Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution Producer Answers Our Questions About Bringing the Game to Switch, Cut Content, and More
Konami producer, Charles Murakami, recently talked to DualShockers about a number of different aspects about Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist.
Back in May, Duelists around the world found out that they would only have to wait a couple more months to officially get their hands on the next Yu-Gi-Oh! game: Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution. In light of that news, we thought it was a good idea to catch up with Konami and get an idea of what it was like bringing the game to the Nintendo Switch.
Over the course of the interview, we touched on scrapped content from the original game and why the game’s new content isn’t coming to the PS4, Xbox One, and PC versions, both of which we revealed earlier last week, and more. Check out the full interview with Konami Producer Charles Murakami below:
Tanner Pierce: Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution comes with over 9,000 cards, which may be daunting to newer players. What decks or strategies would you recommend to people who may not know where to start in order to do well?
Charles Murakami: 9,000 cards is definitely a huge number! It may seem like an unmanageable number, but the game includes two very useful mechanics to make the Deck you want. In the single-player mode, if you win Duels against other players, you’ll get cards from their Deck. So, if you encounter an opponent with a Deck that you like, you can play against them again and get all the cards you need to make that Deck in no time.
The other tool players can use are “Related Cards.” In the Deck Editor, you can select a card you like and filter only the cards that work well with your selected card. It’s a very useful tool that lets the player shrink a pool of thousands of cards to about a hundred or less.
TP: What influenced the development team’s decision to port Legacy of the Duelist to Nintendo Switch?
CM: We wanted to leverage the portability and home console style of the Switch, making it an intriguing choice for both local and online play. Additionally, we consider Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution the most comprehensive Yu-Gi-Oh! game ever. While fans of the original Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist will find comfort in its familiarity, it is far more than a port!
TP: Konami has been a supporter of the Nintendo Switch since day one. How smooth do you all find the porting process to Nintendo Switch?
CM: Yes! We love the Switch! We already have Super Bomberman R and the Classic Collections on the Switch – the former being a launch title for the system – so we’re excited to release a Yu-Gi-Oh! title to the Switch as well. There are challenges when bringing a game to a new system. As we took on these challenges, we focused on the new features the Switch affords, especially local wireless multiplayer and touch screen controls.
TP: What were the biggest challenges when transitioning a console game to a platform that can be taken on the go?
CM: With the Switch being a hybrid console, we knew players will expect a feature that is in other portable Yu-Gi-Oh! games – local multiplayer. So, making sure all the multiplayer modes work both online and local play was essential. Another challenge wasn’t specific to the Switch, but with the game now containing over 9,000 cards, getting the AI to play with and play against such a large pool of cards was tremendously difficult.
TP: The original game was exclusive to western markets and only used TCG cards, artwork, etc. Was there always a plan to bring the game to Japanese audiences from the start or that decision change over time?
CM: Yes, we had the plan from the start. Since the original Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist was planned as a TCG-only game, much of the UI, backgrounds, card art, story, and even the gameplay was created with western players in mind. When we heard that Japan would like to release the next update to the series to Japanese audiences, the first thing we did was try to find all episodes of the original anime series in Japanese. Then, we re-watched every episode that appears in the original game and tried to match up all the dialog.
TP: 2015’s Legacy of the Duelist used the Rule Set from the Pendulum Era as the announcement of the Current Rule Set was still a few years away at the time. Link Evolution forces players to use the Current Rule Set, which includes the Extra Monster Zone, the rearranged Pendulum Zones, etc. Were there any plans to support the Rule Set from the Pendulum Era in the game? Is there anything you would recommend to the people who might not have played the game in a while and feel overwhelmed by the new changes?
CM: Even back during the original Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist, we considered having the previous rules when playing through the early Yu-Gi-Oh! series campaign. But, we wanted to make sure that players can use their own Deck creations in addition to the story-themed ones. Playing Pendulum Cards without Pendulum Zones was problematic. Now, playing Link Monsters without the Extra Monster Zones would be unintuitive. Also, we found that it was confusing to new players when the field and rules kept changing.
Ultimately, we found that sticking to one set of rules was the easiest to understand and fun for most players. However, this game is a great place to start whether you are new to Yu-Gi-Oh! or haven’t played it in a while. There are tutorials throughout the game and the difficulty and complexity slowly ramps up. I recommend starting with the very first Yu-Gi-Oh! series. By the time you finish the very last match-up in the most recent animated series, Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS, you’ll have a firm grasp of all the new rules and become a world-class Duelist!
TP: Konami has previously stated that the original Legacy of the Duelist for PC, PS4, and Xbox One wouldn’t be upgraded to support Link Evolution’s rules, characters, and card set. Why did the team make that decision, and would the team ever consider upgrading the previous titles in the future?
CM: We are considering different possibilities for all of our games on all systems. However, Link Summoning being added created lots of differences from the original Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist. For Link Evolution, we tried to retain as much of the original game and add new content to it, but underneath it’s almost an entirely new game. So, it’s not the same as before where we can just add the cards via an update or DLC.
TP: The Japanese version of Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution, which has already released, includes English text and logos. Is that localization the same as the one that will be in the game’s western release?
CM: Yes! Including all languages allows players all over the world to play together and against each other. We want players to know how they rank compared to other players around the world, not just in their territories.
TP: Does KONAMI plan on showing off Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution at E3 2019?
CM: We will be there demonstrating the game behind-closed-doors.
TP: Legacy of the Duelist for PS4 and Xbox One got DLC both at launch and post-launch. Are there plans for post-release content or DLC for Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution on Nintendo Switch?
CM: We can’t confirm anything at this moment; however, if players want more content, we’ll always consider it. The game is titled Legacy of the Duelist since the theme is chronicling all of the history of Yu-Gi-Oh!. There is plenty of history left to still write.
TP: Is there anything else you would like to let DualShockers’ audience know about Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution for Nintendo Switch?
CM: We’re excited to bring both a packaged version, which comes with 3 exclusive TCG cards, in addition to the digital version to western markets! I hope everyone looks forward to Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution!
DualShockers would like to thank Charles Murakami for taking the time to conduct this interview. Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution will release for Nintendo Switch on August 20, 2019 and can be pre-ordered right now on Amazon.