reviews\ Oct 7, 2007 at 8:00 pm

Digimon World Dusk - NDS - Review

Hey, where did my kick-butt team go? I’m slow, so it took me a little while to figure out what had happened when abruptly midway through the introductory part of the game, I noticed that my Digimon were a lot weaker than before. Apparently, a nasty virus has attacked the Digimon world, and subsequently, most of the Digimon have devolved, including yours truly. <Sigh> Oh well, easy come, easy go, as I hadn’t actually trained these guys.

Well, that’s about it, as far as the story goes. There’s a virus attack, the Digimon have devolved, and the trainers have to get busy training their Digimon back to full strength. Along the way, they’ll be very busy running lots of errands for various Digimon, and taking care of their personal Digimon on the farm islands.

I’m new to the Digimon franchise and most of my previous RPG battle games have been Pokemon editions. So, I can’t really compare Digimon World Dusk and World Dawn (two editions with different monsters, but same game) to previous Digimon games. Unfortunately for this franchise, I can compare it to the current Pokemon phenomena known as Pearl and Diamond. While there are some features that are implemented better in Digimon World Dusk than in Pearl and Diamond, the bottom line is that Digimon Dusk just isn’t quite as fun to play as Pokemon Pearl/Diamond.

Essentially, this is a turn-based battle RPG, where the bulk of the game is spent fighting the Digimon in teams against other Digimon. These battles take place either in the wild with randomly encountered wild Digimon, or are official events in the Coliseum. The battle system is one of the features that is designed efficiently and is better implemented and more interesting than in Pokemon. Here, the creatures are lined up in order of turns on the left side of the screen, superimposed on top of the actual battle screen. Each creature’s stats are listed with the creature, and the battle moves with their stats are listed on the right as the different battle moves are iterated. The creatures look better than in Pokemon during the battles, too.

The points earned during battle will be awarded across the board to all the Pokemon in the party. However, each opponent will lend their unique flavor to the type of points awarded, depending on what type of monster they are.

When not fighting in battles, trainers will spend much of their time being errand boy or girl. There are lots of quests to undertake, and at first they are fairly engaging. However, they are disconnected from each other and from the game, so over time they become boring. It’s more fun to uncover the hidden items found in the different dungeons while on the quests, than to solve the particular quest. And, these quests most often involve dungeon crawls through endless dead-end tunnels populated by tons of wild Digimon. This means that players will get stuck fighting endless battles as they try to maneuver out of the dungeon and back into civilization.

There is a lot of dialogue to click through, and this is one of the downfalls of the game. It’s not much fun to keep hitting the “A” button repeatedly in the hope everyone will shut-up and just get on with the game advancement. It would help if the dialogue was actually cute or interesting, but it’s not.

Digimon World Dusk has a neat system for raising Digimon: They are placed on “Farm Islands” and evolved while there. This requires much upgrades to the islands, which is a pretty cool method for earning and using items and upgrades. The islands themselves can be upgraded, and a ton of things can be added to aid in evolving the Digimon. Evolving the Digimon via this system is involved and engaging.

Overall, this is a good RPG that is typical of the genre and exemplifies much that is good. Evolving and leveling up the Digimon is treated well and involves a good amount of time and strategy. The items that can be found during the quests are fun, too. However, the gameplay isn’t very exciting after awhile, due to an overabundance of dialogue and fighting in the dungeons, and not enough substance to the overall story elements. A slightly above average RPG that could have been better with more variety and story.

Review Scoring Details for Digimon World Dusk

Gameplay: 7.0
The battle system is well-implemented and interesting. Using the Farm Islands to upgrade and evolve the Digimon is engaging as well. The interface is easy, and offers a lot of information and stats about the Digimon and other items. The gameplay could have been more interesting overall if there were more elements to the story, and a larger variety of types of quests.

Graphics: 8.0
The Digimon all look great, but the environments are somewhat sparse.

Sound: 6.0
The sound is fairly average.

Difficulty: Medium
The game isn’t difficult, except in the lack of instruction in the beginning.

Concept: 7.0
liked the Farm Island concept.

Multiplayer: 8.0
Battling other players is easy with the Wi-Fi connection and the Wireless mode. Players can also trade their Digimon, and even send their Digimon to the other players’ farms!

Overall: 7.5
This RPG series is pretty popular, and this edition is a good game in its own right. The Digimon are varied and plentiful, and the dual process of evolving them is interesting. The battle system is fun, and the stats and other information is easy to find and understand. However, there is way too much dialogue, especially in the beginning, and not enough variety. Quests that tie into a bigger story would be more interesting, and more things to do like farm or fish would have been fun.


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