Digimon World 2 – This is a Terrible Game and I Love it.

in archdruid-contest •  2 months ago 

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I like to think I have good taste in games, and have a pretty good ability to discuss why something does or doesn't work for me. Not that it is something that is entirely objective, there are many things about a game that just will or won't work for you depending on the person. What I try to do is to best explain what it is I do or don't like about the games I review and why I'd recommend them or not while trying to best highlight the good and bad I can see despite my own view on the game.

Looking back at the games I really enjoyed growing up, however, is a really strange relic of the Playstation era of gaming. That game is Digimon World 2, and this may be one of the closest things to an objectively bad game I have ever played in my life. Yet, for reasons I cannot articulate to you, I really enjoy it.

Let's start with what kind of game this actually is. You travel around dungeons and collect Digimon, fuse them together to create new and stronger Digimon, and in order to do this you join a group that makes all people who join it promise to protect the Digital World from any threat that may come along to threaten it. And some guy who is kind of a dick for some vague reason does just that, and there is no more to the game than that.

The game almost has no plot to speak of, but a lot of times you have to sit through a bunch of badly written dialogue. This always frustrates me when you play a game that has almost no story, but then drags things out with dialogue when there is no reason to. Does it matter one of the girls is extremely shy? Not at all! I would give you other examples, but I literally can't remember any of them. The point is there are a lot of characters with a single personality trait that has screen time that amounts to nothing.

So the story, dialog, and characters are all non-existent and somehow there is way too much, what about the gameplay? To start with you have dungeon exploration. You traverse domains in your buggy, which you can upgrade to better protect you from the hazards. Damaging floors, bug nests that are hidden if you don't have the proper equipment to spot them, and a variety of munition to destroy nests and pillars. With limited battery, hull HP, and inventory you would think the game would test your management of resources. But for reasons I'll get into in a minute, you will have so many funds to upgrade your buggy that every obstacle in your path just becomes trivial.

Now we get to the real issue of the game, the never-ending grind. Once you have a Digimon, you learn they have a max level. In order to raise that max level, you have to DNA Digivolve two Digimon together to create a new one. The Max Level of the new Digimon is the higher level of the two-plus the level of the other divided by five. Example, you DNA Digivolve a level 16 and a level 15, you are going to get a level 19 (16+ 15/3). Your Digimon will drop down to the lowest possible level of the previous stage of its evolution (1, 11, 21 are the possible levels). What you get is based on who you Digivolve together, and now you can repeat this process several times over.

Something I want to point out, there are no minigames or side quests. Fighting to level up your Digimon to DNA Digivolve them and relevel them up is all you will be doing this entire game. You will be fighting the same enemies over and over once you realize where a good place to grind is, and as a result, most combat in this game will become extremely repetitive. This game can easily push you to 100+ hours before completion.

The combat is actually pretty decent, all attacks you make cost MP, and you'll have to guard to restore it, or use one of your limited buggy actions per turn to use an item. You have a decent enough variety in effects and Digimon as well. The foundation of the combat is actually pretty solid, but not nearly extensive enough to make up for the repetition. This is especially true when you realize how incredibly powerful some Interrupt abilities are.

To explain that, I need to explain how combat works. At the beginning of each round of combat, you select an action for each Digimon as well as your buggy, which uses items. Your Digimon has four types of attacks. Your typical offensive ability, this covers any kind of straight forward attack. Assist abilities are buffs, heals, and debuffs. Counters are interesting because of they an additional effect if done as a counter. If the Digimon using counter is not attacked, the counter goes off at the end of the round, if they are they immediately attack whoever countered them and gain an additional effect. Some effects include stunning your foe or even using their MP to pay for the counter-attack.

Interrupts allow you to take action before your opponent can attack. The useful ones here are ones that severely cut down opponents damage while still hurting them, or just outright stopping the attack. Once you realize how good these are against the enemy, most fights become trivial at best. A good premise, much like the dungeon exploration portion, completely wasted.

If there is something positive to say, is that despite being a bit behind graphically for the time, the games art design is pretty spot on. Digimon, regardless of the game, has always had some fantastic monster designs. And there are a lot of them.

In the end, that's really all there is to say about Digimon World 2. It is long, it is nothing but repetitive grinding, and the positive points of the game are too poorly delivered on to matter. It may be the closest thing out there to an objectively bad game I can think of, and in no way do I recommend this game to anyone. Yet, somehow, I still love it. Feel free to heap upon me the shame I deserve.

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I really loved Digimon World 2 as a child. Even when I was really bad at it and didn't know why I get stuck at level 13 or didn't know how to recruit Digimon.

Though I agree that it's a badly designed game. I think the only good design is the Digimon models which looked good as PS1 game (until you realize that they're the same ones of DMW1 & Card Battle, both are great games!)

I never completed it, and while I still want to do that I don't think I will because it takes SO MUCH TIME, even with the emulation's "speed mode."