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Dokapon Journey

Phillip WillisPhillip Willis Certified PolygameistRPGamer Staff
edited March 2009 in Staff Review Blogs
dokaponj.gif

Game Title: Dokapon Journey
System: Nintendo DS
MSRP: $29.99
Release Date: 4.14.09
Description:
Quote: wrote:
THE ONE-OF-A-KIND PARTY RPG EXPERIENCE GOES PORTABLE! Compete with soon-to-be-ex-friends as you quest to save the kingdom, win the throne, earn tons of gold and loot, and embarrass your fellow adventurers in the process! Dokapon Journey is the ultimate party RPG, and very easy to play with friends using the local wireless multiplayer functionality. KEYFEATURES

* Innovative board game-RPG crossover – Tired of shallow gameplay in party games? The genre gets retooled in this exuberant mix of role playing and board games! Encounter zany characters, collect rare items, and explore a fascinating kingdom on your quest to vanquish monsters, gather treasure, and level up!
* The friendship-destroying game – Turn the heat up on your rivalries! Take on up to three other soon-to-be-ex-friends in the race for the crown. Battle, steal, deface – playing dirty is the name of the game – through a variety of locales and challenges. After your friendships are broken, the game is just as much fun to play alone.
* Never the same game twice – Tons of battles, magic spells, mini-games, and multiple play modes add up to endless replayability!
* Easy, intuitive, and effective combat system – This is no boring game of hack-and-slash. Players covertly choose their actions in an intuitive battle interface that guarantees every fight will surprise.

I usually like board game RPGs. I've played a few at home (Actual board games, mind you...not on a system). The largest challenge for anyone making such a game is balance, interactivity and fun. First, the game has to be balanced so that you progress fast enough that you always feel like your making progress (both towards whatever the 'goal' is, and in character growth, which you expect in any RPG). Interactivity refers to how the game has you interact with your fellow gamers. A lot of RPG board games feel like each one of you are playing a separate single player board game of sorts, as you really never interact with one another, or if you do, it feels forced and artificial. Finally, it just has to be fun.

With that being said, I never got around to picking up Dokapon for the PS2 or Wii. So, this will be a bit of a journey for my. Feel free to keep up with my blog and take it with me! I plan to have this game wrapped up and reviewed by the release date.

03.03.09: Having received our review copy yesterday, I dived right in! I started the campaign and quickly realized that I didn't have a friggin' clue what I was doing. If there was a tutorial option, I totally missed it. I reset and chose to play just a stand along challenge. Oddly enough, making this choice prompted the computer asking if I'd like a quick explanation of game rules, which I readily accepted. After a few lines, I chose my class, my computer game mates, and I was thrust into a game.

By watching the computer, and randomly pressing buttons (one of my favorite things to do), I was able to figure out a good chunk of the gameplay mechanics. I won't get into too many details about that here (You'll get to see more on my upcoming impression). Since I purposely set my opponents to easy, I was able to quickly capture four towns (important, since the goal of my game is to increase my value, and towns are worth quite a bit). Unforunately, some computer fighter found me, beat me in a fight and stole my town. Then, he captured a new town of his own, and for some reason beyond my comprehension, he got another one of my towns as a reward. What kind of king rules this land?

03.05.09: After going through a 'quick' type game to familiarize myself with the game mechanics, I dived headfirst into the story mode. You only have the option to play against three or four players. Given the random nature of the game, I didn't like the idea of playing against 2 or 3 computer opponents. So, I set the game up as 2 Human players and 2 computer players...with myself controlling both humans. Unlike the computer opponents, however, my human characters will help each other out..whereas the computer players will undoubtedly attack anyone, including each other.

I created a paladin and wizard lady to play against a fighter and spy. One of the important lessons I learned the first time around is the importance of buying the most up to date weapons and armor asap, as doing so allows you to take on mobs much higher in level. I'm also going to try and refrain from reloading my saved game everytime a random outcome screws me up...which seems to be fairly often.

So far, I've gotten into Week eight, and completed a quest from the king to get some water from a dungeon to take it to a town. The reward from that vaulted my paladin into first place with 100,000G. Woot!

More coming soon!

03.09.09 I'm now onto chapter 3...Well, I don't know if it's a chapter or not... But I'm on the third mission from the king. Is it just me, or is the computer getting dumber? I saw the computer pass up good opportunities to take towns. I swear it was much more aggressive earlier.

In case you haven't played Dokapon before, you generally move around this really big world that his connected by lines and dots, similar to Mario Party. Whenever you land an empty spot, you usually engage in a 'random' encounter with a mob that usually lasts a round or two. These encounters play very much like basic RPG fights. You may fight or defend first, depending on a card you choose. Then, you have to pick your type of offense or defense. If you choose correctly, you can do extra damage or negate the attack. Chose incorrectly, and your attack may backfire or you will fail to defend your enemies attack. Your level and stats do come into play. However, unless you have a big difference against your opponent, the random element can overcome a stronger foe. (Conversely, you can be beaten by a weaker foe if your luck is poor)

There are towns and shops spread throughout the board. Most towns are initially guarded by monsters. Kill the guarding monster, and you get the town. It's value is added to your gold total, and you can collect taxes from it. The king usually will point out a town in particular he wants freed. Get there first, free it, and you'll no only win the town, but some bonuses. In fact, sometimes, your friend will give you towns (not of their own free will, I assure you) to congratulate you for making the king happy. Finally, in the story mode, the king will give out larger missions. Complete those, and the rewards are immense (We're talking 100,000 Gold here).

The 'world' as it were, is pretty big. Wonder in the wrong sport, and you could end up fighting things much tougher than you. I've killed mobs almost twice my level (I'm up to 14 now) with the random luck thing...but I wouldn't push it further.

Anywho, I'll get a full impression up in the next few day, or this weekend. Keep an eye out.

03.11.09 I'm up to Week 18, and very ready to write an impression. There was another king event. <span class="spoiler">He asked us to get a dress for his daughter. So, you buy a dress at a town, take it to the castle, and hope she likes it.</span> This quest is even more random in execution than the others. Your RPG stats or anything else do not really mean much here, unless you run into another player and have to fight them. <span class="spoiler"> And whoever is lucky enough to turn in a dress she likes will win a reward that is triple that of any before it.</span> WOOF!

03.16.09 The Dokafun continues. I'm up to week 30 or so. Here's where the game gets real fun. I'm supposed to go to a sunken temple and grab some doodad. The character has eight inventory slots. So I usually have 3 healing items, 3 extra spinners (which allow you to roll 4 spinners atta time for moving really fast) and a couple of moving games that let me move exactly 4 spaces (or a derivative thereof). Now, to get to the temple, I have to travel through a forest. First, I have to roll an exact number to land on the entrance to the forest. For example, if I am two spaces away from the entrance, I have to roll a 2 to get in, or, if I'm 4 spaces away, I can use my Move Gem. Got it? Good.

Once in the forest, I see that the exit is XX number of spaces away. It takes me a few truns, or one of my 'extra spinners' to get close to it. And, to exit the forest, I have to roll an exact number, or use another gem if I'm exactly four spaces away. Roll to high or too low, and you just move closer or further away.

Once out of the forest, you have to approach the entrance to the temple off the coast. You're not going to believe but... you have to have an exact number to get in!! As you can imagine, I've already used half of my items by now.

Once in the temple, I find out that it's got multiple floors. To go down a floor, guess what? You have to roll an exact number to land on the staircase! By this time I'm ready to pull out my hair. So my character is wasting a ton of turns trying to roll the exact number needed, and is fighting a lot of random battles in the mean time. At least I'm getting experience, right? In the mean time, you'd think this fighting would wear down my HPs and healing items... but my palandin has a special healing ability. It costs a turn in battle, but heals a lot of HPs.

After I wasted a dozen turns or so trying to hit the staircase, the computer AI player is finding her way to the temple. I need to get to this staircase because knowing my luck, she'll breeze in and roll an exact number. So guess what happens during my seventh needless random battle in the temple? My weapon breaks. Seriously. Ever try fighting without a weapon? Not fun.

Dokapon Journey is turning into a dark road to insanity very quickly....

03.24.09 I'm done! Woot! Watch out for a full review in the coming weeks. Yeah!



Co-Host on RPGBacktrack. Follow me on Twitter and sub to my blog if you would like!

Comments

  • shoptrollshoptroll Have towel will travel Full Members
    edited March 2009
    Noooooo! I was looking forward to ethos's review/torment...
    So long & thanks for all the fish!
  • Phillip WillisPhillip Willis Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff
    edited March 2009
    Hehehehe...I'm sure Ehtos is brokenhearted smile.gif Anywho, I updated journal today...Official impression coming soon.
    Co-Host on RPGBacktrack. Follow me on Twitter and sub to my blog if you would like!
  • shoptrollshoptroll Have towel will travel Full Members
    edited March 2009
    Cool. Don't think I'll pick this up since I already have Kingdom, and I still don't get how a portable party game would work...
    So long & thanks for all the fish!
  • _ethos_ethos Member Full Members
    edited March 2009
    BAH-HA HA HA HA!!!
    I HAVE ESCAPED THIS MISERABLE PILE OF TRASH!
    [url=\"http://riddlethos.com\"]Riddlethos[/url] - Dragon Quest IX Week
  • Phillip WillisPhillip Willis Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff
    edited March 2009
    updated 03.09.09

    And Ethos... I hate you. I really do tounge2.gif
    Co-Host on RPGBacktrack. Follow me on Twitter and sub to my blog if you would like!
  • Phillip WillisPhillip Willis Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff
    edited March 2009
    Updated 3.11.09
    Co-Host on RPGBacktrack. Follow me on Twitter and sub to my blog if you would like!
  • Phillip WillisPhillip Willis Certified Polygameist RPGamer Staff
    edited March 2009
    You really don't want to miss this Dokafun Update. Impression coming real soon! The fun things about blogs is I can say subjective things I tend to leave out of impressions. biggrin.gif



    Co-Host on RPGBacktrack. Follow me on Twitter and sub to my blog if you would like!
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