Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution Review for PC (Steam)

Konami’s latest Yu-Gi-Oh! video game is Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution and today we are reviewing the PC version, available on Steam. Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution or LotD: LE for short, contains over 10,000 Yu-Gi-Oh! cards, by far the most in any Yu-Gi-Oh! game yet. Furthermore, it has a campaign mode with seemingly endless duels spanning across all five series as well as the ability to battle other duelists online in ranked or custom matches. Just how good is it though?

yugioh legacy of the duelist link evolution review

My Yu-Gi-Oh! Background

I used to watch the original series and am familiar with the story from the Duelist Kingdom era to Legendary Dragons saga. Battle City is definitely peak Yu-Gi-Oh! in my opinion. Between the god cards, the Kaibacorp duel disks and their ability to create portable virtual duel arenas as well as what seems like a great balance of power between the cards available in that era.

While I purchased many cards back in the day, I eventually stopped as I never went to any dueling events. So, the Yu-Gi-Oh! video games have always been my window into the world of duel monsters. Starting with GBA titles like Yu-Gi-Oh! World Championship Tournament 2004 and even Dungeon Dice Monsters (for which I’d still love to see a remaster) as well as Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dawn of Destiny (a game which I really enjoyed despite the lack of cards available in-game) available on the original Xbox.

My favorite Yu-Gi-Oh! game is Nightmare Troubadour which was released in 2005 for the Nintendo DS, it captured the Battle City/Virtual World arcs quite well and even features upgraded postgame decks for the major characters which included cards such as Black Luster Soldier Envoy of the Beginning, Chaos Dragon Envoy of the End and the ever useful Marshmallon. Something about that game made it consistently replayable.

yugioh legacy of the duelist link evolution campaign series screen
The series selection screen in campaign mode.

Campaign

The campaign segment of Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution is quite expansive, containing most of the major character duels for all the series (Yu-Gi-Oh!, GX, 5Ds, ZEXAL, ARC-V and VRAINS). Don’t ask me about the last four series as I know nothing about them… When GX came out, I enjoyed the Zane Truesdale duels as I found artwork as well as the synergies between the Cyber Dragon cards to be very original and powerful for the era.

yugioh legacy of the duelist link evolution campaign review

In the original series you start off with nearly all the major the Duelist Kingdom duels against Weevil, Yami Bakura, Seto Kaiba, Bandit Keith, Mai and Pegasus, etc. you typically play the “hero” character (Yami Yugi, Joey) and have the choice of using the their deck or one of your own. In concept, I really like this idea. There’s nothing better than battling as Yami Yugi or Seto Kabia and being able to use the exact same cards they used in each respective duel (the story decks get enhanced/upgraded as they do in the series).

yugioh legacy of the duelist link evolution campaign duels
Before you beat a duel, all you see are the characters’ silhouettes.

The most fun duel (and best episodes) of the series is Yami Yugi vs. Seto Kaiba in the Battle City finals.

yugioh legacy of the duelist link evolution clash in the colosseum

However, whoever was put in charge of creating these story decks took what I would call a very lazy approach. You almost always have 3 copies of at least 5-6 individual cards in each character’s deck, I’ll refer to these as “signature” cards. I suppose Konami wants to ensure that players get to use the monsters that the primary character used to defeat their opponent but, in some cases, this backfires terribly. A perfect example of this is in the duel against Bandit Keith at the beginning of the Battle City arc, where you play as Yugi Muto. At one point I had 2x Gaia The Fierce Knight, 1x Summoned Skull, 1x Curse of Dragon and 1x Dark Magician AND this was after I had just discarded a 3rd Gaia The Fierce Knight!

yugioh legacy of the duelist link evolution battle screen
This is the type of hand that Bandit Keith normally has!

One turn later and I draw another brick in the form of a 2nd Curse of Dragon to complement my already tribute monster loaded hand!

yugioh legacy of the duelist link evolution bandit keith
All I needed was a 4-star monster!

This also applies to spell/trap cards too. Again, in the Battle City finals as Kaiba in his duel against Ishizu I had a hand full of bricks in the form of three copies of Silent Doom.

yugioh legacy of the duelist link evolution seto kaiba
I can deal with three copies of Thunder Dragon and Blue Eyes but three copies of Silent Doom with no target in the graveyard is where I draw the line! About to lose this duel too…

It is one thing to include as many of the cards that each character used in each respective duel, but to include so many copies of each one makes certain duels totally luck based. Again, I point to Nightmare Troubadour. Whoever made the decks for that game really took his time and attempted to create well balanced, challenging decks (after all the AI needs all the help it can get!) that are not loaded with bricks.  

My last comment on this point is that some characters have cards in their decks which were not even released in that era. For example when you battle against Weevil in the Duelist Kingdom duels, he has a card called Cocoon of Ultra Evolution (which I didn’t even know existed) and is able to effortlessly get of Perfectly Ultimate Great Moth for which you really have no counter at that point in the game. It is not so much that he has Perfectly Ultimate, but the fact that he can summon it so easily which at the time in the anime was impossible to do.

One thing I was thrilled to experience is that the game takes advantage of the latest “Master Rule” which essentially reverses the previous Master Rule’s limitation of only two Fusion/Synchro/XYZ monsters allowed on the  field at once unless you have a Link monster pointing to (and thereby allowing you to Fusion/Synchro/XYZ summon to) other monster zones on your field. I had not played with the previous master rule, but I am sure I would have been quite frustrated being limited to one fusion monster in the original series and GX duels.

yugioh legacy of the duelist link evolution yami yugi vs yami marik

Another interesting change is that you no longer draw a card if you are the turn 1 player; I understand this was also a master rule change. The game feels so different with this change. I do not like it, but I understand it is there to balance out what used to be a sizable advantage if you pulled a first turn start.

Card Shop & Deck Creation

A major and welcome aspect of LoTD: LE is the fact that there are no microtransactions. I cannot overstate this enough. LoTD: LE is a real Yu-Gi-Oh! video game in the vein of previous games which utilize a card shop with in-game currency earned after each duel to “purchase” new cards.

yugioh legacy of the duelist link evolution card shop packs

Another positive aspect is that you earn plenty of currency after each duel, so it does not feel like as much of a grind to get the cards you want.

yugioh legacy of the duelist link evolution card shop

Here is the deck creation screen. I am currently trying to recreate one of my favorite decks from Nightmare Troubadour, Yami Yugi’s postgame Arcane Chaos deck.

yugioh legacy of the duelist link evolution deck creation
Halfway through Arcane Chaos. Look it up, seriously fun deck for the original duels.

The deck creation aspect is well implemented and easy to use. One of my favorite aspects of Yu-Gi-Oh! is the artwork on the cards and LoTD: LE renders all the cards in beautiful HD. There is a great feature where you can find related cards by simply clicking a button while hovering over a card in your trunk.

yugioh legacy of the duelist link evolution deck creation related cards
The related cards section.

You can also easily sift through cards to find additional copies by right clicking a card in your deck.

yugioh legacy of the duelist link evolution card options

Additional searching assistance can be found in the form of a filter option which is extremely specific and substantially cuts down on time searching.

yugioh legacy of the duelist link evolution card search filter
Card search filter options.

A Few Improvements

Being that this game is on Steam and would be able to take advantage of the power of a PC, I would have loved to have seen a few features which were part of previous games. Better backgrounds with a 3D effect would be a welcome addition, the current ones are quite simple and with so much power at the disposal of many gaming PCs, this would not be to much of a strain on performance. Cmon, admit it we would all love to see a virtual colosseum in the Yami Yugi vs Seto Kaiba battle or duel on Seto’s plan vs. Alister. Another feature implemented in Nightmare Troubadour were the 3D monster sprites, it would be so cool to see each monster’s sprite on your field in modern day graphics.

yugioh legacy of the duelist link evolution yami yugi vs seto kaiba
A reverse duel. Kaiba vs. Yami Yugi in Battle City finals. Just needs colosseum background, a few anime only cards (see Power Balance, Magical Trick Mirror and a few others) and original card Erratas to be a perfect rendition!

The game is missing all the tag duels such as Yami Yugi and Joey vs. Dox and Para & Yami Yugi and Kaiba vs. Lumis and Umbra. Even if you must play both roles of the tag team, it would still be worth adding in. This could also translate to multiplayer matches. Everyone loves tag duels.

yugioh legacy of the duelist link evolution yami marik vs yami yugi
The way the final duel should have ended!

It would also be fun to play with older cards before their Erratas such as Crush Card Virus and Card of Sanctity, as their original effects were far more enjoyable to use. Being able to turn off the intro animation for monsters should be added. Also, I do not like the fact that when you set a spell/trap, you must specify which zone it is to be set to. If this is important for Link/Pendulum monsters, perhaps it could be auto turned off if the game detects that you have no such monsters in your dueling deck. Finally, if you could duel against the computer with it using decks you’ve created, I’d be very happy.

Conclusion

Overall, Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution is a lot of fun! It is a great game and you can tell Konami built it with the community in mind. There are endless cards to choose from, no microtransactions (huge plus), a lengthy campaign and both competitive and custom multiplayer matches. Some of the story decks could have been reconfigured better. Perhaps Konami would take deck suggestions from the community, I am sure players on Steam would be happy to submit deck lists for the characters.

Also, I hope Konami maintains the game and keeps it updated with new ban lists and obviously cards. It would be fun to try out the new Yami Marik cards in a duel against Yami Yugi if they updated his deck. Another arc they could add would be the Virtual World arc which I personally enjoyed. Again, these are small requests which would simply add more to an already great game.

performance computer editors choice award

If you love Yu-Gi-Oh!, even if you haven’t played it in a decade, Legacy of The Duelist Link Evolution will be a ton of fun and a great way to learn the new mechanics of the game. The tutorial duels at the beginning of each series showcase how new monsters and effects are summoned/activated. LoTD: LE is also available on Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 if you prefer to play on a different platform.

We highly recommend Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution and it is an easy Editor’s Choice winner!

Purchase on Amazon (Nintendo Switch Version)

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Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution