Fos­sil Fighters Fron­tier

TekSavvy Insider - - Contents -

Although there’s a good chance you’ve never heard of the fran­chise be­fore, Fron­tier is ac­tu­ally the third Fos­sil Fighters ti­tle, and the first to make its way to the 3DS. But de­spite the rel­a­tively un­known brand, there’s lit­tle here that’s not dis­turbingly familiar.

Try as I might, there was ab­so­lutely no way for me to get through this re­view with­out men­tion­ing the al­most painful similarities be­tween Fos­sil Fighters: Fron­tier and Poke­mon. With the suc­cess of the lat­ter be­ing a ma­jor boon for Nin­tendo over the past cou­ple of decades, it’s not en­tirely sur­pris­ing that they’ve looked to at­tempt to repli­cate the for­mula else­where, but never has it been as bla­tant and unimag­i­na­tive as here. Fron­tier is for all in­tents and pur­poses a stream­lined Poke­mon for younger play­ers. The “catch them all and put them to battle” premise re­mains un­touched, but the char­ac­ters, set­ting, nar­ra­tive and pre­sen­ta­tion all scream “Satur­day morn­ing kids’ TV” to me, right the way down to the com­plete cheese- fest of a ti­tle song ( one you’ll never want to hear again within a mat­ter of sec­onds). They key dif­fer­en­tia­tor be­tween the two fran­chises ( both Nin­tendo pub­lished) is the fact that, here, you’re dig­ging up di­nosaur fos­sils to build vivosaurs, re­an­i­mated di­nos that battle against each other when nec­es­sary. Play­ing the role of a war­den en­trusted with keep­ing valu­able ar­chae­o­log­i­cal dig sites safe, it’s your job to rise through the ranks with your NPC bud­dies, build­ing up your vivo- ar­moury and driv­ing around in your amus­ingly ti­tled “bone buggy”. And that’s pretty much all there is to it aside from a screen tap­ping and sty­lus slid­ing me­chanic that, for some rea­son, sees you jump from war­den to pa­le­on­tol­o­gist to dig up fos­sils your­self, ei­ther to add new vivosaurs to your col­lec­tion or power them up with some new skills. For about ten min­utes this is a me­chanic that works rea­son­ably well, be­fore be­com­ing one of the most need­lessly dull gam­ing or­deals ever. It’s ob­vi­ous that I’m not the tar­get de­mo­graphic here, as the child­ish nar­ra­tive is un­likely to res­onate with any­one over the age of ten, but that doesn’t stop me from be­ing able to iden­tify one key is­sue with Fos­sil Fighters: Fron­tier - it’s a rub­bish Poke­mon that some­how man­ages to make dinosaurs, the most awe­some crea­tures in our planet’s his­tory, seem dull and unin­spired. Hon­estly, just pick up a Poke­mon game in­stead - even if it’s a gift for a younger player.

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