Review by MetalIceWolf
"There's nothing else like it."
Digimon World was released way back in 2000. This was still around the time when Pokemon was huge, and although Digimon was really popular back then too, many people dismissed it as a Pokemon rip-off, thus it didn't get the respect or attention it deserved. It was basically known as Playstation's answer to Pokemon, though it was disliked and rated really low by all of the professional reviewers. Well, they obviously didn't spend much time with the game, or they were just too caught up on Pokemon, because Digimon World is freakin' awesome and deserved much more credit and praise than any other Playstation game.
You're an ordinary teenager that enjoys the popular item of the present: Digimon tamagotchis. In the opening cutscene, you head towards your friends whom are having a battle with their digimon. Afterwards, you head on home to discover that your parents are gone, and your mom has left you a note letting you know she's gone for a while and there's pudding in the fridge. Anyway, you head into your room and find that your red digimon tamagotchi is acting weird....suddenly, you're sucked into it, landing into the digital world and greeted by Jijimon and the in-trainings that, in amazement, gather around you as you get up and are introduced to the universe of the digimon. You're in File City, where you will start off with your partner digimon (either an Agumon or a Gabumon depending on your choices picked in the questions when you start a new game), and from there, you are told to help save the digital world by going out and gathering more digimon to File City in attempt to re-build it to the way it once was. There's plenty of landscapes to explore, from tropical jungles to haunted mansions to mechanical factories.
The controls are simple, easy to get a hang off. The control pad moves your character and chooses selections. You don't get control over your digimon aside from battle commands and item giving. The menu is brought up by the triangle button, and the square button is used during battle while the circle button is the cancel button. From the menu you can access your items, check your digimon's stats, check your player status, scold/praise your digimon, or let him sleep. During battle, your commands are limited by how smart your digimon is (how much he is trained in brains.) With 200 brains, for example, you can command your digimon to attack, or get him to choose what he wants to do with 'your call.' There's other options too, and eventually once 500 brains are reached you get complete control over what he does during a battle. Also during a battle, the words "FINISH" form, which allows you to press the square button and use the special unique attack that every digimon has. You can then rapidly press the L and R buttons to raise the meter, which causes the finish attack to do more damage. Other than that, there's the start button, which is pause. Controls are easy to learn and I never had trouble with any of them.
There's a lot of musical goodness and fun sound effects here. Most of the music is memorable, and they all suit the area of which they are placed. You'll probably never get tired of listening to them, especially since the tune changes depending on whether or not it's night or day, which is really cool. The sound effects are realistic and cute at the same time. Your digimon will make grunts, squeaks and even purrs as you take care of them. There's even the sound of them having craps and the flushing of the toilet! The creators did a excellent job on the music and sound effects. Some of the digimon's sounds may annoy you after a while, but other than that, all is great.
For it's time, being released back in 2000, the graphics are great. The digimon look the way they're supposed to, the character you play as looks alright, and the attacks your digimon perform, and their digivoultion sequences, are all great. Each digimon technique has a different appearance. The items, (especially the food, some of which actually looks pretty tasty!) are all realistically made, and you'll know what they are just by looking at them. The item shops, the restaurant, the arena, the clinic and all other places in File City look nice. The swift from day to night time is really awesome, and the graphics and environment change during the evening, as do the appearances of certain recruitable and enemy digimon, which is really neat. The environments in particular, look really awesome. From the Toy Mansion to the Ice Palace, everything looks really cool. There's plenty of little details in every area you go to, and some of the areas are like viewing a painting. The graphics were great back then and they aren't that outdated today.
This is where the game really shines. It has the most unique gameplay I've ever encountered. Basically, it's a fusion of an actual tamagotchi with the exploration and fun of a RPG/adventure game. The main part of the game, is raising your digimon. He's going to constantly need attention and care if you are to properly raise him so he can grow into stronger forms. Thought balloons in the form of meat(Hunger), sweat drop(tiredness), poop(bathroom time), ZZZ's(time to sleep him), bandage or needle(your digimon is hurt/sick), and digivoultion (he's going to change form) will appear above your digimon's head to let you know what he needs. If he's hungry, feed him with a piece of meat or two until he's satisfied (which causes his happiness to go up and his weight to increase, factors that can decide in what he becomes when he digivoles), let him rest if he's tired, bring him to the toilet if he needs to go, etc. By doing these things, your digimon will remain happy (which is indicated by a meter, as is discilpine.) If you fail to give your digimon what he needs, though, it will count as a care mistake, which will decrease your digimon's happiness, and could cause him to become a different digimon when he digivoles, such as the nasty filth digimon Numemon. If your digimon fails to get to a toilet in time, then he'll simply poop wherever he is, and he'll be mad and the virus meter will raise (if it gets full, he'll mutate into a Sukamon!) If you tend to your digimon's needs though and treat him well, he should remain happy and turn out into a good, healthy digimon.
The green gym is an area you'll be spending a lot of time with - it's the training grounds for your digimon, and it's the most easy way of increasing his stats. Stat increasing is essential to the growth of your digimon, since most champion and ultimate types require specific stats to be achieved in order to digivole into one. The Green Gym has a Punching bag that raises defense and brains, a waterfall that raises MP and defense, a boulder that raises HP and offense, a classroom that raises brains and MP, a tree thing that raises offense and speed and a running track that raises speed and HP. There are other gyms scattered around the digital world too, but the Green Gym is most likely the one you'll use most often. Getting ultimate digimon requires some hardcore training in the gym, since most ultimates require strong stats of 5000's and 400's. This presents a great challenge, much more challenging than most RPGs, since most people have lots of trouble getting their digimon to become ultimates, due to all of the rigorous training that's required, but the end result is very worth it.
Every digimon will die. You can try to keep them alive longer with certain items, but they all have to go at some point. Your digimon can die from three ways: old age(at champion or ultimate level), sickness, or from losing three battles. When your digimon dies, you're sent back to Jijimon, and your digimon gets reincarnated into an egg of your choosing, which hatches into a baby digimon (which becomes a in-training, then rookie, then champion, and possibly ultimate, and the cycle repeats itself.) This causes you to always try something new, as you may not end up with a MetalGreymon or Mamemon the second time around.
In battle, your digimon will perform techniques that it has learned. The attacks you learn are kept forever (unless your digimon fades away as a result of losing three battles, it can then lose some of it's attacks), and there are various different kinds based on the type of the digimon. For example, Frigimon can use the attack "Ice Statue", while Greymon can use "Fire Tower." Your digimon can have up to three attacks ready for use in battle, and you get to customize which ones he uses. If your digimon has plenty of brains, you can command him to do things such as defend, change target, or you can run away from a fight, which puts you back to the previous area you entered. Battles can be quick or drag on, it depends on your digimon. It's stats alter the damage you give and receive. MP is consumed when you use an attack, and when it's all gone, you'll have to try and recover it with an MP floppy, otherwise your digimon will just run around and not attack (aside from the finish move.) When your digimon's HP goes to 0, a countdown appears which gives you a chance to use a "Restore" item, which revives your digimon with half it's HP, so it can continue battling. If not, then your digimon will lose one of three hearts, and if all of them are gone, your digimon will fade away. Other items can be used during battle to make your digimon stronger or faster.
Aside from the battles and pet-raising aspects of digimon world, you must explore the vast digital world and meet certain digimon along the way, which will join File City, helping it flourish. Some digimon offer services, such as Meramon's restaurant, Greymon's arena, or Drimogemon's treasure hunting. The more digimon you get to join the city, the more lively the city becomes, and the more areas become accessible to you. Your "prosperity points" rating is given to you by Jijimon, who tells you how lively the city is becoming. Rookies add one point, Champions (except for Numemon, Sukamon and Nanimon) add two, and Ultimates add three points to the prosperity rating. So, aside from a tamagotchi and RPG battle game, there's a town building part of this game too. There's even fishing and curling into this game, and lets not forget the epic arena battles, which earn you prizes for participation and winnings! Exploring the world and finding recruitable digimon is really fun.
But wait....there's even more to this game! You can collect cards and medals! Medals are earned by doing specific things in the game, like completing all of the digimon chart (raising all the possible digimon basically), catching 100 fish, winning certain tournaments in Greymon's arena, surviving for ten years (in Digimon time), and many more! This game also has a large amount of glitches, but don't look at that as a bad thing - the glitches are actually really cool and some of them are extremely helpful and fun to exploit! This game has LOADS of replay value, and once I fully completed the game, it was so fun that I wanted to do it all over again!
Overall, Digimon World is a masterpiece. Never has a game been so unique, fun, and full of things to do! It's one of the best video games I've ever played (and I've played a lot!) If you have access to one of the Playstation consoles, you owe it to yourself to find this amazing game. It may not be everyone's cup of tea, but chances are you'll greatly enjoy what it has to offer.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 06/16/08
Game Release: Digimon World (US, 05/23/00)
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