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PSP Game Review

Tag Force 5


Format: PSP
RRP: £29.99
4 012927 064924
Age Restrictions: 7+
Available 26 November 2010

Set six months after the battle against the Dark Signers, New Domino City and Satellite find themselves united and at peace, until the arrival of three mysterious characters arrive, claiming to be from Yliaster, along with Ghost, a new Turbo Duellist. Now only Yusei stands in his way...

Yu-Gi-Oh!: Tag Force 5 is another in the long running and popular card game, set in the locations from the anime show. The additions to the series mean that this is, by far, the most extensive of the series with over four and a half thousand cards and an average of three hundred hours game play.

If you haven’t played any of the previous games, they are at their heart little more than card games. Each of the cards in your pack represent an action, attack, defence and healing and they must be placed on a board to counter, and hopefully defeat your opponent. Of course, all of this is wrapped around a relatively complex story. This expansiveness does have its down side; keeping track of so many cards can be a daunting prospect, but then it’s a game for young brains.

Once you get through the mind numbing introduction screens you can explore various parts of the city to chat and learn more about the cards and engage in mini games. Many of your interactions are designed for young teens so expect to talk about boys and school a lot. Apart from learning useful information you can engage in duels. The level of information is limited as the game appears to expect the player to be aware of both the anime and the previous games, if you know neither you're likely to spend a lot of time having conversations which sound nonsensical.

The duels are, initially, less interesting than they should be. Given that you have the ability to build up your cards, why then does the game take away your ability to pick specific card?. When you duel you are presented with a representation of the old rock-paper-scissors, before you get to the battle proper. In the main phase you are presented with a board, two sets of cards and your original hand to play with.

Like most good games the simple structure hides an almost infinite variation, which if it grabs your attention should have you playing for hours. However the down side is you don’t get to choose the cards you play with, which may reflect the real game, but makes the PSP game seem a little too random.

Graphically the characters are simplified, but set against a lovely panoramic background. Moving around, to talk to other characters uses the arrow keys, but the simplified graphics means that you walk sideways if you want to travel up or down the screen, but play long enough and you’ll be rewarded with animated cut scenes.

Although the game allows you to play ad-hoc battles with up to four other gamers, the real meat of the game is in the story mode, if you can understand what is going on. For fans of either the show or the previous four games, there is a lot of fun to be had here, but be warned anyone over sixteen may well find the character interactions off putting.


Charles Packer

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