|By Zach Patterson||Sunday, 17 May 2009|
While I’m not going to sit here and claim I’m an expert on this game, after a nice evening of drinking and playing it, I think it’s a game that’s underknown and deserves some appreciation. Imagine Mario Party mixed with a cutesy traditional Japanese RPG, and you’ll have a good idea of what this game is all about. Dokapon Kingdom is published by Atlus, so it’s of course one of those solid-under-the-radar type games that surprisingly is a lot more fun than I figured it would be. The game starts by picking between 2-4 players (there will be a computer player if flying solo), pick a character class and personalize your character, then you and the other players are dropped onto a giant world map that functions as the board for the game. You spin to see how far you can go each turn, and depending on where you land, you can fight a random battle, fight a boss, buy new items, or receive items to use either in battle or to screw over your opponents.Battling is a rather simple traditional J-RPG turn-based affair that is largely based on rock paper scissors, and you can usually tell before a battle begins who is going to win. You can block and counter and use special items and skills, but if the other character or enemy is stronger than you, you are going to die. If you die, you lose a few turns and are sent back to the beginning of the game. If you “give up” before you die, you lose a turn, but you survive. Since the game is a bit world dominationesque, your goal is to take over as many towns as possible, and your competition are the other players, which leads this game to be pretty addictive and competitive over the course of time. Speaking of time, perhaps the biggest problem I had with this game as we played it was that it took forever to make any progress. The game was fun, but we played for 3 hours and saw maybe 1/15th of the map. This game definitely requires a large time commitment for one sitting to be fully enjoyed, and I’m not sure I can imagine this game being any fun single player or against the computer, since the computer is a cheating asshole. The entire time we played, the computer seemed to get all the luck on every spin, and every battle it knew the outcome and planned accordingly. Not only that, but it sniped a few towns from us mid-battle. So yeah, this game needs all human players that are totally into it for pretty much an entire evening (or multiple evenings). No doubt about it though, this is an underrated party game for Wii. It’s a great idea to merge RPG style gaming with characters leveling up and getting new weapons and visiting towns with Mario Party’s board game style gameplay. And since you pit player vs player, this is definitely a game to make enemies with. While it definitely stinks that it seems like strictly a multi-player only game, it’s still worth picking up if you have people over regularly, especially if they dig RPGs.