Not sure whether to make this a game review or just an article, so I’m just summing my thoughts up here. For those who don’t know, Dueling Network is an online simulation of the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game that’s played online against players across the globe. As a manual game, it’s much different from Konami’s official offerings, and requires interaction similar to the real life game.
Anyways, it’s a good time waster, but in no way a substitute for the actual game. Certain things take you out of the game, like glitches and missing mechanics (try activating Exchange, I dare you). The game has adequate features for interactivity, though. You’re able to put yourself in a pool to be randomly matched up with an opponent of comparable rank, or join a hosted duel. You can even create a hosted duel to your own specifications.
The deck creation system is simple enough. Find a card and add it. Cards are all up to date, and we’re even given access to OCG exclusives and alternate artworks (even uncensored cards). It’s sometimes fun to just play around with decks you’d never make in real life. Other times, it’s actually helpful to test some decks before you commit to them in the real game.
After a while, you’ll find the game has the same setbacks of the real life game – the cards and the players. First, no casual player likes to face a modern deck that spams the field with Monsters (i.e. Xyz abuse). Yu-Gi-Oh! is fun when it’s action based, and doesn’t become a reading session. While automatically selecting an opponent may lead you into battles like that, it’s usually best to just host your own duel, but put forth your specifications. Still, some players are just (for lack of a better word)… assholes. Of course this is to be expected with anonymity over a broad online playing field. But even the small things take away from the game; players will habitually try to cheat, and will make a scene if you even politely correct them. There is a function for calling an administrator to sort things out, but the point of this game is for fun; I don’t want to submit myself to a duel with someone who clearly doesn’t respect the rules. Many people just get crabby when you turn the tables somehow and rage quit the duel. Nobody likes those people.
All this isn’t to say that you won’t meet any cool people. You’ve just got to dig. The game’s fun in small doses, and faithful for the most part. I started played to duel with friends whom I was far away from, and it definitely fulfills its purpose in that department. Beyond that, it’s really nothing worth getting consumed over.