You know, I didn’t realise how out of my comfort zone I was going to be with Digimon World Next Order. Before this, I had never played any kind of Digimon game before. I’ve always been a Pokémon nerd. I even have a Psyduck tattoo. I have vague memories of seeing Digimon on TV at one point when I was small, and seeing Agumon. But beyond that? This was a totally blank slate for me. And friends, I definitely have some thoughts.
What is Digimon World Next Order?
Digimon World Next Order is the sixth instalment of the World franchise. It’s an adventure RPG, and originally came out on the PlayStation Vita in March of 2016 in Japan. It landed on PS4 in 2017 and has arrived on PC and Nintendo Switch in the last few weeks. The game is set in an open world, with a third-person perspective.
Machinedramon are running rampant throughout the Digimon World, and you have been pulled into the digital world to help out. However, it’s not just battling these powerful Digimon that you have to worry about. Floatia town also needs rebuilding. This involves finding friendly Digimon around the world, and completing tasks for them to return to the town. These range from gathering a certain food type to having battles, and all sorts of things in between. For the first time ever also, you get to play with TWO companions, instead of the standard one.
Poké-Girl in a Digimon World
There were a lot of adjustments for me when it came to Digimon World Next Order. In some ways, it’s similar to other games I’ve played. I am a fan of open-world RPGs. However, in a lot of ways, it’s completely different. Taking care of the needs of your Digimon is almost reminiscent of the Nintendo DS Nintendogs series- feed them, train them, clean up after them. Although, I don’t think I’ve encountered anything that needed the bathroom as often as a Digimon. However, all your attention and care adds up, and impacts how your Digimon will evolve or digivolve, in this case (still not used to that word).
Something that hasn’t totally clicked for me is names. They won’t stick in my brain, no matter how hard I try. Past Snow Agumon and Black Agumon, I cannot for the life of me remember what other Digimon I had. I did get very attached to those too, though. Until they digivolved into ridiculously ugly creatures. That sounds awful, I know, but so were the designs of what I got landed with. I’m a simple woman, I like cute things. And I am very much used to cuter designs. My friends, whatever the heck these were, they were not cute. At that moment, all I wanted was to be back with my Psyduck, Turtwig and Growlithe.
The battles were also super different for me. Turn-based combat definitely isn’t my favourite, but this particular style took me a while to wrap my head around. Once the mechanics of supporting and essentially letting my Digimon do their own thing until a big move was needed clicked in my head, combat was fun. A lot more fun than it felt when I went in blind. Unfortunately, that’s where things stopped clicking for me.
Next Order or Next Game?
I must preface this by saying Digimon World Next Order is not a bad game. It just isn’t the game for me. Let me explain. Something that put me off early on was the design of a chunk of the Digimon themselves. For every one that I liked, there were 2 more I didn’t like. The world design is fine. Nothing really new or unique for an open world. The colour schemes are pretty, and easy on the eyes. But to be completely honest, I didn’t like the characters or the story. I got bored of the story fast, and none of the characters were engaging to me at all. After the first couple of hours, playing became more like a chore for me. I was starting to get completely burnt out with gaming in general. In the end, I had to give up. I played this game A LOT. But I just could not bring myself to keep going with a story that bored me to tears and made me want to not game at all. It was just a complete and utter slog.
All that said, that is just my own personal experience with Digimon World Next Order. I think people already familiar with the franchise and the Digimon World series, in general, would get along quite well with this game. Maybe down the line, I’ll try this one again. Or maybe I’ll try a different game from the overall franchise. Sadly, this one was just not it for me.
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