|System: DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: RED Entertainment||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Nintendo||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Aug. 8, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
All vivosaurs come in four different pieces including their head, legs, arms, and body. Players need only to find the vivosaur's head in order to revive them for use in combat. However, each additional piece found will make them much more formidable foes by upping their stats and perhaps granting additional abilities.
There is a surprising amount of strategy in Fossil Fighters' combat, although much of it comes from the vivosaurs you choose to use and where they are placed. The combat field involves an attack zone and support zones. Vivosaurs in the attack zone can deal more damage but they're also more vulnerable to attacks, while vivosaurs in the support zones will do and take less damage. There are more layers to this as well, since support zone vivosaurs can be used to boost ones located in the attack zone and some are even unaffected by the loss of attack power caused by being in a support zone.
Aside from vivosaur placement, there are a couple other things to take into account. One is the element with which your vivosaur is associated. Each vivosaur has fire, earth, air, water, or neutral alignments, and as you might expect, this determines which enemies they're better or worse at competing against. The other major thing to consider is how you will utilize your fossil power. The player has a certain amount of fossil power which can be used to perform skills, with this power regaining a bit after every turn. Since every vivosaur can only use one skill a turn and your supply of fossil power is limited, this can frequently make you question if you should use a big attack that requires a large amount of fossil power or several smaller, cheaper attacks instead.
The core mechanics of the game are decent, but there are a few missteps present. As I alluded to earlier, graphically Fossil Fighters isn't exactly topnotch. It looks okay for what it is, but it would have been nice if the vivosaur models had at least been a little more detailed or distinguishable from one another. Multiplayer is also a pretty big letdown, as you can't play with a buddy online. Instead, you are limited to having to be within the DS's limited wireless range to have the ability to trade fossils or do battle with one another. In the end, Fossil Fighters has some interesting ideas, but since it is so similar to Pokémon, it suffers from not being able to fully step out of that franchise's shadow. Still, if you're looking for a Pokémon-like title with a Spectrobes twist and a dash of dinosaurs, you likely will have a good time with Fossil Fighters.
CCC Staff Contributor