Digimon World: Next Order is the latest Digimon game exclusive to the PS4, where you will take a journey through the Digital World to train hard becoming a master tamer and battling enemies with your two partner Digimon, all while discovering helpful friends along the way!
Game Name: Digimon World: Next Order
Platform: PlayStation 4
Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment
Developer: B. B Studio
Release Date: January 27, 2017
As a newbie to the Digimon lore I had only the faintest memories of friends with trading cards in school along with a younger cousin who is a fan of the tv series. My first formal introduction to the world of Digimon was through the game, Digimon World: Next Order. Before this, I wouldn’t know what to think if I were asked what a GaoMon was, but now, I’m confident I could pass a basic Digimon quiz!
This game, exclusive to the PlayStation console, involves a very dynamic way of playing, one that requires much attention and patience. Your choices and actions made towards your Digimon will ultimately determine their progress, and your Digimon’s progress will determine which enemies can be easily defeated throughout the game. Knowing this, it is best to strategically avoid certain areas until your partners are properly leveled up.
Digimon World: Next Order opens with a brief tutorial after you have chosen whether you will play as male, Takuto or female, Shiki. It’s at this point that you will have the chance to change the name of your character, so feel free to add your own to personalize your Digimon World journey! After seven years, you fall back into the Digital World where you meet with two mega digimon, who you learn are your partners, seeking your help. This is where players will begin to learn the controls to command and support their partners in a battle against a Machinedramon, one of many you will have to face in the game.
This training battle is used to get players acclimated with the system since battles will be a major portion of your Digmon World experience. As the tamer, you support your partners after making good hits and dodges, the order points earned through support are then used to give your partner an order, dictating their next move. You will notice through this tutorial that Digimon is a tactics based game featuring a unique system used to give orders to your partners. This means that you will serve more as the coach rather than a player during the game.
The tutorial wraps up and you enter Floatia, the city used as your home base, where you’ll have the chance to choose two new DigiEggs from the wise Jijimon. On top of Jijimon, there are plenty of friendly Digimon in the city and throughout the Digital World that provide you with tips and goods for your inventory. Each day you can collect food, medicine, and other valuable items from Digimon and resources around Floatia, especially once it expands, so it is important to speak with them for assistance with gaining supplies.
Did you think that this game would raise your Digimon for you? No way! Now that you have two baby Digimon, it’s time to raise them. Most of your time spent in the game will be tending to the needs of your Digimon to ensure that they live a long, healthy life and after a few geenerations eventually digivolve into mega Digimon. This includes, but is not limited to, feeding your Digimon, sending them to sleep, sending them to the restroom (I’m not joking), and healing any injuries.
You are responsible for your new partner Digimon so be sure to treat them as you would any other pet. Ignoring simple needs for your partners can result in them passing well before they should. It is common to go through several DigiEggs as your partners are reborn into new Digimon, however, you don’t want them to die over silly mistakes. It was frustrating having to start back at a baby Digimon, after spending so much time evolving them. Fortunately, your previous Digimon’s stats are transferred to your the new DigiEgg so it will be easier for your partners to evolve afterwards.
I will admit that the virtual pet aspect of the game threw me off a bit and is certainly something to get used to. It is hard to ignore your partner in need with the symbol above their heads indicating that they need food, not to mention their loud cries along with it. Fortunately, this can be adjusted in the SFX menu. Though it’s sometimes fun to hear the chattering of your partners as they converse with one another, turning this down a bit allowed me to focus more on the games soothing soundtrack while I traversed the Digimon World. After a series of lengthy battles, I did, however, notice that the exciting gameplay became uncomfortably quiet and adjusted it to a sweet spot.
Overall, the heavy emphasis on caretaking in this game was annoying at first, but eventually, I found these duties to become second nature as I grew closer to and formed new bonds with my Digimon through their digivolutions.
Training is another major portion of this game and is used to improve your partner Digimon’s performance in battle. This can be done at the gym and the system used to do so is very easy and fun. Simply choose which area you would like to focus on for each Digimon whether that be stamina, speed, HP, or wisdom. Every session will end in a bonus where you’ll have a chance at earning more points towards each of your partner’s stats. The bonuses received are all dependent on a number of factors. For example, you could receive more bonuses by simply feeding partners a piece of fruit before training or even placing your partners into certain areas of focus. It is here and in battles that your partners will gain the most stats throughout the game.
In Digimon World: Next Order, your job as Digimon tamer is to build up your partner Digimon to help defeat the Machinedramons and other enemies throughout the Digimon World. Along with this, you will be recruiting Digimon to assist with the rebuilding of Floatia. With so many things to keep track of Digivice to manage everything going on throughout the game. Use the Digivice to view the map, read digimail, view unlocked digivolution requirements and most importantly, use this to access your tamer skills. Here you can upgrade skills that affect your abilities as a tamer which are divided into basic, trainer, survivor, and commander systems. No matter which areas you decide to unlock first, you will surely notice the improvements in training, during battle, and throughout your adventure.
Strategically giving your partner Digimon their next order will help them to defeat their opponents and is most effective depending on the bonds built between the tamer and their partners. Keep in mind that the farther you go along throughout the Digimon World, the stronger your enemies will be. It is fun to smash opponents that are lower leveled but I quickly realized how important it is to train before approaching certain opponents. The battles in the game can range from mild and boring to challenging and exciting, all of them are fun nonetheless.
The more challenging battles will definitely test your abilities as a tamer and that time spent in the gym with your Digimon. The graphics in Digimon World: Next Order are similar to that in the previous installment, Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth where you can expect the same design features for characters and Digimon filled in with its bright colors. Fun animations and effects appear on-screen when Digimon perform attacks and special abilities, not to mention the pumped up cutscenes where you witness your Digimon evolve and the ones seen during boss fights.
As a beginner to the Digimon series and lore, I had a great time becoming acclimated with the many characters and Digimon. With Digimon World: Next Order being my first taste of the series, my original perception of the game changed as I put more time into it. Getting through the first of four chapters gave me the proper foundation needed to get through the rest of the game and the many side quests forced me to learn Digimon names as I would run errands for them in hopes of recruiting them for my city.
After playing Digimon World: Next Order on the PS4, I had a real itch to want to play it when I was away from home, just like many RPGs. That said, I’m interested in getting an older Digimon game for my portable system. This way I can battle Digimon on the go while I’m away from home with free time. Now that I think about it, I am glad that this is where I started, I feel that going through each stage of my partner Digimon’s digivolutions and taking part in the immense training and discipline that comes with raising a strong Digimon, I will appreciate the next Digimon game I pick up that much more.
*Digimon World: Next Order was provided to us by Bandai Namco Entertainment for review purposes. For more information on how we review video games and other media/technology, please go review our Review Guideline/Scoring Policy for more info.
*Some photos used from Bandai Namco‘s official website.
Digimon World: Next Order is a game that fulfills every Digimon fans needs and is also a fun introduction for newcomers in gaining a deeper understanding of different Digimon throughout the Digital World. Though this game is a bit slow-paced, and becoming used to the combat system will take time, witnessing the progress made in both your tamer and partner Digimon before your eyes will make the tedious grind worth it. Many may not enjoy the of the virtual pet duties featured in the game, but if they are able to get past this, they will certainly enjoy the refreshing tactical game style requiring the player to support and give orders outside the ring rather than partaking in the battles inside of it.