You remember when Yu Gi Oh! 5D’s entire premise of card games on motorcycles was considered the most stupid thing to ever hit the Duel Monsters franchise? Trust me, the Zexal 3DS game is far, far worse.

It’s time…to D-D-D-D-D-D-DUEL! Forget Hearthstone, forget Magic: The Gathering. When it comes to card games that have evolved into overly complex systems that have a learning curve higher than Mount Everest, there is only one children’s card game that is worth experiencing. And that’s Yu Go Oh! It’s been a couple of years since we’ve seen a new game from that franchise, but the wait is finally over. And it totally wasn’t worth it.

Nintendo and Yu Gi Oh! games have always held a solid relationship. From the early days on the Game Boy with titles such as Reshef of Darkness and Duel Monsters III: Tri-Holygod Advent all far more, the series took a massive step forward on the Nintendo DS with Yu Gi Oh! Nightmare Troubador.

Zexal (4)

That kickstarted an entirely new generation of handheld dueling, with the Sony PSP also having several rather decent titles in the Tag Force series. It’s been several years since the 5D’s version of the game, Over the Nexus burst onto the scene. And three years later, Zexal World Duel Carnival arrives as the very first 3DS Yu Gi Oh! game.

I’m not going to mince words and waste time here: It’s crap. World Duel Carnival presents absolutely zero evolution of the game franchise, giving players a minuscule smattering of a half-arsed story-mode split across three characters as players duel their way to fame and fortune. Outside of that mode, you’ve got Free Duel, which allows you to pick an opponent and duel away to your heart’s content and the latest cards. And that’s it.

Zexal (1)

Bear in mind, that this is a card game on a device that is more than capable of connecting via Wi-Fi and other online services, that offers zero multiplayer. Zip. Zilch. Nada. And that’s thanks to the western release of this game shaving it off  like it was going out of style.

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In the Japanese release, there were duelist profiles, endings, photos and a database filled with plenty of information and a lot more unlockable characters. In the English adaptation, what you have is instead a R400 deck simulator, with all 5800 cards unlocked from the start. There are card sleeves and backgrounds to unlock, and that’s it. It’s done. You’re left with a feeling that you’ve just wasted plenty of cash, and all you have to show for it is the feeling that you’re a bigger disappointment than Mokuba.

Zexal (3)

Visually, the game does nothing to actually improve on what has come before it. You’re issued a generic duelist, sent on your way and forced to deal with a ridiculously high learning curve that has less mercy than a hug from Marik. Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal World Duel Carnival is a prime example of a developer doing absolutely buggerall to offer a better product to loyal fans, and preferring to instead sits on its fat arse waiting for the cash to roll in.

If Konami isn’t even going to bother making a proper game, then I’m not going to bother writing a proper review. Bugger this game, I’m done.

Zexal (2)


Last Updated: July 31, 2014

Yu Gi Oh! Zexal World Duel Carnival
A sub-par experience with stripped down features, a complete lack of multiplayer and no noticeable improvement whatsoever. Yu Gi Oh! no bro.
Yu Gi Oh! Zexal World Duel Carnival was reviewed on Nintendo 3DS
52 / 100


  1. Yoh. Epic rant review. If nothing else it made me laugh.


  2. Umar GAAAAHH!

    July 31, 2014 at 14:13

    “feeling that you’re a bigger disappointment than Mokuba.” LOLOLOL

    Damn, I’m really saddened by this in all honesty 🙁 Tag force was cool on PSP. Hell I even replayed Duelist of the Rose and Forgotten Memories. Thats how excited I was for this game. Been itching for this to happen…I got internet now so I kept looking at my clock wondering what the ‘time’ was….Sigh……YU GI OH WELL …. Its time to MO MO MO MOVE ON


  3. Alien Emperor Trevor

    July 31, 2014 at 14:13

    Yoh. The anger.


  4. Hammersteyn

    July 31, 2014 at 14:14

    “Bugger this game, I’m done” ROFL!


  5. Mark Vincer

    July 31, 2014 at 14:49

    Ok, so, at the risk of starting a riot again, the top banner below the menu still doesn’t align with background. #jussayin’


  6. Saudademaru

    August 10, 2014 at 22:20

    LOL that Mokuba quote!

    I really want a good PS Vita or PS4 Yu-gi-oh game like the old days. A full game that you pay for once, not a free game will a ton of microtransactions. The last Tag Force game for PSP I played was really good. I liked the way you obtained cards from it too, buying packs at the card shop to help focus on what you want, instead of the most recent PS3 game where it’s all random and you basically have to cheat and download a full unlock game to have any fun.


  7. Twisted Phoenix

    September 24, 2014 at 17:49

    Um…I actually think this will be a good game. Less playable Stories? We only had one story in past games. Everything unlocked at the start? I’m sorry, but I hated the random packs you had to buy. I hate it when you pretty much have to meet conditions to play the whole game unless it is like smash bros when it is the same story and game, just different playstyles. No multiplayer? NEVER USED IN PAST GAMES! I even have a Yugipro duel network account and I hate it sometimes since it takes forever to find an opponent sometimes and they can just drop out or be jerks!


  8. Brooke Draak

    September 30, 2014 at 04:07

    I just got it after reading all the bad reviews. Yes, the lack of multiplayer is a big problem, but when you have no one irl to duel and love YGO, this is a pretty decent game. I don’t care about the story lines or characters. I just want to play my children’s card game and kick ass with Gem-Knights. Tl;dr I am enjoying it and don’t think it deserves too much crap aside from GRRRR MULTIPLAYER


    • Mayowa Folorunso

      October 3, 2014 at 02:41

      Are there at least tag duels for crying out loud?! Noone seems to be talking about that, what about deck editing for your partner like in Tag force?


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