By: Robert Snow
With all eyes on the release of Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, Bandai-Namco is swooping in and releasing Digimon All-Star Rumble, a four-player fighting game involving the characters from the original TV series, Digimon. So, is this a nice alternative for those that don’t have a Wii U? Let’s find out.
Character movement in the game is fluid and fast-paced. The attacks are mapped to the four face buttons while the only defensive button is the right bumper for blocking. Each character has specific attacks mapped to each of the four buttons ,which you can then combine to make combos tailored to that character. For your convenience you can access all the available combos in the move list from the pause menu.
When in action it does not benefit you to jump because the characters barely have the ability to do so. This stunts the use of air combos, which are almost nonexistent anyway, and it also makes it difficult and awkward to traverse the various levels. Overall, the controls are overly simplistic, and there isn’t much depth to the combat system because of this.
Each Digimon is beautifully designed and colorful. The visual effects that are created when fighting occurs are also colorful and vibrant. You can truly feel the effect of your attacks when you see the explosive melee strikes connect. These graphics help to immerse you in the heated battles between these unique characters
The audio is decent enough, but it takes a backseat when compared to the graphics. The background music is typical of any fighting game and is nothing special.
The basic back story of Digimon All-Star Rumble is that there is a tournament being held to find out who is the strongest Digimon in the land. You get to pick which Digimon you want to use and make turn them into a champion that ends up fighting the villain behind the tournament. There are only seven levels in the story each of which contains a Digimon boss battle.
The game is comprised of two game modes: story and battle. This makes the game awfully simplistic and short, providing you with only a few hours of gameplay before you get bored. You may complete the story with each character, but the roster is not terribly large, either. There are different game variants within the versus mode, but they are not too different from one another so there isn’t much variety contained in the gameplay.
For the few hours that the game is interesting there is some fun to be had in absolutely destroying the simple bosses in the story mode and experimenting with each character. That being said, it is hard to feel much of a sense of accomplishment when the game is generally easy and doesn’t offer a real challenge. The only even semi-difficult parts were beating the hordes of enemies in each level before the boss because the large enemies do a lot of damage to your health.
The computer A.I. is not very intelligent and can be easily broken. You can screw it up by running away and changing direction quickly at a distance. This causes the path finding for the A.I. to get messed up. You can easily beat any computer-controlled adversary by spamming the same ranged attacks because the computer will not change its tactics whatsoever. I did not get a chance to play against other humans because there is no online component to the game. Then again, online fighting would probably get boring fast as well because of the simplistic combat system.
Despite some nice visual elements, Digimon All-Star Rumble is ultimately not intriguing or interesting enough to be worth more than a handful of hours of gameplay. It might offer some value to hardcore Digimon fans because of its great representation of the characters, but anyone outside that group is unlikely to find much here.