Yu-gi-Oh!, Pokemon, Dragon Ball Z, even Metabots , were all great television shows used to sell merchandising to ‘90s kids, but Digimon was my favorite. My room was filled with mini Patamons with flapping wings, transforming Kabuterimons and Ikkakumons , and Digimon World 1 constantly running on my Playstation one. When I read about Digimon World: Next Order, a new game that allowed you to walk around with two different Digimon partners and care for them like I did on Digital Island decades ago, I had the highest hopes. Does Digimon World: Next Order live up to my unnecessarily high expectations?
TL;DR: It’s a long game. I’m 12 hours into Digimon World: Next Order and I’m barely done with chapter one.
Is Digimon World: Next Order A Worthy Successor To Digimon World 1?
Digimon World: Next Order is an open-world RPG where it’s your job to bring back the inhabitants to a city after a Machinedramon attack. To help you on your mission, you’ll have two Digimon partners by your side, who you will help digivolve from a little baby all the way to a massive Mega. The game uses a 24-hour, 7-day-week cycle, where each minute lasts a second. After a day, you get a Rookie, three days for Champions, seven days for Ultimates and 11 days for Megas. After 20 days, your Digimon dies, which is as messed up as it sounds.
Training your Digimon in the gym or battling other digital monsters in the field builds up your stats, allowing you to reach certain criteria for digivolution. Want a specific Digimon, maybe Leomon? Well, you aren’t going to get one on your first generation of Digimon unless you use a very detailed walkthrough. You must find the right baby that goes into the correct Rookie that you then have the right stats for the Champion you want is impossible without help.
Grinding is an important part of Digimon World: Next Order. If you don’t have hours to spam training regiments or farm mobs for stats, you won’t have a lot of fun in this game. Jogging around the different zones, you need to recruit new Digimon, which can feel more like a chore than a joy. When I was a kid, I had all the time in the world to go to a volcano and bring Meramon back whatever he wanted, but now I got shit to do.
Even if you get the stats perfect on your Digimon when the third day comes, you could still miss out on that Leomon by having a miserable, disobedient monster who pooped everywhere. Pooping is an important part of DW: NO – if you don’t have a portable toilet or your partners don’t get to a toilet in time, they poop on the ground and their TF score goes up.
I know pooping was an important part of Digimon World 1 , but Digimon as a franchise has changed a lot since 1999. There are over six anime shows, a couple of movies and hundreds more Digimon added to the roster. There weren’t even Megas in the original Digimon World . In the original DW , you would watch them poop (which was weird) and in DW:NO , a sign with a rocketship that says “BOOM” appears on screen (which is even weirder.)
Training your Digimon, having them die, then having to train stronger Digimon is the only way to progress in this game. 12 hours in, I’m on my second generation of Digimon and just got them to Ultimate form. I’m not sure if I’m just getting older or Digimon World 1 wasn’t as much fun as I remember it being.
Other Problems With Digimon World: Next Order
Combat gets really stale really quickly. Digimon fight on their own, though you can target who to attack and how much MP to use. By cheering them on, you get “Order Points,” which can be spent on attacks for your partners to use. A lot of the time those attacks will miss because your Digimon decided to step back when you told it to use a melee move.
The battle camera sucks. Oftentimes, it will clip under the field so you can’t actually see any fighting. You can turn dynamic camera off, which actually lets you see the fights.
Going back and forth to the Village so your Digimon can rest and don’t have to sleep on the ground can get boring. Eventually, you get a tent, but until then you are either hoping you have an Autopilot in your inventory, or your Digimon are going to be real cranky or weak.
It’s Machine-dra-mon, not Machine-Dray-mon. That kept triggering me so hard.
Playing on Normal, you won’t get any Champion other than a Numemon , unless you know exactly what you are doing. I considered myself a seasoned Digimon fan so I started on Normal and then had to restart the whole game.