Review: Digimon World Re:Digitize (Retro)

Digimon World Re:Digitize: Member Review

Retro 2,873 views 0 likes 0 comments
Reviewed by Dominik Dudek, posted Jul 13, 2015
Jul 13, 2015
  • Release Date (JP): July 19, 2012
  • Publisher: Bandai Namco Games
  • Developer: Tri-Crescendo
  • Genres: Virtual Pet RPG
  • ESRB Rating: Everyone
  • PEGI Rating: Seven years and older
  • Also For: Nintendo 3DS
  • Single player
    Local Multiplayer
    Online Multiplayer
    Co-operative
Digimon World was perhaps the most freshest and most original entry in the Digimon game series. Unique character progression, focus on world exprolarion, heavy hitting consequences, the game had all of that. With Re:Digitize, fans are getting the sequel they deserved 15 years ago.
Dominik Dudek
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Introduction

I love the original Digimon World. It introduced me to the Digimon franchise and made me think of games as art. The game was just so unlike any other game I played at the time.
In other games the objectives were always clear, you had a clear progression path, mistakes didn't had any big consequences, world exploration wasn't as much of a huge thing as it nowadays is, with more and more open world games showing up on the surface.
This game was truly ahead of it's time and extremely ambitious. It's easy to comprehend why though, they had to compete with Pokemon, a booming franchise, and going the cheap clone route wouldn't do any good. Bandai created a game that was everything that Pokemon wasn't and on paper the concept they came up with was brilliant. I say on paper because while the game had truly game design that was ahead of it's time it was also unplayable without a strategy guide or a huge amount of patience. It was also cluttered with bugs and glitches causing the German version, the one I had, to be almost unbeatable, making this game objectively mediocre. It also didn't help that in the West Bandai used lots of misleading marketing but I'm sidetracking a bit.
Digimon World Re: Digitize is a part of the Digimon 15th anniversary project and a return to the original concept of Digimon World. But is it a return to glory for the Digimon Games? Grab your goggles, Tamers, because we are digitizing into the Digital World yet again to find it out!.

Before I start though I want to really thank the fan translation team for doing a fantastic job at translating this game.
I really appreciate it. This review wouldn't be possible without you guys.

Story

Digimon World Re: Digitize is a direct sequel to the original Digimon World on the Playstation One. In the Real World, 13 years have passed since the events of Digimon World but in the Digiworld centuries have passed, since time flows faster there.
The GIGO company found out how to use and control the Digiworld's data so they took Mt. Infinity from the previous game and turned it into the Digi Tower where their online game, Digital Monster, takes place.
One day you, Taiga the 3rd highest rated tamer, your friend, Nikola Petrov the 4th highest rated tamer, and Akiho, also known as Nyako Tamer and currently the highest rated Tamer, receive a invitation for a special event in Digital Monster. Once Taiga figures out the secret phrase "Re: Digitize" all three get sucked into the Digiworld and end up on File Island where they are welcomed by their own Digimon, which they raised in Digital Monster.

They all group up at Jijimon's house who informs them that the Memorial Stella is broken for some reason which leads to Digimon leaving File City and become violent. It's now up to you to fix the Memorial Stella's and return File City to it's former glory.
On your Journey you meet Yuuya a mysterious Boy who claims to be the chosen one. He helps you on your quests but keeps talking trash about you and your friends. You also discover Vitium a mysterious life form that can teleport through distortions. You eventually find out that Vitium is the cause of the trouble happening on File Island and must be defeated. However things get complicated once you find out that Professor Petrov, Niko's Father who went missing, is supposedly possessed by Vitium. Unsure of what to do next our heroes decide to keep fixing the Memorial Stella's and maybe stumbling upon a clue...

The story is far more complex than in the previous installment. In fact the previous game almost didn't had a story at all since the main objective was to convince Digimon to return to File City. Now it feels more like a side objective which I really appreciate since, unlike Digimon World, I always have a clear objective on my radar and still know that there is plenty things to do other than following the story. However there is this weird pacing issue where in one moment you are in the middle of the action then your Digimon dies then you have to spend a half ingame month to train a new Digimon to get back into the action and it even breaks the immersion since well the other tamers apparently stood there for 15 days doing absolutely nothing.
This issue is called ludonarrative dissonance and quite many games suffer from it but not as much as this one.
I also liked the small details that weren't present in the anime like Tamers giving their Digimon nicknames like Niko did with Gaomon, naming him Sashenka or Sasha for short (He is Russian btw). It's a nice touch.
All in all the Story isn't as great as in Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth but it's more than enough to do the job right. In the 3DS port there are 2 extra campaigns but they're unfortunately not in the PSP version of the game.
What I didn't like though was that one Story fight that you had to loose. this is awful. The whole game is build around you trying not to loose at any cost and yet they throw in a fight where you have to loose? I had to load up a old save file and do the fight again because if lost all my healing items on that one. This really sucks.

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I really like how they give their Digimon Nicknames, just like you.

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Gameplay

The gameplay is almost the exact same as in Digimon World with many improvements here and there.
You have one single Digimon that you have to train and take care of like a Tamagochi, which is very unlike Pokemon. The biggest problems with Tamagochis was that you didn't really had anything to do anything with them. Digimon World and Re: Digitize get rid of this problem by adding real time battles.
In these battles your Digimon can move freely making positioning and crowd control attacks very important. As a Tamer you are given a few commands to control you Digimon in battle. However if your Digimon doesn't have enough intelligence you won't be able to use these commands. Since the battles happen in real time and items have a travel time from you to the Digimon something simple as using items even feels tense. And since the battle system is in real time, unlike Pokemon, using stat boosting items doesn't waste your turn meaning that they are much more useful than in games like Pokemon, where I just sell them for extra cash.
They also improved the finisher Move and if your Digimon's finisher move would be too weak you can always use the Digimon Memory instead, which is also a new addition that is required for DNA Digivolution.
Overall the Battlesystem is more rewarding and allows the player to use their own strategies to win battles making you feel like a Pro Tamer, unlike Pokemon where you need self imposed challenges for that.

To train your Digimon you need to visit the Gym. And you'll be visiting this place a lot. The gym has all tools necessary to increase stats of your Digimon.
Here is also the biggest improvement in the game from the original. The intermediate Training requires you the player to participate in minigames go get more out of your training sessions. In the previous game you had to do one armed bandit type mini game, which sucked, but now you get different minigames depending on the stat which you're raising, making reaching high stats much more easier and rewarding at the same time. Not only that but they added advanced training which gives a huge boost to stats but is very difficult to perform.
Once certain stats are reached your Digimon digivolves into a stronger Digimon, increasing its lifespan and further boosting its stats.
However some Digimon need extra requirements like War Greymon, where you need to defeat Tai from Digimon Adventure in the Colosseum first.

As time passes your Digimon occasionally becomes hungry and needs to visit the toilet. Meat is given out for free on the meat farm however since your Digimon digivolves into bigger and stronger Digimon its stomach also grows. The free rations won't cut it after a few days.
This is where the town rebuilding mechanic comes into play. As you move on, on your journey, you meet Digimon who open new shops in the town or expand existing ones. In the original almost every Digimon expanded the town in one way or another. Unfortunately the same can't be told about Re: Digitize. Most Digimon don't do anything which is kinda a bummer but almost each of them sends you a mail with a useful item.
Speaking of the mail system, this is your "questlist". Other Tamers and Digimon occasionally send you E-Mail reminding you where you should go next, in case you forgot, or they simply thank you for convincing them to return to the city.
It's a great addition as you can easily look up where to go next without having to search on the internet for guides on how to get through the game and especially useful if you forgot after a long training session or didn't pick up the game in few days.

However this does not mean that you can beat the game without using a guide. In fact you require a guide here more than in the original as far as digivolving your Digimon goes.
To evolve your Digimon you need to meet certain stats and starting with the Champion level these stats get very specific. It wouldn't be as bad if the stats needed would make sense.
It also doesn't help that there aren't that many playable Digimon to begin with, causing your Digimon to often not meeting any requirements at all.
If your Digimon doesn't reach the Mega Level the lifespan of your Digimon is going to be incredibly small.
And if your Digimon doesn't reach at least the Ultimate level you won't be able to achieve anything in the game.
This game has a serious pacing issue. It wasn't as bad in the original Digimon world because there you didn't had the Mega level so the lifespan of the mega level was added to the Champion and Ultimate level Digimon, making those feel like they lived longer. In the past game simply having a Ultimate Level Digimon was more than enough to beat the game but in this game you need at least a Mega for the last fights and one with almost maxed out stats.
On the one hand playing without the guide has this mystery of what your Digimon Digivolves to. On the other hand playing without a guide can be extremely frustrating as your champion/ultimate level Digimon won't be strong enough to proceed in the game. This is a serious problem and was probably fixed in the 3DS port of this game, with more Digimon and revamped evolution tables and requirements.
It also doesn't help that learning new moves isn't a easy task and is unfortunately bound to RNG. I don't know if they fixed this in the 3DS port but a simple change could help it: include a shop selling techniques.

But enough ranting about that. If you don't feel like training your Digimon you can always check out the Colosseum where you can load up a copy of your old Digimon (If you saved it before it died) and battle with them against other Tamers from the real world, who are just playing the online game. And the addition of other Tamers in this game is awesome. Suddenly you have enemies who also have access to items, making fights much more exiting, you have tag battles, Tamerless battles and even boss battles, where up to 4 tamers join forces against one really strong Digimon. The best part about it: You can also do these types of battle in the local multiplayer, having an additional 4 player battle royale mode. Unfortunately for the sake of this review I couldn't find a way to play with anybody but I can imagine the multiplayer kicking tons of ass.

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All things die eventually...

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Presentation

The presentation is pretty good for a PSP game.
The game runs on consistent 30 frames per second and looks fantastic for what the limited PSP hardware could do.
There were a few textures that didn't looked good. And toying with the camera revealed that the Character models are floating a little above the ground. The character models themselves don't look that good. The majority of character models and animation were recycled for Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth however they were greatly improved there. However, unlike Cyber Sleuth's, these were made completely from scratch and I don't thing the PSP could've handled better ones anyway.
What's also great are the load times. They are almost non existent. You'll never see a Loadscreen for longer than 3 seconds.

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Welcome to the Gym, where you spend 2/3rd of your Digimon's life

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Final Toughs

Unfortunately despite all that improvements I did not felt the same while playing this game as I did with the original Digimon World.
Don't get me wrong this is a far superior game but it kinda lost it's charm by getting rid of counter intuitive design choices. Maybe that's just me though.
I did have a lot of fun in my 21 Hour play though and there is still tons of replay value.
You can finish rebuilding File City, finish all the fights in the Colosseum, collect all collectible Cards, which you can also trade with your friends, fill you evolution chart with all obtainable Digimon or simply play local multiplayer with friends and have fun.
Verdict
Pros
+ - Great V-Pet/Tamagochi gameplay
+ - Good looking game
+ - Short yet interesting story
+ - Great Multiplayer
Cons
- - Obtaining new moves is still a pain in the ass
- - Digimon lifespan feels too short
- - Some evolution Charts don't make sense / have stupid requirements
8 Presentation
7 Gameplay
7.2
out of 10
Overall (not an average)
Overall this game takes everything from the original Digimon World and drastically enhances it. From Story, Progression, multiplayer to Colosseum almost everything is enhanced and more polished. Some parts aren't as improved as they needed to be but that was most probably fixed with the enhanced 3DS port.
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