Hidden Treasure: Dokapon Kingdom

Sup, Pseudo Pstalkers?  Today I present another installment in the Hidden Treasure series.  Keep your eyes opened – you may be surprised by what you read.

Photo from gamefaqs.com.

Photo from gamefaqs.com.

Ever heard of a game called Dokapon Kingdom?  If you haven’t, don’t worry, you’re not alone.  Even though this game for the Wii and PlayStation 2 has been out since 2008, I had never heard of this game, much less played it, until very recently.  For those of you who haven’t heard of it, you may be surprised to know that it received an 8.0 from IGN critics for the PS2 version and an 8.3 user review on the GameStop website for the Wii game.  GameCola also gives the game a 9 out of 10 in a fairly recent review from December 2013.  After playing this game with friends for hours at a time, I definitely have to agree with these reviews.  This game is a hyperactive, colorful, and thoroughly enjoyable kind of fun.  Let me tell you why.

First, I am going to quote IGN critic Mark Bozon in his review when he says, “Play this game with friends, or don’t play it at all.”  There have been several accounts of “cheating AIs” on the GameFAQs forum, and I have heard personal stories from my boyfriend which suggest that the computers may have the upper hand.  Still, if you have a friend or a few friends who are willing to make a commitment to the game, it will definitely be worth your while.

Dokapon Kingdom is definitely a party game, akin to the Mario Party series, especially due to the board game-style map and turn-based dice rolls (or spinner spins in Dokapon’s case).  However, Dokapon greatly differs from the Mario Party franchise in many ways.  For one, the story mode in Dokapon is meant to last several sessions and will take many, many hours to complete.  My friends and I have a file that we’ve played for at least 20 hours, if not more, and we’re only on chapter three of the storyline.  In addition, success in Dokapon is not measured in minigames.  In fact, the only “minigame” in Dokapon may be Rochambeau, if that even counts.  Instead of minigames, success in Dokapon is measured in dollar signs.  Money is best earned by defeating monsters that reside in towns all over the map.  Once you defeat a monster and liberate a town, the townspeople will automatically elect you as their leader, which allows you to collect taxes from these towns.  Leveling up towns to raise their income really reels in the money, as does completing the Dokapon King’s personal mission at the end of every level.

So why bother making lots of money to win in this game?  Is it because you win the “grand prize” of Princess Penny’s hand in marriage at the end of the game?  Not really.  To be honest, the “story” in Dokapon is pretty ridiculous and on a scale from 1 to 10, Dokapon’s storyline is probably an 8 or 9 on the Random Scale.  What makes Dokapon Kingdom really addictive is that it’s a fast-paced competition that can bring you from last place to first in just one week. (One round of turns equals one day and at the end of the week each player’s ranking and total money are revealed.)  Dokapon is essentially a strategy game because your main objective is to outsmart, outrun, and outplay your teammates to victory.  You can obtain a variety items and equipment that will help you – or sometimes harm you – as you fight monsters and compete with other players to take over their towns.  For example, a charm potion can be used to take over another player’s town by charming the town’s mayor, and a money trickster item can help you steal money from other players, but there’s a percent chance that it will steal money from you.  These are only two examples of so many items that make the game interesting and surprisingly strategic.

Another great aspect of Dokapon Kingdom is the  leveling and class system.  Unlike Mario Party, in which your character/avatar remains the same for the entire game, your Dokapon player gains experience and levels up through fights with monsters.  This means the more you fight, the stronger you get.  Furthermore, you begin the game by selecting a class for your character, either Warrior, Magician, or Thief.  As you continue to level up, you can max out these classes and change them around to unlock newer and stronger classes.  Some classes can even be unlocked by completing quests.  All in all, this class system adds a layer of customization that enhances the game even further.  Leveling your character and class takes time, so you might find yourself playing this game for extended periods of time just to get stronger and better in your class.

There is so much more to say about Dokapon, but I really should let the game do the talking.  It’s full of surprises and hilarious characters (like the Dokapon King himself) that can’t be put into words.  Dokapon Kingdom is for the Wii and the PS2, so it can most likely be found pretty cheap, and even cheaper used.  At some places, it’s even possible to rent the game.  In any case, go ahead and play this crazy, silly, frustrating but oh so gratifying game.  I think you’re gonna like what you find.

Let me know if you ever pick up a copy of Dokapon Kingdom and try it out!  If you’ve played Dokapon, feel free to leave me a comment and let me know what you think.


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