Yu-Gi-Oh! 7 Trials to Glory: World Championship Tournament 2005 Review for Game Boy Advance (GBA)
Posted on Friday, June 24, 2005 @ 11:57:00 pm E.S.T
Just like the blooming of perennial flowers, Konami has released another Yu-Gi-Oh game into the North American gaming habitat. This time with the lovely and lung-exhausting long title of Yu-Gi-Oh! 7 Trials to Glory: World Championship Tournament 2005 (that is 23 syllables for those with asthma). YGO7ToGWCT2k5, or 7 Trials for this glorious review, is an update of the World Championship Tournament 2004 edition of the franchise. Equipped with more of the same but a broader scope, 7 Trials proves to be an improvement over its predecessors in several ways, but not enough to make it the paragon of portable Yu-Gi-Oh! games. However, to be frank, it is nice to have another decent Yu-Gi-Oh! game after Worldwide Edition.
First off Yu-Gi-Oh games are not for everyone (even though the sheer amount of them released would lead you to think otherwise). The World Championship Tournament additions to the series are focused on creating the best imaginable replication of the true card game, which it does quite well. There is a price though if you are not the world's uber Yu-gi-oh fan. What if you just want a good card battle game to mess around with while you meander around the countryside? If this is the case a flaw will become quite apparent when you acquire the game: 7 Trials has no tutorial mode. Yep, that is correct; there is no tutorial. So if you pick up this title with no prior knowledge of how the game is played be prepared to feel like a toddler dropped out front of a grocery story with no more than $20 and a hardy “good luck” from your parents. A lot of manual reading will be needed to figure the whole game out. Although, if you are one of those people who is a master tactician in the TCG (trading card game) and you wish to take your hobby to the virtual and mobile realm , then this may just be the bastion of card dueling hope you may have been looking for all of your life.
A common concern of trading card game consumers is how many individual cards there are. After all, if you are going to sink thirty dollars of your hard earned cash into a GBA cartridge you want one that can last you a while. Luckily 7 Trials contains exactly one thousand cards to quench the dueling thirst of some of the most rabid Yu-Gi-Oh fans. Overall the mix and variety of cards are pretty diverse and are a clean clear positive of the title.
Conveniently, the mainframe in which the cards are played in does not blow more than guy with a runny nose in a pollen factory. Dodging another bullet, 7 Trials contains a brand new dueling interface that is both easy to use and comprehensive. It is easy to see all the cards on the field using the perspective of the eye level of a duelist at a table and all of the random knickknack statistics needed adequately supply the necessary information.
This is all dandy and fine, but there is the question of who and how do you duel. To answer, the backdrop of 7 Trials is that you are in the confines of Battle City. Dropped in front of the Card Shop, you are initially told to purchase the first cards you need to start dueling with some low level random duelist sprites. After here is where the game quite quickly turns into a teaching in the lessons of repetition: beat a duelist around the city to earn duel points (DP), spend DP on booster packs at the Card Shop to get new cards, rinse and repeat. Breaking this repetition though, there are multiple tournaments. The first one you come across is the Weekly Tournament, which is a two round tournament where you are rewarded with DP to waste on more cards. There is another benefit however. More and more duelists are unlocked along with larger and more specialized tournaments, all the while enabling you to refine your deck with better and rarer cards. Luckily, the method of refining was manifested well. The Deck Editor has enough room for up to 20 different decks and has a quality sorting system to help you look for that one special card your deck needs. On the whole, that is the complete autopsy report of 7 Trials. With summarizing in mind I say that if you don't like the duel system and the duels themselves in this GBA cartridge the game can be as mind-numbingly repetitive as Big Brother 5.
Visually, 7 Trials is not going to win any low level local beauty pageants. While the cards themselves are high quality representations of their real life brethren, Battle City itself is quite bland. There are only four locations in Battle City and they all bear the same color scheme and overall feel. Additionally, the dueling mainframe has a pure black background. I mean jet black; no lines whizzing by or anything. Also, the duelists look rather weak. Six to seven frames of animation are used at the most, making the duelists nothing special to look at. All of this said , the graphics of 7 Trials do have some shining moments. Whenever duels are won with special cards or special situations, appealing animations will be shown to amplify the feeling of victory for the winning duelist. But when one looks back on the whole of the title, 7 Trials has an unremarkable aesthetic that will leave you unimpressed, but not disappointed entirely.
On the sound wave spectrum, 7 Trials does not have a grand performance. The same themes and sound effects will repeat throughout the entire playing experience. This being said is not to say that the songs and effects themselves are terrible, they are just not very rememberable. Needless to say, there is an infinitesimal to no chance of you being caught looking stupid while murmuring one of the songs to yourself in public.
There are curve balls thrown in however to attempt to spice up the “action” and raise the replay value of 7 Trials. Every week (the game has a system incorporated where every time you save, a day passes in Battle City) different cards are placed on the Prohibited/Limited/Semi-Limited list. This basically means that certain cards are either banned from your deck or limited to just one or two of the same copy per deck. As to be expected, the most useful cards always seem to land on this list. Other factors help keep the replay value high also. For example, for the cost of one thousand DP, you can enter the password on one of your real life cards into the game to acquire it in the title as well. This is especially useful when trying to mimic your real life deck for 7 Trials. Aside from that, there is some magnificent multiplayer. Two GBAs can link up for a duel or to trade some hard earned cards with each other. All these things help make the game feel longer, but once every tournament and every duelist has been unlocked, there is not terribly much more than the will to collect all the cards to keep the gamer playing.
Everything being said, for the true Yu-Gi-Oh fan, this title may be the Son of God in GBA cartridge format. With a vast amount of cards to work with and a very useable interface to use them in, 7 Trials is easily the best portable representation of the card game outside of the trading card game itself. But, for the gamer who is not dedicated to the franchise and the Trading Card Game it transpires to, you can pass this game up, unless you NEED a card battle game with you. For those who apply, your $30 can be spent on this rather than a garbage bag of booster packs.
Review By: Flamecuber - 3581 Reads
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