While attending a recent D3 press event in San Francisco we had our first opportunity to check out a work-in-progress version of Fossil League: Dino Tournament Championship for the Nintendo DS. Set far enough into the future for time machines to be a reality, the game will see you assuming the role of a young boy named Taiga whose father left him a rare fossil when he died. Said fossil has since been stolen, and the only way for Taiga to get it back is to travel back in time, tame a bunch of dinosaurs, fight them against other people's dinosaurs in turn-based combat, and then, presumably, find and do battle with whomever stole it. Pokémon with dinosaurs? It certainly looks that way.
Fossil League: Dino Tournament Championship's story will be told through colorful 2D cutscenes, but the gameplay will be 3D. During our all-too-brief demo of the game, we witnessed Taiga getting embroiled in numerous random encounters with other dinosaur tamers as he attempted to walk to another location on the world map. The turn-based battles between the nicely-detailed 3D dinosaurs that ensued played out in much the same way that similar encounters do in Pokémon games. You'll be accompanied by up to five pet dinosaurs at all times, and each one will be affiliated with a different element, such as earth, wind, fire, water, or thunder. Each of the 90 or so different dinosaur species in the game will have its own special attack abilities, and these will become more numerous as you progress through the game and your dinosaurs level up.
You'll be able to play Fossil League: Dino Tournament Championship using either the stylus and touch screen or directional pad and buttons, although some of the minigames that pop up in between missions will be designed exclusively for the touch screen. In addition to the story-driven single-player adventure, Fossil League: Dino Tournament Championship will support multiplayer battles and features a "Dinopaedia" that lets you learn about all of the dinosaurs that you encounter in the game. We look forward to bringing you more information on Fossil League: Dino Tournament Championship as soon as it becomes available.