Troubadour acts a bit more like an RPG now. Everytime you win a duel, you will receive some experience points. This will depend on the character. The fans will be glad to know that virtually every character from the anime has been included and for aussie fans, that are even characters that have yet to make an appearance (simply because we haven’t got to that point in time yet). Finding duels is again, more akin to Yu-gi-oh! WWE, except you now have free reign off the map. As you cross-hair is moved across the screen, it will flash green as you get closer to an opponent and red when you reach them.

At first there are only a limited amount of characters that you can duel but as you gain experience points and levels, more will begin to appear. Funnily, there is something of a basic time mechanism where you begin a day and with each map movement the day goes through to night. Some characters will only appear at certain times of the day. At the end you will need to retreat to your home. The game now gives you access to a home where you can save and view all sorts of information. At the end of a day, you’ve got a bed to sleep in. There is also a store, where you access to the tutorials, puzzles and card buying. No longer will card packs come to you after each win. Instead, you will need to exchange them for any KC points you earn in battle. These are earned through any action in-battle that includes defeating an opponent without losing any points or filling your side of the field.


There is little action in this bedroom...

Probably the best addition to this game and the series is the DS functionality. For the most part, you will be in duels and you can play exactly the same way through out all of the GBA (and Xbox) titles. However, the addition being able to use the touch-screen and stylus is such a fluid piece of design that it fits the style of game perfectly. Dueling is so much more fluid and enjoyable that it makes us wonder why this game wasn’t made sooner. It really can’t be stressed enough, the DS is the ideal platform for this game and these kinds of game for that matter. Even deck-building is infinitely easier and hassle free with this system.

As for the card game itself, it is probably the best and most realistic translation thus far. The rules are almost spot on and it plays out as you’d expect. However, there are still instances of the systems imperfections. For example, a trap may be activated and will force you to make an action that is detrimental to you. And in a game where a solitary action, clip flip or dice roll can be crucial to the outcome, such system flaws are unforgivable. Thankfully, they are rare and some don’t crop up unless you have a slip of the finger.

For those who are curious, the Yu-gi-oh! games are much deeper than what they let on to be. There is an insane amount of depth and possibility simply in the sheer amount of cards that are available. Even the opponents seem to have decks that are much more akin to their characters before. Your character, is one that is entirely up to you to decide. Their AI is quite advanced, with only lower level characters really going for too many stupid moves. They tend to be quite cautious and duels can go for a very long time. However, nothing beats a good multiplayer match between two highly developed decks. Which makes us ask, why is there no Wifi?


Deck-building and destroying needed two screens

Graphically, even though it’s a DS title, it’s slightly disappointing. Presentation-wise, it is reasonably good. The touch screen is reminiscent of the GBA screen used, except now it can be used to have full control of the game. The top screen shows battle situations. That is, when you highlight a grid on the battle-field, it will be prominently displayed above. If you highlight a grid with a summoned monster, it will be shown above in a 3-D form. The screen will also be used to display information of a card when being sorted and in all, the two screens have both been made of good use. Unfortunately, like all Yu-gi-oh! games, they beg for an injection of power and effort. The 3-D graphics are OK but the lack of animation and the disappointing lack of detail whenever a card or other 2-D object is shown, simply highlight again, how much further this series can go. There is no voicing in the game and the sound-effects and music are familiar to all anyone whose played any of these games before. Nothing special but not horrid either.

In all, Yu-gi-oh! Nightmare Troubadour is easily the best game in the long series of seemingly inane titles. It is by far the best translation and most involved with the franchise in real-life. It even puts a hole in the barrier between being a fan-only game and something that everyone can try. Mostly, the DS functionality is ideal for the game and works out in spades. Unfortunately, the game still begs for some power and presentation injections and given that the next yearly installment is out in March (for the GBA), it is unlikely to keep people as long as it normally would or should.
The Score
Yu-gi-oh! Nightmare Troubadour is the best thus far of the Yu-gi-oh! franchise. Not for doing anything new, but for making the best translation of the card game into digital form. Is it a sign of things to come?
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

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12 Comments
8 years ago
This game rocks, it really suits the DS touch screen perfectly, i ask though:
- if the next game of Yugioh is coming out in March, how come you can't find anything about it on the net?
8 years ago
You're right.

Yugioh World Championship 2006 isn't for NDS it's actually for GBA.

Someone quickly fix that up. icon_razz.gif
8 years ago
6 months late is right
8 years ago
Thor wrote
6 months late is right
Thor wrote
17.5% slower is right.
Find a new act mate. We're all getting tired of this one.
8 years ago
Big Pete wrote:
Quote
Yugioh World Championship 2006 isn't for NDS it's actually for GBA.
Are you entirely sure, some internet sites which you can buy games from say it is coming out in March, and is for the DS icon_confused.gif
Example:
http://www.sanity.com.au/product.asp?intProductID=637011&intArtistID=175640
http://www.gamehead.com.au/product.php?productid=86114
Who should i believe on the matter?
8 years ago
Lahiru wrote
Thor wrote
6 months late is right
Thor wrote
17.5% slower is right.
Find a new act mate. We're all getting tired of this one.
why, it works.
7 years ago
Why isn't Nightmare Troubadour in the retil stores now? We've searched everywhere for the game with no stores stocking it. The release date was in September 2005 if anyone wanted to know when it was released.
7 years ago
viperver1 wrote
Why isn't Nightmare Troubadour in the retil stores now? We've searched everywhere for the game with no stores stocking it. The release date was in September 2005 if anyone wanted to know when it was released.
out of print?

Perhaps ask a store like eb, or the interweb.. bazing although it is a Japanese version.. the US one is out of stock/print..
7 years ago
There's a newer Yugioh DS game coming out this year, which will have WFC access, local Wi-fi and all that type of new stuff. Sounds promising

even though, thats weird that u can't find a copy of the game in shops icon_confused.gif
7 years ago
I know about the new YuGiOh game for DS is. It is called "Yugioh GX Spirit Caller". Supposed to be released in Feburary-March Period. Check out the Internet to find out what it'll look like.
7 years ago
Question: do I have to have the mentality of a 12 year old to enjoy this game? My maturity levels on the other hand... icon_smile.gif
7 years ago
To understand this game, you must know that the game was based on it. I play the TCG version of it and everyone can play the card game. If anyone wanted to know what TCG means, it is short for Trading Card Game and that what came with Troubadour and every DS or any Yu-Gi-Oh game.
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  Pre-order or buy:
    PALGN recommends: www.Play-Asia.com

Australian Release Date:
  Out Now
European Release Date:
  Out Now
Publisher:
  Konami
Developer:
  Konami
Players:
  1-2

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