4cr Plays – The Denpa Men 3: The Rise of Digitoll
Genius Sonority is back with a new entry in the Denpa Men series, and as a fan of the last two games I was very happy when I got my review code. I spent over 50 hours in each of the previous Denpa Men, so after 100+ hours in the series, you can imagine that I definitely wanted to try The Denpa Men 3: The Rise of Digitoll.
What is The Denpa Men you say?
For those of you who have never played a Denpa Men game, they are RPGs, which feature the titular characters; beings who live among “radio waves.” Each Denpa Man is unique, and some of them can activate a special skill either from the moment you capture them, or later in the game once the antenna root in their head has grown. Some Denpa Men do not have an antenna root, and instead are stronger than usual and have more hit points than the rest of their fellow Denpa Men, making them excellent tanks.
But how exactly do you catch the Denpa Men? By using the power of the 3DS! The camera on Nintendo’s portable (as well as the gyroscope) can be used in a special mode where you’ll be able to see the Denpa Men floating around, and once you’ve tracked one down you can cast a net to trap them and send them back to your town. For Denpa Men 3, you’ll have a chance to also catch female Denpa Women to add to your ranks. This is a welcome addition, and something that wasn’t available in the two previous games, aside from the specific characters Crystal and one of the kids of the main character.
Speaking of the town, a new element introduced for this game is that each Denpa has its own house which you can decorate as you please, and this offers an extra element that reminded me of Animal Crossing. Sure, it’s not tied to the game’s story, and it does not have any repercussions on gameplay, but it is a nice distraction from the main quest.
Each one of the Denpa Men will be of a specific color (or, if you’re lucky, of two colors), and this determines it’s elemental strength and weakness to enemies and attacks of their antagonist color. This introduces an extra element of strategy into the mix, and is something you have to consider before diving into a dungeon. Something that can be done to help alleviate the potential disadvantage of some of the members of your party is to equip them with items to increase their elemental defenses. Some items can also add a specific element to their attack, meaning you could have a green Denpa with an electric attack while also being resistant to ice (green’s natural weakness) if you have the proper equipment for it.
Something that players who own the first two games will love is that once again there is an option to import characters from both previous games into Denpa Men 3, some of which can ONLY be obtained by importing from Denpa Men or Denpa Men 2 since they will not available in the third game.
Fans of Denpa Men 2 will be happy to know that the online colosseum is back and is still as entertaining as before, but the online fun does not stop there! An online connection also provides access to a store where players can purchase and sell items and to what could be the most important new element in the game: the rental store! Here, players can rent Denpa Men from other players or put some of the Denpa Men in their group up for rent, and this is a huge help for when you need a particular character or two to face a challenging dungeon.
Another new element to discuss, perhaps as a prelude to the next entry in the series that will be F2P, are microtransactions. These allow players to purchase jewels that can be traded for special items to help on your quest. These purchases are not mandatory or desperately needed since jewels are also awarded at other places in the game, but it IS an option for those of you that might want an extra boost at a reasonable price.
Before wrapping up this review, I wanted to mention one special skill: Catch. If you manage to find a Denpa with this skill, you’ll be able to use it to catch monsters in battle. After capturing a monster it can be used to fight along the rest of your team, and opens another layer of strategy for both novice and experienced player since a strong and heavy monster can bring a world of hurt to enemies if used in the right place at the right time.
Denpa Men 3 is a very fun RPG that continues to evolve the series. Being able to capture monsters adds a new twist to the formula, and it makes it feel fresh again. The game offers a lot of bang for your buck since reaching the ending will take you around 30-40 hours, and this is without completing all bonus dungeons or defeating special bosses.