In a time long long ago called the late 90’s a challenger arose to claim the title of the greatest adorable/terrifying monster anime/game series from the reigning king Pokémon. This franchise was called Digimon and, while popular in Japan, it did not have the same worldwide success as the adorable pocket monsters. (Darn you Pikachu!) But with its newest game, Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth, getting an English release in the United States and Europe on February 2nd, it would appear that the long time Japanese rival seeks to challenge Pokémon for it’s world championship belt again and in a few ways, it actually does have Pokemon beaten.
5.) Digimon make for more interesting characters than Pokémon do.
The villains of Pokémon have always been known as evil for taking Pokémon and using them for their own personal interests, something a good Pokémon trainer would neeeeeeever do. (Ha….) However Pokémon still were a lot more like pets and less like partners. This is Digimon’s first advantage against Pikachu’s reign of adorable thunder terror. Digimon have personalites like pokemon, but like team rocket’s meowth, ALL of the Digimon have the capability to speak and some of them make for some pretty devious villains. (Malomyotismon) Other Digimon become much more interesting as a result of their speaking ability, because of this you become far more attached to them as characters than you would with Pokemon. Go watch the Digimon Tamers series and see what I mean if you don’t believe me.
4.) Leveling system
Digimon, like Pokemon, features an evolution system. In Digimon its called digivolution, but where Cyber Sleuth takes things to the next level is its ability to degenerate a Digimon to its previous evolution level so that you can grow your stats even further than you would have been able to before if you had just raised it to max level and then digivolved. What I mean is say you have a Rookie level digimon that you raise from say level 1-60. When you Digivolve your Digimon to the next level, the Champion level, it resets its level to level 1. Not only can you now have another 60 levels for stat growth but you can even de-evolve back to the original rookie form and then go another level 1-60 thus gaining further stat growth. Cool right! Take that effort values!
3.) Bigger teams in battles
Anyone who has played Pokemon knows the difficutly in choosing a limited number (6) of Pokemon for your team out of the some 700+ options. While there are still a large number of Digimon in game for you to choose from (240) Cyber Sleuth introduces a new system called Digi-Memory to help you have less stress in your team choices and have more strategic options for a battle. In this system each Digimon is assigned a specific data value and as you play through the game your allotted amount of data for your team will increase thus allowing you more slots in your party for Digimon to come along with you in your adventures and be used in battle. This however, does not mean you have the ability to run around with like 12 Mega Level Digimon right off the bat though as Digimon of different power levels have different amounts of data values assigned to them so it helps to be aware of this when planning your away team. Be aware as well that only 3 Digimon are actually capable of being in combat at once but if those 3 are defeated then they are sent to reserve slots in your team and then you can choose other team members to take their place so that you don’t instantaneously lose.
2.) It takes the request fans have been asking Pokémon for and runs with it.
Pokémon fans have asked and asked and asked for a main console 3d world rpg type of game for literally 2 decades now and only been given a couple of those and even in those there actually were only like 5 places you were able to find actual wild Pokémon and the rest you stole from other trainers. While these games were fun Cyber sleuth takes the concept and makes it even better by not only bringing it to a current gen console but allowing you to catch and raise Digimon till your heart is content. Not only is the game gorgeous but it allows you to experience all the fun of the type advantage turn based battles that Pokémon has but still keeps enough variation from Pokémon to not feel like an exact copy of the game series.
1.) Much more interesting and mature stories
Minus The Black and White series Pokemon typically has stories that were less intense and fairly simple for younger audiences but still entertaining and not completely dull for the players who were older. While Digimon has been kid friendly with all of its stories, the tales of the adventures and their monster partners in Digimon have always been much more developed and contained farm more depth and maturity than their Pokemon counterparts. This has lended the series to be far more suited to making great anime and to the JRPG video game genre without feeling too childish and simple. In the anime series characters have suffered tragic deaths and the repercussions have been massive and the games have sometimes been a bit darker than Pokemon games and anime. Because of these things the heroes of the story feature far more character growth throughout the story than those of the Pokemon variant and the villains seem less evil to be evil but more devious and planning than the typical Poke-villian (except that time Mewtwo was the bad guy, that was legit.)
All in all I am pretty excited about playing though Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth because of how it does feature some of the things I have not been able to experience in the many many hours I have put into my Pokémon games and while I will always be a fan of the original Pocket Monsters, I am glad that Digimon has a sort of different taste on the monster battling game style to offer and hope that the west receives this entry with more positive reception than it has the previous entries.
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