Jump Force, the upcoming crossover fighting game from popular manga publication, Shonen Jump, and the successor to the Jump Stars video game series, was originally announced at the E3 2018 Microsoft Press Conference. With playable characters from popular titles such as Dragon Ball Z, One Piece, Naruto, and Bleach, and featuring important story characters such as Light and Ryuk from Death Note, fans were overjoyed to see their favorite characters duking it out in a high quality graphical style. While it has been said only battle manga characters would be playable, it was unclear if this was restricted to only series which include actual physical fighting. A series like Yu-Gi-Oh! may not have hand-to-hand combat, but characters do battle each other by summoning monsters and using spells, so it should be close enough. I’m here to tell you why Yugi from Yu-Gi-Oh! should be featured as a character in Jump Force.
(Spoiler Warning: Yu-Gi-Oh! series and movie spoilers below)
Yu-Gi-Oh! Was A Historic Staple in Shonen Jump’s History
Originally created by Kazuki Takahashi in 1996, the original Yu-Gi-Oh! manga was popular in the Shonen Jump lineup of the late 90’s and early 2000’s, especially once it came to the United States. Although the original Yu-Gi-Oh! manga only featured the Duel Monsters card game a few times until later on, Yugi was featured on the front cover plenty of times and Shonen Jump used exclusive Yu-Gi-Oh! Cards as a bonus to coerce fans into buying and subscribing to their magazine, which sometimes even connected to the manga or its spin offs. Much of Shonen Jump’s international success was due in part to Yu-Gi-Oh!, so it would be reasonable to include the series protagonist and most recognizable character in the franchise.
Yami or Yugi?
Before explaining other reasons why he should be included, we have to decide which version it could. Would the playable character be little Yugi Muto himself, or would it be his suave alter ego, Yami Yugi — the spirit of the ancient Egyptian pharaoh Atem? Well it would depend on which version the developers think would be a better fit. If they wanted Yugi in his prime — as seen in the Yu-Gi-Oh GX finale and the Bonds Beyond Time movie — then they should go with Yami Yugi, but if they want the most modern interpretation of the character, they can use Yugi’s appearance from the film Yu-Gi-Oh!: The Darkside of Dimensions.
Then, when Yugi gets extremely low on health, they could have Yami/Atem reappear in all his golden glory as he did in the movie (as shown above) as a last stand type of move. This could be considered as giving Yugi an unfair advantage depending on how it’s done and if other characters have a similar technique, but would still be a great reference. Another way to go about this would be to choose a specific form of Yugi’s as the default appearance, while the other versions could be used as alternate costumes. Whichever is the case, they have plenty of options to choose from for including Yugi as a playable character.
It Wouldn’t Be His First Appearance in A Shonen Jump Crossover
Yugi, or Yami Yugi in this case, has been a playable character in the Nintendo DS game Jump Super Stars in 2005 as well as Jump Ultimate Stars in 2006. These are 2D sprite based fighting games, so they play somewhat differently than Jump Force, but these past crossover titles still provide another great reason for Yugi’s inclusion. Yugi was not featured as a character in 2014’s often forgotten J-Stars Victory Vs. +, the only Jump Stars title to release outside of Japan so it’s about time he made a return as a playable character, and in a much higher quality title at that.
There are Several Ways Duel Monsters Could Be Implemented into his Fighting Style
As he did in Jump Super Stars, and Jump Ultimate Stars, Yugi could use his signature monsters and other cards as different attacks, with Dark Magician and Obelisk the Tormentor as two of his attacks, Big Shield Gardna or Swords of Revealing Light as his block, and so on. Another way that Duel Monsters could be implemented is that Yugi could use his different monsters as stands similar to those of Jojo’s Bizzarre Adventure, with his health being shared by all of them and being able to swap them out similar to Pokemon Trainer from Super Smash Bros Brawl.
He Could Be A Great Cameo or Story Character if Not Playable
While he should be a playable character, we’ve already seen that some characters in Jump Force are making an appearance as non-playable characters (for now). If not featured as a playable character, Yugi could at least make a cameo appearance in the game or its story. For example: in the ridiculous comedy battle manga Bo-Bo-Bo-Bo-Bo-Bo-Bo (or Bo-Bo-Bo for short), during a board game battle with Halekulani, the villain of the arc, the titular character summons Yugi from inside his afro — drawn by Kazuki Takahashi himself — and Yugi in turn summons Slifer the Sky Dragon.
Seeing this as a kind of ultimate move in the Jump Force graphical style would be as awesome as it would be hilarious, but of course would require Bo-Bo-Bo himself as a playable character. Luckily, Bo-bo-bo has been playable in several Jump Stars games as well, so it wouldn’t be too off-base to consider. Without Bo-Bo-Bo’s inclusion though, Yugi could just be made important to the story in some way, similar to Light and Ryuk, although it’s difficult to determine exactly how since we know so little about the story at the moment.
It’s Time to Duel for Yugi’s Inclusion
Even if he isn’t included as a playable character, Yugi should at least be included as a character in some way. It would be entertaining to see him interact with other characters. Maybe he’d connect with Naruto, with them both having another being living inside of them or maybe he’d pal around with the Straw Hats and has secretly always wanted to be a pirate. You may be asking “What about Seto Kaiba?”. It’s likely that if Yugi were included in Jump Force, then Seto Kaiba would be as well, after all, we already have rival pairs like Goku and Vegeta, and Naruto and Sasuke, so it would be strange if Yugi’s rival wasn’t included alongside him. In any case, whether he’s playable or just featured in the story, Yugi should be included as a character in Jump Force in some way due to his importance to Shonen Jump.