|System: DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Sting||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Atlus||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Apr. 14, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
This is a real detriment to the gameplay, because battles take far too long when you have to wait your turn for every attack phase. While other characters can run around, get treasure, and buy things from shops, you are stuck in battle and can't move until the battle ends. And when you have a battle that lasts more than three turns, it can get very boring.
The battle system itself suffers from being dull, chiefly because it works a little too well as an RPG. It is strictly turn-based, with no active elements whatsoever. You trigger attacks by pressing the face button tied to a specific attack (such as "strike" or "MP Blast") and then wait for the other party to attack (or defend), and then your turn is over. When you are in battle, the extent of the gameplay per turn is pressing two buttons, which is not exactly that satisfying. This issue is compounded by the fact that other player's turns can take an excess of two to three minutes each (or even longer if they decide to go shopping for new weapons/equipment), and you have to wait ten minutes just so you can press two buttons.
On the technical side of things, Dokapon Journey is a passable title, but doesn't really stand out. The graphics are much poorer than those on the Wii/PS2 version, and the 3D characters and map have been replaced by 2-D sprites and flat environments. The sound in Dokpon Journey also isn't as good as it was in the previous version, having omitted voiceovers entirely. The background music is annoying and very repetitive. Although you tend to expect some technical downgrades when a franchise moves from a console to a handheld, there was no reason for the sound and the graphics to take such a hit (they weren't all that impressive last time either), but Dokapon Journey just doesn't look or sound the way it deserves.
Dokapon Journey was a real disappointment. The first game really got me hooked on the RPG/Party game mash-up formula, and I was excited for the series to improve. However, Dokapon Journey seems to be another entry with the same faults that plagued the first. If they had just improved the format a little, or added a few more active elements to the gameplay, I would have nothing but praise for this title, as the format is still quite endearing. As it is, I just can't get excited about Dokapon Journey because there have been no improvements, and there are even a few elements that have slid backwards in quality. I am still hoping that there will be more Dokapon in the future, and maybe this time some of the gameplay issues will be addressed. If this series doesn't level up soon, it will be KO'd before it ever hits its stride.
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Staff Contributor