A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that in this game players "attack" each other using cards to summon monsters. Though no graphic violence is depicted, a brief animation of the battling monsters appears onscreen, with flares of light indicating a blow. This game will not be playable to anyone without prior Yu-Gi-Oh! experience; there are no tutorials and if you don't know your way around the point system, you're out of luck.
What's it about?
YU-GI-OH! 5D's STARDUST ACCELERATOR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP 2009 is based on the 5D's animated series, the latest spinoff of the original Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise. The series' new twist puts the characters on futuristic motorcycles called Duel Runners. The characters, slightly oldler than in previous Yu-Gi-Oh! games, battle in big stadiums and use their cards to summon monsters against one another.
An attempt to explain the elaborate rules and scoring of this game without thousands of words, diagrams, and the reader's infinite patience would be impossible. Suffice it to say, players 'duel' by laying down cards (2,800 of them in this game alone), each representing creatures, spells, traps, and other more esoteric values. At stake are futuristic motorcylces and the fame and fortune of winning. There's also a story mode in which the main character has amnesia and must do battle with many of the characters appearing in the TV animated show.
Is it any good?
To be fair, this is a game made for a fan of the TV show and Yu-Gi-Oh! universe. You battle characters from the TV show or friends via Nintendo's local Wi-Fi. And there's a story mode and well-made animated scenes sprinkled throughout.
But a player without knowledge of this world will find Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's Stardust Accelerator World Championship Tournament 2009 incomprehensible. There are no tutorials explaining how to play. It is a game to be explored by hardcore fans of this franchise.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why this videogame based on a card game (and TV show) was made -- was it solely to promote the popular franchise or does it provide another outlet for fans to enjoy the franchise? Why this game - and the Yu-Gi-Oh! universe - is so complicated. Is it more satisfying to play after doing the hard work of learning the rules? Does the complexity of the game make it a more 'insider' experience?