When Yu-Gi-Oh! events were put on hold because of the health risks during the pandemic, Konami initially came up with Remote Duels as their answer to revitalize play. It's possible Remote Duels didn't prove enough, although it's likely they already had other plans in the works too. In any case they decided to move ahead with a full digital campaign parallel to what they are currently offering the player base.
Konami surprised us all on July 20 by announcing not one but three new Yu-Gi-Oh! games in addition to an update to Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links that will finally introduce pendulum summoning to the game. While we did not get a release date for these games yet, it is noted that they are being launched in preparation for the World Championship 2022, which means that they should probably be around for the dueling season starting this fall … in theory at least.
Let's look at the three new games one by one!
A game that is currently exclusive to the Japanese market is making a worldwide debut via the Nintendo Switch. It is a different game with different rules and might interest a lot of players to try out as a fun alternative to the main game. Being limited to one console only is a bit off-putting in my opinion, but as a standalone game it might be worth exploring. I believe Konami are trying to get feedback in the TCG market on the concept of Rush Duels. Let's see what happens with this one.
From my understanding, this is a four-player game that will be available on mobile phones. The concept remains a bit ambiguous, but it seems like it is a bettle royale of sorts. There are not enough details to discuss it any further, but I hope we get more of an insight about it in the coming weeks as the idea is intriguing.
The main game we are here to discuss, Master Duel was announced by Konami as a concept last December during the Jump Festa 2021, and it is finally here … almost. Yu-Gi-Oh! is now entering the digital age, and everyone is hyped for a program that is similar to Duel Links but is made for the original game under the latest Master Rules.
For many years, players were left wondering why Konami was not giving us an online dueling platform similar to EdoPro and Dueling Book. The answer comes in spectacular fashion, supported with gameplay footage that shows off a visually beautiful game that I cannot wait to get my hands on.
First, we know that it will be available on different platforms, namely PlayStation 5, Playstation 4, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Steam, iOS, and Android. That is a huge list, and if it's anything like Duel Links, it is going to be a free game with some micro transactions. I would prefer this to requiring an outright purchase, but this is something only the people at Konami know at this point. Another question is if this means that cross-platform play is supported. And sadly we do not have an answer here either. This would give a lot of players the chance to test it out. The game is also split into OCG and TCG apparently, since they mentioned both a few times.
The animations look amazing. If you have seen Konami's video, you already know that the chain links are a thing of beauty, and the way that Dark Hole is animated? Simply gorgeous. Boss monsters get a bit of a welcome animation too. Konami even claim that people will be able to read the effect of cards even when they play on a large TV screen.
Their comment in the video about this being a game that is both for players and an audience to enjoy implies some sort of esports potential. They especially emphasize their confidence that spectators will be able to understand what is going on, in 4K resolution no less. Konami also said that the game is aimed not only at casual duels but will also have competitive events, even at the annual World Championship. With the success of esports in general, it wouldn't be surprising if Konami decided to shift focus and move into this growing market. We can only wait and see, but this is a very promising start. It would be nice to use one's Card Game ID to register to the game.
Konami, will you please send me a beta version to test and write about before the official release? Pretty please?
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