On one hand, it’s weird jumping back into a Yu-Gi-Oh title in almost a decade (for me), but it was easy to feel right at home in Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution. A franchise I once loved was making a grand return, and just because I had grown apart from it, doesn’t mean I wasn’t jumping back in as soon as possible. Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution is a re-release of a title previously available on PC, but includes every piece of DLC made available for it. Thankfully, it’s a title chock full of content, with every bit of Yu-Gi-Oh! history inside.
It wasn’t disheartening jumping in like I expected it to be. Intimidating maybe. With a title like Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution I expected a ton of unfamiliar mechanics since I hadn’t jumped in for a while. The thing that makes Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution so special is that it goes from start to finish. Every series from the anime and the TCG is here, and it doesn’t expect you to know anything to get going.
The title is broken up into every arc from the show, with varying lengths of content in each arc. There is plenty of content here, and some of it might take a while to get through. The AI in Link Evolution is really good, and won’t hold back just because you’re playing against a computer. There are also over 9,000 cards for players to earn, meaning you’re going to have your hands full if you’re trying to unlock everything.
Link Evolution honestly feels like it has found the perfect home on Nintendo Switch. The interface, the portability of it, and the flow of everything works great in handheld mode or docked. Colors are bright and crisp on the Switch’s screen, and including a phase flow is a great addition that reminds me of MTG Arena.
I really loved how well the developers included most of the major story moments from the anime, without drowning them in exposition. This is a title built for fans. Newcomers will definitely find a lot to love, but being able to relive some of the biggest moments from the show without the lengthy dialogue is something returning players will enjoy.
After struggling to read card details in portable mode on Super Dragonball Heroes: World Mission, the one thing I was concerned about with Link Evolution was how easy it would be to read the cards in handheld mode. Luckily, the text seemed to be a perfect size, and it was crisp and easy to read and combo cards together.
I mentioned AI before, and I want to bring it up again because of how inconsistent it was. Progressing through battles naturally made the difficulty go up. I was learning, which means that I should be more challenged. I’m not sure if it was necessarily the AI that was inconsistent, or the nature of TCG’s. After losing against an opponent a couple of times in a row, if I pulled a decent hand, I could beat that same opponent easily. I think it’s just the luck of the draw, and it’s hard to program similar consistency and difficulty across randomized battles.
Alongside a number of campaigns and a huge number of cards there are online and local battles. I didn’t have the opportunity to try out local battles, but the online rounds were serviceable. I didn’t have any game crashes like some other users were reporting, but I did have some random lag issues that seemed to delay my moves. Since it’s a TCG it didn’t really bother me, since I like to plan my moves, this just gave me a bit more of an opportunity to do so.
One thing that Link Evolution includes that I was ecstatic about is Sealed Play and Draft Play. When I played Magic The Gathering, this was my absolute favorite format, and it’s great to see it included here. Sealed Play revolves around building your own deck out of ten packs of cards, and Draft Play is similar, except you pick a specific card out of a pack in a rotation. It’s a great way to learn to understand deck building, and something I’ll always have respect for understanding.
It’s clear that developer Other Ocean Interactive have a lot of love for the franchise. This is without a doubt the best way to play Legacy of the Duelist, and should remain that way for years to come. I’m going out on a limb saying that we shouldn’t expect any new Yu-Gi-Oh! titles for a while, seeing how comprehensive this release is, but I wouldn’t be surprised if new card sets aren’t added as DLC. Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution is a title with a ton of content, one that should keep players busy for a while, even if it doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel.
Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution is available now for Nintendo Switch. This review is based on a copy of the game provided by the publisher. Purchases are available here.