Fossil Fighters - NDS - Preview
Pokemon has been a colossal hit for Nintendo. Actually, the word "colossal" doesn't come close to describing their success. Without Pokemon, the Game Boy systems (and now the DS) may have sold fewer units. Without Pokemon, Nintendo wouldn't have ruled the top 20 games list at times when their consoles (N64 and GameCube) were nowhere near number-one. In so many ways, Pokemon was their savior; a game that allowed Nintendo to stay profitable regardless of the industry climate.
With more than a decade of success with Pokemon, Nintendo is now looking to other monster battlers to see what else can be achieved. First up: Fossil Fighters, a game that turns old fossils into living, breathing, fighting machines. You start the game by searching for any fossils you can find. Once a dig site has been found, you'll need to clean off the fossil (it's covered in rock, dirt, etc.) before it can be used.
That's where the DS' touch screen comes into play. Tap the screen to hammer out large pieces and touch the screen and drag lightly to carefully drill off weaker pieces of rock. On the top screen, the game shows a meter that tells you how close you are to salvaging this fossil. If the red meter crosses the red line in the middle, the fossil is officially dead. In an effort to clean it off, you've damaged it too severely and can no longer do anything with it. Drill and hammer more carefully and it will eventually be clean (shown on screen by the blue meter crossing the red line), and may bring it back to life to fight.
Once salvaged, fossils turn into a fictitious kind of dinosaur: vivosaur. Now you're ready to enter the battlefield, which is comprised of a turn-based battle system. Unlike Pokemon where you have one or two simultaneous monsters battling, Fossil Fighters gives you three. Each side of the game (the player and the opponent) has four linked hexagons, and three vivosaurs can be placed on top of them the same time. From there, the battles play out like any RPG: make a few decisions (attack, special attack, etc.) and the turn will end, then your opponent will attack, that turn will end and the process repeats itself.
If this sounds awfully simple, don't forget that Pokemon isn't exactly a complex game either. But is it addictive? You better believe it. Given that Nintendo has put their weight behind Fossil Fighters, chances are it will provide a degree of addiction as well when it's released on August 10.