The game's story places a lot of emphasis on there being no "bad" cards and I was happy to see the gameplay follow through. When it comes to card games, there's usually a few dominant decks calling for a few cards, effectively limiting your playable pool from a couple of hundred to maybe a third. Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's Tagforce 4
is really good about giving you cards, almost forcing you to explore what cards can do rather than simply trying to rebuild a dominant tournament deck. Experienced players will, no doubt, attempt to recreate their real-life decks, but as a casual return player, I had a blast experimenting.
One of the bigger hurdles in bringing a card game like Yu-Gi-Oh! to game consoles (the sole exception being the DS, but that presents other issues) is the interface. As simple as the physical interface is, its tricky to replicate with buttons. For the most part, the interface works, but without some adjustment. For example, the D-pad is used to navigate the play surface, while the analog nub scrolls through card text. The setup sounds incredible basic, but proved a minor brain bender in my first few games. Most aspects of the actual card game, like activating abilities, are handled with simple menus, streamlining play and offering a nice breather for players who may not know what's going on.
One of the interface's few downsides is deck building. Although you can sort cards out through numerous categories, digging through lists is still a counter-intuitive way to build decks. However, I can't really fault Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's Tagforce 4's attempts, only because I've yet to find a method that really works outside of a touchscreen-based system.
It's been a while since my last Yu-Gi-Oh! game, but my return was a pleasant one. Outside finding some nit-picky details only an entrenched player would find, fans of the card game and show will enjoy what Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's Tagforce 4 has to offer. However, I also encourage CCG players looking for a new PSP game to give it a try.