Name: Doraemon Monopoly (87.14% in 7 votes)
Company: GameOne Systems
Release date: 1998
Reviewed by: Lamuness
If you are into Anime, then you have NO REASON not knowing this ultimate Anime classic - Doraemon. In case you belong to this extreme minority, the Anime is about a kid and his friend Doraemon, a robot-cat that came from the future. What is special about this robot-cat is that he is afraid of mice, loves Japanese red bean buns, and most importantly, has a "bottomless" inventory bag from which Doraemon can pull out nifty extraordinary items to use. This Anime is very old (back at the 70's) but it still remains a classic to alot of people from all ages, particularily girls (hint hint).
What this game is is just simply a monopoly game based on the Doraemon Anime. There is no plot, maybe except that the characters from the Anime compete each other to win. Like monopoly, you buy land and build on it and people pay you rent if they step on your property. What's different from other monopoly-based games is that instead of using cash, Japanese red bean buns are used as currency in the world of Doraemon. In addition, you can use a wide variety of Doraemon items (most of them have appeared in the Anime at least once) to your advantage. You also have a series of game fields to choose from, and all of these environments appear in the Anime as well. Throughout the course of the game, you will be able to play some or all of the 8 mini-games where at the same time the players compete with each other to win that mini-game.
Up to 4 players can play this game, and you can choose any of the 6 Doraemon characters (and one secret character) to play with. What is interesting about this is that each character has their own characteristics, and therefore strengths and weakness. Such characteristics are of course based on the famous Anime. For example, the strength of Doraemon is that at the start of the game he has half of the items in stock already (because he has a "built-in" inventory bag in his belly), but because he loves to eat buns, his weakness is for each step he takes, he eats some buns (and therefore lose some money). Personally, I (and of course many other people) find this setup very very interesting.
Of all the monopoly games I have played, I would have to say Doraemon is the CRUELEST monopoly I have ever seen. First off, the jail (it's called punishment area in the game) is very heartless and cruel. Why? Go play the game to find out. You will very likely cry if you fall into that area. Also, many items are very cruel, and what's worse, there's little you can do about or prevent it. If all other players keep using items at you, then you are pretty much dead. The game may be cruel, but it sure adds challenge to the game which is not seen in most other monopoly games.
One note about this game is that unlike other monopoly games where basically your objective is to "kill" people so that they go bankrupt, in Doraemon it is nearly impossible to make a person go bankrupt because of the fast increase in interest. Therefore, at the beginning of the game you can set for how many years you want to play the game for. At the end of the game, the program will grade your performance and you can print out a Doraemon Monopoly Certificate, which is very interesting.
Graphics-wise, this game deserves a 10. Even though only 2-D graphics are used, it's still very nicely done because it fits to the 2D-ness of the Anime. Plus, there are little animations everywhere on the screen that makes the game near console-game quality. Music and sound effects are very nicely done, and there are voices in the game as well. However, the problem with the game is that these voices (and the little messages) can get annoying and boring if you hear enough from it, and unfortunately you cannot set the voices off.
My only comment on Doraemon Monopoly is WOW!! I am EXTREMELY impressed with this game. It is surprising that the first PC Doraemon Game is done by HongKong programmers, and they did a terrific job. This game is fun, colorful, and challenging. Doraemon Monopoly is no doubt the hottest chinese game for the 1998 Xmas season. If you are a Doraemon fan, you have absolutely no reason to miss this game. Even if you are not a Doraemon fan, go get that game nevertheless. Also, if you buy the original, you get 42 trading cards as well as a Doraemon pencil case too!
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