As with previous releases, Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's Tagforce 5
offers a lengthy Story Mode as well as a Free Duel Mode packed with numerous play options.
Story Mode is nearly identical to the one found in Tagforce 4, though following a new plot that takes place during the reconstruction of Domino City, which is still reeling from the Dark Signers attack. You play as a nameless duelist who enters a new tournament eventually leading to a deeper plot involving a duelist named ghost and his group of drifters.
Similar to Tagforce 4, I'm sure the plot would mean more if I followed the show, but it didn't hurt my enjoyment. The fun comes from building decks and participating in matches; the plot is just to add some sort of direction. The only aspect of the story I got involved in was recruiting a partner for the 5D's tournament - and it was minimal involvement at best. The idea is to find someone you "click" with and duel alongside them, though I imagine most players will just choose their favorite character and go with them.
Finding the right person is, again, based on a "Trust" system, which is represented by a heart under a character's portrait. There's a couple of ways to earn Trust, either by talking to them via a series of mini-games, or by dueling. The communication games are an easy way to get some quick Trust Points, though you'll earn more by defeating characters in duels. Once you fill up a character's Trust Gauge, they'll ask you to do a favor. If you can complete four, they'll partner with you.
The system is about as basic as they come, and honestly, a bit dry and repetitive. The only thing that makes the system worth chugging through is earning new cards. Even if you lose a duel, you'll earn a few points to spend on new cards. It's a steep climb to a powerful deck, but it's a fun time if you like the CCG and don't mind losing your first few matches.
Eventually, you'll get to the point where you can start taking on Challenges. These are in-match challenges where you are asked to go above and beyond normal duel requirements. Advanced players are going to love figuring out ways to complete Challenges. They're tricky and require some special dueling skills to pull complete.
Free Duel is loaded with ways to customize matches, and easily my favorite play mode. Free Duel drops the story and lets you jump right into matches with other players. Setup options are similar to multiplayer shooters and offer all sorts of ways to adjust match parameters. You can add time limits, alter player health... the list is impressive. These options also bleed over into Ad Hoc multiplayer duels.