Review by Irenic Apollyon

"Another desperate BANDAI attempt to improve their failing video game industry blunders again."

This one actually turned out a little different. One day, my little brother (seven years old) and I went out to BEST BUY to get another set of CD-Rs for me. Being the nice big brother I am, I also offered to purchase a video game for him. He, of course, chose Digimon World 3.

A group of friends signs up for a virtual reality game where players can use their Digimon to fight and level up. This is the simple introduction to a very simple and predictable game.

The map graphics are wonderful, beautifully detailed and wonderfully animated. The biggest problem I found was the annoying loading picture and the strangest ''fog'' ever. It seems BANDAI decided to make it seem as if this was digital information that had not yet been received by the player and, as you walked closer, it would slowly disappear to reveal the area beneath it. Though clever, BANDAI should probably not have taken this risk. The ''fog'' is annoying and takes up too much room.

During battle sequences, the graphics become significantly worse. Instead of making equally well-animated and beautifully designed fighting sequences they, instead, make the battle scenes in the third-dimension. The graphics are deteriorated and slow, the in-battle magic sequences have very long loading-times and are also much less than impressive.

The sound is okay. When you hit someone in battle it sounds like you hit them with a baseball bat but, other than that, everything sounds pretty authentic. My biggest problem was that there were very few sound effects and they are repeated to the point in which you become sick of them.

The music is the same, average and with very few tracks. Listening to anything one-hundred times in a game will kill your interest for it.

Controls are simple and very quick, at least on the map.

When you're fighting the controls are okay, the response time is slightly extended but other than that there is nothing to criticize. This is classic in-game Japanese RPG controls.

The player starts off with the choice of three different Digimon sets. Each specializing in a certain attribute (STRENGTH, MAGIC and DEFENSE). The individual sets contain three Digimon that fit with the set theme.

The game map is wonderful. Their use of sprites was an excellent choice. It's very rare we find a new game designed in the second-dimension with even fairly decent graphics. The design was also great, with multiple turns that should puzzle but not confuse excruciatingly.

Digimon World 3's battle menu is pretty ugly but it gets the point across. Like all turn-based Japanese RPG battles one must select an action (ATTACK, DEFEND, etc.) and the Digimon will make its move according to this. You can also switch which Digimon you want to battle with in-game. Unfortunately, you can not have more than one Digimon fighting at a time.

A great plus is the Digimon World 3 card game, which is very similar to Yu-Gi-Oh card (if you've ever played them). It's simple to learn and extremely addictive.

In its entirety, I'd have to recommend a fan of Digimon to simply rent this game first and make their final decision of purchase after this. Others who hate or are indifferent to the cartoon show should probably not even consider renting it.

[GRAPHICS] = 08/10
[SOUND ] = 07/10
[CONTROLS] = 08/10
[DESIGN ] = 08/10+
[TOTAL ] = 31/40

Reviewer's Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Originally Posted: 12/28/02, Updated 12/28/02

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