Digimon World: Next Order Is Very Complex

Last year Bandai Namco gave us Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth, a Persona-flavoured RPG that let players decide how much time they wanted to dedicate to breeding the perfect Digimon. Released this week, Digimon World: Next Order throws players into the deep end within the first 20 minutes.

Digimon World: Next Order for the PlayStation 4 gets players into the action relatively quickly. After choosing between a male and female protagonist, the player is plunged into the digital world, where a pair of friends they can't remember are doing battle against a massive foe. Here players learn how to use the left and right bumpers on the controller to issue commands to their AI companions during battle. The Digimon fight on their own, but the player can modify tactics, initiate special attacks and use items on their companions as the battle progresses.

Once the battle is over, the real work begins. WarGreymon and MetalGarurumon defeat their foe but fall themselves, their essences transferred into Digieggs of the player's choosing.

Digital reincarnation.

The Bearded Jijimon explains that he'd like to help the player get home to the real world, but would rather have their help taking care of a disturbance affecting the digital world first. Shiki and her two reborn partners are tapped to wander the digital countryside, defeating rogue Digimon and sending friendly ones back to help rebuild town.

The main menu. Good luck.

But before the trio can leave, it's training time. The two fresh Digimon must be taken to the training hut, where a revolving regiment of skill-sharpening, eating, using the bathroom and resting must be employed to evolve them to in-training and finally rookie Digimon.

At the core of Next Order is taking care of Digimon, which functions much like it did in the original egg-shaped toys that were all the rage a couple of decades past. If your Digimon is hungry, toss it some meat. If it needs to poop, find a restroom. If it's tired, rest. Icons indicating happiness, hunger, poop-worthiness and such appear above your partner's heads as you play.

You can feed your two partners at the same time, using up two resources in the process.

Every little interaction with your Digimon causes things like this to happen.

Training involves a game board-looking screen where your Digimon are placed using the left and right sticks.

Once training is initiated, the player gets to try for a bonus using a rapidly rotating meter. Land on the right spot, and frankly I have no idea what most of those icons mean. They seem good.

After the first few rounds of training, your fresh Digimon evolve into in-training Digimon.

Nine more rounds of training, with pauses to feed, sleep and use the restroom later, and they evolve into battle-ready rookies.

Then it's time to head off into the field to explore, gather resources and battle enemy Digimon.

I've been having a hard time getting started. Following the first couple of easy enemy encounters, I've had my two companions killed three times by enemies one level above them. I've only had the game since yesterday afternoon, and it looks like it's going to take me a while to get up to speed, but I am intrigued.

Playing the Japanese version last year, former Kotaku contributor Richard Eisenbeis wrote an article titled "Digimon Breeding Is So Complicated, I Had to Make Spreadsheets". If you want a more in-depth look at how deep Digimon World: Next Order goes, check it out. He's not wrong.

I'm going to keep banging away at my team, maybe spend a bit more time in the gym before trying to venture too far from home base. I have too many Digimon plans to let a few complicated systems get in the way.


    I recommend switching to easy mode if you are having trouble (one of the baby II digimon in Jijimon's house will let you do that) as the "normal" mode for us is actually the extra hard mode for japan, that makes training digimon much harder and can suck a lot of the fun out.

    The battles are still tough as nails, but it cuts down a lot of the grinding in a very grind heavy game, even if the grinding is a simple minigame.

      I would not recommend this at all if you want an actual challenge, the game is easy enough on normal compared to its PSX original and lowering the difficulty even further is likely to make you feel all super powerful then super bored as you roam around destroying everything with ease. The first digimon you fight on seem powerful because the stats of your first digimon are truly terrible, for example i think they start with like 300 hp and like 50 points in the other stats which is awful. Compare this with only my 2nd digimon hatching from its egg with 2500 hp and 300 str and stamina.

      The point is the game really wants you to train in the gym and you will need to in order to progress. In the psx version you had to spend 90% of your digimons life never leaving the gym until you were strong enough to make progress with the little life it had left, especially early going and you should do the same in this version at least in the begging.

      With your first set of digimon you should really just train in the gym untill they turn into champions , focus on something around 2.5k hp 300 str/stam/speed and then put the rest into str, this will be enough for you, focus your tamer skills on the life extending and egg stat boosting and stat boos on digivolving so your 2nd set of digimon will be much more powerful.

      The other thing is not all digimon are equal, fan favourites like greymon are 5-10x more powerful than crappy champion digimon like hyugamon(blue orgemon) and is reflected in the stats needed for digivolving. In the respect there are early game digimon and mid/late game digimon. As an example my first digimon made it to champions, my 2nd batch to ultimate and my 3rd set 1 made it to a mega (bancholeomon). However this mega's stats were only 10k hp 1500 str 1200 stam 700 speed 600 wisdom and like 4k mana, basically the stat requirements for this mega are lower than a greymons.

      IF you have trouble with ANY of the the trash digimon in an area you will likely not be able to progress the story and you should go train some more, the spikes in power needed are very large and the difference between 300 stamina and 600 stamina in the amount of damage you take is enormous and the first big jump in difficulty will be when jijimon sends you to the vulcano, I reccomend going with ultimate digimon at the least and run the f away from any meteormon in the vulcano, he may be lvl 8-12 but his power is similar to a lvl 26.

      This is one of the few games where min/maxing is important, also always go back to town with a full inventory of materials its basically how you level up as a tamer and you will need alot of that stuff later.

        I found myself disliking the game until i put it on easy, and the fact that the normal mode is actually designed to be a harder version for the japanese players who played the Vita version led me to the decision to play it on easy, simple as that.

        I plan on going through it again on normal once i have finished the game, however right now i don't have enough time (in real life) to spend hours training one digimon with shitty returns.

        Thanks for the tips but i'm already at about 70 prosperity and in chapter 3 and there are still some trash digimon who kick my ass, and the bosses are pretty crazy unless you ExE Digivolve, which is basically a "break the game" button.

        It's a hard game to get into, but it's a series i love (just recently got a digimon tattoo) and they really have streamlined the game way more to make it accessible to people, so i recommend easy to people who haven't played the games before.

        Edit: Just realised you were probably giving tips to new players not me so i got a little bit defensive, sorry about that!

        Last edited 02/02/17 2:07 pm

    Hopefully my copy arrives tomorrow or Monday, I've loved the Digimon games since PS1. But no way was I paying the extortionate AAA game prices for it, $80 at JB, $90 at EB, $85 on the PSN. Ended up nabbing it for $55 delivered from the UK.

    Same thing as Dynasty Warriors: Godseekers, as far as I can tell it's a digital only title, and it's $91!

    So much of that reminds me of the original Digimon World on PS1, which I had to play a LOT of to figure out.
    Became one of my favourite games though.

      So much! Brilliant game but it's insanely challenging. It's the only game I've ever had to play with the game guide next to me the whole time.

      It's really fun and enjoyable but the learning curve was just crazy. And the minigames, so much suffering. That stupid shop on the cliffside.

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