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Digimon Survive Review: A Pretty Prodigious Visual Novel Experience

Digimon Survives on Nintendo Switch Digimon Survive has been a surprise to me in many ways. It was a game that I expected to be more like tactical..

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Digimon Survives on Nintendo Switch

Digimon Survive has been a surprise to me in many ways. It was a game that I expected to be more like tactical RPGs such as Final Fantasy Tactics or Fire Emblem, but with visual novel elements. The game is primarily a visual narrative with tactical RPG elements. This was exactly what I expected.

Although I was initially surprised by the genre, my initial disappointment was quickly overshadowed by the delightfully dark story, beautiful presentation, and tons of Digimon to meet, which made it a joy to read. It felt more like the series was meant for me the more I played the game.

After a slow intro, I was a little worried about how the game would play. It doesn't take too long for the story picks up and grips you. The mysterious situation that our protagonists find themselves is enough to keep you engaged through "Part 1".



Image Source: Bandai Namco via Twinfinte

It was shocking to see how scary and dark the story was right from the beginning. I grew up with anime and knew that this game would have a mature tone to suit the current generation of fans. It is stunning! Every set, from the characters to the backgrounds is bright and exciting. Even though voice acting is only available in Japanese, there is some accented Japanese voice acting.

The game is seen through the eyes Takuma's 14-year old student, who was willing to go on a class trip to see the mountains. You can interact with your surroundings at each location on the map to discover hidden secrets or speak with the characters.

It is important to speak with characters because it allows you to choose the right words to use in conversation and builds affinity with them, which can help strengthen your bonds. This bond between characters will seep into Digimon partners, resulting in greater boosts for them when they fight together.

Your karma is also affected by the choices that you make. Every decision earns points towards Moral, Wrathfulness and Harmony. Depending on which path you choose, your Digimon partner will follow different evolutionary paths and decide how the story will ultimately branch.

Karma and affinity can be expertly combined to change each playthrough. Each playthrough will see the partner Digimon evolve into new monsters, stories will take unexpected turns and each character's fate will be drastically altered. Warning: The story is not for everyone. Any difference in your actions could affect who survives in this digital world.



Image Source: Bandai Namco via Twinfinte

This visual novel is both rich in story and depth. I found it impossible not to explore every location, build my relationships and absorb every line of dialogue. It plays like a great season of Digimon anime.

This brings me to the tactical role-playing game gameplay. This was my first draw to the game, as I am a big fan of tactics games. A Digimon theme was an excellent idea. It's not a main aspect of the game. However, there are many opportunities to focus on strategy and battles.

You will be presented with battles throughout each chapter and other events that can lead to battles. You will also be able to fight a huge and sometimes emotional battle at the end each chapter. This is where you will find the most enjoyment.

In terms of tactical gameplay, the battles are quite straightforward. Choose which Digimon you wish to use. Each Digimon has its own move set and abilities, as well as the ability to equip items and move to boost their power. Digimon that are partner Digimon can talk to each other to get an additional boost in stats. Fights are grid-based and you must strategically move your Digimon in order to defeat them before they reach their win condition. This is usually your annihilation.



Image Source: Bandai Namco via Twinfinite

Talk feature is used to boost partner Digimon. This is where Digimon shine. You get a wonderful cast of Digimon to bond throughout the story. But I was blown away by Patamon the second I saw her. I mean, who doesn't want this cutie pie in their team? I knew that every time I saw a Digimon I wanted to join my team.

The process involves three conversations in which the Digimon will say something to you, and then you would have to choose the best answer from four options. If you answer incorrectly, it will anger them and increase their attacks. If you answer correctly, they will be more likely to give you a favor. They may either offer to join your team or provide an item. You can't just win their favor, it doesn't guarantee they will join your team. There is always a chance that the Digimon might decline and disappear. So you'll need to go back and search again.

I began asking for items, and I found that many would provide me with the items I needed in order to Digivolve into more powerful monsters. It was great to see that there were different ways to get Digimon, thanks to my new obsession with collecting all Digimon.

Some quality-of-life features would be greatly beneficial to the fights, including the ability lock enemy range views. You have to scroll over each enemy in order to see their movement range. Even if you do, it doesn't give you a clear view to their attack range.

It is difficult to explain equipment and moves. Although items are briefly explained at the beginning, they are very easy to forget. It wasn't until I looked through menus that I realized that I could equip items that would boost certain stats. I also discovered that Digimon could have more attacking moves.



Image Source: Bandai Namco via Twinfinte

This game is unique in that you can change the difficulty level at the start of each battle. You can adjust the difficulty to make it easier or more difficult. This level of customization is rare in games.

The battles provide a lot of excitement and I wish that the game emphasized them more. There are many points in the game that you can concentrate on free battles or recruiting Digimon. It is a refreshing break from all the dialogue and long stories.

Although the game's initial launch is slow and it lacks helpful tutorials or features to improve the game's battles, it's easy to see how it works together. It's easy to replay and you can spend up to 60 hours exploring every branching path.

Digimon Survive was created for long-time fans of the series. It truly feels like you are playing through a whole season. The visual novel is engaging and the battles provide a great way to connect with the Digimon you recruit.


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