Fossil Fighters

October 30, 2009

Fossil Fighters is two-parts-Spectrobes, one-part-Pokemon with group battles, turn-based battles, and a narrower range of creatures.

Wish the review could be done now. So okay, what else? Instead of fighting Pokemon to level up and capturing the ones you want, you only fight other Pokemon trainers. I mean, Fossil Fighters. And instead of capturing Pokemon, you dig up dinosaur bones, like in Spectrobes. Had this also not been done before, it would be one of the more novel aspects of the game—as you go through the barebones story (“Someone stole my stuff! The villain!” “You can beat this guy! I know it! You’re the best around! To be an awesome Fossil Fighter is your destinnnyyyy”), you are permitted to explore other parts of Vivosaur Island to dig for higher level vivosaur (vivosaur = dead dinosaur you reanimate with a machine) fossils to add to your collection. You then take the fossils to a machine where you use a hammer and drill to get through the rock and to the bones without damaging them. The amount of damage will affect the vivosaur’s stats, so it’s important to do it well. This minigame will probably enthrall young kids, but will become a unique, skill-based kind of grind for anyone older, especially since you can only hold 8 fossils in your bag at once.

Fortunately, the game lets you save anywhere so you can simply reload it if you aren’t happy with the results. And your character moves lightning fast, meaning you won’t take a lot of time to travel around the island doing your errands and rushing from quest objective to quest objective. And if you find a bone you don’t need or get a duplicate that ends up with lesser stats than your best dinosaur, it ends up being a donation, and donations earn points that you can use to trade for better goods.

The game has an enjoyable challenge level to it, but is still easy, as would be expected considering its target audience. The battles are the bright spot, as it feels more like a strategy RPG than a regular one. Instead of switching out your dinosaurs in an extended 1v1 battle, you simply have one 3v3 battle with field position being a strategic choice. The front dinosaur can attack any of the dinosaurs save any resting in the back, while being able to be attacked by any dinosaur, while the supporting two play the exact opposite role. Each dinosaur has a small set of moves and has various roles. Each move also costs a certain number of points, meaning that not necessarily every dinosaur will be able to attack, so the using of moves has to be planned carefully. The front dinosaur can rotate to a back spot where it can’t attack or be attacked at all, resting for a couple of rounds. The concepts and selection of vivosaurs are easy enough to understand while still being complex enough to allow some creativity and challenge for younger players.

The world here is not as rich as Pokemon’s or even Spectrobes’. Kids may appreciate Fossil Fighters’ few unique qualities and improvements, but this is no stick of dynamite at the moment. Again, adults will find it too cutesy and easy; the writing is trite, the story is simple, and the whole thing doesn’t have much depth as many other strategy or RPG titles.

Score: 3/5

Questions? Check out our review guide.