Digimon World Dawn/Dusk - first look

You know, we kind of always thought that the Digimon games would pass up Pokemon in popularity at some point, simply because of the monster designs. While even the most powerful Poke-critters tend to be cute and cuddly, Digimon's highest-level face-stompers tend to look like something right out of a horror movie. You've got your half-metal Allosaurus dude, your werewolf with brass knuckles, your eight-winged, blade-covered demonic whatever-this-is... They're just more powerful looking than most poke-creatures. Thus far, despite a massive presence in manga, on TV, in collectible cards and obviously video games, Digimon hasn't been able to steal the crown. But that doesn't mean it isn’t still trying, and in the case of Digimon World Dawn and its companion game Digimon World Dusk, showing off some serious skills.

It's impossible to talk about any monster-collecting RPG without using Pokemon as a starting point, so we're not going to try. And at its core, this is still very much like Pokemon: you travel the world collecting a wide variety of creatures that defy the basic laws of nature and using them to fight similarly, increasingly powerful bewildering zoological specimens. There are eight different classes of Digimon in all, and the total roster of critters in both games together tops out at more than 400, including at least two new ones (Konami hasn't revealed them yet, but Wikipedia calls them Coronamon and Lunamon, based upon the Japanese version). And of course, you'll find there are some Digimon unique to one version of the game or the other.

All of that's admittedly familiar, but Dawn and Dusk are planning some new evolutions of the formula as well. For one thing, up to three of your digimon can enter a turn-based battle at once, and you'll face as many as five enemy digimon simultaneously (though head-to-head battles with other human beings are limited to 3 vs 3). That's certainly fresh.


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