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Feature Article

Jordan Ramee's Most Anticipated Game Of 2019: Digimon Survive

Celebrating 20 years of Digimon.

My introduction to anime was 1999's Digimon Adventure, so the franchise's story about humans and digital monsters working together and becoming stronger has always held a soft spot in my heart. Back in the day, one of my favorite aspects of the show was that the stories matured with subsequent seasons, allowing the anime to continuously appeal to its audience as they grew up.

This pattern finally peaked with Digimon Data Squad, where most characters are 18 or older, before the series refocused on a new generation of children with more kid-centric material in Fusion and App Monsters. This trend, however, has not translated over to the Digimon games, which have mostly been designed to appeal to the franchise's younger audience.

Digimon Survive could finally break that trend though, and that has me so excited. One of the few advantages the Digimon anime has over the Pokemon one is its willingness to embrace more adult material and age its characters; it's been frustrating to see that element mostly absent in the games. Survive is the first Digimon game to seemingly lean into that element by focusing on a group of teens and implementing a choice system with heavy consequences--even the death of major characters.

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Admittedly, Survive doesn't need a more adult story to be good, but Tamers and Frontier are so well regarded for their willingness to approach that type of content. In both series, problems aren't resolved in one episode with someone learning to be brave or trust their friends, but instead slowly chipped away at through the continued growth of the entire group. Tamers' Jeri learning to cope with depression and Frontier's Zoe overcoming her crippling self-doubt as a result of cultural ostracization are satisfying to watch because both instances showcase the protagonists' grit. Sometimes life is just hard and you need more than the power of friendship to persevere through it. I want to see those types of stories in Digimon again, and I'm hopeful that Survive provides that.

So far, the only definitive details we have about Digimon Survive are that it tells the story of three teenagers accidentally stumbling into an unknown world. You control Takuma Momozuka, who's partnered with Agumon. Takuma's companions, Minoru Hinata and Aoi Shibuya, are partnered with Falcomon and Labramon respectfully. Aoi is older than the two boys, and is quiet and hardworking. Her partner is rather direct and outspoken in comparison. Minoru is the group's irresponsible jokester, and often tries to talk his way out of a fight. His partner balances him out by being level-headed. Together, the six work together to find a way for the humans to return to their world. Trailers and images seem to imply the group will encounter other humans on their adventure.

Some of Digimon Survive plays out as a visual novel, with the ending dependent on what dialogue options and actions you choose. The rest of the game is a turn-based strategy RPG. In combat, you'll move your team of Digimon across a battlefield and determine what type of action they take against enemies, with the ability to digivolve or warp digivolve dependent on the characters' bonds with one another.

Digimon Survive is scheduled to release for Xbox One, PS4, PC, and Switch in 2019.

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Avatar image for cyberjordan

Given what I've heard so far it sounds like Digimon World mixed with Fallout. I love the sound of it so far but would like a lot more gameplay detail before I get into this.

Avatar image for cetaepsilon

What's with the overdramatic music ?

Avatar image for rickjamesia

I'm not really into Digimon much in about the last 1/2 of my life (actually probably since Rumble Arena like someone else mentioned, coincidentally), but VNs are one of my niche genres I keep coming back to. And man, this looks like it has pretty high production values compared to a lot that I've seen. Might have to pick it up just because the art, animation, and emotions look so good.

Still waiting for someone to make a game like the original Digimon World or Monster Rancher games, though. I can only imagine some execs or designers decided people like to actually understand what the hell is going on, but I honestly sort of feel cheated if I walk away feeling like I understand everything about a game I just finished.

Avatar image for PETERAKO

soft piano is hardly what I would use. I mean, where is the brave heart theme?! That's not how you sell this.

Avatar image for Godlikan

Whenever I see new Digimon game I pray its Digimon World 3 kinda sequel game with that rich isometric world, excellent story and secret nook and crannies to explore alas...

Avatar image for toshigeno56

I hadn't heard of this game but now I'm actually looking forward to it myself. It helps that I have a huge soft spot for Digimon where I find some enjoyment out of even the bad ones - hell my favorite one is Digimon World 2 and that one is pretty bad.

Avatar image for Klyern

oh ffs, another bad digimon game? they are still starving the fandom after nearly 3 decades.
The only good games so far were Digimon World 2 (the roguelike with a tank) and the first Cyber Sleuth which had terrible gameplay but a good story.....................

Is this some kind of deranged tactic? are they trying to get us to keep buying every single game in hopes that it is the one good game the fandom deserves??? this is so ridiculous i am starting to believe its possible lol.

Avatar image for gamingdevil800

Haven't played a Digimon game since Rumble Arena 2 on PS2, may give this one ago.

Avatar image for Elranzer

I like how everyone *coincidently* has a different “Most Anticipated Game of 2019.”

It would be a shame if like 3/4 of the staff all said their most anticipated game of 2019 was just Kingdom Hearts 3.

Avatar image for jordanramee

@Elranzer: Actually KH3 is only one person's most anticipated for next year. Lots of people are looking forward to the same games, but when it comes to "Most Anticipated Game," no two people in the office seemed to agree on one particular title.

Avatar image for m4a5

@Elranzer: Coincidentally, not everyone has the same taste in games...

Avatar image for gamingdevil800

@Elranzer: Pretty sure they gotta play rock, paper, scissors for their favourite game or go for their second or third choice if they are taken lol.

Avatar image for jordanramee

@gamingdevil800: I imagine we might have had to if that had come up, but no one overlapped for their most anticipated game for 2019. It was actually pretty cool that no one is looking forward to the same game.

Avatar image for gamingdevil800

@jordanramee: A surprise to be sure but a welcome one: