Jun 25, 2013There are games for RPG fans that take the most basic aspects of an RPG and subvert them into something fun and clever to make what was once old hat into something seemingly new and fun. There are games for the Mario-Party-lovers who enjoy games based around luck, local multiplayer fun, and being a general dick to people you know and love (at times even ruining friendships and marriages).There are games for RPG fans that take the most basic aspects of an RPG and subvert them into something fun and clever to make what was once old hat into something seemingly new and fun. There are games for the Mario-Party-lovers who enjoy games based around luck, local multiplayer fun, and being a general dick to people you know and love (at times even ruining friendships and marriages). Then there's Dokapon Kingdom, a game that combines both of these concepts into one massive product that has a lot of fun ideas worth your time, and a lot of frustrating moments that will make you want to hurl a baby out a window into a speeding train carrying the cruelest Nazis in the world. Yeah, that didn't make much sense to me either. That's how frustrated I get from this game sometimes.
The game boasts several different modes of play but they all essentially boil down to you and your friends picking different classes of characters with minor customization options and going off into the world to collect money, buy items, fight monsters, and/or kill each other. I won't go into detail on all the modes because that could take a while. I'll focus on the story mode, which has the same basic mechanics as everything else, it just has a story and missions for you to do.
The story is that monsters have taken over the kingdom, which is losing the king money. The greedy loaf decides to hire adventurers (you) to fight the monsters and save the money/world. In exchange, you get to be the next king of Dokapon and have the right to marry his daughter (Princess Penny). The story isn't much, but there are plenty of fun (any annoying) characters throughout the game you'll meet that you'll grow to love or hate depending on how often they pick on you and how your interactions go with them. For example, there is a character named Dr. Exiles who essentially takes all your money and more as well as a UFO that will abduct you and then change your stats (sometimes good and sometimes bad). This can lead to some laughs as well as some genuine tears when all that hard work is thrown away because you got the "Blackmail" item or were killed by a Robo-Sassin.
Gameplay wise, it's fairly simple in that you level up by killing monsters. You get special abilities with your class over time. You can change class to whatever you have available on a whim and unlock more later. You earn money to buy new items, spells, and gear. You can invest in towns to get more money and worth in return. There are even missions in the story mode that can give you better items or money. There are also plenty of secrets to be had (some I still haven't found yet).
But while all that sounds cool, the biggest let down is the combat. While not terrible, it is still boiled down to a luck based game that largely feels like rock-paper-scissors (ironically). Some battles are easy to see who will win simply based on level and stats. Combatants of more equal standing will have it all come down to who was dumb enough to pick rock when he/she should have picked scissors. That said, some enemies you fight have specific patterns that do make some battles even more predictable. But overall, it is still fun. It's just not deep or engaging.
On top of that, some stats are hard to really understand as well as some of the game's vague terminology. Atk and Def are obvious. But Speed as never really been explained as to what it affects. And does Magic also effect magic defensive spells? And does defense play into dodging or magic defense as well? Many items also come with descriptions that leave you scratching your head asking what it's talking about. One can only suggest that these are likely issues with translation and less with the game itself.
It's still funny as you get some unique references to other games. You seem some fun ideas at play. And if you have friends who are willing to spend countless hours going around in circles to land on the once space to get into the dungeon for the fifth time because they kept dying from a cheap death at the hands of a monster that destroys weapons with their unblockable attack... then it's probably worth it. I know that despite all the frustrations I've had with it, it's a fun distraction in between meatier and less tediously annoying games. I consider this a recommend if you have friends you hate and desperately want to be rid of or if you need to make yourself angrier for some strange reason you silly person.… Expand
Awards & Rankings
Playstation: The Official Magazine (US)Dokapon's fatal flaw is its wait-to-play ratio; since actual engagement between players happens rarely, watching three players take their turns while you twiddle your thumbs wears thin fast. [Dec 2008, p.82]