Once a Digimon national champion runner-up, now just an everyday Japanese High Schooler dreaming about the future, the nameable protagonist is sucked into the Digital World so that they might rebuild the city of Floatia and bring about peace by defeating the rampaging Machinedramon. And so begins Digimon World Next Order.
Players have the ability to choose the name and gender of the protagonist though both already have names entered
(Takuto, Male and Shiki, Female) in the name fields if no custom name is desired. Unlike previous Digimon World titles, the player receives Two Digi-eggs to begin with and must raise, feed and train Two Digimon partners at the same time. Training Digimon is essential and crucial for proper growth and for Digivolution. Players can either spend time in the local gym playing a simple mini-game training various stats such as Speed or Strength or they can go out into the field and battle with wild Digimon. Food can either be found whilst exploring or there is a Digimon NPC who hands out a certain quantity of Meat for the Digimon to eat from a Meat Farm on a daily basis. Digimon partners will also need to take bathroom breaks periodically during the cycle of the day and players will have 2 in-game hours to find a bathroom. Luckily, Portable Toilets are purchasable once the Vendor has been recruited to town. Resting is also a vital part of a Digimon’s training, partner Digimon will alert players of any status ailments or of what care they need via a little growl and a speech bubble with the icon of what is needed above their head. Failing to find a bathroom, not letting partners rest or not properly feeding partner Digimon will result in a care mistake. Care mistakes influence how and what a Digimon will Digivolve into.
The other half of the game revolves around finding the missing citizens of Floatia and returning them to the city to unlock the services they provide. That could be anything from a Storage Facility to a flying-Type Digimon who offers players a ride to previously visited locations for ease of travel.
Digimon partners will grow from an egg known as a Digitama into an In-training level, all the way to an Ultimate level Digimon depending on the number of battles won and the number of care mistakes the player has totalled. Digimon can also die. Once a Digimon reaches about Twenty days old or they’ve been sick for a long period or injured badly enough from battle, they revert back into their Digitama form and players may choose a new egg to raise. The newly hatched Digimon will inherit a portion of stats it had in its previous life and will subsequently grow stronger with each passing generation.
During battles, players issue commands with the corresponding shoulder button for each partner. Battles mostly take place automatically with item usage or specific actions issued by the player and take place in a Circular arena. During battles, Digimon fire off attacks at each other, use items or defend to receive less damage and the Digimon who still has HP at the end is victorious. If defeated, wild Digimon can drop random items such as food or healing items or even the in-game currency known as bits as well as earn partner Digimon some experience and a few stat boosts.
The graphics in Digimon World Next Order are not on par with today’s Next-gen visuals and different environments aren’t varied enough or are just cliché. There are the typical plains, forest and desert areas near the beginning and for the first 4-5 hours, they are the only places you’ll be able to safely explore. The environments, although bright and colourful, have some rather out-dated looking textures and is especially noticeable when close to rocks or a wall. Load times aren’t a problem, however, the number of loading screens within the game are pretty high and can get frustrating when each area or even entering or exiting a building issues a loading screen. Characters are designed in an anime style and are animated well, though the pace at which the player character moves is painfully slow. It seems to take way longer to traverse a single area then it should. There are also little cube pieces that fall off the player’s back as he or she runs about, which make sense being in the Digital World, although it can get annoying seeing those particle effects falling off constantly.
Related: Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth
The sounds within Digimon World Next Order are a little chirpy and sometimes unnecessary, the noises the Digimon make can actually be a little painful on players’ ears. The music, although not terrible is rather bland and doesn’t seem to fit the scene a lot and on occasion can get irritating.
The translators have done a fairly good job of localising the game. That being said, what little voice acting there is in the game is not enjoyable and if you are a long-time Digimon fan, expect to hear your favourite Digimon with completely different voice actors. Even newcomers may find a few of the voice actors used to be a little hard to handle.
Digimon World Next Order is out now on PlayStation4 and while not a masterpiece, has its charms. If you are in any way a Digimon fan, you will undoubtedly enjoy raising and training Digimon. On the other hand, newcomers may find it hard to accept a few of the game’s concepts and probably won’t stay around for very long.
All images captured by Author.
Varied forms to evolve into
Great game for fans
Slow movement speed