Shades of Moby Grape: with the dual release of Digimon World: Dawn and Digimon World: Dusk, interested gamers are left with the question of whether to get the former game or the latter, both, or just sit it out in disgust. The most obvious difference between the two is the difference in team makeup. Dawn leaves gamers in control of the “Light Fang” group of Digimon, while Dusk gives the reins over the “Night Claw” team. Lest names deceive, please note that whichever way you go, you’ll be controlling an overly cutesy batch of Digimon. Let’s get this out of the way in the first paragraph: the only real difference, outside of which group of characters you get to play as, is in the color spectrum - brighter colors are used throughout the game and backgrounds in Dawn, darker shades in Dusk. Aside from aesthetic differences, both games are exactly the same.
The plot, such as it is: an odd occurrence of quakes has hit the Digital World and transformed the Digimon back into DigiEggs. With each side blaming the other for what happened, it’s up to you to find out the cause and bring the evildoers to justice. By battling Digimon and collecting data on them, you’re able to create Digimon to add to your ranks in the “DigiLab”. That said, raising these little buggers is no small task. Your first step is to get yourself a farm to raise them on. Once you have a roof to put over their heads, you have to give them particular items in order to raise certain stats, so you can lead them down a fairly obvious path. Now that may sound simple enough, but keep in mind that raising Digimon is not exactly cheap - it takes a lot of money to run even one farm, let alone several.
Digimon World: Dawn takes advantage of Nintendo’s Wi-Fi Connection to allow gamers to battle against each other. To do anything with this function, you have to first obtain a friend’s code so you can battle. During battles, both sides can earn “tamer points” which are used to purchase new items and the chance for new or rare Digimon. Although the fact that they give the option to use the DS’s Wi-Fi capabilities is nice enough, it feels slapped on and nonessential, having no real bearing on the game per se.
As noted earlier, the basic structure of the two games is exactly the same. Now, mind you, some minor details might change (for example, the order of your quest may be slightly different), but it’s the same damn game - you end up fighting all of the same enemies, going to all of the same places and doing all of the same things, just with different characters and a brighter or darker color scheme. As mentioned in my review for Dusk, to which I refer any and all interested gamers (as there's more depth about the overall game there), there are over 350 enemies that you have to contend with, each of whom has to be fought several times in order to obtain enough “scan data” to “digi-convert” them into usable Digimon for your farm. Whatever your personal view towards the Digimon franchise, the bottom line is that the sheer number of battles you wind up going through, by choice or by design, really drags the whole enterprise down.
Digimon World: Dusk and Digimon World: Dawn are the same game, albeit with a few minor changes to facilitate some undeserved doubling of corporate profit margins. While that factoid is likely to bristle the older and more informed among us, younger fans of the franchise probably won’t care, and buy into this repulsive marketing scheme uncritically. Hell, it works for Pokemon, so why not? That said, younger RPG fans should enjoy either Digimon: Dawn or Digimon: Dusk. More seasoned gamers will likely find that plot and gameplay don’t exactly hold up in comparison to more established series like Dragon Quest or Final Fantasy. But that should sort of go without saying…
Posted: 2007-11-11 11:54:26 PST