Digimon is back but not in the RPG genre with which we are familiar with. Digimon All-Star Rumble is exactly what it sounds like, a 3-D brawler with all your favorite classic Digimon duking it out. Digimon All-Star Rumble doesn’t imitate other party games in terms of depth, instead we get a rather simple brawler with its only positives being the nostalgia factor of seeing your favorite Digimon. All-Star Rumble was revealed back in August and I got to play it when we went over to the Namco preview event.
The idea sounded great knowing that they have created other brawlers in previous years, but what makes this so much worse is the presentation levels of the game. It’s mind boggling. You would think that would be up to snuff, but the game really does seem rushed for a $39 title for Playstation 3 and Xbox 360. Digimon All-Star Rumble could have easily been a downloadable title for $14.99 since it’s very limited in just about everything. Presentation plays a key role into all of this since it’s supposed to be a game all about fan service, but the gameplay also isn’t up to where it should be.
The controls are very simple; square to light attack, triangle to use your ranged attack and circle is your heavy attack and both ranged and heavy attacks can be charged for an alternate move. There’s also the block button that only allows idle blocking, there’s no dodge roll to be found. I think dodge roll could have made the maneuverability of the game much better, with the teleport counter button. Teleport is performed with the L1 button and it takes energy away from your digivolve meter, but it gives you the advantage of getting behind your enemy to prepare an attack. Combos are really limited, especially since the roster only boasts a total of 12 Digimon. With the roster being so small, the advanced digivolutions should have been a selectable character on their own with toned down powers or different attacks in general. They did include other digivolved forms only when you beat at arcade mode with the characters, so they do give you the option to use more forms just for a limited time when you digivolve. If the game allowed for the selection of digivolved forms from the get go as alternate characters, it would have been much easier to swallow the $39.99 price tag.
There is combo potential with the characters, but Digimon All-Star Rumble does feel quite sluggish. The input lag is quite noticeable and really hindered the ability to have fun with the mechanics. Arcade mode breaks the battle formula up a bit since it’s a mini adventure game with occasional treasure finding. I would have liked to see a more fleshed out version of Arcade Mode, but I know this is supposed to be a brawler. The treasures that you find are bits of data and digicards which can be used for effects. They look pretty cool and they have different Digimon on them from all seasons. The other mode is your typical battle mode. In battle mode you can select battle types like; health battles, time limit, coin battles, and team battles. Digimon All-Star Rumble only includes local play and that can be kind of off putting since it’s essentially a party game, and not having online in this day and age for a multiplayer game is bonkers. Last but not least the training mode is just like any other brawler/fighter. If the presentation and gameplay wouldn’t have been so off point, I would have definitely recommended this title to non-fans of the show. But, as it stands, you’re only getting fan service in terms of seeing your favorites on the screen with there respective voice actors. Graphically it looks nice and colorful, but this could have been so much more. With small fixes to the gameplay and presentation the sequel would be awesome, but until then pick this up at $20 or less strictly for the nostalgia factor.