Review by Kimbles45

Reviewed: 01/31/05

I was really hoping to like this game...

Well, gee. Where to start.

This game is a sequel to the Playstation game "Digimon Rumble Arena". Like the previous game, it's a Super Smash Bros. style fighting game, where you control various Digimon from the television series. Unfortunately for fans, this game is bad.

Breakin' it down:

Graphics: 7/10
The graphics in this game are, unfortunately, the best part about it. The Digimon (almost) look like their television counterparts, and the stages and menus are vibrant and colorful. However, the animation for the Digimon themselves seems rather sloppy and awkward, and detracts from the overall feel of the game. The Digimon also seem weirdly shiny, which gives them a sort of plasticky look. This is obviously where they blew the budget for the game, though, so they get an E for effort.

Sound: 3/10
The music in this game is painfully generic. I don't even notice it.
The voices, on the other hand, are spectacularly horrible. Only a handful of the Digimon kept the same voice actors they had in the show, and the voice acting is is rediculously cheesy. Even I, a devout Digimon fan, was embarrased to play this game with the voices on.

This game also includes a very, very annoying announcer who makes enthusiastic comments every few seconds or so. "Awesome! Super! Great! Awesome! Agumon can digivolve! Super!"

The sound avoids a lower score only because the game is considerate enough to let you turn the voices OFF.

Characters: 6/10
The character selection is one of the redeeming features of the game. It includes all the partner Digimon from season 1, as well as Veemon, Guilmon, and a handful of unlockable boss Digimon. All the Digimon besides the bosses can evolve into two higher forms. The downside here is that they almost all play pretty much the same. The boss Digimon also tend to be really cheap, as they only have one, strong form. So, you have a lot of characters to choose from, but not a lot of character variation. Too bad.

They also left out an awful lot of Digimon people would have liked to have seen, like Renamon, Impmon and Terriermon. Instead, they had three clone "Black" Digimon (BlackGuilmon, BlackAgumon, BlackGabumon).

Gameplay: 2/10
And here's where the game really falls on its face. This game is desperately trying to be Smash Bros., and failing miserably. Thanks to the animation and clunky control scheme, the battles are awkward and...well...just not very much fun. The game makes you feel like you're not actually fighting another Digimon, you're just repetitively mashing buttons while pictures jump around on screen.Also, in order to digivolve, you need to pick up shiny blue balls that are knocked out of you or your enemy when you attack them. This means you'll spend half the match fighting and half running around trying to pick these up before the opponant does.

Difficulty level is another issue. On the lower difficulty levels, the game's too easy. On the higher ones, the game's still fairly easy, and the only difficulty is the frustrating sort that comes from a badly made game. The opponants just play more cheaply instead of smarter.
Personally, I was actually bored by the time I was halfway through my first single-player game of this. To sum up the game modes, by the way, you have:

Single player: You drag your way through a series of fights. At the end of each battle, you have a choice between two different opponents, and can pick which one you want to fight next. Once you reach the end, you fight a boss.

Multiplayer: Simple multiplayer action. There's assorted "gimmick matches" you can unlock in single player that allow you to have special matches in multiplayer. These are things like "be the first to use your ultra attack three times" or "be the first to collect ten of this item". They're vaguely interesting, but get old quickly.

And that's it. No, seriously. There is nothing else, at all, to this game.

Stages: 3/10
Stages are another place where this game fails. There's only a handful of different stages, and none of them are related in any way to the show. You have your generic lava stage with rising and falling lava levels. You have your generic jungle-looking level. You have a wild west themed level, which isn't exactly generic, but still has nothing at all to do with Digimon. And you have your generic evil-looking boss level.

The biggest problem with the stages isn't even their generic look or small selection. The problem is that the stages are really, really, REALLY interactive. Pretty much every single part of the level will either break, shake, explode, or make you bounce into the air. Floors move all over the place, and scenery tries to kill you. This sound like a good thing? Well, it's not.

The levels are so hyperactive that they often actually GET IN THE WAY of the battle. You'll find yourself spending half the fight chasing the opponant around, trying to land hits on them while bouncing out of control into the air, avoiding falling scenery, and trying to not fall through the floor when it randomly disappears. It's just one more thing that makes matches more tedious than fun.

Replayability: 1/10
You have no reason to play this game more than once. There are a handful of unlockable characters, but they can all be unlocked in under 2 hours. The only other unlockables are extra multiplayer gimmick matches, but they're hardly worth the pain and trouble of repeatedly playing through single player to unlock. After that, you might as well use it as a drink coaster.

Buy or Rent: Rent if you must.
I spent $50 CAD on this game, and that's $50 of my life I'm never getting back. Don't make the same mistake I did. If you really want to try the game, rent it. If you're a diehard Digimon fan and you have your heart set on buying it, see if you can find it for $20 or less. It's not really even worth that much.

Final score: 3/10. I wanted to like this game, but there's just too much wrong with it.

Rating:   1.5 - Bad

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