YuYu Hakusho: Tournament Tactics

Video Description

Yusuke Urameshi and his friends have entered the Dark Tournament to defeat Toguro. Can they succeed?

I loved this game so much when I first got it that I played it all night until the sun came up and either beat it, or came close to it. It was addictive!

This game was played using the Game Boy Advance emulatorĀ mGBA, inĀ RetroArch.

My Rating:


The Dark Tournament has begun and Yusuke and his team (The Masked Fighter – Genkai, Hiei, Kurama, Kuwabara, Yukina, Chu, Rinku, Touya and Jin) enter to win by defeating Toguro. Can Team Urameshi win the Dark Tournament.

They go through a variety of arenas, fighting many tough competitors, and Toguro appears and takes on Genkai, killing her. The team continues to push through and finally makes it to Toguro.


This is a “tactics” game, similar in style to Final Fantasy Tactics, Fire Emblem, Advance Wars, etc. If you’ve played any of those, then the gameplay should be very familiar to you. It’s a turn based strategy RPG where you move your character, attack (or defend or use an item), and then end your turn, and the enemy does the same. You walk around on a grid made of different terrain and obstacles that could alter the way you attack.

You win the battle by defeating all your opponents. While you’re limited to five teammates, your opponent can have tons of teammates. Some levels are time based where you must get to a certain space on the map before the initiative counter reaches zero. Others are defeating all the enemies within a certain time. Or defeating an enemy before it reaches a certain space. Other levels have floodgates where enemies continuously spawn until you defeat them, but then there are stages where the floodgates are invincible until the initiative counter goes to zero by you standing on a few space.

The game is level based. There is a world map where you choose your level and progress linearly though an area. Maps have branching paths with some levels being locked. In order to open the lock, you must fight the boss of the map, which is generally the last stage and considered part of the tournament. The bosses are much harder and can do massive damage to you, killing your party very quickly. Defeating them will allow you to progress to the next area and open the lock on the current map. Behind the lock is a stage to fight more bosses and generally get a new playable teammate.

Here is a list of characters:

  • Yusuke Urameshi
  • Kazuma Kuwabara
  • Masked Fighter (Genkai)
  • Kurama
  • Hiei
  • Yukina
  • Chu
  • Rinku
  • Jin
  • Touya

Each character has different stats and abilities. They will gain experience after each battle and when they level up, points can be added to upgrade their offense, spirit, movement, or power. Sometimes new skills will be learned when leveling up certain stats, which differs from character to character. You’ll eventually max out all stats when you level up your characters to level 32, where no more experience can be acquired.

The gameplay mechanics are mostly straight forward. Each character has a a health (HP) and spirit energy (SE) bar. If health goes to zero, that character is dead and must wait out a match if they want to be fully recovered, or can enter the next match at lower health. Spirit energy is used to attack, as most attacks use your spirit energy. Additionally, an overdrive bar slowly increases as your attack and kill enemies. When it’s full, you can preform a very strong attack. Your overdrive meter carries over to the next battle, so you can save it for harder enemies.

The range of the attack varies depending on the type of attack. Some are only one square away, while others are much further. Some attack only one enemy, while others attack multiple. If you attack an enemy on the side or back, you can deal extra damage. Occasionally, you can land a critical which can do extreme damage. You can also attack your own teammates, so be careful with how you place them..

Movement is done on a grid. Going through your characters, or up a terrain, will cost an extra movement point. You can take a move or attack action in any order. So, if you’re far away from an enemy, you can move in close and attack. Or, if you’re right up on it, you could attack and then move away. Each character has a different amount it can move, and leveling up the stat allows for farther movement.

Also during your turn, you have a few other options. You can use an item to heal you or your teammates HP or SE. Items must be chosen before the match and are limited to a maximum of four. There is also no description for the items, so use your best judgement. There are also rings that you think would be a non-consumable item, like it will give your character a stat boost or something. But no, they are consumable items that do damage to enemies. It’s weird.

Turn order is decided by “initiative.” Whenever you perform an action, your initiative goes up. The higher it is, the longer you have to wait to take your turn. Powerful attacks will often come with a higher initiative cost and will take longer for you to take your turn again, which can be devastating if enemies around you take multiple turns before it’s yours again. You can look at the initiative list in-game, but it will only show you a handful of turns coming up, and only gives the generic enemy name, and thus it’s impossible to know which enemy is actually attacking next.

And lastly, you can either “wait” during your turn, meaning you won’t take any action, and thus initiative is low. Or you can use a “focus” command. Under focus, you can defend, which can lower damage you receive. Taunt, which will direct nearby enemies to you instead of your teammates. Mend, which will heal you. And charge, which will heal your spirit energy. It’s best to be as healed as possible since enemies can gang up on you and do massive damage if you’re not careful. However, using mend or charge comes at a high initiative cost and will often make you vulnerable to attacks if you try to do it around enemies.


The game has colorful graphics and looks really nice. Everything is clean and crisp and the environments are quite detailed.

Sound / Music

The music is ok, but nothing too special. It can get old pretty fast since you’ll hear the same tune over and over.

Game Info

YuYu Hakusho: Tournament Tactics (Cover)
Publisher: Atari
Release Date: November 18, 2004
Platforms: Game Boy Advance
Published: (updated: )


About the Author

Asphodel Gaming
Asphodel Gaming
I am a streamer and game reviewer that enjoys older games (PS1, PS2, PSP, Genesis, Dreamcast, Game Boy, N64, GameCube, and more), and indie games.
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