Review by CameraKitten
Wonderful, well-polished game, in comparason to other beast-based fight RPG's.
Digimon World: Dusk is not only a great children's game, but it has aspects of mass-age group appeal for anyone who likes to game. Like Pokemon, DWD has the popular television show to back it's purchase ratings with the 5-15 age group. However, unlike pokemon, which must rely on die-hard fans to draw older fans as the TV show leaves a little wanting with anyone over 10 years old, DWD has a more mature plot line (instead of a simple gym challenge and fill the pokedex for the absentminded professor) and a superb graphics base and battle to attract the 10-15+ group. As well, there are more battle options for the beasts you chose, and a faster growth-rate. Not too much of painful training in the nearby field with under-leveled creatures who give low exp! The box and cartridge also feature good graphics, where pokemon was sorely lacking. This shouldn't really be a purchasing point, but it looks better.
DWD's battle system has come miles ahead of the system used in almost all RPG's. They've debatably simplified the battle system, which relies on 5 basic stats for battle, rather than special stats and exp to dictate what kind of power your character has. Instead, the attack power is dictated by one basic stat; attack. Like it should be. The only downside to this, which earns the game a part of the 2 marks off of a full 10/10, is the plain fact that special stats regulate whether or not a battle is complex. For example, if your character has high attack and high speed but low defense and you're fighting 2 ultimate digimon, then you're going to die, and die quickly, if you don't have a healing move, or if you don't kill the opponent before they strike. Also, your opponent will seem far too easy to beat if your attack and defense are high; which sort of kills the fun of a good match. The upside to DWD's battle system though is the fact that your character may not be limited to 4 attacks for it's battle spread; there's five. Four basic attacks, one special attack, which is based on the digimon's stage.
Definitely one of the selling features of DWD, the graphics of this game are a definite 10/10. Without hogging from game length, the graphics are very well drawn. No pixelization of the characters, no odd looking mini-forms, just pain, simple, well-drawn characters with a logical avatar-like cut of the main characters in-battle - no annoying little pixel-things that don't look a thing like the character, like in Final Fantasy, and in the early pokemon games. My only beef with the graphics is that on taller, bigger digimon, you have to scroll the battle scene up to view the top parts of their body. There's something odd about not being able to see the face of your opponent, even if you only have to scroll. The music isn't part of the graphics, but I personally don't think it really needs it's own section. It was good, and not annoying like pokemon music. I'd give the music 6/10, because it's not totally awesome, but, it's there.
This is a full one mark off for this game. On the main screen with your tamer, the eight-direction movement system is mostly limited to 4 awkward-to-use movements, which require you to put pressure on two directional keys to go one direction. For people who are used to the up-means-up and left-means-left, the idea of up-means-off-to-the-top-diagonal is hard to get used to. It makes walking hard, and if you don't do it right, you sometimes have to take more steps than you need to in order to get where you want. This aspect alone would fail the game in my opinion, if the game weren't so awesome in other areas.
DWD's game length is great. It's not the never-ending-story, but with so many things to get done in the game, it increases the game length without making it boring. I myself have completed 40% at the writing of this review, and have played 33 hours. Mind you, take into consideration that I like to train before major battles, and so a proper adjustment for that would be 40% for 25 hours. maybe 20 for those who play to complete the game, not just enjoy it. It's definitely longer than pokemon.
Without giving any spoilers, the plot is actually very well put together. I wouldn't recommend this game for anyone under 8, taking into consideration the violence and certain plot parts I can't tell you about. Pokemon's plot was extremely simple; while Final Fantasy has a good, unfolding, almost too long plot. DWD's plot falls maybe a little south of Final Fantasy. It's not what you expect!
If you train and fight a lot and forget about buying things, then you'll, well, become rich. The upside is that the level-up's reset the HP and MP, which almost erases the usefulness of Healing Items at lower levels. However, with what you can find in-game, I found it satisfactory for the needs I had when I encountered stronger opponents that almost flatlined my digimon. The more you restrain buying things in-game, the more money you'll have for things I don't think I can tell you about without spoiling a piece of the game. ^.~ Sorry.
I like how you can have a lot of choice for your support digimon. Not only are there many wild types around and about, but they don't just have one set line of digivolution like the TV show implies, and how pokemon is. You can digivolve to many kinds when you have an in-training base, but you can degenerate, and get it even stronger than it was before. There are many popular from-TV choices, and several new faces that offer just as good balance to your team of six.
DWD lets a tamer have up to six in-party digimon with three dominant and three support digimon to take over if the main three die. But, you don't have to keep them arranged the way they fall in. You can trade them back and forth from frontline to backline. Why does this matter? First, the backline's don't fight until you trade them to front. EXP from battle goes to all lines, though, which lets you level up your backline digimon without risking their deaths because they're lower levels. For example, when I was about 15% through the game, I had 3 champion level digimon (Patamon, Demidevimon, and Renamon), and 3 younger rookies that would have been slaughtered if I put them front-line. This way, I could carry on with plot-chasing while also leveling up to get my loverly Myotismon, Magnaangemon, and Taomon.
In conclusion, I rate this game 8/10. It would have gotten 9/10 if it weren't for the movement control. I'll break down the sections I reviewed and grant a final score for each.
Battle System 9/10
Game Length 10/10
Money System 10/10
Character Choice 10/10
Even with the negative things about it, I still love this game. It's got something for all RPG fans, even for those die-hard fans (of which I am one.) I certainly hope you enjoy your game, despite anything I've written here. Thanks!
Rating: 4.0 - Great
Product Release: Digimon World: Dusk (US, 09/18/07)
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