As much as i personally love this game, its just to over complicated for beginners,with no tutorial or practice modes.

User Rating: 6.5 | Yu-Gi-Oh! Shin Duel Monsters (PSOne Books) PS
Yugioh. A childrens card game phenomenon. Everyone was playing this when i was growing up. but you know what they werent playing? the video games. and why? because they were extremely hard, and they never taught beginners how to play. Now, having a very difficult RPG that has a good tutorial to make sure you know what your doing, is a-ok. having a game with no tutorial, but being simple, again, is a-ok. But having a game that is insanely difficult and complex, and having no tutorial, is not ok. not at all.

The Good
-Lots of replayability
-Great conversion of the real cards
-Challenging, but not frustrating, gameplay
-A new twist to the original rules
-Great Music
-Good story

The Bad
-NO tutorial
-NO proper practice mode
-NO information about the new rules
-Spending hours doing nothing makes the game very repetitive
-Not enough strategics, the game almost entirely relies on fusing

I remember always playing this game at a friends house, but normally watching him play. then, around a year or two ago, i found it in a pawn shop, and thought id add it to my collection of games, as a nostalgia piece. it went from wanting to play it for 5 minutes, to going on an over 1 year on off intense sessions trying to beat it. and i still havent yet. its not so much that the game is difficult (especially if you know what your doing) but you have to farm and continually replay duels over and over and over again to get strong enough cards to win. considering its a strategy card game, there really isnt that much strategy involved. its, whoever has the stronger wins. but ill continue to explain that later on.

So this game was the very first yugioh game to be released in Canada and America. so the game follows the rules of the first season of the tv show (that i distinctly remember from my childhood). each duelist has 4000 life points. you can summon 1 monster per turn, or use one trap card per turn (there are actually alot of things different, like only being able to play a single card per turn, but itd take way to long to explain all of that) and you can attack or defend with the monster. now, if your attack is higher than the other monsters, you can defeat that monster. the number of attack points your monster has over your opponents, is how much is subtracted from your opponents life points. if you defend, your life points will be safe, even if the attacking monsters attack is higher than your defense. there are also spell and trap cards, which you can use to strategize around your opponent (though, not so much in this game) there are also ways your monsters can join up to defeat your opponent. this is called fusion, which works very exclusively in this game. you just link monsters together, then BOOM! youve got your next monster. how do you know which ones to fuse? you dont. you have to continually play the game, write crap down, and strategize your deck to have all fuse available monsters. and only specific monsters can fuse. like, females with under 1500 attack and rock monsters with under 1500 attack can fuse to make mystical sand, with 2100 attack and 1900 defense. so you can take 2 or 3 seemingly weak monsters, and make them into a very powerful one. but fusing is not an option. you will not win one duel without fusing, im not kidding. if you know what monsters to fuse at the right time, you can win fairly easily.

But heres where the s#&t hits the fan. you can purchase cards, if you have enough star chips and you know the code from the card (which you can import from the real cards). but its almost out of question. why? well.... oh boy. for each duel you win, you get a card. you are also awarded star chips. How many? between 1 and 5, depending on how good you duel. now, the average monster costs around..... 999999999 chips. thats not a joke. any and almost every monster with over 2000 attack and or defense points (plus basically every spell and trap card) are worth 9999999 chips. the average weak monster (500-1000 atk/def) costs around 100 chips. so add that up. for a weak, basically useless monster it would take you 20 perfect duels. and each duel takes about 5-10 minutes. thats HOURS upon HOURS of just doing the same old duel in free duel over and over and over and over again !!! its just insane, and takes way to much time. but, this gives greater emphasis on fusing weaker monsters, which i can understand.but this game, realistically is only a 2-3 hour campain, but is elongated by hours and hours by all of its farming and wasting time. it gives this a game a very "unique" gameplay.

The Story 7/10
The story, is basically a prequel to the tv show, showing the origins of the millenium items and who yami yugi was before meeting yugi.he is basically driven out of the palace and been stripped of power by an evil high mage named Heishen. heishen then orders his fellow mages (named after elements IE water, earth, fire etc.) to guard the stolen millenium items. its up to you as yami to rescue the nation and get back the millenium items. the game also travels back and forth through time, to playing as yugi, to yami. the main gimmick of the present is duel tournaments, in which with each match you win a card with a millenium item on it. in the past, you have a map, in which you can select different cities and choose what mages to fight. The story is pretty decent. it gives you alot of answers to any questions you would have about yugis back story. but it leaves alot of hole in the future concerning the tv show, like dueling ishizu after pegasus in a tournament, when pegasus is the creator and 2nd only to yugi and seto. and second, pegasus has his millenium eye still in, at the same time ishizu is there, which is impossible considering bakura tore the eye out before ishizu was even in the country.

Gameplay 5.5/10
The gameplay really isnt the greatest. even though it is fun dueling, you do the same thing so often that it gets repetitive very quickly. I usually dont play this game for any longer than an hour at a time, unless im having an all out marathon. this game is meant to play for an hour a night, get a few more cards, a few more chips, and slowly build your deck over time. its not meant for you to beat in 10 hours straight (which i doubt you could...) its meant to play for a few months for an hour or so a day to slowly and gradually build up, which really makes it worth the money. only problem is that its difficult to stay interested to long.

Sound (Music) 10/10
I absolutely love this games soundtrack. enough said. it introduces alot of classic songs we would be hearing in later games, and has a very atmospheric sound to it, which really sets the mood, and helps the game stay from getting to boring. though the free play music you will get sick of eventually, i guarantee it.

Sound (Effects) 6/10
The sound effects are pretty decent, pretty average but not bad. the shrieks and what not of the monster in the cinematic 3d battles sound pretty good, and sound fonts when moving the cursor etc help the game from being to quiet/ bland. there is a good variety of sound effects, which help the game.

Graphics 9/10
The graphics are pretty good. the anime cutscenes (talking cut out, unfortunatly not video) are very detailed and look just like the show. the cards are all detailed nicely, and the art is ripped perfectly from the cards. teh 3d battle arena cinema also looks pretty good (considering its playstation) and all of the monsters are detailed decently. some of the models are dissapointing, but there are alot of them, and these battle scenes are completely optional, so you cant really criticize.

Controls N/A
im not going to give the controls a score,because its just a scrolling through menu control. it is smooth, but not significant enough for its own score.

Replayability 10/10
This is an insanely replayable game, thats its strongest point, is how long it takes to beat, and how much time/commitment it takes to beat it.

Personal 9.5/10
I Personally love this game! i have spent alot of time, just trying to beat it. its one of the most challenging yet somehow rewarding games ive played. even after you play it for just 2 minutes, you cant put it down, you just have to beat it. i loved the music and how well they converted the only real complaint about it is the insane overdoing of farming. but i think it makes the game what it is, and this game would be easy and generic without it. I am STILL trying to beat it after a year or so of on and off play, and im almost done it.

All in all, this is a great game for yugioh fans, or gamers just looking for a real me personally its a great game, but like so many other yugioh games, they just dont do any introducing to beginners and newbies. and i have the worst memories as a kid trying to figure it out. but once you do, your in for a great experience. but most people dont have the commitment to learn this games complexity and just shut it off, and thats what drives it away, and overall makes it a lackluster game to the general public. if it had tutorials and a good practice mode (not dueling your doppleganger over and over again), it wouldnt be to bad.

I Give This Game A......

Thanks for little kuriboh, of youtube for making the yugioh abridged series, which is an absolute hilarious parody of the show, and gave me the idea to review this game :D