Jump back into the Digital World with Digimon World: Next Order
Developed by B.B. Studio and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment, Digimon World: Next Order delivers an all-new adventure for fans of the Digital World on PlayStation 4. You’ll take-on the persona of either Takuto or Shiki to explore and traverse the Digital World to solve a digi-mystery and bring an end to the chaos brought by the Machinedramons.
With similar gameplay to previous games in the series, Digimon World: Next Order focuses on forging strong bonds with your Digimon companions. Let’s take a look at Digimon World: Next Order, and see what sets this game apart from others in the series.
Platform: PlayStation 4
Developer: B.B. Studio
Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment
ESRB Rating: E10+ (Everyone 10+)
A Digital World under siege
Digimon World: Next Order’s story follows the same formula as previous games in the series that Digimon World fans will be familiar with—you are sucked into a Digital World trying to find your way back to the real world. However, this time the story is centred around two Japanese high school students, Takuto and Shiki.
Takuto was once a Digimon fanatic in his youth, even becoming a runner-up in a national tournament. Though, as he has grown older his love for Digimon has faded. Both he and Shiki get transported to the Digital World where they discover that it is under attack by Machinedramons. Luckily, you are rescued from impending doom by two Digimon who help you on your journey.
The Digimon World games’ stories were never a selling point of the games, and this holds true for Digimon World: Next Order. However, this is not a bad thing. What Digimon World: Next Order may lack in story, is made up by it’s fun and enticing gameplay.
Two are better than one
Digimon World: Next Order is based around the original Digimon World that was released on the PlayStation. Many found the game to be complex, long, difficult and downright frustrating. But, Digimon World: Next Order focuses on what was good about the PlayStation original and builds upon it.
You’ll start off by being sucked into the Digital World and tasked with stopping it from total destruction. You are given the choice to play as either Takuto or Shiki, the game’s male and female protagonists. You’re also tasked to look for friendly Digimon that have scattered since the Machinedramon started to attack. You must convince them to go back to the city to help rebuild it.
One of the biggest changes to gameplay is in that you are now aided by two Digimon, who you must nurture and train for battles as you progress though the game. Having an extra Digimon makes this game much more enjoyable than previous games—double the moves and double the attacks.
It’s a Digivolution
Unlike the original Digimon World, Digimon World: Next Order doesn’t require countless hours of training for each Digimon so that they wont end up as Numemon—a creature with a slug-liked body with neither offensive power nor intelligence. This time around, each Digimon—depending on their level—have several possible paths to follow when digivolving.
As your Digimon grow, they will bond with you and slowly reveal their Digivolution information. This is a welcomed change, as the original game in the series expected you to work out exactly which combination of stats would give you the desired Digimon. To top it off, certain points of the original game made it extremely difficult to progress without very strong monsters. Thank you Bandai Namco for making this change in Digimon World: Next Order!
With this important change, Digivolution is now one of the most exciting elements of the game. Along with a field guide of collected Digivolution information, it makes it easier to achieve all of the Digivolutions—there are over 200 playable Digimon in the game.
Unlike other monster-training games, the progression in Digimon World: Next Order relies on the strength of the trainer, not the Digimon. As you play, Digimon will “die” and be reborn as an egg, thus starting the entire process of raising them over again. As monster strength is variable in this game, trainer ability is not. Each trainer level comes with points that you can spend on perks such as permanent Digivolution bonuses, and stat boosts.
Get ready to fight!
Digimon World: Next Order uses the same combat system from previous games in the series. However, unlike other Digimon games or role-playing games, you don’t have total control over your Digimon companions during combat. Your Digimon will move automatically and use their abilities. Though, not everything about your Digimon companions are automatic during combat. You can use Order Power to command them to use specific abilities and use items to help them during battle.
Digimon World: Next Order introduces a new EXE—Extra Cross Evolution—ability that is unlocked later in the game. It can be activated using both of your Digimon companion’s Order Power in combat. If compatible, this ability allows your two Digimon companions to digivolve into one super-powerful Digimon that you can use for the rest of the fight. Although combat in Digimon World: Next Order is a lot simpler than previous games, it can at times seem more difficult. However, this new ability makes difficult battles a lot easier.
Bright colourful graphics
Originally released on the PlayStation Vita in Japan, the PlayStation 4 version of Digimon World: Next Order has considerably better visuals. Although the game’s graphical appearance may seem a tad dated to some, I liked its colourful graphics and thought that it accurately captured the Digimon likeness accurately.
Music in the game covers a wide range of genres that compliment the on screen action perfectly. There is some pretty catchy tunes in this game, so don’t say I didn’t warn you when you find yourself humming along. There’s also an English dub, though I still prefer the Japanese voices.
Digimon World: Next Order is deep, smart, and expands upon the original game while remaining true to its roots. The game’s multitude of mechanics and systems give Digimon World: Next Order a depth that might not be obvious on the surface. Fans of the series will appreciate the improvements that this game has over other games in the series.
You’ll never have a shortage of things to do in Digimon World: Next Order. In fact, you’ll have to manage your time in order to do the plethora of activities while taking care of your Digimon at the same time. Long-time fans and newcomers to the series will enjoy this game and appreciate the massive amount of content that it has to offer.
+ Lots of content
+ Deep gameplay
+ More than 200 Digimon to train and digivolve
– Visuals may seem dated to some
– Having two Digimon to manage can be tricky
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4.5/5
Overall Rating 3.9/5 (78%)