Toy Review – Digimon Frontier Digivice
Japanese release: D-Scanner
North American release: D-Tector
Gear’s Notes: Confused? This is a toy comparison for the Frontier Digivice, the D-Scanner/D-Tector. The toys that were released in Japan were significantly different from those released in America, and having owned both of them, I decided to show you some of the differences.
A good rule of thumb, however, is that the Japanese version is more advanced than the English version of the toy, and that always seems to be the case. Whenever these toys make it to North America, they seem to lose a few years off the technology. This is particularly problematic with Bandai, as I’ve seen it on their Digivices and their Morphers from Power Rangers.
The D-Scanner is a unique toy in that it is exactly what it says: a scanner. The D-Scanner has a built-in barcode reader. When it is swiped across a barcode, it will give you a Digimon, a battle, item, or spirit. There is some sort of formula to it, because the same barcode will always yield the same result. The Barcodes that yield the spirits are rare, so expect to be scanning everything in sight before you find them. Aside from using the Hybrid Digimon, you also have access to a library of Adult, Perfect, and Ultimate Digimon. The more battles you win, the higher level Digimon are available to you in battle.
The D-Tector is a pedometer toy. Like previous North American Digivice releases, the device relies upon a pedometer to operate; that is, shaking it causes it to advance the game. The D-Tector allows you to choose one of the protagonists in Frontier: Takuya, Koji, J.P., Zoe, or Tommy. Shaking the device causes that protagonist to walk. As you go along, you will collect the rest of the characters, as well as their sprits (though not together). You can only battle with a hybrid Digimon if you have their human character in your party and their spirit. However, random dust storms will occur during the game. If they aren’t reacted to correctly and promptly, you can be separated from your party, and flung to another area of the Digital World.
As with the shows, there were some translations of character names.
Agnimon becomes Agunimon
Vritramon becomes BurningGreymon
Wolfmon becomes Lobomon
Garmmon becomes KendoGarurumon
Blitzmon becomes Beetlemon
Bolgmon becomes MetalKabuterimon
Fairymon becomes Kazemon
Shutumon becomes Zephyrmon
Chakmon becomes Kumamon
Blizzarmon becomes Korikakumon
The North American release did not include the following hybrid and legendary Digimon that were available in the Japanese releases:
Löwemon (Loewemon), KaiserLeomon (JägerLoewemon), Ardhamon (Aldamon), Beowulfmon (Beowolfmon), RhinoKabuterimon, JetSilphymon, Daipenmon, Raihimon (Reichmon), AncientGreymon, AncientGarurumon, AncientBeetmon, AncientIrismon, AncientSphinxmon, and AncientMegathueurimon.
The 2.0 release of the Japanese D-Scanner also included:
Grottomon, Gigasmon, Arbormon, Petaldramon, Ranamon, Calmaramon, Mercuremon (Mercurymon), Sephirotmon (Sakkakumon), Duskmon, Velgemon, AncientVolcamon, AncientTroiamon, AncientMermaimon, and AncientWisemon.
A little odd perhaps, but the Japanese version refers to the various levels of Digimon as “Rookie, Champion, Ultimate and Mega” as opposed to the traditional “Child, Adult, Perfect and Ultimate.” I’m not sure why.
The most obvious difference is the American version’s lack of a barcode scanner. Instead, it uses a motion sensor. Using this, one can mimic scanning their hand in the same way that the Digidestined do on the TV show. This is how a player chooses their style of attack (Crush, Ability, Energy) which play like Paper-Rock-Scissors against an opponent’s attack.
The sound system is a big difference as well. The Japanese version uses actual sound, as in recorded sounds with real explosion sound-effects (though the quality is admittedly crappy). The English version uses the standard beeping that most virtual pets use.