Following Yugi the Destiny and Kaiba the Revenge, Joey the Passion is the third in Konami's series of Yu-Gi-Oh! Power of Chaos card-battling games for home computers. Like the earlier two games, which pit players in authentic Yu-Gi-Oh! card battles against Yugi and then Kaiba, Joey the Passion has players facing off against Yugi's closest companion, Joey Wheeler. PC gamers who already play one (or both) of the earlier Yu-Gi-Oh! Power of Chaos releases can import their decks for play in this version, and multiplayer battles are supported over a local network.
Graphics & Sound:
Have you ever wanted to face Joey Wheeler head-to-head in a street duel? Well now you get the chance in Yu-Gi-Oh! Power of Chaos: Joey the Passion.
The graphics of Joey the Passion are O.K.; there is nothing too flashy about them and there is no need for there to be. Most of the time, you'll be staring at a sidewalk-chalk rendition of a Yu-Gi-Oh! playing field. The cards that are on the field are easily identifiable, and the enlarged versions on the left are great replicas of the actual cards (as opposed to the truncated or rearranged versions typically seen on the consoles).
As you play against Joey, he will appear in the middle of the screen with various comments. For instance, when you flip over a trap or magic card, often times he will pop up (in a truly anime style) with a shocked look on his face.
Most of the time, Joey's comments are diverse enough to keep you entertained, and they never really get too repetitive. The background music does a good job of filling the void and keeps a rhythm to the game.
Yu-Gi-Oh! Power of Chaos: Joey the Passion lets you go one-on-one with the person who came in second place at the Duelist Kingdom, Joey Wheeler. You will face his deck and his skills as you try and find the right combination of monsters, magic, and trap cards that will bring his life-points down to zero.
Now I don't want to get into all the ins and outs of a typical Yu-Gi-Oh! match, but suffice it to say, this game sticks to the rule book exactly. While playing it, I couldn't find any deviation from the card game. This is different from all or most of the other Yu-Gi-Oh! games that have come out. Typically there has been some variation on the game itself that made it more than just another Yu-Gi-Oh! title.
There are three things to do in Power of Chaos: Joey the Passion. These are Deck Creation, Card List, and Duel Mode. Deck Creation allows you to mix and match 350 different cards to form a perfectly balanced deck that you will use in your duels against Joey. Card List shows all of the cards in the game. Most will be face down at first, but each time you beat Joey, you will get another card, and that card will be shown face up in the Card List.
Duel Mode has several options in it as well. You can either face Joey in a single duel, or go against him in a best two-out-of-three match. You can also watch replays of duels that you saved in order to learn exactly what you did right or wrong in that duel. Finally, you can play against a friend on your local network to see who has the better deck.
Yu-Gi-Oh! Power of Chaos: Joey the Passion is balanced quite well. Joey never seems to be too difficult to beat, though he whipped my deck on a fairly regular basis. Overall, I'd say that I beat the computer about half of the time. If you find that you are having trouble getting past his strategy, then I would recommend going into Deck Construction mode and seeing how you can change some things around.
An interesting feature is the idea of a duelist level. The more games you win against Joey, the higher your level rating goes up. The higher your level, the tougher it is to beat Joey. This keeps the game fairly well balanced no matter how many cards you've gathered or how good you've gotten.
Yu-Gi-Oh! Power of Chaos: Joey the Passion's mechanics are fairly basic. If you are familiar with the card game and know the general rules well enough, then you won't have any problems jumping into this game and taking on Joey. The other major option, Deck Construction, does a good job of laying out the cards in your deck, side deck, and fusion deck. It uses a simple drag-and-drop system for altering the deck, and the side bar displays all of the information for a selected card.
Overall, Power of Chaos: Joey the Passion was a fun game to play for a while. Though I was never pulled into it so much that I felt like I had to keep going back, it was a pleasant experience while I was there. The dynamic difficulty that is built into the duelist-level definitely helped to make the game enjoyable.
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