Something that has come to my attention recently is the changing layouts in the TCG. Until 2010, there was only one layout, which lasted 8 years. So way go about changing something we know and love? Well, let’s look at the history (note: this list mainly applies to Monster cards).
This is the original layout, which was first presented in the manga. It’s minimal (which makes it easier to illustrate), and only gets across what it needs to. But when it comes to actual gameplay, more information is needed.
This is the first layout of the OCG. Structurally, it’s true to the manga, but adds the type and attribute to cards, while the effects/flavor text are in a clearly designated box.
With the second layout, it’s apparent that the ATK/DEF didn’t need to hog a whole half of the bottom sector. This also allows for more space with the effect. I actually like the look of this and the previous layout, but that’s just me.
This is the third OCG layout, but the first and most recognizable of the TCG. The ATK/DEF stats are now on the bottom, which actually gives a lot more space for the description. An agreeable balance is reached (though cards like Relinquished really push it to the limit).
What’s this? The second TCG layout is a really big change. First of all; the colors. The effect box has been lightened. I think it looks alright, but I know of people that absolutely hate it. The next changes are subtler; everything has been shifted around to compensate for a larger effect box. Jeeze, do you think that’s enough already?
Just two years later, the layout was changed again. The picture was made larger, but to compensate, everything else was squashed, and the cards look much more crowded now. If anything, this is probably least necessary of all the layout changes.
In conclusion, layout changes are insignificant next to the cards that are being released, but you still have to consider the reasoning behind this. When Yu-Gi-Oh! was young, a smaller, effect box was required, which reflected the relative simplicity of the game. Now, the effect boxes are becoming bigger and bigger, and the descriptions themselves are being butchered in order to make way for lengthy and complicated effects. It just makes you wonder where we’re headed…
~SlashMan 3/3/14 – Card images from Yu-Gi-Oh! Wikia
We’re getting there…