Reviewed: October 11, 2007
Released: September 18, 2007
Bandai, the anime and game giant have been behind Digimon since its conception in 1999 and has been on a roll ever since. This year alone marks the launch of a new show and three new games. The first game is Digimon World Data Squad, for the PS2, which runs right along beside the new show. The other two are Digimon World Dusk and its counterpart, and the game I’m reviewing, Digimon World Dawn for the Nintendo DS. Both new DS games are sequels to Digimon World DS, an earlier title on the DS.
Digimon World Dawn is a RPG set in the digital world of Digimon. You play as a boy or girl tamer, which ever you choose, whose job is to save the Digital World from an evil virus that has reeks havoc on SunShineCITY and DarkMoonCITY. You as a member of SunShine’s Light Fang Team must find out the cause of the trouble. Everyone in Sunshine thinks that the Dark Crow Team from DarkMoon is responsible and vice versa. Can you get to the bottom of things before it’s too late?
I’ll be honest and say that I’ve never played any of the handheld Digimon Titles and only a few of the console games. The one game that I’ve really ever played completely was Digimon world for the original PlayStation. And I’m really kicking myself in the butt for not playing them. I’ve always been a Digimon fan, mainly because the shows actually had a serious storyline, unlike its Poke’ competition. Digimon is way more advanced than Pokémon will ever be.
Digimon World Dawn was a fairly easy interface. Character movement is done by using the Directional-Pad (or D-Pad) and you interact with people and Digimon using the “A” Button. The menu is accessed by hitting the START button.
Since I have never played a Digimon game on the DS before, I couldn’t tell you if it’s the same as previous titles or not. Since it is a sequel to Digimon World DS I can only imagine the game play is pretty much the same. In Digimon World Dawn, you increase your Digimon’s levels by fighting in the battles that you come across. You are allowed to start Dawn with one of four “packs.” Each pack consists of 3 Digimon a piece. You always have access to Coronamon, a Holy type Digimon exclusive to Dawn, plus two others depending on the pack you choose.
The Balanced pack is comprised of RiseGreymon and Angewomon. The Attack Pack features Growlmon and MegaSeadramon. The Speed Pack features Airdramon and Sinduramon and last but not least the Wafuu (or Japanese style) Pack featuring Reppamon and Karatenmon. Now if you’ve watched the show and or played any of the games then, you’re probably saying “Wait, aren’t those all high level Digimon. So why do I have to level them up?” Well you’re right they are. But thanks to that nasty little virus all or most of the Digimon were turned into DigiEggs.
Luckily your Digimon were Reverted back to Rookie status, hence the need to level them up. After all the commotion of the virus begins you must help save the DigiWorld and rid the world of the Virus. You progress in the world by doing quest, yes that right, quests. You have to become what basically amounts to an errand boy or girl to save the day. No don’t get me wrong this is how most RPGs are, but I wish they could present it in a different way sometimes.
The combat system in Dawn is pretty straightforward as it should be. It has your basic fight, flee, defend and item commands. There is one other command that I found interesting, the Move command. The Move command allows you to “move” you Digimon around the field when in battle. This makes it harder for enemies to inflict damage to your Digimon. But the most important part of “Move” is how it affects your Digimon’s attacks.
I found out that if I was to move my Holy Digimon Coronamon beside my Holy Digimon Angewomon they would both benefit from this by boosting their spiritual power. But if I leave it so Coronamon is beside RiseGreymon they both benefit from spiritual and attack power. There are items that you can pick up in battles or buy that will aid you in battles such as health items and status fixers such as paralyze and KO revive.
Now there are also items that are found that will increase certain stats of your Digimon depending on what they are. For example there is an item known as a Novice Cloak. The Novice Cloak when equipped on a Digimon will raise his or her defense, speed and Dodge Rate. Another example is the Legend Sword. The Legend sword will raise a Digimon’s Attack, Accuracy and Critical Hit Rate. Trust me that Legend sword is not easy to find.
Digimon World Dawn does have two nice features. The first is the DigiFarm and the second is the DigiLab. The DigiFarm is where you can raise Digimon that you aren’t currently carrying in your party. The DigiLab is used to digiconvert, digivolve, degenerate and special digivolve your Digimon. So what you do here is basically create Digimon that you scan when you enter a battle, digivolve Digimon you already have to there stronger forms, and my personal favorite fix two different Digimon to create a completely unique Digimon.
Digimon also features wireless and Wi-Fi communications. So you and your friend can duel it out DigiStyle. Now both players must obviously have a DS and a copy of Digimon World Dawn or Dusk. That’s right you don’t have to have the same game. Now there are a few options that you have available to you in both wireless and Wi-Fi play. You are allowed to do 3 vs. 3 battles both wirelessly and over a Wi-Fi connection.
Another option you have available to both means of play is Digimon Matching. Digimon allows you and a friend to pair up two Digimon and create a DigiEgg. The Digimon that hatches will the abilities of both Digimon used to create the new one. Now the last two options cannot be done in both wireless and Wi-Fi play. You are allowed to trade Digimon through Wireless communication, but not Wi-Fi. The other option is called Training; this is where you send your Digimon to a friend, over a Wi-Fi connection only, to train.
The graphics in Digimon are okay by DS standards. The graphics can easily be compared to those of the Pokémon games. The main character is very pixilated but not to the point where it is hard to distinguish what gender you are. SunShineCITY looks like you’re on a giant floating computer chip style world. There are even circuitry lines running along the edges of the city borders. But that’s about it as far as the world looks. Oh and I can’t forget to mention the fountains and waterfalls that are seen throughout the city. At least Bandai went for a world that made you feel like you weren’t inside a robotized box.
The battle screens are a whole different story, though. Unlike Pokémon, you actually have a background environment when you fight. That was one thing that really pissed me off in the Pokeverse. You’re in this seemingly normal world and every time you get in a battle it’s like you instantly transported to limbo land. No trees, no grass, no nothing, just an empty white space. The battle scenes have this cel-shade appearance to them but it really hard on how to describe it. No matter how you want to describe it, it works. If you’re in a fight it has to take place somewhere.
The sounds of Digimon World Dawn are exactly like I would expect them to be. This is a digital world and I don’t expect to hear any old music in it. Each location has its own distinct background music. The battles all use the same music, but that s usually the case. The Boss fights have different music and even the Menu screen music is pretty cool. Sadly there is no voice cast as all information is shown through text.
Digimon World Dawn will have you playing for hours. There are over 350 different Digimon to fight and train so you’ll be at this one for quite a while. Plus the fact that you are given an option on what your starter pack is you have the option of beating the game and replaying it with a different starter pack. Now be forewarned that there is only ONE save file, so plan on beating the game completely. Then you can erase over the old file to create a new one. I seriously recommend this one to any one that is a fan of Digimon.
Digimon World Dawn is an awesome game. There was very little that I found wrong with this game. I have been following the Digimon series since its creation and quite frankly loved this game. Sure they could have made the characters not so pixilated or added some voice actors, but all in all it was a pleasant experience. One of my favorite part is Dawn was the ability to create my own Digimon by combining two Digimon together. Digimon World Dawn retails for $30 dollars and I would pay every dollar of it.