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Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's World Championship 2010 Reverse of Arcadia

Score: 88%
ESRB: Everyone 10+
Publisher: Konami
Developer: Konami
Media: Cartridge/1
Players: 1 - 2
Genre: Puzzle/ Card Games

Graphics & Sound:

Yu-Gi-Oh! games are becoming the Madden NFL of collectible card games. Every year, another World Championship title ships and, somehow or another, Konami always manages to find some new twist for the series.

Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's World Championship 2010 Reverse of Arcadia looks like a DS game. Character models are basic, but still look good. Rather than playing as a character from the show, Reverse of Arcadia lets you create your own custom duelist from a set of pre-made parts (most of which come from series characters, allowing for all kinds of interesting combinations). I originally thought my custom character would only show up as a portrait, but my choices also showed up on my in-game model. The details were pretty bare, but there was enough noticeable detail that it made for a cool experience.

The actual dueling interface is unchanged from past versions. Konami has found something that works and is sticking with it. The battlefield shows up on the bottom screen, while the top displays card information. The set up doesn't make full use of the DS's twin screens (meaning tiny cards and play area), but it's more than playable. Monsters show up on the battlefield when cast, but the micro-cutouts aren't very impressive.

Sound isn't memorable. There's a bit of a synth-rock beat going on behind duels and a few random sound effects, but nothing overly impressive or worth turning the sound off.


Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's World Championship 2010 Reverse of Arcadia takes place in the 5D's universe. Even after a few trips to Wikipedia, I still can't figure out the plotline, other than there are groups of people at odds and card games, particularly Duel Monsters, are the weapon of choice. If only real life were that way, then my Magic: The Gathering skills might be worth something.

After creating a custom character and signing into the online leader boards, Reverse of Arcadia offers the choice between Story and World Championship Modes. Story takes your main character through a basic RPG experience. The story isn't exactly clear, but it manages to ship you from point A to point B and offers plenty of opportunities for NPC duels. There are also a few minor puzzles to solve as you wander around the game world, but mostly you're just picking fights with people so you can duel them. It's silly, but it's better than jumping into random duels with faceless opponents like older games.

World Championship is for players who would rather skip the Story and get into a bunch of random duels with faceless opponents. The mode offers a bunch of free duels with A.I. opponents or, if you can find a friend, Wi-Fi and Ad Hoc games. World Championship feels like a completely separate game from Story Mode, which is pretty cool for players who just like dueling. You can still win new cards and edit your deck, so you're not missing out on anything if you skip the Story.


Success is completely determined by your deck and, more to the point, how well you play it. An in-depth tutorial is available for players who are either new to the game or, like me, a little rusty on the newer card mechanics. It's pretty typical for Yu-Gi-Oh! games to either stick you with a weak starting deck or just throw a bunch of cards at you. Either way, the early game is usually incredibly tough. Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's World Championship 2010 Reverse of Arcadia tweaks the trend. Your starting deck isn't great, but good enough to see you through until you can build up your own collection and create your own deck.

Even for newcomers, the mechanics of Duel Monsters is easy to pick up. Nearly anyone can jump into a game, but it takes a while to get a feel for how things work. Matches can turn on a dime, so even if you're losing, there's always a chance for something to change. To get you used to these situations, you can enter practice rooms that place you in scenarios you might face in a game. Training rooms are a great tool for beginners and vets; they offer insight on how certain mechanics work, but also explain how to use cards to escape dire situations.

Game Mechanics:

Matches play the same way they always have, but with a few new card mechanics. Monster cards are your main weapon, while others like traps and spells supplement your strategy. Most cards have some sort of effect on the game; some allow you to pull out powerful monsters early, while others can disrupt your opponent's strategy. There over 3000 cards to collect over the course of the game, offering plenty of combinations and deck types. For newcomers, building a deck is a difficult experience, though as you play against new decks and see how cards work together, things become much clearer. Though it may not do wonders for your ego, it's worth it to jump into a few multiplayer matches early on. You'll lose a majority of your matches, but it's a great way to understand the game's inner workings.

Most matches follow the familiar Duel Monsters format, though Story Mode throws in a few tweaked matches to break things up. The more common alternate-rules match is Turbo. Matches play out the same as normal matches, but instead of dealing straight damage, your goal is to build up speed points. Turbo matches are an interesting diversion, though the strategies don't feel as diverse.

Another type is Race Duels, which have very little to do with the actual card game mechanics. Instead, matches are based around actual racing with cards action like power-ups in Mario Kart. These were my least favorite type of match and are, thankfully, sparsely used.

Keeping up the Madden comparison, Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's World Championship 2010 Reverse of Arcadia is a known quantity. If you're a fan of the series, you'll like what Reverse of Arcadia has to offer. Just the idea of online multiplayer is worth the upgrade. If you're interested in the concept, Reverse of Arcadia is a great jumping on point.

-Starscream, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ricky Tucker

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