Digimon World 3 Review
Now that Sony has declared PlayStation 2 the winner of the console war, it's no surprise that they've finally decided to stop developing games for the PSone. However, there are still a few games being released for the console, including Bandai's latest RPG, Digimon 3: Digimon World.
Digimon 3's story falls somewhere between Pokemon and The Matrix. You can raise, battle and collect Digimon, but only in the digital world. Digimon Online is the name of the world where all the Digimon battling takes place. To play Digimon Online, your character's thoughts and senses are digitized and sent into cyberspace through the Matrix Chamber System. Sound familiar? But wait, there's more. In Digimon, you don't train your monsters, you "tame" them. Everyone you meet in the game, young or old, is obsessed with Digimon Online. The main character is a 12-year-old named Junior. He has two Digimon-loving friends, a boy and a girl, and his dream is to become the best Digimon tamer in the world.
There's no denying the, uh, "similarities" between Pokemon and Digimon, but if you can ignore the story (it isn't that hard, trust me) and concentrate on the gameplay, you'll be surprised and delighted. The kiddy exterior may turn you off, but the gameplay has much more in common with RPGs than Pokemon. Shops and Inns are everywhere; the locals, although shallow, have much more to say than, "I love Digimon!"; and there are a ton of areas (some hidden) to explore. Those are small elements though. Once you have your first battle (about 5-10 minutes after the game begins), Digimon 3's true colors will shine through.
This is a turn-based game, which means that you and your opponent take turns performing actions. Six commands appear in battle -- Fight (standard attack), Technique (use a special technique you've learned), Digivolve (change into a more powerful monster), Tag, Item and Run. All of these are standard RPG commands, except for Digivolve. By digivolving in battle, Digimon can use finishing techniques that they've learned in that form. After receiving enough damage in battle, you'll digivolve automatically (similar in style to the Limit Breakers in some of the Final Fantasy games). Additionally, you can combine two Digimon to perform a DNA Digivolve, which creates a new, more powerful Digimon! The new Digimon will perform a randomly selected technique and then disappear, but you can always combine the Digimon again.
RPG veterans will be able to jump right into Digimon 3 with little hassle, but younger players -- the game's target audience -- will be challenged, though not strongly enough to make them quit. In fact, as a child's first RPG, this is a pretty good choice.
Digimon 3's gameplay is surprisingly good. Don't be fooled by the cuddly monsters on the front of the box, because this is not your average kiddy game.
As the PS2's release drew near, game developers used every graphic technique in the world to make the visuals look as spectacular as possible. Digimon 3's visuals are really dated though. The battle animation is choppy, and the polygon models are no better than those featured in PSone launch titles.
Digimon 3's sound is much more impressive than I expected. The music is not exactly epic, but it is pretty good. I thought I'd have to turn off the speakers while playing this game, but I actually turned them up.
While challenging at times, Digimon 3 is not that hard to beat. As I said before, if you're new to the genre, the game is more challenging. But even then, it isn't that difficult to master.
At twenty bucks, Digimon 3: Digimon World is a great buy for young gamers. Hardcore gamers (young or old) would be wise to ignore the kiddy image and give the game a shot. If you're skeptical, rent it first.
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GameZone Review Detail
Don't be fooled by the cuddly monsters on the front of the box, because this is not your average kiddy game.
Reviewer: Louis Bedigian
Review Date: 07/12/2002