Akin to Rock, Paper, Scissors
I was beaten, literally defaced, my identity stolen...and I still won the game.
Dokapon Kingdom was the final game Atlus has to show our Run to the Sun crew and at first, we weren't really sure what to think. However, our competitive instincts soon kicked in as we began playing this odd little board game RPG. We each got a chance to spin the wheel, and could move the number we rolled. Movement was done either by hand, or the player could pull up a larger map to see all the options they had, including any doubling back that could be done. Much like other board games, positioning is very important in Dokapon. We were playing a board where the first person who claimed a city across the world would win the game. This was just one variety, and we added our own twists. Rather than have a slow-paced game starting at level one and building up, we opted at the start of the game to bring our levels up to twenty (10, 30, and 40 were also options). This meant we could skip the introductory area with relative ease and without getting our bacon handed to us.
That didn't, however, erase all danger. As we attempted to trek across the continent, both Mikel and Michael landed on a square which allowed them to pay off a robotic assassin. Michael aimed for me and sadly knocked me out, while Mikel aimed for Cole. When the assassin arrived to take Cole on, instead of killing him as intended, Cole re-bribed the machine to go kill Mikel! Mayhem at its finest.
Once a week, we had a tallying of how the game was going. Liberated cities, where someone had defeated the local boss, gave the controlling player tribute money, though these cities were lost if the player died. Mikel quickly shot ahead in money with up to three cities but slowly lost them as we pounded him into submission!
Spin Spin Spin!
The combat is turn based and can take many turns for more heated battles. Each side gets a round: one aggressive action, and one defensive action. Of the four face buttons (X, circle, square, triangle). When the player is on the offense, they represent two physical actions and two magical actions, which can include buffs and bluffs. If the opposing side chooses a defensive action from the same button, the attack is repelled, generally at a penalty to the attacker. For example, I stumbled upon Michael and proceeded to enter combat with him. I chose a large one shot attack with the triangle as my offensive move, and he countered with his own triangle attack - a counter that killed me.
Then we found out the fun part about Dokapon: when you defeat your human opponents, you get to humiliate them! Quickly my name was changed from Paws to Pause, and I was ushered back to the start. Now both the hilarity and the competition ramped up, because it was actually a threat to one's pride to be defeated by another opponent. Sadly, I didn't really learn my lesson and within a few turns I was in another scrap with Michael, where he promptly stomped all over me again and this time, opted to colour all over my face! It was both humiliating and so comical I could barely stop laughing.
The game was running rather long, so one of the localizers gave me a hint. I quickly beat a path north to a store where I bought multi-spinners: they let you 'roll the dice' multiple times. I whipped across the board in record time, scooping up the desired city from nearby Cole and Mikel for a less than decisive victory. All in all, I had an incredibly fun time playing Dokapon, and I can't wait to buy it and play it with my friends...now that I have an edge, of course.