With this review, Cheap Dam-Month will come to a close. So far I’ve talked about 3 card games all based on somewhat popular anime series. So, following that trend, it would be no surprise that I finish off Cheap Dam-Month with the “king of games”, Yu-Gi-Oh. Konami has had many video games based off of its card game on almost every console since the Game Boy Color. But where I find the series shines is the monsters, so I prefer this game with more of a focus on leading an army of monster. Here’s the only non-card game this month: Yu-Gi-Oh Dungeon Dice Monsters for the Game Boy Advance.
Dungeon Dice Monsters uses dice pools of 15 dice each player choses (these are like your “deck” and you get them by winning matches or buying them). Every turn, the player choses 3 dice for a single role to see what crests they get. Most of the crests go into a crest pool to move, attack, defend or use special skills later on. However, the most important one might be the summon crests, which follow different rules. Once you manage to role two summon crests of the same level in one turn (as they can’t be pooled), you can summon a monster or item from the dice that came up as summons.
To summon a monster, you also need to place a path. Each path is composed of 6 tiles laid out in shapes that would make dice when folded up. All the paths you place must connect to each other, which all connect back to your starting point: the Dungeon Master. Eventually, you’ll need to summon monsters to connect your path to your opponent’s so you can attack him, and vice versa. How you make your paths determines how easily he could get to you and how much space you could have for summons (remember, you need 6 spaces in some specific shapes). Grasping this concept is key in this game.
Once a monster is placed, you can move him around the board via any path he can reach and attack enemy monsters (all of this uses crests, so there’s a little bit of item management too). Your goal is to reach your enemy’s Dungeon Master and attack it 3 times to win.
Now, I have the real version of this game and unsurprisingly there are a few major differences. However, these seem to have been done to match what was shown on the Anime. One thing that’s different is that your dungeon master can’t attack, so he can’t retaliate as a last defense (which I miss). Another big difference is that, in the video game, each monster has a unique die and you can no longer use it after summoning that monster, while in the real version you have one kind for each summon level and could role them at any time. This hurts the game because it’s possible that the game comes to a stalemate because both players summoned all the monsters with certain crests and can no longer reach or attack the dungeon masters. However, the biggest flaw with the game is how long everything takes. As with Digimon Digital Card Battle, to advance in the game, you need to play through these long tournaments of several opponents (without saving in between), and a single match can already be pretty lengthy. Beyond that, there are a bunch of animations for every time you roll, summon a monster, fight and do other things. Some of these you can skip, but others you can’t and there’s no option to remove them completely (like in Monster Rancher Battle Card). This just adds a lot of filler time.So that’s Yu-gi-oh: Dungeon Dice Monsters, and, I’ll admit, it’s not for everyone. Unlike the card games which are (mind the pun) a bit two dimensional, this game adds a bit more strategy and depth to the whole collect, trade and build game play that might a bit too much for some people. That being said, those who are looking for something a bit complicated might enjoy it… if they can look past how long a single gaming session can last due to the tournaments. And like with Digimon Digital Card Battle, every change made to a game I really enjoyed just kind of made it worse (again, I know it was to resemble the show, but I’m sure the card games don’t resemble anything that happened on there). However, there aren’t as many changes, some may think they’re better and the core game still makes it pretty enjoyable. All and all, it’s a good game, but if it didn’t force you to play for as long as it does, I’d like it a lot more. I give Yu-Gi-Oh: Dungeon Dice Monsters 7 levels out of 10.