A true return to what makes Digimon unique, it's not some RPG that has Digimon, it's uniquely Digimon.
The good folks at digimonworldre.wordpress.com/ have been working for 3 years to bring us a fan translation!
The game is pretty difficult, and later in the game when you need powerful Digimon, you're basically forced to train for a few game days until you're back to where you need to be, and at that point in the game, it's not gonna last very long.
The game is unfortunately not distributed outside of Japan but available for download and English patch.
There's a surprising amount of reskins and lack of original Digimon in the game, despite there being literally thousands of Digimon to work with.
Digimon has a lot of shitty games, especially recently. There really hasn’t been anything like the original Digimon game, Digimon World. I had all but given up hope on ever playing a fun Digimon game again, but then a light shined in the darkness, and we were given Digimon World Re:Digitize! This is a spiritual successor to the original DW game, using the pet simulator style of gameplay, needing to feed them and train them in order to evolve.
When I say “we’ve gotten” I use that term very loosely. Neither the original Re:Digitize for the PSP or it’s sequel Re:Digitize Decode for the 3DS ever got localized outside of Japan, so you might be wondering how or why I’m reviewing this game? Well, I first played it in Japanese a few years ago using a walkthrough, but as of a few days ago a Fan Translation of the game was released and you can patch the .ISO file and play it completely in English! I’ll include a bunch of links to where to find the patch after the review.
The story of Re:Digitize is a classic tale of 3 friends getting sucked into their computers and winding up in a digital land where everyone gets their own digi-monster, a digital companion, and a digimon friend. Ok enough nostalgia, lets talk about the actual plot. You and your friends work together to try and figure out how to exit the Digital World, and their own lead is to stop this mysterious creature that’s been infecting Digimon and causing them to act strangely. It’s both refreshing and classic to have a story that’s familiar, but also new.
The biggest draw of the game by all means is the tamagotchi style gameplay. You raise your Digimon almost exactly like you would in the original Digimon World game. You feed it, clean it’s poop, battle with it and evolve it by training it’s various stats. There are a lot of Digimon to work towards evolving and it can be tricky to try and evolve them the way that you want. Though there’s a bit of a bias towards some of the more popular ones, Digimon like Agumon, Gabumon, ones the main character’s used in the shows. It makes sense there would be a little of that, but there are reskins all over the place in a series that has thousands of Digimon to work with.
In addition to raising your Digimon and going through the story, you’re trying to bring Digimon back to the city. By talking to Digimon in the wild you can send them back to your city and raise it’s prosperity rate, and also you can get some nice items from them. In the original Digimon World game, you had the same objective, though it was more the focus of the game and less of a side activity. The biggest difference between then and now, is that it used to be all the Digimon you can recruit contribute to the city in some way. Some open clinics or restaurants, one that has electric abilities lights up the city at night, stuff like that. In Re:Digitize, there are certainly some that contribute, but a lot of them don’t and just sorta hang out.
Combat is also fairly difficult, but in a good way. You can’t control your Digimon by any means, but as they get smarter you can give them more advanced commands, like be aggressive or make some distance. At later levels you can even tell them where to move specifically.
While this is quite easily one of the best Digimon games in over a decade, it’s not without its flaws. Time moves very fast, a minute real time is an hour in the game, and going into a battle or doing a training mini game takes up an hour of time, and your Digimon only lasts so long. If your Digimon reaches an age where it’s meant to evolve but it doesn’t have the correct stat requirements, it will die and revert back into an egg, where you have to start all over, so time management is a big factor. In concept this is a pretty cool system, but when it comes down to it, you’ve basically got to dedicate a lot of time to training your newly hatched Digimon back up to the point where he can help in the game again. It gets progressively easier because stats carry over a little, but every Digimon has limited time, there’s never a point where they won’t die. So, late in the game, you need Mega level Digimon, you’re gonna spend more time training then you’re actually gonna get use out of them.
Final Thoughts and Playing the Game
This is a fantastic Digimon game, it’s just an incredible shame that Bandai doesn’t really give a damn about localizing Digimon games anymore. This game is absolutely worth playing and if Bandai isn’t interested in sharing it, I don’t see what’s wrong with playing it on our own terms.
Here is a link to the blog that spent 3 whole years painstakingly working on a translation of the game. The game works perfectly with the emulator PPSSPP, or you can use it on a hacked PSP, but there are a few times where the game can crash if you plan on using it that way. Now this is just a link to the patch, you’ll still need to find a .ISO file of the game. But if you look around reddit.com/r/Digimon I’m sure someone can help out.
If you’re interested in my general thoughts about the State of Digimon games lately, you can check it out over at my wordpress Jack of Games.