Raúl Chouza
Mexico
TIJUANA
BAJA CALIFORNIA
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All of it started when I was in 8th grade (2003 I think), some friends started talking about the game and how cool it is, and... that if I would like to know how it plays I should watch the show.

A week later Yu-Gi-Oh! the TV show just started airing, and after two episodes I decided that the game-system looked interesting enough, the TV series was really, really bad (However worked very effectively on me as a marketing tool). I was interested in the game so a friend gave me some spare cards he had, I was interested... but with some cards in my hand this was now a compromise, I had to bought a complete set.

So I started with a Starter Deck (the US edition of the game already had 2 starter sets and 3 Booster expansions, so I started off from early stages of the game), the rulebook was really hard to grasp for me, after a month I played my first "duel" with a friend, the match was full of "no you can't do that", "to do the flip-summon you first need to set that card", "you can't combo those cards", so I learned two things that day:

>> How to interpret the rules correctly.

>> That if I wanted to beat my friend I needed to buy more cards.

At the moment, the US edition of the game already had 2 starter sets and 3 Booster expansions, and honestly the first starter decks where complete garbage and didn't had any possibilities against a custom deck, early "booster packs" also had this problem. New booster sets meant new and better cards for us to add, making older packs almost obsolete.

The aspect I recall the most from Yu-Gi-Oh! was the "act of learning":

>> Learning how to play the game, how to interpret the rules.

>> Learning that new sets of cards would be contained in packs called "booster packs", each one with a different focus or new gimmick, after 2 or 3 years I knew what packs contained useful cards and what where complete garbage.

>> Experiencing the Meta-game, at first the game was quite static (not a lot of interactions between cards) and after a year it was all about combos, more focused decks and even some thematic decks that were really fun to build and play.

And I enjoyed most of the experience. The only thing that leaved a bitter taste in my mouth was all the money invested, getting the cards you wanted was hard, packs of cards rarely contained useful cards. Most of my powerful cards were obtained by heavy trading on my part (ability to convince) I usually traded all my rare cards that I didn't considered good for more common ones that were more useful.

This was a game where the person with the most money usually had an advantage and it clearly was fabricated to be a big money sink (gameplay-wise the game always promoted the new and more powerful cards and monsters). I don't know the state of the game right now, but I would really not recommend it (there are better CCG's out).

Still, what matters is the meta-game in your group, during the early days with my friends I remember everyone's deck was not optimized and didn't focus on a certain build, "this card is powerful I should add it to my 60 card deck" was the mentality back then.

So one day I decided to make a 40 card deck focused on just equipping monsters with Attack bonuses (using just common cards!), after the first match everyone was asking "how such a crappy looking deck could be so effective", my group responded quite rapidly and our play style leveled up, we just entered into the meta-game.

I stopped buying cards after the sixth Booster Pack (¿Pharaon's Servant?) was out. I still played with my group but I had invested enough in the game. A year later a friend kindly bought everyone in the group the new Structure decks that were out, he gave me a Warrior themed Structure deck wich was pretty awesome, I quickly made some changes to the deck and played my last session with the group.


My final deck configuration :)

Gameplay wise I think Yu-Gi-Oh! Reached a good spot when the first Structure decks reached the market, the system is not bad and constructing decks is really fun. If you have a Game-Boy or DS portable system and you're interested in the game... I think the best approach is to buy one of the old Game-Boy or DS games (variety of cards will be limited and the game-play somewhat static, but you'll invest a small amount of money on these ones).

I would not recommend Yu-Gi-Oh! as a collectible game, but I totally support everyone interested in a collectible system to get into one, the environment should always be controlled:
>> Play with a small group
>> Settle some rules on the packs you can buy
>> Buy collectively and share your card collection
>> Make your own card restrictions for different sessions

There are a lot of great collectible games with interesting mechanics out there, focus on one and you'll love the experience.
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Simon Tan
Philippines
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It actually took quite a while for the TCG to jump from the manga into an actual game, but the system is pretty good when released. Granted, it was very limiting in the first sets with very few effect monsters, but Konami has done a good job in keeping things interesting.

My only complaint is the cost of playing. Sure, it sounds hypocritical coming from someone who plays Magic, but the cost of boosters, for some reason, are different. This is especially considering card quantity. The GBA and DS ports circumvent this cost pretty well, though.
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Raúl Chouza
Mexico
TIJUANA
BAJA CALIFORNIA
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goodshepherd wrote:
It actually took quite a while for the TCG to jump from the manga into an actual game, but the system is pretty good when released.

Yeah, all cards say "1996 Kazuki Takahashi" so I'm guessing the comic/anime? came first and then the first iterations of the card game were realeased in japan.

In México the show just started airing and some friends encouraged me to watch it. At the time the Latin-American version didn't existed so I got the US edition of the game (I live in the Frontier so I could acquire some cards every now and then).

The Latin-American version reached the market like 2 years after I got into the game, with the same awful kind of boosters the US version already had ("Legend of the Blue Ice", "Metal Raiders", "Magic something").

Suprisingly, this edition of the game had a really good translation, managing to keep a neutral-Spanish.

goodshepherd wrote:
Granted, it was very limiting in the first sets with very few effect monsters, but Konami has done a good job in keeping things interesting.

My little brother started playing recently (2 years ago, he already left the game), he bought a Deck containing "heros", basically monsters that have really good synergy between them and you can fusion easily. I think that was a great set.

Later he talked about some new kinds of monster (White cards) you could Special Summon by just discarding cards from your hand. I really was not fond of that idea, Fusions were already a nice mechanic, Ritual Summons never grabbed momentum, and I rarely saw someone using 7+ Level Tribute Summons.
 
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Bowie Tsang
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I am a Japanese Yu Gi Oh player so I dun really know the correct English translation of the mechanisms in the game, but there is a few things that you are wrong about.
Ritual Summon became a regular feature of the game since "high ritual(?)" was introduced to the game. Basically it was a ritual card that can summon any Ritual monster.
Tribute summon of 7+ level monster happens in almost every other game.
Fusion actually came out before tribute summon, but it was a underdeveloped concept. It was until E-hero came out it finally became popular.
The synchronize summon is probably the weird one you mentioned, in reality it was a really interesting mechanism that added great depth to the game.
 
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Raúl Chouza
Mexico
TIJUANA
BAJA CALIFORNIA
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Kampfer wrote:
I am a Japanese Yu Gi Oh player so I dun really know the correct English translation of the mechanisms in the game, but there is a few things that you are wrong about.
Ritual Summon became a regular feature of the game since "high ritual(?)" was introduced to the game. Basically it was a ritual card that can summon any Ritual monster.
Tribute summon of 7+ level monster happens in almost every other game.
Fusion actually came out before tribute summon, but it was a underdeveloped concept. It was until E-hero came out it finally became popular.

Yeah the mechanisms between different versions of the game remain the same, I know Tribute Summons were from the beginning in the core rules of the game and then Fusions and Rituals were introduced.

Kampfer wrote:
The synchronize summon is probably the weird one you mentioned, in reality it was a really interesting mechanism that added great depth to the game.

I just heard of the mechanism but never played with it, it just sounded as a bad idea but I'm sure that if it was introduced into the game it had "something special".

What I'm trying to say is that Fusions were the mechanic I liked the most, I rarely saw someone using 7+ Level Tribute Summons and the Ritual mechanic was also under-used (during my play time with the game). I think Fusions should have had a mayor role during early times of the game instead of introducing new mechanics.
 
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