Review by Lagunathemoron

"Digiyawn! Digiyawn Monsters! Digimon yawn, fall asleep and eat! (And some not so very pleasent things)"

There is usually a brainchild in a creation, usually from a japanese man who is good at art and thinks of his creation when coming home from work, playing a videogame, surging the internet or jumping around in his bedroom, which often helps many of us come up with ideas. With the exception of Pokémon which did start off as a videogame, most anime coming from Japan lasts from three to sometimes fifteen years, and during that nice amount of time there is abouty fifty videogames based on the japanese creation. This time it is Pokémon and rather then a sparse 3D platform game or racing, Bandai treat us to a nice Role Playing game, the first of currently three Digimon games.

For those unfamiliar with the hit series, it is often about a group of chool children being sucked in to the Digital world where they find monsters which can 'digivolve' to become bigger monsters. Your quest, which should be about getting home in time for school is about a japanese boy (Who is graphically created in outstanding detail), restoring peace to the Digital World. The front cover of the game suggests we can take control of Agumon, Gabumon, Patemon, Palmmon, Gattomon, Birdmon and Tentamon but unfortunatley, we control just Agumon, the orange dinosaur who can digivolve in to many others, these are Greymon, a huge T-Rex, Numemon(!) a green sudge, the ever-so popular Leomon, the unpopular Monochromon, Sea snake Sedramon, villain Devimon and even Whamon! There are many other Digimon you will come across, some you know and some you won't. Which ever way you train your Digimon in terms of speed, power, defence and stamina, the better 'mon you will get. The storyline does not follow true to the first series, instead it has the basic ''get home'' storyline... with one one character instead of the rather large cast.

Now to dish the dirt. The game is a non-linear RPG and inherits many schemes such as Sukioden's recruitment and Pokémon's training. You go around the Digital World in many locations such as woodland, forest, Digicity, Spiral Mountain, Ice world etc fighting various Digimon and thus doing this, releasing them from their spell and recruiting them to do things in your city... kill Palmon and she will plant meat(!) for you everyday, Shellmon will make you a gossip rag. These are some of the finest examples that recruitment will have to offer, whilst some are useless, others are strange and sometimes hilarious.

Sounds good so far, but the game has so many flaws. One of which is annoying mini games, in the snow land you will play bowls, a european based sport which is tricky to win and very annoying once you have to attempt it many times, then other mini games like tapping X all the time to train your Digimon. Aside from mini-games, I found the game too hard in terms of battles, you have to train every so many battles, then there is a chance of getting a Digivolved Digimon you do not want, for example I had a fine Agumon but became a pathetic Numemon, then trained that up to something cool but lost it once again to an idiotic digimon. Also, you spend too much of the games short day span getting back to town and toilets, every three or so minutes your Digimon will act like a tmigotchi, you have to give him or her food and take it all the way down five screens to THE NEAREST TOILET or else it will crap in the beautiful designed world and not go away for awhile, adding a clock and toilet training just took the fun out of a game which had great potential.

You cannot control your Digimon either, well you can but you have to sometimes bash buttons so it can attack harder, you can hardly select attacks as you just watch your 'mon get beaten up. Anyway, the graphics of the game are quite fine, remember how great Final Fantasy VII looked thanks to its fantastic detail in buildings, the same is with Digimon World, everything including the lone FMV is in fantastic graphical detail, one of the best looking Sony Playstation games. On the other hand, sound and music is quite crap, not many Digimon have their quality voices nor does the game have any good music or sound effects except for one or two attack sound bits.

As you can see, Digimon World is no Pokémon Blue, Red or Yellow. We have only one 'mon which we have to treat as a 1997 Virtual pet by exercising it, feeding it and taking it to toilet in the middle of saving the world. Due to these elements, the game does tend to get rather boring, when all you want to do is play the game, recruit Digimon and fight, instead of playing Mummys and Daddys. Another thing, tedius mini games, especially the bowl game which is the worst mini-game to grace the planet Mini Game as it is so tedius and unenjoyable.

There are some marvellous bits though. However, the cons do over-take the pros I am afaid. We have great graphics in this game to make up for the sound and music, the game looks almost better than Final Fantasy VII, now remember the detail in that game? There are many mini games, some of which are good although they are just button bashing. There is also a Day in to Night feature which strolling around during the day suddenly turns in to the evening, and for those of you sensing a pattern, you cannot stay out too long as you have to make it back to have a sleep, as your partner Digimon gets tired after a bit you see.

Digimon World is actually a challenging game, it would take the average gamer around thirty hours or even more to complete the game and do just about everything, but there is a chance of you getting tired of the game some time before hand. I would only get the game if you have a lot of time to kill during the school holidays or something.

Good

- The first Digimon RPG
- Great Graphics
- Relieve Suikoden, Skies of Arcadia and Breath of Fire II with your own create-a-town feature.

Bad

- Far too many flaws
- Only one FMV
- Taking your main character's pet to toilet, not even Shenmue had this gross element.

Summary

Graphics - 10/10
Sound - 3/10
Music - 3/10
Gameplay - 4/10
Challenge - 7/10
Story - 8/10
Enjoyment - 4/10
Lifespan - 6/10
Overall - 5/10

Alternatives: There is two other Digimon World games, both of which are rumored to be much better then this game, there is also Digimon Royal Rumble, a fighting game. You could even try Tamagotichi or one of the many spin-offs, Virtual Pets were great back in the nineties. Then there is Pokémon, which has several games better than Digimon does. I highly recommend Pokémon Blue/Red and Yellow. Or try Catz, Dogz, Oddballz or Babyz if you are in to the parent genre


Reviewer's Score: 5/10 | Originally Posted: 01/12/03, Updated 01/12/03


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