After a release in Japan in March 2016 on PlayStation Vita, it is finally the turn for the Western world to get their newest monster adventure with Digimon World: Next Order now on PlayStation 4. A game that will delight the fans within the first hours… or not.
At the beginning of the Digimon World: Next Order adventure, after having chosen the difficulty settings according to your knowledge of the Digimon world, the title gives you the chance to play as either a girl or a boy. After all this preparation, Digimon World Next Order does not drag things out and plunges you right into the heat of the moment, tossed against your will in a digital world where monstrous creature appears in front of you. That’s when two mega Digimons, MetalGarurumon and WarGreymon, two icons of the series, stand by your side the enemy.
Digimon World: Next Order battling system is a basic one of turn based order and action. Your Digimon fight automatically and you will issue “strategic”. Like the previous Digimon World, Re:Digitize, and Decode, you will only have a few seconds to launch your order from an action roulette otherwise you will have to wait a short time before you can run it again. Each action needs influence to be executed, based on their level, and some will ask for . There are also times for support when, for example, your Digimon has just succeeded in an attack and will want praise, or has just been injured. This action is however subject to a cooldown of a few seconds, and can not be abused as you please, just like the attacks of your creatures.
If you have amassed enough influence, it will be possible from time to time to unleash an ultimate attack. Activated by a cinematic (or what appeals to be one), your opponent will obviously heavy damage, and your influence level will be consumed. Succeeding in battle basically helps develop the bond between you and your chosen Digimon, and that is the base of the game.
Story wise, you will return to the small village of Floatia, in the world of Digimon, where Jijmon explains that the Digital World is currently under the threat of Machinedramons and that you are here to help with your trusty allies. That’s when Jijimon will propose to you to use two Digitama to resuscitate them in a form of your choise, and which will thus symbolize your starting Digimon for this new adventure. There’s not more than 10 starters for Digimon World: Next Order, which is really not bad considering the previous episodes.
Floatia will be your starting HQ, where you will find everything you need to take care of your Digimon, in a perfect 1990s Tamagochi style caring style. You will find meat-growing fields, toilets, a training room and even beds to let them rest, because otherwise they will get sick and can die (yes Digimons are a bit more hardcore than Pokemons in some sense). The workouts are simple and rely on spinning a wheel in hope that the NRG will grant you bonuses for a chosen stat, and the rest of the caring mechanics is pretty straightforward. During your adventure, you can also have Digimon encountered to settle in the village, build “accommodations” for them and thus contribute to the good health of the whole Digimon realm.
All these exercises and combats will undoubtedly lead to a constant and varied increase in your Digimon partner statistics. These will be a crucial factor in the evolution of your allies, and each one is performed only if your Digimon meets the standards. So you train your companions rigorously to try to reach the ultimate form you would like.
But the Digimon are not the only ones to evolve, since your own skills as a trainer can be improved as the fighting progresses. The skills of a trainer (or Tamer) are divided into 4 groups, namely Basic, Coach, Survivor and Commander. And this is how you can progress in the history of Digimon World: Next Order to expand your village, get more and more powerful creatures and confront others that will be just as much.
Note however that the game is not an open-world like you would think, but rather a succession of zones with different climate. It goes without saying that the further away you go from your host village, the more powerful the Digimon will be. It will therefore be necessary to manage both your training and of course the wellbeing of your partners so that they are always able to fight in the best conditions.
In Digimon World: Next Order, we feel sadly the same “farming” sensations of raising Digimon. Managing the inventory, mood and statistics of creatures makes the game quite complex, especially as the menus and gameplay will require some time for the players to adapt as they were fit for a PlayStation Vita to start.
The game is nevertheless very complete, since a large list of Digimon and their evolutions are available and thus provide the player a real challenge to reach the desired final form of each critter. We regret however the poverty of the texture and an aliasing a little too present, as Digimon World: Next Order does not really correspond to the standards of graphics that can be offered on a PlayStation 4. In short, the game respects the universe of franchise with brilliance, offers a growing difficulty and a constant challenge, and seems to be supported by upcoming free downloadable content.
Digimon World: Next Order was reviewed using a PlayStation 4 digital code of the game provided by Bandai Namco. The original game was released on PlayStation Vita in Japan back in March 2016. We don’t discuss review scores with publishers or developers prior to the review being published
• Rich and complex breeding mechanics
• A strategic combats
• The RPG side is well done
• Sidequest galore
• An evolution system not based on power levels
• Could be considered a PS3 game when it comes to its engine
• A simple storyline
• A game a bit rigid overall