Digimon World: Next Order review for Nintendo Switch, PC

Platform: Switch
Also on: PC, PS4
Publisher: Bandai Namco
Developer: Hyde
Medium: Digital/Cartidge
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: E10+

Given the abundance of monster taming/catching/training games, I think anyone who has any interest in the genre knows by now what they like and what they don?t like. And based on my experience with the genre, and especially after playing Digimon World: Next Order, I?m ready to confidently state that I just don?t care for Digimon.

Interestingly, though, my reason for not being into Digimon World: Next Order is different than why I didn?t care all that much about Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth ? Hacker?s Memory. Where those games were extremely talk-heavy, Digimon World: Next Order seems to think that the most enjoyable part of monster-training games is endless, repetitive grinding.

I mean, there?s plenty of talking here. It takes the better part of an hour before you?re allowed to take your monsters out into the world, and prior to that point you?re subject to a whole lot of exposition and explanation. It?s just that in comparison with the other Digimon games I?ve played, Digimon World: Next Order is relatively focused on action.

But the problem is that the action isn?t particularly interesting or fun. Rather, Digimon World: Next Order takes a page from games like Monster Rancher ? which is to say, it?s just as important that you focus on training and and maintaining the morale of your monsters, rather than on exploring the world and leveling your monsters up through fighting other monsters.

To be sure, there is some exploration and fighting with other monsters. The world outside your village is crawling with them, and you need to go out there and recruit as many monsters as you can to your cause. But all the while you?re doing that, you need to focus on the morale of your monsters. You need to make sure they eat. You need to make sure they sleep enough. You need to make sure they remember to use the bathroom when they?ve got to go. And then, when they age and are reborn, you have to start the process of leveling them up all over again (though, admittedly, they start from a higher baseline).

As I said up top, I know what I like in my monster training games (which is to say, Pok?mon and imitators like Nexomon and Coromon), and what I don?t. And, unfortunately, Digimon World: Next Order — with its endless focus on grinding and training and, uh, pooping — is definitely in the category of what I don?t like.

Bandai Namco provided us with a Digimon Next: World Order Switch code for review purposes.

Grade: C+