Yu-Gi-Oh! RUSH DUEL: Dawn of the Battle Royale!! – official trailer
Who it Caters to
Yu-Gi-Oh! RUSH DUEL: Dawn of the Battle Royale!! is a Nintendo Switch exclusive game based on Yu-Gi-Oh!: Sevens, the latest arc in the ever-growing world of Yu-Gi-Oh! and the one that introduced Rush Duels. Most Yu-Gi-Oh! fans fell in love with the TCG back when Yugi Muto was the protagonist and rules were not set in stone—something that made the anime series even more striking. That was ages ago, and since then, we've been presented with lots of crazy new gimmicks, like Synchro Summons, Xyz Summons, Pendulum Summons, Link Summons, etc. These new rules made the game more complicated to play, and not all players are interested in learning about these cards or even using them—they just want to easily summon monsters with high ATK stats and combine them with straightforward spell cards and trap cards.
Rush Duels—along with Speed Duels and custom rules—are one of the solutions to that problem, and now we have a video game to promote them! So, how about learning everything about Rush Duels while making some friends and defeating a shady organization?
What to Expect
What you can expect from this game is a very basic plot based on Yu-Gi-Oh!: Sevens, as well as over a dozen NPC waiting for you to duel them. Honestly, the story is just an accessory, but Yu-Gi-Oh! RUSH DUEL: Dawn of the Battle Royale!! has an excellent tutorial to teach you how Rush Duels work...and no, it's not a Battle Royale game as in Fortnite or PUBG, so you have nothing to worry about! It's just a trading card game where you can collect cards, build decks, and challenge other online players once you beat the Story mode.
Although the free-roam bits of the game are rather dull, and all maps are uninteresting, it wouldn't be fair to judge a Yu-Gi-Oh! game by how it plays outside of the duels themselves. It's sad to see this is yet another Yu-Gi-Oh! title with bland animations on this visual novel bits, but it is what it is... All that being said, we love how clean the UI looks when you're building decks or dueling someone, and that's all we care about in a TCG video game, really.
Yu-Gi-Oh! RUSH DUEL: Dawn of the Battle Royale!! comes with some really cool animations for Ace monster summons, and other card-related animations are on point too, which makes the gameplay more flashy and fluid. All in all, this is nothing but your typical shounen anime video game; take it or leave it.
Yu-Gi-Oh!: Sevens is not a popular saga in the West, and it doesn't even have an official English dub, so this game having EN voices is more than we expected. It's not fully voiced, but at least you can give all characters their own voice and emotions without the need for subtitles. Unfortunately, most voiced lines during duels are pretty annoying and repetitive, reason enough for us to turn the volume down...
The OST is great, though, and it will remind you of old Yu-Gi-Oh! games. It's nothing to write home about, but it's enjoyable. Another thing we liked is sound effects, bringing every duel to life and perfectly complementing how good the duels look and feel.
In Yu-Gi-Oh! RUSH DUEL: Dawn of the Battle Royale!!, you play as a male transfer student that knows nothing about card duels. Thanks to Yuga Oudou—the protagonist of Yu-Gi-Oh!: Sevens—and his friends, you are initiated into the art of using cards to summon monsters and fight other duelists, focusing on Yuga's most successful invention: Rush Duels. This new format got so popular that everyone in this city loves it, and they all look so eager to either teach you and help you build a stronger deck or just crush you to never play a duel again.
While you are still adapting to Rush Duels, Goha Enterprises invites everyone in the city to take part in a special tournament called Goha Rush Duel Battle Royale, and of course you're participating too!
In case you're not familiar with the concept of Rush Duels, allow us to explain it. The most notable changes are the number of monsters you can summon (3, instead of 5), the removal of the Standby Phase and Main Phase 2, and the revamped look of the cards—which means Rush Duels can't be played with OG Yu-Gi-Oh! cards.
Special summons are simplified, and now you only need to sacrifice either 1 or 2 monsters without even caring about Pendulum, Ritual, Link, and other weird mechanics. In fact, spell cards and trap cards were also simplified, with requirements and effects now being separated and even reworded, allowing less room for misinterpretation. Honestly, summoning as many monsters as you can with no penalties is incredibly fun, and it makes it more painless to flex your most powerful cards. Just avoid decking out!
Although this game combines free-roam segments with visual novel narrative and a little bit of RPG, it's not hard to notice how predictable everything is and how the story is nothing but an excuse for you to have a series of increasingly difficult duels. You start with 2 basic decks, one from Yuga—with Sevens Road Magician as your Ace card—and another one from dragon-lover Luke (aka Tatsuhisa)—built around Multistrike Dragon Dragias.
Every time you beat someone you earn 4 new cards, as well as GP you can use to buy card packs, special cards, and cosmetics. Rematching specific NPC for a chance to win their signature cards is not the only approach to things in Yu-Gi-Oh! RUSH DUEL: Dawn of the Battle Royale!!, but it's certainly a nice way to improve your deck and learn/complete deck recipes. In our experience, and let us say that we're not new to Yu-Gi-Oh! duels, acquiring a few new cards was enough to improve Luke's deck and beat the game. After all, in a dragon-themed deck, adding cards like Blue-Eyes White Dragon, Mountain, Illusion Strike Dragon Miragias, and some trap cards like Call of the Earthbound or Counter Cannonball is enough to outwit most strategies.
Once we beat the story, we tried some online duels too, but finding someone to play against takes so long that it's not even worth it. Let's hope once most players are comfortable with their decks, things can change for the better!
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
We're big fans of Yu-Gi-Oh! here at Honey's Anime, so playing Yu-Gi-Oh! RUSH DUEL: Dawn of the Battle Royale!! was an extremely enjoyable experience. Some of our friends regained their love for the franchise after playing a few Rush Duel matches, so we're sure some of you may feel the same after a few duels!
We still wish it had a more inviting plot or, at least, a better post-game to keep us playing for even longer. Now we can only hope people lose their fear of jumping into online matches to keep the game alive!
Rush Duels are perfect for old Yu-Gi-Oh! players who find themselves lost with all the new rules.
Yu-Gi-Oh!: Sevens may not be the most popular arc, but it's perfect for a new Yu-Gi-Oh! adventure.
Rush Duels are easier than regular Master Duels, so once you find 3 or 4 key cards in the game, only a couple of NPC could beat you...if at all.
Honey's Final Verdict:
Even if several classic cards from Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters (the anime) are missing in this game, we're sure winning a copy of Blue-Eyes White Dragon, Red-Eyes Black Dragon, or even Summoned Skull will bring back lots of memories! Plus, 718 is not a bad number to collect, and we know you can still fall in love with newly introduced cards too.
If you feel the rush to try Rush Duels, you can play Yu-Gi-Oh! RUSH DUEL: Dawn of the Battle Royale!! right now, only available on the Nintendo Switch.
Author: Rod Locksley
Hey! I'm Rod, and when I'm not watching anime or playing video games I'm probably writing about them, but I'm also a graphic and web designer, and I even published a comic book and worked like 4 years for a well-known MMORPG. Curiously, my favorite series are quite different from each other, so I'm still trying to understand what I really like in an anime...