Like Cyber Sleuth before it, Digimon World: Next Order was first released for Sony’s neglected PlayStation Vita handheld in Japan and then re-released for the PlayStation 4. The original release of Digimon World: Next Order was in 2016.
Why talk about a 2016 game, you might ask? Well, Next Order was recently ported to PC this February 22. This review will center around that fact, but I will be a little lenient because the game is already seven years old.
Where to Play Digimon World: Next Order? At the time of writing, you can now play the game on the Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS Vita, and PC.
Not Too Bad & Not Too Good
The cartoonishly stylized world favored in recent Digimon games did not look out of place on the PS4 for its time. On PC, however, it is easier to notice that the game is not too good in terms of its graphics and optimization.
Digimon World: Next Order did not age well, and it has a lot of small hiccups in its gameplay. This never manifests in anything outright game-breaking.
However, the lackluster special move animations and jumpy transitions between day and night cycles never let you forget that you are just playing a Vita game.
Next Order is a homage to the first classic Digimon World. The gameplay, structure, and even sound effects all call back to the most memorable elements of that original game.
Digimon World: Next Order Gameplay
Just like in Digimon World, one of the primary goals of Next Order is to explore and track down new residents for a growing city. But even then, it feels more like a welcoming reimagining of the original rather than a decade-overdue continuation.
At its core, Next Order is more about raising and training Digimon than it is anything else. Right from the start, players are given two partners in Digimon.
Although, the exact kind of creatures they will raise depends on t on the training decisions players make. There are 217 possible partners in Next Order, and it is more likely that you will not see all of them. You are welcome to try, though.
A Choice of Ten Eggs
Initially, you will have a choice of ten eggs that will hatch your first pair of baby Digimon. From there, Digimon will ‘Digivolve’ through six total stages. Most of these offer multiple possible Digivolutions depending on how you have raised your partners and which of the six statistics you have trained.
If your partner doesn’t meet the requirements for any of its next possible stages within a set amount of days. Your Digimon will collapse, die, and be reborn into an egg of your choosing with a slight boost in stats.
The Digivolution grind is one of two things from the original Digimon World. It’s also something that will either endear players to Next Order or turn them off from the game completely. Combat is the other factor.
The combat system in Next Order is similar to an idle game. You watch them fight, belt out a couple of orders, and spam the support button to have order points. It is not the best in any way, but those who are nostalgic about the game will like it.
Next Order suffers from some significant pacing issues that are only exacerbated by the fact that Digimon has limited lifespans. The game is incredibly slow, and the difficulty spikes are too much to handle unless you are in easy mode.
If you are not a fan of the original game or grinding your time away, do not buy this game. For those who love Digimon World and the grind, it is not too good, but it is not too bad either. I, for one, enjoyed it. But it certainly is an acquired taste.
Game Rating for Digimon World: 7/10
I rate Digimon World: Next Order a 7/10 despite being a fan of the game. It is hard to ignore the bad special skills animation and the wonky day and night cycle. But it is a welcome addition to those who love Digimon.
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