Dokapon: Monster Hunter
Review by Phange
Surprisingly, I found this game at Sams for a wonderful price of 10 dollars. Of course, anything above ten dollars would have been highway robbery. However, at the current price it actually warrants a purchase. Dokapon is one of those games that you will either love or hate, and the latter is more often than not the case. Dokapon starts you, the obvious and silent protagonist, on a dungeon-crawling adventure to collect monsters and weapons and such so that you can subsequently beat up baddies. It works rather well, actually. The overall interface is moderately innovative, and the monster models are high enough quality to merit some redeeming value. However, the game's redeeming value ends just after you turn it on.
I won't lie to you, this game does look pretty dang good. Dokapon uses a graphics style akin to Golden Sun, though without much of the more detailed terrain that Golden Sun boasted. The characters are animated smoothly, and the text boxes are easy to read. However, just because the boxes are easy to read doesn't necessarily mean that the game is actually fun to read. By no means. But that doesn't have to do with graphics, now does it?
The color palette is rich, as with most Gameboy Advance games. However, the most impressive aspect of the game is the wild special effects. Some of them can be downright amazing, especially for a game that doesn't really put forth any sort of effort.
Oh goodness, this game.... well... this game just isn't happening in the sound department. The battle theme is a garbled mess, and the dungeons all sound like some sort of ogre being strangled. On a light note, the title theme is decent, and the town theme is occasionally hummable. Notice how I said occasionally.
Oh man, there's so much wrong with this game... Well, lets start with the battle system, shall we?
The battle system is basically as simple as playing Rock Paper Scissors. Woohoo. If you have an advantage hand, it will deal damage without receiving any recoil. If you match hands, you must move again. If you lose, well, you get pounded. And believe me, you can get pounded rather easy in this game. Of course, it would seem like your monsters are somehow supposed to be your backup. No, they are not. They stay behind you, occasionally taking damage, and occasionally releasing wimpy moves that more often than not draw little to no damage from the enemy.
But all of what I just said pales in comparison to what the game really messed up with. Every time you die (which, subsequently, is just about every fight you get into) you lose ALL your monsters, items, and weapons. What??? Yes, you lose EVERYTHING. I almost cried when my Steelsword lv 8 was lost to a monster who just happened to always choose a hand that had an advantage over mine. Oh man, what is the world coming to? The whole game ruins itself by this horrible, horrible, flaw in the game design.
While the battle system may seem like a breath of fresh air, it might as well be air from a sewer. The battle system's mechanics are so incredibly flawed. Dying happens almost every battle, and the result of dying is losing all your items and weapons.
The game WAS Japanese....
Ok, on a side note, this game has an amazingly bad translation. I can't give away any instances off the top of my head, but believe me, it's laughable. However, if it doesn't bug you, then the game might actually be worth a purchase. Just be warned.... dying is a price that you DO NOT want to pay.
Reviewer's Score: 5/10 | Originally Posted: 08/09/02, Updated 08/09/02
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