If you grew up during the nineties, then you were all about the rivalry between Pokémon and Digimon. Pocket Monsters versus Digital Monsters and in those days you had to pick a side.
Fast-forward to well, now and you see that Pokémon has put some distance between them and their digital counterparts. However, that doesn’t mean that Digimon was left in the digital dust, as there is a loyal fan base. That fan base has been waiting for the return of the Digimon World franchise and finally got their wish with Digimon World: Next Order. Let’s find out if Next Order is something the Digidestined can write home about!
In Next Order, you play the role of the main character, a Digimon Tamer, who gets sucked into the digital world. Stop me if you’ve heard that one before! However, while in the digital world, you need to find your way back to the real world as well as helping the digital world survive. There are ravenous wild Digimon attacking the digital world and the Digimon need your help for survival. Keep your head up and watch out for Machinedramon!
You have the chance to be the tamer for your favorite Digimon but to get that Digimon; you’ll need to take an SAT prep class. There are so many options to allow your Digimon to evolve the way you want them to and even then they might evolve into something else.
There will be times where you need six different criteria met for your Digimon such as the speed stat or attack stat. You also might need a certain Digimon, current or past, to have been in your party. Meet all the options and you “might” get the evolution you want. I found at times when I thought I knew what Digivolution I was going to get, I was thrown a curveball at the last minute. Study up if you want a certain Digimon.
It’s very easy to train your Digimon partners since you can use the gym inside Flotia. The town of Flotia grows as more Digimon return to the town. You’ll need to gather certain Digimon from all over the Digital World to get Flotia the best it can be. Doing that will also be beneficial to your cause. The better the town becomes, the better you’ll do out in the Digital World. You might get more food if you get certain Digimon back to the town for example.
A killer during training is when your Digimon “dies.” You have put a lot of time into your partners and they’re pretty strong. There is really no warning when they will pass away but they’re reborn in digi-eggs, stronger than before.
It’s just a pain in the ass when they pass away when you have them really strong. On the plus side, both partners don’t pass away at the same time so you can still survive and fight with one of them. It felt like my partners were dying at the most inopportune time for my adventure but if they didn’t, I wouldn’t have been able to train new Digital Monsters!
The combat system is pretty straight forward as you need attack power to attack. The tamer feels like the head cheerleader as you are just advising what attacks to use and healing your team when needed. It felt a little repetitive when your team gets really strong but it wouldn’t be an RPG without repetitive battles. The levels of wild Digimon seemed to go from manageable to why the hell is this guy so strong? The early part of the game doesn’t prepare you for the later parts in terms of battle and survival.
At times, the controls weren’t as tight as they needed to be in battles and during dialogue. There were times where an attack was missed or an item was used when a Digimon didn’t faint and then fainted. If you use the item before hand, your partner shouldn’t take the hit. These don’t make the game unplayable but it would have been better if these things weren’t there.
It’s these reasons that I’m giving Digimon World: Next Order for the PlayStation 4 an 8.5/10. I would like to thank Bandai Namco for the review code.