GBA REVIEW: YU-GI-OH: DESTINY BOARD TRAVELER

Have you ever had a dream where you could fly? Only to wake up and try to fall asleep again so that you could do it all over again - which never quite works? Yu-Gi-Oh: Destiny Board Traveler is like that second dream. It just never gets off the ground.

Based on one of the most popular strategy/collecting card games of all time, Yu-Gi-Oh: Destiny Board Traveler is a sad attempt at combining a card game and a board game into a videogame. There are reasons that card and board games exist in an altogether different medium than videogames. Videogames are capable of action, animation and virtual reality. Card games and board games may be great in their own right but they don't always make great videogames - as illustrated by this disaster.

The biggest problem with this game is that it all boils down to luck. A roll of the dice decides your fate. There is so little strategy to this game that there is no challenge for even the casual Yu-Gi-Oh player. I don't know the exact demographic this game was targeted for but it seems to be aimed at kids with an IQ comparable to a single-cell bacteria.

Monsters are located on every space of the board. Some of them are there from the onset of the game while others may belong to other players that have successfully challenged the other monsters. The premise of the game is to gain control of the board. You do this by fighting the monsters on the spaces that you land on.

In all there are 750 cards. Each player receives a hand in which he or she must place their best monsters on the six sides of a die. When you land on a space you will roll another die to determine if you gain powers or lose them. This is where the fate of the game is determined. It doesn't matter how powerful your monster is if the die determines that you lose powers. Conversely it doesn't matter how weak another players' monster is. If he gets a lucky roll, he'll take your monster out. It's that easy. Of course you can substitute other words for "easy" such as "stupid," "lame" or "#%$!-ed up."

There is nothing in the way of a tutorial which lets you play this game out of the box - unless you're trained in the way of Yu-Gi-Oh. Even then, you're going to have to consult the instruction manual to learn the rules of the board game. All of the rules attempt to convey the illusion of depth but it will only take a few hours to realize that it's all smoke and mirrors. You can unlock more boards but that's not an incentive to keep playing this game. It's slow, unchallenging and ultimately unrewarding.

Up to four players can take part in the board game but if you want to make three friends, warn them about this game instead of getting them involved. Don't get taken advantage of just because you're a Yu-Gi-Oh fan. It's game like this that can cause irreparable damage to a franchise. Not that I'll complain if I never have to do another Yu-Gi-Oh game review again as long as I live.

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System: GBA
Dev: Konami
Pub: Konami
Release: Nov 2004
Players: 1 - 4
Review by Cole
RATING (OUT OF 5)
OVERALL
2
GRAPHICS
2.5
CONTROL
1.5
MUSIC/FX
2
VALUE
2