When I was little, Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh were the two big TCG’s that I was into. Eventually I dropped the Pokemon TCG in favor of the games, but when it came to Yu-Gi-Oh, the games and TCG co-existed in my life. As I grew older I continued to collect cards through the 5D’s series. After that, the games grew boring since they went back to the standard gameplay rather than more interesting gameplay of games like The Forbidden Kingdom, Duelists of the Roses, and even Wheelie Breakers. So then it was all on the TCG to carry my love of the series. Alas, that too fell to the wayside because I had no one to duel against. None of my friends kept decks anymore and I failed to meet new people who still played the TCG past 5D’s.
Enter the present day, and my love of Yu-Gi-Oh has been rekindled by the most unexpected game: Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links. Duel Links is a mobile game set inside a virtual space known as Duel World. You earn gems which you can then use to purchase booster packs to supplement your initial deck which is based on either Yugi or Kaiba. From there you can construct your own decks regardless of what character you have selected. And in the two weeks that I’ve been playing, not once have I had to spend any real money despite having the option. The game is so generous with gems that I just don’t feel the need too. I had forgotten how fun it was to build decks and challenge people to duels. Granted, Duel Links is based on speed dueling rather than standard duels, but in my opinion that makes it more tense because the match could be over instantly if you initial hand sucks, or your second hand could completely turn things around. The strange part is that I was introduced to the game when I least expected it: While I was at work.
I work for Walmart, and it’s no secret that everyone I work with hates working there, but hanging out on our breaks keeps every day from being boring. So when one of my friends showed me Duel Links, I hesitated to jump back in since it was the standard turn-based gameplay, but I eventually caved and downloaded the app. Before I knew it, there were maybe 6 or 7 of us just at this one store playing Duel Links on our breaks. And it really got me thinking about what would make Yu-Gi-Oh even more fun, and that would be a VR game. You can only rehash the same game so many times, even if it’s only once or twice a console generation. You see 2D cards sitting on a 2D or 3D plane, maybe with a 2D sprite sitting on top of the card. But I know I’m not the only one who has longed for the day that I could lay a card down right in front of me and see the monster spring to life. Virtual reality can bring that dream to fruition.
Imagine sitting at your desk(or standing, if you prefer), Oculus Rift or HTC Vive adorning your head with controllers in your hands and sensors watching your every move. On the displays in front of your eyes you see a control panel, and beyond that a large arena and your opponent standing on the opposite side. You draw a card from your deck that’s sitting in front of you, then slam it down on the panel. The monster is then projected onto the field in front of you and I’m sure you can picture the rest. That’s Duelist Kingdom style and could even be redone to play Dungeon Dice Monsters. Of course, that can be taken away and replaced with virtual duel disks. Regardless of how it’s presented, it would be the coolest thing ever. Of course, I would expect an augmented reality variation of this to appear whenever augmented reality headsets become just as widespread.
All I know is that I want to feel that intensity when my opponent chains cards together and summons a super powerful monster and obliterates my side of the field, and have it be more than just cards that I’m seeing.