Digimon Dusk Review for the Nintendo DS (NDS)

Digimon Dusk Review for the Nintendo DS (NDS)

Digimon World: Dusk / Dawn will be best enjoyed by rabid fans that enjoyed the original

Digimon World: Dusk/Dawn is a continuation of the original Digimon World RPG that created quite a stir. It was a great game in many ways because it was unique in many aspects. It still maintained the basic RPG elements, but managed to do so in such a way as to make the gameplay fresh. The Digimon universe was captured to good effect so that fans of the show could play this game and not even be aware that they were playing an RPG. But that was yesterday’s news.

Digimon Dusk screenshot

These two sequels, Digimon World: Dust and Digimon World: Dawn, don’t foray off the beaten path that was trampled in the prequel. Only your personal interest in the Digimon series, and being comfortable with the similarities of the gameplay, will determine your enjoyment of either of these titles.

First of all, there are some fundamental differences between Dusk and Dawn. Ultimately they are the same game, insofar as the premise, story, battle system and general gameplay are concerned. They differ primarily at the outset of the game, as different playable characters and party members are featured. You’ll start out with Light Fank in Dawn, and Night Crow in Dusk. The order that you encounter the dungeons will also differ, but you will still deal with the same creatures, items, turn-based random battles, and strategies. Both games take the same relative path, and they ultimately share the same conclusion.

A digital realm exists in which humans can enter and interact with creatures known as Digimon. These creatures, like Pokemon, can be collected, trained, and put into battle. Each Digimon has different abilities, along with different personalities that you can interact with. They display enough depth to keep you interested, which in turn feeds your desire to collect more. You can befriend them, instill them with confidence, or make them dislike you. There are some 400 different Digimons to collect. With all that you can do with them, that translates to a lot of game.

Digimon Dusk screenshot

The storyline is textbook save-the-world RPG fare. A virus threatens the world of Digimon, turning some of the creatures into digieggs. It’s up to you to blah…blah…blah…. The gameplay is segmented into a series of missions which are doled out at headquarters in town. You feel like the errand boy as you go about each task, only to return and receive more instructions. You do get some points and some money which will help you level-up your creatures, but first you have to collect them. Collecting Digimon requires scanning data. Once you have enough data, you can own the creature.

Training and leveling-up takes place at the Digifarm, but unlike the first version, you only require one main farm, which is located on an island. The various components used to train and feed your creatures are earned in battle. Background Music and Terrain Boards may be installed on your Digifarm to suit the attributes of the creatures that you have acquired. The Terrain Boards become permanent additions and cannot be changed. They will determine the type of Digimon, armor, and gadgets that can be upgraded. They will also change the appearance of your Digifarm. If you want to collect and upgrade more Digimon, you’ll need more Terrain Boards. Since you can’t just buy them outright, the process is more tedious than in the original game. Various training tools will allow your creatures to upgrade while you’re away on business. You can monitor their progress on the top screen.

Digimon Dusk screenshot

Unlike so many traditional random battles that are one of the hallmarks of RPGs, the battle system is what really makes this game shine. It’s more intense than the first game, but you had better like this battle system because you’re going to be in a hell of a lot of fights. The enemy is more closely matched to your ability so strategy is tantamount to winning. There are five different zones in the field which require different attacks. Positioning of your Digimon requires careful consideration, since the combat is turn-based.

Digimon Dusk screenshot

The leveling-up process can be a little complex if you’re not familiar with the series. Digimon can be Digivolved or Devolved depending on the situation. By combining two Digimon’s DNA, you can create a new, more powerful creature. The stats will be reset to level one, but that gives you the abililty to further increase your creature’s abilities as you continue to level-up. There are a lot of elements to take into consideration when transforming Digimons. Your personal relationship with the creatures, the level, the number of available points, and the inter-species dynamics all affect this process. It’s this kind of depth and attention to detail that will entice or repel players.

Online you can train, mate, and trade your creatures. But more importantly, you can enter into online battles. These battles are turn-based, and you’ll be rewarded with trainer points that you can use in the single-player mode. The online mode was nearly flawless in comparison to the single-player mode, but that’s nothing to shout about in the first place. The environments and character models look good, but the animation is worse than the cheesiest anime you’ve ever seen. The character models glide around the environment like ice skaters, which is in contrast to the choppy animation of the cutscenes and other in-game animations. There are plenty of tunes that highlight various gameplay elements. From the adrenaline-fueled battle tunes to the laid back incidental background music, the soundtrack is worth noting for its diversity.

Digimon World: Dusk/Dawn will be best enjoyed by rabid fans of the original. The online trading will allow you access to Digimon in both the Dusk and Dawn version. If you’re a fan, expect a lot of game.


  • Hundreds of Digimon: As you travel throughout the land, collect, tame, train, and evolve over 400 Digimon from eight different species.
  • Each game contains some unique and rare Digimon that can only be obtained through wireless communication with the other version of the game!
  • Never leave home without it: Digimon World: Dawn & Dusk both contain a new world map, which always shows where you have been and where you are currently located.
  • The maps also show info on each dungeon, including what items and Digimon are available.
  • New & Improved Digifarm: Raise, train, and evolve your new Digimon at the Digifarm. While down on the Digifarm, you can chat with your Digimon and install or remove Farm Goods! Different Farms and Farm Goods help your Digimon learn new abilities and boost stats, even while you are not at the DigiFarm!
  • Deep & Strategic Battle System: With intense 3 on 5 turn-based battles, manage your Digimon’s locations to gain an edge over your enemies.
  • Unique storyline and characters: Digimon World Dusk & Dawn have a unique storyline that interweaves the stories of two very different characters and journeys!
  • Battle with your far-away friends: Take your Digimon to battle over Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. The winner of Wi-Fi battles obtains “Tamer” points, while players collect “Tamer” points even if they don’t win.
  • Trade your “Tamer” points obtained during Wi-Fi battles for rare items! Rare Digimon can also be acquired by Digi-matching through Wi-Fi connection!

  • Rating out of 5 Rating Description


    Backgrounds and characters look good but the animation is terrible.


    Doesn’t make much use of the DS’s control system. Dual screen comes in handy.


    Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
    Very diverse music and lots of it. Good sound effects.


    Play Value
    Fans of the game can play this forever. Online battles and trading keeps things fresh.


    Overall Rating Fair
    Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.
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