Digimon World 3
|Editor Rating:||4.5/10, based on 1 review|
|User Rating:||4.0/10 - 1 vote|
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I didn't expect much from Digimon World 3 after barely escaping with my life from the first two games. It's no surprise that the third time is definitely not the charm. At first, the town wandering, creature management and item shops make it seem like Bandai's turned the monster-battling series into an honest-to-goodness RPG. But just as that thought takes hold, the game falls back on the old formula, requiring hundreds of excruciatingly boring monster-to-monster (or card) battles just to get anywhere because of the tiny amount of experience points and money you get for a win. (Talk about a cheap way to artificially extend play time.) Each encounter is as about as enthralling as watching a play performed by Sony Aibo dogs--the combat is stale, robotic and looks horrible. When outside of battle, the overworld graphics are fairly nice--that is, when not covered by the green panels used to disguise the load time (see screen above). You find yourself taking a few steps then stopping to wait for the rest of the screen to reveal itself; trying to run around behind them with any accuracy is useless. By far, DW3's biggest flaw is that there's no story bringing up the rear. Your goal is to become the champ--the end. In every town, it's the same old crap: Talk to a sorry bunch of blathering simpletons in hopes of finding the one with the information you need. Digi-fans will dig DW3 just 'cuz it's Digimon, but it's not a good game.
Still sucking life from its marketing-juice stores, the Digimonsler simply refuses to keel over and die. Instead, it regularly resurfaces from a pool of recycled parts and slaps its tired brand name on extremely bland games like DW3. The title might as well have been created from a How To Make a Time-Wasting RPG for Dummies book: 1) Let the player only walk a few steps before the timer initiates a battle; 2) Keep the story huge, vague and pointless; 3) Include a convoluted card game 'cause kids love that stuff; 4) Devote zilch to visuals, sound and the battle system; 5) No fun allowed. OK, so I added #5, but you get the picture, right?
I have to say that of the trio of Digimon World games, this one has the most successful formula. It blends the sharp 20 graphics of the first title with the party-based 3D battles of the second for a visually appealing adventure that should keep the younger crowd enthralled. Oddly enough, for a game aimed at chil'en, the training elements are intimidatingly deep [Digimon's poorly translated menu text doesn't help either). The extensive training info isn't stored in one place, like a diary. Instead, you must talk to nearly every NPC you meet to get to the info nuggets you need. It's a little tough, but for fans of the series, this is the best one yet.