It has been 6 years since North America has seen a new Digimon video game and an even longer 10 years since any Digimon fighting games. Well luckily Bandai Namco decided to put an end to your hopes of a new Digimon game by releasing Digimon: All Star Rumble for the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. All Star Rumble is a fighting game which feels like it has tried to mix the feel of the Smash Bros games with their own unique Digimon feel. It certainly isn’t the most original game, nor is it executed as well as it could have been but it is more than exciting to see the Digimon franchise returning to video games in this hemisphere.
Digimon: All Star Rumble has a story mode and a rumble mode, with the exact same game play at its core. The story mode puts you into a story, though it follows the exact same plot no matter what Digimon you choose to play as. The only differences you’ll see in the story from playing as different Digimon is different level bosses. Each level consists of running through a very linearly designed level fighting off extremely weak enemies and collecting loot in the way of credits and Digicards. The Digicards can be attached to your character giving you a random percent to gain whatever ability said card may possess each time you hit your opponent. The only use for credits is to buy more Digicards. The levels feel relatively pointless other than to get you enough credits to buy more Digicards but quite honestly even the cards feel somewhat pointless. The computer AI isn’t all that difficult as it is and so you will not really encounter an enemy in which the Digicards will be of that much help. Each level ends with a boss battle, which is really just the standard fight that the game revolves around. A battle stage will load designed off of what world level you just ran through. The battle stage will generally
have some sort of unique feature, like a train that will pass through at specific points in the round or lava that will flood the map, as well as power ups which will spawn after a specific amount of time. The power ups can range from missiles, to an instant digivolve to a health boost. The bosses consist of the other Digimon that are in the game and completing their level and beating them will then unlock them as a playable character. You will need to complete the game with multiple characters to unlock all of the 12 characters. After completing the story mode with a specific character you will also unlock alternate forms of digivolve. Additionally voice acting and graphics are not the best but fit the Digimon universe almost perfectly. Unfortunately voice lines are limited and hearing the same quote constantly can be a bit bothersome.
The Rumble mode is what is really enjoyable by taking the battle stages from story mode and giving you the ability to free-battle up to four other players either locally, online, or against computer AI. Rumble mode is certainly the true core of the game and it was definitely a good time playing and competing against friends. There are multiple game modes ranging from timed, to set number of lives, to a bomb mode, to hold the flag. While the game modes differ in minor ways they are still all “fight to win” game types so unfortunately the selected game type won’t change gameplay too much but there are still some minor options. You can choose any Digimon from the list of what you’ve unlocked, choose what evolution form you’d like to use, and use any cards you’ve unlocked which gives the game some more variation. Unfortunately, the gameplay is far from flawless and occasionally you’ll even find everyone attacking the air. Overall, though the fighting was flawed, it was entertaining to say the least.
The truth of the matter is Digimon: All Star Rumble is far from a perfect game, but it was certainly nice to see a new Digimon game arrive. Half of me believes that All Star Rumble was released as a way to gauge interest in Bandai Namco’s upcoming Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth, a game that is being petitioned to be released here in America. Overall I’d say if you’re new to the franchise, it’s not a game for you, but if you’re a long-time fan of the franchise, Digimon: All Star Rumble is what you’ll want, and at its low $40 price tag it will be well worth your money.
• All memorable Digimon with unique moves
• Game is priced fairly
• Fighting is not the smoothest
Digimon: All Star Rumble is out now on Playstation 3 and Xbox 360