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Digimon World Dawn/Dusk review

A monster-collecting RPG that borrows so heavily from Pokemon, it isn't half bad

For

  • 350+ Digimon to get
  • Three vs five battles
  • Challenging difficulty

Against

  • Complex evolution process
  • Lacks poke-charm
  • Combat not as refined as Pokemon

Oct 8, 2007

The Digimon franchise has always been copyright infringingly similar to Nintendo's world-dominating Pokemon critter-catching games. Both offerings have super-basic stories that charge you with amassing an army of odd, eternally bloodthirsty life forms that love to fight. Both feature battle systems that are far more complex than you'd guess at first. Both tend to release not one game, but a pair of nearly-identical games, each with hundreds of beasties, a few of which you can only get by trading with someone who has the other version. And both are also pretty darn good.

That's the big picture, which is enough for many folks. If you want to get more specific, there are a dozen minor differences, but they all boil down to this: basically, everything in the Digimon universe is slightly more complex and less sugary-sweetly charming than its poke-counterpart, for better or worse.

For instance, the graphics in Digimon World Dawn/Dusk are much more detailed than in a Pokemon game, even if you can't walk straight lines around the levels because everything's diagonal. That's cool. Also nice: you can buy islands and outfit them with training items to help your Digis gain levels when not in battle.

Less cool is that you don't catch the critters in Digimon by throwing balls at them - instead, every time you encounter a new digimon, a certain percentage of its DNA gets "scanned" automatically - even if you run away. Once you've scanned 100% of a given digimon's info, your in-game PC can spit out your very own copy of that digimon.

More Info

GenreRole Playing
DescriptionA monster-collection role-playing game extremely similar to Nintendo's own Pokemon, only grittier and more complex, for both better and worse.
PlatformDS
US censor ratingEveryone
UK censor ratingRating Pending
Release date:18 September 2007 (US), (UK)
Available platforms:DS
Genre:Role Playing

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

I was the founding Executive Editor/Editor in Chief here at GR, charged with making sure we published great stories every day without burning down the building or getting sued. Which isn't nearly as easy as you might imagine. I don't work for GR any longer, but I still come here - why wouldn't I? It's awesome. I'm a fairly average person who has nursed an above average love of video games since I first played Pong just over 30 years ago. I entered the games journalism world as a freelancer and have since been on staff at the magazines Next Generation and PSM before coming over to GamesRadar. Outside of gaming, I also love music (especially classic metal and hard rock), my lovely wife, my pet pig Bacon, Japanese monster movies, and my dented, now dearly departed '89 Ranger pickup truck. I pray sincerely. I cheer for the Bears, Bulls, and White Sox. And behind Tyler Nagata, I am probably the GR staffer least likely to get arrested... again.
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