Digimon Survive | Review – A must for all fans

The life of Digimon in the videogame field it has never been easy. First, there was the comparison with Pokémon, the rival series (real or supposed to be) destined to record unimaginable successes for digital monsters.

Digimon survives

Platform: PC, PS4, SWITCH, XONE Genre: Graphic-Adventure, RPG Release Date: July 29, 2022 Developer: Hyde Distributor: Bandai Namco Entertainment

Alongside this, however, or perhaps because of this, there was also another problem: a strong lack of identity. Over the years, in fact, Digimon has sought success in different genres: classic RPGs, dungeon crawlers, fighting games, card games, racing games, management and more.

Recently, the road seemed to be marked, thanks to the good results (both from public and critics) recorded by the two Digimon Story Cyber ​​Sleuth and Digimon World Next Order, which despite two different addresses seemed to have managed to find a niche for the future. by Digimon.

Surprisingly, Bandai Namco has decided to change the cards again with the new one Digimon survivesreleased on July 29. The game, whose development was entrusted to Hyderepresents a novelty for the Digimon world, at least for us Westerners. It is in fact a visual novel with tactical RPG elementswhich takes strong inspiration from titles such as Summon Night and Utawarerumono.

We have tested the game for you and are ready to give you our verdict on this experiment.

Between Digimon Adventure, Digimon Tamers and something completely new

The story of Digimon Survive starts with our protagonist, Takuma Momozuka, who is traveling with his class during the spring break, to complete some extracurricular activities related to the study of ancient places.

What could be an occasion for fun for Takuma and his friends soon becomes the beginning of a memorable adventure. While exploring a mysterious local temple, dedicated to the legendary Kemonogami, the group of boys find themselves teleported to another worldwhere he will make their first encounter with the Digimon.

Takuma, in particular, will come face to face with Koromon, who acts as if he has been waiting for him for a long time, even knowing his name.
If you are veteran of the series, you will realize that the incipit of the story is very similar to that of the first Digimon Adventure; even in that case the boys were on a trip and were transported to the digital world, and in the same way Tai met Koromon himself, who told him to be waiting for him.

The great animations make the game feel like a new season of the anime.

After the incipit, however, the similarities with Adventure diminish, or rather mix with those derived from the Digimon Tamers series, to form something completely new.

If on the one hand, in fact, the adventurous component remains, with the discovery of this new world that becomes a pretext for the development of ties between the protagonists and the Digimon, on the other Digimon Survive there is no qualms in touching much darker tones and themes compared to the early days of the series, just as Digimon Tamers did.

And the result of this experiment is excellent. The story is engaging and of characters, true flagship of the narrative sectorthey are real, each with its strengths and defects. We don’t want to spoil you, but the game has no qualms about jeopardizing the lives of the protagonists, and you will realize how much you have bonded with this group in those moments of danger.

Thanks also to the excellent videos, it basically seems to be in front of an unprecedented anime season of the saga. If you are a Digimon fan, therefore, you already have a reason here not to miss Digimon Survive (you can order it on Amazon).

In addition to the excellent quality of the animated scenes, the parts too illustrated story of the game are well made, both in the backgrounds and in the character models, put together with a classic two-dimensional style.

The battle phases are instead a bit bare from a technical point of view, but considering that it is a minor part of the game and in light of the available budget we do not consider it a heavy negative.

Also excellent soundtrack. Digimon is a series that has accustomed us to high standards, even and especially in the animated series, with the soundtracks that have featured songs from J-Pop and J-Rock over the years.

We will often be called upon to make choices in the dialogues.

Here we have a wonderful selection of songs that make the atmosphere well, which immediately help you feel on your skin the idea of ​​finding yourself in an unknown world, full of dangers but also of rare beauties.

Visual novel, cross and delight

As we have mentioned, Digimon Survive is a visual novel with tactical RPG elements. One of the game’s producers, Kazumasa Habu, said the game is about 70% visual novel and 30% TRPG.

Here, even if we do not have a scientific measurement available, we would like to say that Habu’s estimate is all in all correct. Digimon Survive is first of all a visual novel, a genre that has always been particularly divisive in the West.

Specifically, the game is divided into four sections of gameplay. There are the so-called “Drama Parts”, ie the sections where the story simply flows in front of us and our only job is to read.

Battles are fun, albeit basic.

In these parts, we will often be called upon to perform choices in the dialogues. These choices will have repercussions, often even heavy ones, on our relationships with the other characters (which in turn will have an influence on the battles, as we will see), and on the continuation of the story.

Furthermore, Takuma’s character evolution will also influence Agumon’s evolutionary line, which will be able to access different forms depending on which will be the prominent traits of his human companion.

The “Search action” and “Free Action” sections have one greater interactivityand they’ll see us looking for survival items, talking to characters, and visiting places looking for clues with a limited number of shares available.

We will have the greatest impact of this limitation in relations with our companions: inevitably, we will not be able to talk to everyone and satisfy everyone’s requests, so we will have to think very carefully before making a choice.

The last section of gameplay is called “Free Battle”; as can be guessed, it is about those strategic battles we mentioned earlier, that they make up about 30% of the game. It will take some time to get into the first real battle (after a very short opening tutorial), and in general it is clear that this is not the focus of Digimon Survive given the simplicity of these sections.

It is, in a nutshell, of a very simplified version of a Fire Emblemjust to mention a famous series of the genre. You will have to move the Digimon on a map made up of squares with a limited number of moves each turn. There are weaknesses and resistances, points of advantage on the ground (such as attacks from behind) and the Digimon will receive bonuses based on the relationship we have with the human partner.

In short, nothing transcendental; there difficulty is set down and the battles amuse the bare minimum to constitute a good diversion from historybut nothing more (if it’s a Digimon RPG you are looking for, you can still find the two excellent Digimon Stories on Amazon).

Through them, moreover, we will also be able to recruit new Digimon; in case you want to recruit all the monsters available, you will face many more battles in the course of the adventure.

In this regard, the adventure lasts around 25 hours; thanks to the presence of numerous crossroads in the story and of three routes present from a certain chapter onwards (as well as the usual New Game +), this number can easily increase, even doubling.

Everything will depend on your liking of the game system. If you are a lover of Digimon and visual novels, you will love Digimon Survive like few things in the world. If you like visual novels but don’t know Digimon, give it a try because the story is still worth living.

If, on the other hand, the visual novels are not for you, it will be hard to overcome this obstacle, also because in certain situations the pace of the game tends to be particularly slow (especially at the beginning).

Version reviewed: Nintendo Switch

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