Review by Hiong Poh
"A digital world digivolving to the playstation!"
Digimon, digital monsters, digimon are the..... champs?
Well what do you know, before you know it you are bestow the responsibility to save the digital world. Bandai had brought forth a new type of rpg by merging monster raising with the various elements of role-playing. Want some realism and fun both in the same game? No problem. This game provides you with many and all it takes is a little getting used to, if you are up to the challenge that is.
This title is great for a game that originated from the year 1999. Though misconception says that this game was based on the hit anime series ''Digimon Adventure'', it really isn't. If your math skills are still intact, you'll realise that the very first episode for season one was aired in Foxkids only after the release of the Japanese version of this game. If digimon did not originated from the anime, then what was it based on?
Well many years back Bandai had released a new type of digital pet that allows kids to train their monsters and pit them in the arena. No its not pokemon but rather those key chain thing that holds the figure of a cage. Though these gadgets are dead now, it was quite a hit back then. Thus Bandai decided to make a game with the ingredients from these Digital pets. Was it a success? Don't you dare doubt it!
Audio wise the game falls behind all other. One look at the game will make you realise that the audios in this game are all done in a rush. It is choppy and annoying to listen to at times. What adds to the low score is that the BGMs reset everytime you enter a new area. No I'm not talking about entering a new location, as in city to city. This would call for a need to play a new BGM as the atmosphere has changed. What I'm saying is, as long as load time is present to load from an area to another(ie from north of a city to south of a city), the change will be triggered. This is not only anoying but boring in a long run. However the flaws cannot keep the score dangling at rock bottom as certain in game sounds are quite well done. Honestly speaking, have you ever heard of a fart as perfectly simulated as in Digimon World? And yes, even though I did mentioned that the reset factor for the BGMs are a major putoff, one would realise that certain BGMs are very well done. They fit into the background perfectly and set the atmosphere for it. When you are in a huanted mansion, you have an erie music. When you are in a battle, heavy music will be played to set the emotion for it and bring the battle to life!
This is not Squaresoft nor is it Konami. This is Bandai. With the technology so advanced today, creating a game with beautiful graphics is never a problem. However Bandai made this game way back in 1999, and the technology was nowhere as superior as it is today. Do not expect to see a Final Fantasy X or Metal Gear Solid 2 type of graphics here. Yes the graphics are choppy and glitchy at times, however it is already very good at the time of release. Bandai managed to bring the entire File Island to life with its amazing background graphics. Not only that, its the first time our digimon pals are made 3-D. Though choppy, the pixels present in the Digimons are plentiful, let alone the frames. Want some CGs? Well Digimon World provides several, 3 to be accurate. Are they well done? on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the best, I'd give it a score of 6. Why you might ask. Graphic wise its well done. Should have scored a decent 8/10. The sound factor is what pulled it down. Someway those US translators just have to mess up with the dubbing and make the wonderful FMVs in the Japanese version crap in the US version. I have both so I know the difference. Seriously you'll find that the FMVs are trash in the US version, but you've yet to see the original. The Japanese FMVs totally owns the US FMVs!
Either you hate the gameplay or you love it. Many will argue with the score. ''The gameplay stinks because I cannot get an ultimate.'' ''The gameplay stinks because my digimons keep fading away.'' Yes I do agree that the engine that the game runs on can be a pain in the neck to adapt. You might probably get your first ultimate only on your 10th try, but you can get it on your first try too. You see this game is not about battles, its about monster breeding. Not only do you have the responsibility to train your pets into great worriors on the battlefeild, but you also have to look after them just like you would look after your pet dog. Feeding it and bringing it to the potty are some examples. Yes your digimons will eventually die after 12 years, thus careful planning comes into play and you would need to plan well on what you want to do during its lifespan. I do agree that this sucks in the begining until I got the hang of bonus tries. You see, your digimon get to work out in the gym and every training would take one hour. Playing normal gym training would not help much. With bonus tries, you'll get to max status in about 5 years old. Then you can go and do whatever you want with your digimon. Remember that as long as you do not spend time training, time will pass very slowly. Also the engine does not follow a straight route. You can either go on an adventure like recruiting digimons or play mini games to try to get medals such as fishing and the ever additive curling game. Once you get
used to it, you'll probably come begging for more. Truley its unique and different from all games. Like I say, you'll either love it or hate it.
You are a kid who love digimon. One day you got home and heard your digimon keychain beeping. You went to check it out. A gate opened from the it and transport you to the digital world. You will then have to work you way through the Digiworld and turn all the bad digimons good again.
It is well known among many gamers that Digimo World is one of those games that does not have a good enough plot to follow its awesome gameplay. The main character goes off recruiting digimon like in Suikoden. However unlike Suikoden which runs on a solid plot, this game runs on none. Why do many well known reviewers give this game a low score? Its sad but gamers nowadays play game for the storyline. Old skool gamers are hard to find today and seldom would you see anybody playing a game with a terrible plot. What they fail to realise is that sometimes the gameplay itself is enough and the need for a storyline is inexistant. No I am no in anyway supporting Bandai for not putting a story in this game nor am I forgiving them. Don't they know that RPGs are nothing without a story to accompany it? If you are getting this game, get it for the gameplay, never for the storyline. Even if there were, it isn't connected with Digimon World 2, 3 or Card Battle.
Everything was so new, digimon was so fresh back then. As mentioned, this was the very first game in which the Digimons get a debut in their 3-D form, or even in a full coloured form for that matter. Also Digimon World is not a copy of any other RPG games unlike Digimon World 2 and 3 which are both, I dare say, a copy of pokemon to a certain extend. Digimons are like your pets, you need to feed them and look after them. These elements are unique to digimon as those Digimon Key Chain did emphasised on it, yet they were absent in the future games. And whats more, just like in real life, you could not have full control over your digimon in battle. After all, who could have a total control over your pet dog? You shout orders and they listen and try their best to do whatever they are being told to do. This idea is much more original compared to the battle styles where your digimon are as lifeless as robots(DW2 anyone?) and do exactly what you say in battle. Where has the realism gone to? Furthermore your digimon has a lifespan and will die eventually, but thats like the Digimon Key Chains isn't it? Many of these elements were taken out in future games making Digimon World one of a kind.
Replay Value: 5/10
Sorry pal, this game is suitable for a ''one-time-play''. After completing this game and getting all the medals, it will be a total drag to play this game all over again. I know because I had this experience. Even though I know which path to take and get my first digimon to an ultimate, it is still very boring to play through it again. Get everything, all medals etc in your first game. You'll thank me later.
This game is special such that it depend solely on its gameplay to keep gamers addicted. The originality and gameplay gave it a major push and covered the fact that the game has a poor storyline. My time spent playing this game had been an enjoyable one probably since I was one of those who had raised digital pets when it was hot. The puzzles are not very tough and battles are easily fought thanks to bonus tries. Like I say, either you love this game or you hate this game. There is no in-between kind of stuff. Buy or rent? Well I would recommend buying as I certainly did not regret getting my copy. If you happen to be uncertain of the decision, rent a copy and try it out. If you enjoyed the game, then go get it. If you find it boring, then this game is not for you.
Digimon, digital monsters, digimon are the champions!
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 08/11/01, Updated 09/27/02
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