Digimon World: Next Order Review
With a franchise series like Digimon, there has always been a feverish fan base that loved the series and scoffed in the face of Pokémon. Well all these years later we know which series ended up on top. But despite all that Digimon games do still occasionally come out.
Digimon World: Next Order is a port of a game that originated on Vita, then made its way to PS4 stateside and now reaches a new audience with a release on Steam and the Nintendo Switch.
Now, I have never been a Digimon person myself, but I have always been aware of the popularity it did have as well as some of the Digimon themselves were familiar to me on site. So how does this game hold up on modern systems releasing only a few months after Pokémon Scarlet and Violet.
Digimon in its simplest form really is a lot like a Pokémon game, with the added chore of a Tamagotchi. You have to train your Digimon to get better, evolve into many forms for maximum power and well…. make sure they rest, eat, and poop. I wasn’t kidding about the Tamagotchi part.
You can over course level up your Digimon via battles to increase its XP, but sadly the best way and easiest way is utilizing the gym. You can boost the stats you want with some bonuses via a button press mini game for extra benefits. Then you will have to rest, feed, and have them poop to recover. Unfortunately, this too is a slog, and you have to do it A LOT more than you should have to in order to stand a chance in most battles.
The Digimon themselves are pretty cool with most of them having a unique design and characteristics. From the start you pick two Digimon to use from a selection of ten different ones. In total in this game there are 232 different Digimon to evolve and choose from.
You have to be careful though because unlike Pokémon that can just be healed, if your Digimon fall in combat…the revert back to an egg losing all their evolutions and most of their XP and training is out the window, forcing you to start all over again. Pair that about with the constant need to grind…you can see how easy it is for this game to become extremely frustrating.
The design of the game holds up pretty well for its age. Thankfully its cartoony style does help with that a bit, it looks a little dated but honestly runs great on the Nintendo Switch.
Most of the areas are a pseudo-open world format just like Pokémon, head to the wrong area and your Digimon will fall extremely quick. The story is fine overall, which is the same I have said for most Pokémon games, it’s nothing to call home about but gives you enough info for motivation to continue.
The soundtrack however is the highlight of the game ironically, with some amazing music that I even would just stream while working over the last week.
Ultimately the nail in the coffin for me on this game is, it’s just not fun. I’m often confused as to where to go, what to do, and how to do it. Bundle that in with the constant grind, training and the death penalty makes it more of a chore than an enjoyable experience.
However if you are a Digimon fan, this is all familiar territory for you, so you might still enjoy it. I would also suggest some therapy because someone clearly hurt you and you should work that out.