Digimon All-Star RumbleOverview -
Back when Pokemon was gaining popularity through its video games and other forms of media, many other companies tried to capitalize on Game Freak's success with their monster-themed attempts. Probably the most successful of these, and Pokemon's biggest rival, is the Digimon series. Starring a group of kids that get sucked into a battle to save the Digital World (and by extension their own), the anime and resulting video games offered enough familiarity to draw fans of Pokemon, while being unique enough to keep them hooked.
While Digimon may have started out as a Tamagotchi-like toy, the anime and game series are what really put Digimon on the map, and both are still ongoing today. The latest videogame offering for the series is 'Digimon All-Star Rumble', an arena-style fighting game from Bandai Namco.
At best, 'Digimon: All-Star Rumble's' graphics are simply average. The areas of Story Mode and the arenas themselves are colorful enough, but aside from Native Forest, they feel a little un-inspired design wise. The Digimon themselves look as they should, being accurate representations from their respective anime series, but at the same time the models don't feel as though they take advantage of the technology it's on. Basically, it looks as those the fighters could have been ripped out of a late PS2 title.
All of the Digimon's Digivolutions look a bit better, though that's likely due to the original designs being a bit more involved than the monsters' base forms. Special moves appear somewhat flashy, making them stand out more than the average combos, as well. But really, playing 'All-Star Rumble' on the big screen is rather underwhelming, and the visuals consistently reflect an unambitious standard.
Like the graphics, the sound of 'All-Star Rumble' is serviceable, but ultimately average. The music that plays in the background works well enough to set the mood, but other than a few decent tracks the background music is just that—in the background, and largely ignored.
The game features voices for the playable Digimon, and seem to fit the monsters well enough. I can't tell if they are the same voice actors from the Digimon anime or not, however.
Finally, the sound effects are adequate for a fighting game. Digimon will shout our names of certain attacks and do all the typical grunting and yelling that one expects when creatures are duking it out. Some of the effects can grate on the nerves a bit, particularly when Digimon use their SP related attacks over and over, but otherwise there's nothing wrong in this department.
'Digimon: All-Star Rumble' is clearly aimed at a younger audience, but at the same time, that audience can find a much more fulfilling experience. Combat is generally slow and easily exploited, and the ramp up in difficulty in the final couple of stages dissipates any fun that could be had. Once all the Digimon are unlocked, all that's left is to collect Digicards and play with friends, but the former isn't very rewarding and the latter is not likely to be done, with a plethora of better party games releasing this month.
Given all this, it's not really worth picking up 'All-Star Rumble', even for fans of the series. There's just too little to justify a purchase, and what is there is only marginally fun at best, and downright frustrating at worst.
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