July 29, 2010

For When Your Stardust is Moving Too Slowly

Starcraft 2 is out, I’m so close to the Dragon Quest 9 endgame I can taste it, and I spent an evening trying to play Yu-Gi-Oh 5D’s Stardust Accelerator: World Championship 2009. Now there is a title!

But yeah, seriously, I was thinking about CARD GAMES ON MOTORCYCLES and I realized it had been a long, long time since I played a Yu-Gi-Oh game. I do love cards games, you know. I’ve also really enjoyed past Yu-Gi-Oh games that just let you play the card game without buying the cards. I figured it was about time to try it again, so I threw one of the more recent ones onto my Gamefly queue.

I’ve always been kind of at awe with the people behind making Yu-Gi-Oh work as an actual card game. They have so much bullshit to contend with that they feel they have to be accurate to from the show that it has to be impossibly hard to make work. The fact that it kind of does work for the most part is crazy awesome. Doesn’t make it a great game, but it’s neat that it does.
I felt like I understood how they had warped the rules from the show to make the game work. I used to anyway. But as I sat down with this game, I realized I must be missing something. I couldn’t figure out how to sacrifice monsters to play other monsters, which is kind of 70% of the game. I have two theories on why this is the case. The first is that I simply don’t know some new rule. It has been years since I played a Yu-Gi-Oh card game. Maybe the rules have changed fundamentally since then. I kind of doubt something to core to how the game was designed has changed, though, but who knows.

The second theory is that I can’t understand the interface. The interface in this game is crazy. It is trying to display so much information on a little DS screen, all of it tappable, that I never really had any idea how to do the things I needed to do. Everything does something. I understand this is a fairly complex card game, but I never remember previous games behind so hard to comprehend, and many of those I played on the GBA, which doesn’t have the benefit of a touch screen, which should make it easier to understand, not harder. Okay, that sentence was horrible, but you get the point. Especially for a game they iterate on every year, there’s no excuse for the interface being as horrible as it is. Or maybe that’s why it’s like that: People who play every year have already figured it out. It’s pretty horrible for a newcomer, though.

There might be a great game in there, or at least a fun little thing. But man, I had such trouble trying to just use the game that I gave up pretty quickly. Especially in the face of all the other wonderful things I could be playing, I just don’t have time for that.

(Cris gets credit for the title. Heh. Couldn’t pass it up!)

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