Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D’s World Championship 2011: Over the Nexus
February 24, 2011 (JP)
April 1, 2011 (EU)
May 10, 2011 (NA)
With a new year comes the release of a new Yu-GiOh game for the Nintendo DS console; each normally a carbon copy of the last, but with a few more cards added in and some new characters. Since 2004, there have been annual World Championship games for the DS. This year’s game has a collection of over 4200 playable cards and is up to date with the most current pack that was out at the time of its release – Storm of the Ragnarok – as well as a few extras that are yet to be released.
The story of Over the Nexus is a lot like all of the other games; a young duelist wants to be the best in the world and wants to rise to the top. It is very similar to the anime of 5D. There isn’t anything really special or different to it and it really does feel like it was a copy of the anime. One thing that would have been nice to see in these games is a little originality in the storyline. Of course, it is difficult to structure a story when the main goal of the whole thing is to be the best duelist, but it would still be nice to see something that isn’t based on the anime. I can’t really say much about the story if I am honest, it wasn’t bad but a little bland in my opinion.
Straight off, the DS hardware isn’t going to allow developers to perform miracles between installments in a yearly series, since it’s 6 years old itself. I can’t see anything that has really changed in the graphics since the first few World Championship games. The special animations of certain cards have slightly improved and are nice to watch, even if you do see the same one a few times in a single duel; I found myself looking forward to the different animations when building the different decks that I had. When walking around the different towns, I did feel a little disappointed due to how badly they looked. I never expected to have stunning visuals, but they felt sloppy and they weren’t really that impressive. When you create your character at the start of the game, the graphics at this part were nice, with an obvious anime feeling. But, once this is put in-game, they look messy, blocky and just disappointing. There are a lot of DS games that have much better graphics than this.
The music is one thing that is normally done nicely in the Yu-Gi-Oh games. You can select the different background music for duels that you have, depending on which you like, the atmosphere you want to create or whatever you like. One thing that I would have expected more is ‘creepier’ music. With the darker characters introduced, I would have expected music to hear music to match these characters. The sound effects are pretty standard but effective, working well with general dueling sounds…but if I was picking, I disliked the ‘cheery’ music played during special monster summons; it felt like it was very cheesy and didn’t match a lot of them. Personally, I would have liked to have heard unique music, depending on which monster was summoned. I feel it would have added a bigger impact and given the player a better senes of achievement.
The gameplay hasn’t changed a lot since the first few World Championships, but that isn’t exactly a bad thing. It is still the traditional Yu-Gi-Oh! system that the other games had as well. However, one very annoying problem is the speed at which the AI loads when there are a few different cards on the field. The game can just hang for a few seconds when it says it is loading. Understandable, as there are different combinations that need to be considered by the AI, but this was surely something that would have come up in development and I don’t remember the loading being this slow in the previous games.
The duel runner parts seem to feel like an add-on in the game, where you hardly make use of it and the speed spell cards really feel like a random edition, even though they are in the anime. I never liked the idea of this mini game in the 5D series, even in the anime, but I guess it is something that had to be included due to the nature of the game since it takes after the 5D anime. There are, however, nice little mini games that have been added which make it a little more enjoyable. A nice addition to the game is something called the ‘Deck Diagnosis’. This rates the current deck that you have and tells you the pros and cons of the deck that you have built. Even though experienced duelists might not use this tool, it is useful for beginners or players who are unsure about the newer types of decks.
Newer and more up-to-date cards have been added into the game, but some major cards for themed decks have been forgotten, which does render some decks useless. A lot of staple cards are missing, such as X-Sabers. This not only makes it annoying, but a huge inconvenience for players wanting to test out those types of decks. There are certainly a lot of cards in the game and I can understand common cards maybe being missed, but they are staple cards which are essential for the deck.
The lasting appeal of this game is never ending, you could say, until the next version is released. With access to new downloadable content and cards, the game can be expanded throughout the year. Also, with access to online WiFi battles, the game could last for a long time as you unlock new cards, build new decks and simply try out new combinations. If you have both a DS and a PSP, then you may wish to wait for the release of the PSP Yu-Gi-Oh game, Tag Force, since this game will have more up-to-date cards and WC 2011′s downloadable content only offers a few cards at a time. Needless to say, the game will last a while, especially if the player is an actual duelist, since I am sure they will use the game to try out different combinations and decks for the meta game.
Overall, the game isn’t bad but it doesn’t try to improve on the previous games in a big way. The AI lag is rather annoying but it seems it can’t be avoided, with the mass amount of cards available to the game. The story could be much more original, instead of a copy of the anime with a few tweaks. You could argue that there are better versions of the World Championship games, but they are rendered slightly obsolete since they don’t have the newest and most up-to-date cards and packs. If you are a fan of Yu-Gi-Oh you should love it, but beginners might bet confused with the sheer amount of possibilities available to the player.
Huge collection of cards.
Graphics just painful at times.
Some broken combos.