This was definitely the hardest game I’ve researched. It seems to be very story-based but also seems to deal in some kind of prophecy or metaphor, I couldn’t quite tell which. The beginning of the game has a dream sequence where someone is kidnapping the main character’s girlfriend but I guess this didn’t actually happen? Since it’s a DS game, the dialogue is all through character portraits so it was very tough to figure out what was going on.

And that’s not even mentioning the card game! You try watching a card game in another language and figure out what’s going on! It’s super hard! Fortunately, it seemed to be similar enough to other games of the era and since I knew when it came out, it was pretty clear to see what the influences were. What surprised me was just how little of a presence this game had online. Literally no user reviews, no critic reviews, no forum posts, no descriptions of the game, just NOTHING but the name existing in a few databases. On YouTube, one commentary-free video with nothing about the game in the video description and no helpful video comments.

Typically, this lack of information comes from shovelware games like the previously talked about Monster! Bass Fishing that are made for a casual audience. This doesn’t seem to be that. It features a very popular character and looked pretty for a DS game. It wasn’t localized but that’s not surprising considering literally none of the other 60+ Doraemon games have ever been brought to the west. I would love to know the story of this game, both the in-game story and the real-life story of why it has been so completely ignored or forgotten over time.

3/12 – Doraemon: Nobita no Shin Makai Daibouken DS

Hello and welcome. My name is Katosepe and I’ll be your host for today’s Video Game of the Day.

Today’s game is going to test my pronunciation of Japanese. Forgive me if I’m a bit rusty. Today’s game is Doraemon: Nobita no Shin Makai Daibouken DS for the Nintendo DS released exclusively in Japan in 2007.

Developed by Sega, Doraemon: Nobita no Shin Makai Daibouken DS is based on the best-selling manga Doraemon, which tells the story of a robotic cat which is sent back in time to protect a young boy from bullies.The original series ran from 1969 through 1996 in Japan and is still being adapted today, most recently being used as a brand ambassador for the upcoming 2020 Summer Olympics to be held in Tokyo. This particular Doraemon game is one of over 60 games in the franchise.

My Japanese knowledge is extremely limited unfortunately and I could not find any translations or plot descriptions online so I’m not able to speak much to the game’s plot. The game does appear very dialogue heavy so non-Japanese speakers may want to beware. As it is targeted towards children, however, the game does not use any kanji so this may be a good game for western students of Japanese.

The game itself uses a card-battling system which appears similar to games like Hearthstone or Yu-Gi-Oh. Players have six cards to start and draw one on their turn to reach a maximum of seven cards in their hand at any one time. Players each start with 100 life points. They use monster cards to attack the opponent to lower their life points to 0. Players cards can also defend, forcing their opponent to defeat their cards first, before being able to attack their life points.

Even in user reviews and Japanese gaming outlets, I was not able to find a single review for this game. The card battle system seems to be very similar to many games out today in the west. Without knowledge of Japanese, however, it will be very difficult for English-speakers to play and enjoy this title.

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