Friday, June 19, 2009

Embarking on a DS Journey

So I traded in a stack of my old games in order to procure a DSi and it has been a real treat. I grabbed a few games with it including: New Super Mario Bros, Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, Final Fantasy IV,
Fire Emblem, and Dokapon Journey. Of these I have easily spent the most time with Dokapon Journey, so let me break it down for you.

Dokapon Journey, from Atlus, is essentially Mario Party, but instead of mini games you find yourself in CRPG style battles with monsters when you land on open spaces as you move across the board (cleverly disguised as an overworld map) reminiscent of a random battle, or in towns where a boss style monster will be standing guard.

The objective of the scenario is to be the player with the most gold after a number of weeks determined before the games starts. Each week consists of seven turns and the number of weeks are chosen during the game set-up, between 1 and 199 allowing a game session of anywhere from 15 minutes to 80 hours. Games can, of course, be saved midplay.

Scrooge McDuck: Regular player, and winner, of Dokapon Journey.

So now that you’re up to pace I’ll explain what makes Dokapon so good. You can also enter battle, cast spells on, and use skills against other players. In a nutshell, PvP. Should you defeat a player you will be able collect any bounties that may be on their head as well as select a looting option to steal a single item from their inventory, a spell, or all their gold. There is another option if you don’t feel a need to take their loot which is to, delectably, prank them by changing their name. I’m not sure about the world at large but this option significantly changes the games ESRB rating when I play it.
It's pretty much just like this.

There are also several game modes to play. Greed Mode determines the winner as the person with the most gold at games end. Death Match is the player with the most PvP kills, and of course a single player story mode. There’s another multiplayer mode that escapes me at the moment. I myself play Greed almost exclusively. Multiplayer can be played one of 3 ways. Over the internets by connecting to another player who owns the game, via local wi-fi with other DS owners in close proximity though only one of you need own the cartridge and finally, hotseat, where you and up to 3 other players simply pass a single DS around when your turn comes up.

For those who don’t own a DS you can pick up Dokapon Kingdom on either the Wii or PS2 that is more or less the same thing with some minor graphical and class selection differences. It's my understanding that they give away PS2's for free, launched from shirt canons at car races and sporting events or as a bonus when you buy a slushie at convenience stores so you don't really have an excuse not to try Dokapon at least once.

For the 20 bucks I paid you're looking at a pretty great dollar to fun ratio.

Until next time, may you stab your friends in the back.


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