Digimon fans rejoice, as it looks like Bandai Namco is planning to release several new Digimon video game titles in the near future, starting with respective Nintendo Switch and PC ports for Digimon World: Next Order.
The most recent entry in the long-term Digimon World series – whose first release hit the original PlayStation in 1999 – Digimon World: Next Order puts players in the role of their choice of two protagonists, Yakuto and Shiki (the male and female versions of the main character, respectively), as they find themselves transported along with their unchosen counterpart to the Digital World.
Although they began to fall from caring about the entire world of Digimon as they got older, upon their arrival in the alternate dimension, the two are met by their former partners.
However, that reunion is soon disrupted by the ongoing pandemic of random Digimon spontaneously turning into mindless, destructive Machinedramons, whose effects directly destroy the Digital World.
RPG system mixed with sim mechanics, Digimon World: Next Order gameplay takes heavy inspiration from the original virtual pet toys and tasks players with taking care of their own Digimon by feeding them, interacting with them and even cleaning up their “trash”.
Of course, also like the original toys, the core of its draw is its combat, which sees your Digimon go up against various opponents in an active-strategic battle system ala. Final Fantasy XII – the results of which can go so far as to affect your partner’s Digivolutions.
Originally released as a single Digimon World: Next Order for the PlayStation Vita in 2016, the next ports of the game will be based on the updated of the game. Digimon World: Next Order International Edition, which hit the PlayStation 4 in 2017.
This edition had a number of changes and new features, including the introduction of “Starter mode”, the implementation of a running mechanic, and the addition of several new Digimon.
On its 2017 release, Digimon World: Next Order International Edition was met with a mixed response.
The game’s review scores eventually settled at a 68 average on review aggregator Metacritic, with many of the criticisms against it focusing on the quality of the port from PlayStation Vita to PlayStation 4.
Some reviewers, such as Alisa McAloon of Destructoid, felt that the graphics of the game did not take advantage of the hardware of the home console.
Other reviews found issue with the gameplay, calling it “mindlessly messy” and “messy on almost every level imaginable”.
At the time, Digimon had seen over a decade of its video game titles being held as Japanese exclusives, and so many fans found it a breath of fresh air just to be able to get their hands on another officially localized title.
Even if Digimon World: Next Order later it was overshadowed by the more successful and popular one Digimon: Cyber Detective, the game has undoubtedly developed its own venerable cult following.
Fortunately, the years of “Digimon Drought” are over – and it couldn’t have come at a better time, because alongside the announcement of the aforementioned ports, Bandai Namco Digimon game producer Kazumasa Jabu also revealed that there are currently “multiple”. Digimon game projects in the pipeline.”
At the time of writing, it is not known what form these new Digimon games might take.
That said, one of the fascinating things about the Digimon games is that Bandai Namco loves to experiment with them.
Some games, like Digimon Cyber Sleuth and Digimon World, there are RPGs and pet simulators. However, the franchise also contains such entries as Digimon Survive, a visual novel that borders on horror and was developed for a more mature audience.
Suffice it to say, whatever Bandai Namco chooses to go with, it will at least be interesting.
Digimon World: Next Order International Edition on Nintendo Switch and PC on February 22, 2023.