I seriously have this weird way of being drawn in by things that I think I will never give a second thought to. It all started with POKEMON, years and years ago, something I thought was so stupid the first time I heard about it. Then I played the game, and even the next few in the game series (I even played some of RUBY when it came out). After that, it was DRAGONBALL Z. Now it seems that the card game that has grasped the attention of little kids everywhere has sucked this reviewer in as well.
Keep in mind that, before I opened this game, all I knew about YU-GI-OH was that it was: a) a card game that kids are obsessed with, and b) anime. Now, when you jump into a card game that gives no rules or explanation of play, I think they expect you to know something about the game before playing. Unfortunately, if you aren't well versed in the ways of the YU-GI-OH card game, I seriously cannot recommend picking this game up (and learning the hard way, like I did).
Now, on the other hand, if you are a YU-GI-OH fan, you probably own one of the previous versions of this game. WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT 2004 basically is an update to the previous released game (actually, there is more than one there are a lot of them in fact), with some minor graphical updates and some new cards. But if you're a YU-GI-OH fan, nothing I can say will keep you from buying this game (most of you, as you browse this, may even have it in your Game Boy Advance).
Now, who is this review aimed to? The dumb people like me who try to play the game without reading the instructions? Sure, you're all invited as well. Basically, I'm trying to tailor this to someone who may be interested in YU-GI-OH, but doesn't really know where to get started.
I could go into detail about the YU-GI-OH storyline, but considering WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT 2004 doesn't have a storyline, it would all be for naught. This is a straight up card playing/building game. Players put together decks of cards that feature monsters, magic and traps, then go head to head with a computer or player opponent. Players take turns placing a single monster in attack or defense position, as well as activating magic or trap cards. Placing a card face down may also have a "flip effect"; when the card is flipped, it may take something away from your opponent or give you an added bonus. When a player's life points are down to 0 (you both start at 8000), then the match is over.
The game isn't really much to look at, unless you find the fronts and backs of cards appealing. The graphics do seem to be cleaned up a bit from the last edition of this game. The sound is quite repetitive, but luckily the songs aren't terrible; if nothing else, just turn down the volume and crank something a little more easy on the ears.
YU-GI-OH WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT 2004 definitely isn't for the casual gamer who has an inkling in the game; unless you're like me and just dive head first into things, you may want to check out one of the other, RPG style YU-GI-OH games that give you a decent background on what you're getting into. For YU-GI-OH fans, this is an updated version of your favorite card game; could it get any better?