Yu-Gi-Oh! Dawn Of Destiny is the first Yu-Gi-Oh! title to be released on XBOX, which will please Yu-Gi-Oh! fanatics but will not start a gaming revolution amongst XBOX owners. Yu-Gi-Oh! Dawn Of Destiny combines everything that the Yu-Gi-Oh! trading card game has to offer with what the XBOX has to offer, to create a game that will complement the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise but will not satisfy most typical video gamers.
Gameplay - You live in a world where people are obsessed with a trading card game that involves the technique of using monsters, spells, and traps to battle your way to victory against your opponent. Based on “actual” monster battles from Ancient Egyptian times, Yu-Gi-Oh! combines whit and keen skill in an environment where the game solely rests on the cards themselves. If you are about 10 years old or “own” or know a 10-year-old child, he/she most likely will know what Yu-Gi-Oh! is. Much like the trading card game titled Pokémon, Yu-Gi-Oh! mainly appeals to the younger part of our generation, being that the game is not only interesting to minors but is easy to learn and play.
In Yu-Gi-Oh!, there are monster cards, spell cards, and trap cards. Pretty simple to understand, but there’s a few more pages to this “one-page book.” Players use these dueling cards to battle one another in one-on-one battles, with the object being, whoever is left standing wins the game. Players possess life points, and it is their goal to protect their life points while destroying their opponents life points, but if you are familiar with any trading card game such as Magic: The Gathering, these duels aren’t always straight forward, being that there are countless ways to win because of the vast amount of cards available to gamers.
In Yu-Gi-Oh! Dawn Of Destiny, there are more then 1,000 different cards, which allows the user to constantly modify his/her dueling deck, and the game itself allows you to possess up to three different dueling decks, as well as your library, where all the dueling cards you are not using are stored. Besides Yu-Gi-Oh! being a trading card game and a trading card videogame franchise (multi-platform), Yu-Gi-Oh! is also a popular cartoon. Lately the television show has been discussing three monsters which are the Egyptian God Cards, these monsters as well as other recent cards used in the actual trading card game and television show are featured in Yu-Gi-Oh! Dawn Of Destiny. In addition, to the cards themselves being available in the game (Note: not too many cards are available to you when you start your campaign, you must go throughout the game unlocking cards in order to build up your trading card library), Konami has gone through the trouble of creating 3D characters of many of these cards, mainly the monster cards. However, the 3D monster figures do not take advantage of what the XBOX can offer for cinematic sequences during a battle, being that they don’t move much, but at least Konami took a step forward, regardless of how small the step was.
Gamers will battle against many of the characters featured on the “hit” television show through two modes of play. Duel (Single) is a mode where the user battles any unlocked character and/or a dueling machine in a standard duel where each player has 8,000 life points. In Duel (Triple), the user must battle three characters consecutively, moving on to each character only if they win, and if they win they must retain whatever value of life points they are at (I.E. If you start out with 6,000 life points in your first match and end up winning your first match with only 1,500 life points, then you must continue the next match and hopefully the match after that, solely with 1,500 life points). However, in Duel (Triple), each of the three characters will not possess 8,000 life points each, their value of life points will differ and increase as you move along throughout the game. Duel (Single) is a standard mode of play, while Duel (Triple) is more challenging and more rewarding. Yu-Gi-Oh! Dawn Of Destiny does feature multiplayer play, but via XBOX System Link only. Gamers in Yu-Gi-Oh! Dawn Of Destiny may play a one-on-one duel against one another as long as they have their own television set, XBOX, and copy of Yu-Gi-Oh! Dawn Of Destiny, with a system link cable to connect them. Sadly, no XBOX Live support is available, which may have increased the overall value of Yu-Gi-Oh! Dawn Of Destiny.
Yu-Gi-Oh! Dawn Of Destiny follows the rules and gameplay of the actual trading card game, and properly replicates an actual duel of Yu-Gi-Oh!. The Artificial Intelligence in Yu-Gi-Oh! Dawn Of Destiny is pretty good for a trading card game, the computer has been brain-washed into fearing the word “defeat,” meaning, the computer will do its best to always win, which will give you a good challenge. Yet, besides the overall presence that the XBOX possesses, Konami did not do too much to take advantage of what the XBOX had to offer for Yu-Gi-Oh! Dawn Of Destiny, even though Yu-Gi-Oh! Dawn Of Destiny is only available on the XBOX. The gameplay will impress any Yu-Gi-Oh! fanatic, but only through a personal experience will someone new to the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise be able to decide if they like Yu-Gi-Oh! Dawn Of Destiny.
Graphics - You would think that because Yu-Gi-Oh! Dawn Of Destiny is solely made for the XBOX, that regardless of the game itself, it would look good. Well, Yu-Gi-Oh! Dawn Of Destiny, does come off clean, but there isn’t too much to replicating a trading card on a television set. The 3D characters of the monsters aren’t picture perfect compared to their trading card counterpart, but they still come off pretty good. Yet the in-game cinematic sequences are disappointing, being that Konami could have done much more, like animate attacks instead of simply displaying a slash or burn every now and then along with a triggered vibration on your controller to imply an attack. But, based upon what other Yu-Gi-Oh! videogames had delivered graphically in the past, Yu-Gi-Oh! Dawn Of Destiny may be the best-looking Yu-Gi-Oh! videogame so far.
Sound - The in game music suits the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise and sets the theme of Yu-Gi-Oh! well, but there are not too many different tracks available for listening, so if repetitive music bothers you, then the music in Yu-Gi-Oh! Dawn Of Destiny may bother you. The in-game sound effects are a disgrace, being that there are very few of them and at that, they are still quite simple. Most action videogames specialize in sound effects, well Yu-Gi-Oh! Dawn Of Destiny does not. But all in all, I guess you could say, for a Yu-Gi-Oh! videogame, the music in Yu-Gi-Oh! Dawn Of Destiny does the job. (But don’t expect Yu-Gi-Oh! Dawn Of Destiny to ever receive a pay raise for what it is doing).
Bottom Line - For the first Yu-Gi-Oh! videogame for the XBOX, Yu-Gi-Oh! Dawn Of Destiny is a good attempt on Konami’s part. But hope and pray, that the next Yu-Gi-Oh! videogame made for the XBOX really lives up to the excellence that most XBOX videogames deliver. If you are a fan of the Yu-Gi-Oh! videogame, you will be impressed with Yu-Gi-Oh! Dawn Of Destiny, and you may consider it to be the best-made Yu-Gi-Oh! videogame, but that does not make it an overall top videogame. Anyone new to the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise, should definitely consider renting Yu-Gi-Oh! Dawn Of Destiny before they give it an opportunity to be added to their XBOX videogame library.