Yu-Gi-Oh The Duelists of the Roses Review

Posted: July 16, 2013 in Game reviews

Greetings mortals, I am DracoJames102 and I am here to give you a review.

For this review, I am going to talk about one of the loves of my childhood, ‘Yu-Gi-Oh!’ I remember getting into the trading card game (which was published by ‘Konami’ in 1999) back in middle school in 2002. Everybody on the playground had the trading cards and one of my friends gave me nine cards to start off with which included ‘Flame Champion’, ‘Giant Soldier of Stone’ and ‘Flame Dancer’. I got into the game straight away and throughout my years, I have bought many starter decks and booster packs to build a deck that supports my all time favourite card in the game as well as one of my favourite dragons, ‘Blue-Eyes White Dragon’. I loved the game so much that I actually created my own fan-fiction comic books where I venture in my own ‘Yu-Gi-Oh’ universe with my beloved ‘Blue-Eyes White Dragon’. The card game today is still going on strong and in September they are going to release a new ‘Blue-Eyes White Dragon’ structure deck (Girlish squee). I also spent a lot of time watching the anime whenever I could. I watched a lot of the original series, the GX series and the 5Ds series. I never watched the Zexal series and to be honest after one clip I’ve seen on ‘Youtube’, I won’t even bother.

However I’m not here to talk about the card game itself (although I do want to review it later on down the road). When something like this was popular, it would spawn video game spin-offs and today I am going to review the very first ‘Yu-Gi-Oh’ spin-off game I ever played, ‘Yu-Gi-Oh The Duelists of the Roses’ which was released for the Playstation 2 in 2001.


I was introduced to the game by my best friend ‘Tommy Fontinari’ when we were still in middle school together and after playing some of it, I decided to get the game myself and beat it. Back when I played it, I thought it was great, but like I said in my review of ‘Star Wars The Force Unleashed’, how well does it hold up now that I am older?


The story of the game takes place during the ‘War of the Roses’ in the 1480s. The Lancastrians (Red Rose side) were forced to recuperate in France by the Yorkists (White Rose side) who had the help of the Rose Crusaders led by C. Rosenkreuz (Seto Kaiba from the original ‘Yu-Gi-Oh!’ series). Most of the characters you can duel in the game are characters from the original anime series. Henry Tudor who leads the Lancastrians is Yugi Moto (the main character in the original series) and on his side are characters who resemble his friends in the anime such as Joey Wheeler, Tristan Taylor and Tea Gardner. Rosenkreuz’s Rose Crusaders consist of most of Yugi’s rivals from the anime, such as Weevil Underwood, Rex Raptor and Bandit Keith. They all use the same types of decks they use in the anime (though how machine type monsters existed in the 1480s raises my eyebrow).

Out of desperation, a servant of Henry Tudor uses their ancient Red Rose cards to summon a duelist from another time to help them. This duelist represents you within the game and depending on the name you give your player, you have different choices between picking your first starter deck between three decks you can choose. However after the summoning, Rosenkreuz appears and demands the Red Rose cards. The servant says that straight after the summoning he gave the cards to Henry Tudor’s most trusted companions and they have now scattered. However Rosenkreuz offers the Rose Duelist to join their side in exchange for getting the Red Rose cards back. This is where the player chooses to join either the Red Rose side or the White Rose side. Regardless of such if you complete one side’s story, you have to complete the other story when you press continue at the select screen.

Like the ‘Star Wars The Force Unleashed’ review, I am only giving the basic premise away and not the whole story (just thinking about the people who haven’t played the game but are curious about trying it out). But I will give my personal opinion on the story without giving away too much. Personally I do not really care about this game’s story. I could not really get into it. In the end, it’s really just fan-fiction (bare in mind this is coming from someone who has made fan-fiction). This is one of those games where I don’t play it for the story but for everything else.



Now let’s get into the gameplay. Bare in mind that this game has a completely different setup from the original trading card game so for those of you who want to learn how to play the game properly, this game isn’t for you. I have never played ‘Yu-Gi-Oh Forbidden Memories’ either so don’t expect me to make any references to that game. This game plays out like a turn-based strategy game just like the original TCG (trading card game). However unlike the TCG instead of having the structure of the playing card field, ‘Duelists of the Roses’ plays more like a board game similar to chess or draughts. Like the TCG, each player starts out with 4000 (8000 originally) life points and whoever reduces their opponent’s life points to zero wins. Other ways of winning are surrounding your opponent’s deck leader so he can’t summon a card, letting the turn counter run down to zero with the player with the highest amount of life points winning the duel or using ‘Exodia the Forbidden One.’ Depending on which side you are on, your player icon is on the top left corner if you are on the Red Rose side or the top right corner if you are on the White Rose side. The icon tells you how many life points each player has, how many cards are left in your deck, how many monsters, spells or traps you have on the field and how many summon points you have which are needed to summon monsters. Each player has 40 cards in their deck with one monster being their deck leader. The deck leader represents the player on the board so if your opponent’s or your deck leader gets attacked by a monster, it’s like being attacked directly. Each player has one turn to play one card on the field and move it around the board as well as their deck leader.

The player moves around the board using the D-Pad. You use the ‘X’ button to select a card or your deck leader. When you have your deck leader selected, you can move it around using the D-Pad. You can also use the square button when you highlight your deck leader and then choose a space near your deck leader to play a card on the field. You can only play one card per turn and the turn after you play a card, you draw cards until you have five cards in your hand. You can select multiple cards in your hand by pressing up on the D-Pad when you are highlighting each card. This is useful for equipping monsters with certain equip cards, fusing two monsters together if possible or sending cards in your hand to the graveyard with the last selected card being played into the field. The card is always placed face-down which is good if you want to play a sneaky strategy. When you have a card selected, you can move it around the board with the D-Pad. You use the L1 or R1 buttons to switch the card to either attack or defence position. The L2 and R2 buttons allow you to flip a card face-up or face-down for when you want to activate a spell card or flip a monster face-up. The circle button cancels your last action and the ‘X’ button lets you complete your actions with your card or deck leader. When you don’t have a card selected, you can use the analogue sticks to change the camera angle though I never really use it. I prefer the original camera angle. The triangle button when you are highlighting a card allows you to check the information on that card. The R1 button lets you check either your graveyard or your opponent’s graveyard. You can press the start button to end your turn and then your opponent makes their move. The select button gives you the option to surrender the game.


In order to damage your opponent’s life points, you need monsters. In order to summon monsters, you need to have summon points equal to or more than the stars of your chosen monster. Monsters can deal damage to life points either by attacking a monster who is weaker than it when it’s in attack mode or by attacking the deck leader directly. You engage monsters in battle by moving your monster into your opponent’s card. But be careful, it could be a trap card instead. If it is a monster you attack, a cutscene plays where the two monsters battle. Depending on the terrain that the attacked monster is on, they can gain either a power bonus or a power decrease. The cutscenes can be skipped using the circle button. The difference between both monster’s attack points are dealt to the losing monster’s owner as damage and the losing monster is sent to the graveyard. If the attacked monster was in defence mode with lower defence points, no damage is dealt but the monster is destroyed. If the defence points were higher, the difference between the attacked monster’s defence points and the attacking monster’s attack points are dealt as damage to the owner of the attacking monster. If both monsters have the same amount of attack points when in attack mode, both monsters are destroyed and no life points are lost. If the attacked monster has the same number of defence points as the attacking monster’s attack points, nothing happens. After monsters battle, depending on the attribute, a monster can actually be immobilized for one turn. Personally this was something I found incredibly stupid. If it would be something like an Earth monster winning over a Wind monster it would somewhat make sense, but it’s actually the Wind monster that gets immobilized. That, besides the fact that this concept never existed in the original TCG, is just flat out annoying.


After you win a duel, there is a slot machine where you have a chance to win cards that your opponent used in the duel to use in your deck. If you manage to get three cards in the  row, you can win a super rare card that sometimes cannot be earned in the slot machine, such as ‘Blue-Eyes White Dragon’ or ‘Dark Magician Girl’. If you do decide to go for getting three cards in the row, be warned as the slot machine likes to cheat most of time. There are times where I do have two of the same cards in the row and when I go for the third, the slot machine sometimes likes to stop earlier or later than usual and it is incredibly aggravating.


You can construct your deck by selecting deck construct in the menu in the over-world map in story mode or in custom duel mode. Constructing a winning deck is all about filling it with cards that can perform well individually as well as complementing the deck as a whole. I may as well talk about the deck leader concept here. When a monster has participated in enough duels, it can be promoted. When it is promoted, you can make that monster your deck leader. A monster has to have a rank to be a deck leader. Each deck leader has a special ability when they have a higher ranking.



Graphically, the game is pretty great. The monster models are spot on from the cards, their attacks can be a sight to see at times, especially ‘Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon’s’ attack, and the terrain backgrounds look pretty nice too. The character pictures during the cutscenes are spot on from the anime series too.


Musically, this game has some really good themes. Some of them are not really catchy, but there are some themes that I really enjoy listening to. I especially enjoy the custom duel theme and the theme that plays during the duel against Kaiba.

Final Opinion

So after all that I have talked about with this game, do I still enjoy it and can recommend it to everyone? Well…I do still enjoy the game, but I cannot recommend it to everyone. I can only recommend this game to fans of the ‘Yu-Gi-Oh’ franchise.  Even then it still does not play out like the original TCG and the gameplay structure may not be for every ‘Yu-Gi-Oh’ fan. There is barely any re-playability for this game except if you want to get more of your favourite cards for your deck. But the rules are pretty easy to understand and if you want to see your favourite classic monsters in 3D, listen to some pretty good tracks and are curious about the game in general, just check it out and see if you love or hate it.

Final rating: 6/10

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  2. No he podido evitar resistirme a dar mi opinion. Excepcionalmente bien comentado

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