I got a chance to get my hands on Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution at E3 2019 and it’s exactly what you’d expect in the best way.
When the original Legacy of the Duelist came out on PS4, I was excited to not only have a digital version of the card game but to play through the entirety of the Yu-Gi-Oh! the story, from the original series up until the then-current spin-off, ARC-V. While it was a ton of fun when it originally came out, due to the ever-changing nature of the card game, it was quickly left behind when it came to updates. Now, Konami is getting ready to release a new version of the game on the Nintendo Switch, with updated mechanics, cards, story missions, and more, in the form of Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution. I got a chance to get my hands on a demo version of the game at E3 2019 and it’s exactly what you’d expect in the best way possible.
Like the original game, Link Evolution allows you to play through the story of each and every duel from the original series and beyond. Remember the time Yugi fought Marik on the Battle City blimp? You can play through that duel. Remember the epic duel between Jaden and Sartorius in GX? You can play through that as well. How about Yuya vs Jack Atlas in ARC-V? It’s in there. Everything from Yu-Gi-Oh! to ARC-V is playable with cutscenes and text. While there were some playable ARC-V duels in the original game, due to the fact that the series was still going on at the time, there were no cutscenes or text for those duels, so it’s nice to see one of my favorite series finally get the same treatment as the others.
Unfortunately, it now seems that VRAINS has gotten the same treatment ARC-V did, meaning that while there are a couple of duels from the series in the game, they don’t include any cutscenes or text. Hopefully, by the time Link Evolution comes out in the rest of the world (the game is already available in Japan), we’ll get those cutscenes and more duels from the series.
Another big change from the previous version is the introduction to the new Link rule set. With this comes the introduction of the extra monster zone, which restricts your extra deck summons to that one zone that you control. It’s hard to explain on paper, but the game does a good job of giving you an explanation in-game. Given the fact that I actively play Yu-Gi-Oh!, I personally didn’t really need the explanation. However, the game definitely explains all the forms of extra deck summoning in a detailed fashion, from Fusions to Xyz, up to Links.
This is all without talking about one of the biggest advantages Link Evolution has over its previous version: the fact that Switch is a hybrid console. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to play the game in its handheld form, but I’d honestly be shocked if it didn’t run well. Link Evolution’s not exactly graphically intense, so I really don’t know what would cause it to not run smoothly.
My only question about Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution is this: what has taken so long? The Japanese version launched back in April and since then fans have been waiting patiently for the release in other regions, only to find out that it’s coming in August. While that seems like a reasonable amount of time for localization, the Japanese version includes English text and art, so I’m not exactly sure what’s causing the delay. Nevertheless, I’m pumped to get my hands on the game when it launches next month.
To put it simply, if you’re a Yu-Gi-Oh! fan like I am, Link Evolution is gearing up to be exactly what you’ve been wanting: a (relatively) up-to-date version of the card game with cutscenes from the first five Yu-Gi-Oh! series’, on a console that can be taken anywhere you want. While I still have yet to make my final judgments, this game looks like it’s going to be a ton of fun for both long-time fans and newcomers. Despite it taking awhile to get to western markets, I’m excited to get my hands on Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution on August 20, 2019.