When people think of trading card games, minds traditionally turn to names like Magic, Pokémon and Yu-Gi-Oh! These three names have made their money one deck at a time, with Pokémon and Yu-Gi-Oh! branching out into other media like cartoons and video games.
Unlike Pokémon, Yu-Gi-Oh! seemed unwilling to rest on its laurels as merely a turn-based card game.
This spurred on the various incarnations of the series like Yu-Gi-Oh! Capsule Monster Coliseum.
It started out with a Saturday morning cartoon.
The main draw for me was the monsters’ appearance and grand scale. Who wouldn’t love an unbeatable dragon that just demolishes everyone and everything in front of it?
The whole “Heart of the Cards” thing struck me as lame, though, and I found myself disagreeing with the way the main character went about his adventures. So, naturally, when the video games started to be released I figured I’d take the opportunity to play the game the way I thought it should be played.
Yeah, I was a bit too invested in a video game about a card game.
Once I got into the games though, the strategic elements kept me coming back, especially when Capsule Monster Coliseum (CMC) came out.
At is core, CMC is not a far departure from the other games as far as story. Yugi has to save the world through what appears to be a simple game. First, he gets his feet wet by beating his friends, but battles become more difficult as enemies become more daunting and unsavory.
When it comes to the other mechanics of the game, CMC is very different from its predecessors. It’s especially set apart from other Yu-Gi-Oh! games by two elements: the game boards and the chess-like attributes of the game pieces.
Separately, the stages are beautifully constructed and react to the players’ moves with great visual detail. Plus, the different ways certain monsters move and attack requires players to pause and think a little more about where to deploy their pieces.
Together, the two have great implications on the way a duel goes. Monsters’ attacks and movements are restricted in certain ways based upon how the board around them is set up. Also, an onslaught of offense can be quickly stifled if the death blow isn’t struck, a piece being stuck because a square is poisoned. These two attributes alone make the game addicting and worth playing over and over again.
The game also has a plethora of other elements that make the experience deeper and more immersive, but those involve a lot of numbers.
Fans of the artistry of the show will love to watch the battle animations. Those who prefer gameplay over animation will appreciate the option to turn off the battle animations and stick to the nuts-and-bolts of the game.
Why You Should Play It
CMC is a solid strategy game in a long series. It has enough familiar elements to bring in people off the street and not totally confuse and frustrate them but also brings in new elements that, while they do not revolutionize the game, will provide a fresh experience for familiar fans who decide to play.
The opponents in the game are no slouches either.
Once a player progresses past the first few duels, the AI uses monsters and surroundings to great effect. While the computer opponents start off the duels in much the same way, they react to the player’s movements in ways that will always provide a challenge.
In essence, CMC is a thinking man’s game that forces players to consider their moves and think a few moves ahead of themselves as well as their opponent. It can also function as a gateway drug to other Yu-Gi-Oh! games or harder strategy games.