a meeting between video game and anime

Operate the digivices digidestined, because we’re about to dive into the past with the beloved Digimon. Actually no, it’s not really like that. Digimon Survive, Bandai Namco’s latest video game dedicated to digital monsters, has nothing of the past at all. We are facing a completely new experiment for the series and rarely appeared in the world of video games. Digimon Survive is an explosive Mix where video games and anime meet to tell us a completely new story. But, however courageous, was it an effective choice? Let’s find out in this one review of Digimon Survive!

Our review of Digimon Survive

Digimon Survive tells the story of Takuma, a young student on a school trip with his class and some teachers. The journey, in a rural area of ​​Japan, will take them close to an old temple dedicated to spirits belonging to the past and characterized by recent natural disasters. After various vicissitudes Takuma, Minoru, Aoi and other boys from his school will be catapulted into a strange and insidious world. Here they will meet strange talking creatures that have been waiting for them, starting an incredible journey. Between these, Agumon will be Takuma’s Digimon.

From this moment on, the boys will have to face not only the problems and difficulties of a new world but also a series of attacks by other creatures much less friendly than their new companions. To this they add the disagreements, doubts and fear that wind through the group and it will be our job to find harmony as well as the road back home.

But the road is all uphill and a thousand difficulties are around the corner. Choices and events can lead to less than happy roads and even cause the death of our companions. Ready to face all this?

Battles, exploration, choices

digimon survive review

The gameplay of Digimon Survive is divided into three main types: Exploration/Free Action, Battles and Dialogues.

The exploration it involves us choosing areas to visit or characters to talk to and discuss. This is not a physical movement of the character but a change of scene between the various settings. We will thus be able to advance the story according to our priorities and preferences. The free action does not imply limitations and we could chat and look around for objects with ease. On the other hand, exploration consists of a predefined number of possible actions. An action point will be spent for each character or main event that we decide to view. This means that we could miss the chance to argue with one character over another by dealing with the possible consequences of this.

The sequences of dialogues will be present for the duration of the game e they account for most of the gameplay. In fact, 80% of the game is based on the stories and on the relationship with the other characters and the Digimon. Each of our companions has a level of Affinity with Takuma who will increase when and if we decide to talk to each other and make the “right choices”. In reality there is no correct path nor a good ending or a bad ending but the choices we make can lead to very serious consequences. To the affinity is also added theatmosphere which Takuma will spread in the group between Moral, Fury and Harmony. His decisions will change the atmosphere which in turn will affect Agumon’s digivolutions.

Turn-based digi-combat!

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A separate discussion must be made for the battles and that will be the time when you have to get busy. It is turn-based combat on a board where friendly and enemy Digimon will face off. The battles they play like the most classic turn-based RPGs (You see Final Fantasy Tactics or Triangle strategy). In fact, each Digimon has its own characteristics between attack, defense, speed, spiritual attack and so on, as well as unique moves, the same as in the anime. Obviously, depending on where we are in the story or affinity with other characters, we could also digivolve our Digimon during battles.

Digimon have gods Hit Points (PF) and gods Special Points (PS). The former represent the life (the HP to be clear) of the Digimon while the Special Points will be consumed with special attacks and digivolutions (a sort of Mana). Once digivoluted, the Digimon will periodically lose HP (the higher the evolution, the more HP consumed) until, once it reaches 0, it will revert to its intermediate form.

Among the battles focused on the main story, we will be able to face some Free Battles. Here, in addition to earning experience points to improve the characteristics of the Digimon, we could also convince the opposing Digimon to join us. In addition to Digimon of the protagonists (Agumon, Falcomon, Labramon, Floramon, Dracmon, Syakomon, Lopmon and Kunemon), there are over 100 other Digimon and most of these can be convinced, through some multiple choice dialogues, to join our team.

Between video game and animation

digimon survive review 1

As anticipated, the bulk of Digimon Survive is represented by the storyfrom the whirlwind of events that involves all the protagonists. Each character has its own history and character and it’s going to be really hard to get everyone to get along. A complex interweaving of doubts, uncertainties and distrust of others begins, amplified by the difficulties of an unknown world and the dangers it entails. This means that Digimon Survive can be easily defined as an interactive Graphic Novel, halfway between a video game and a comic (or Anime). The challenging and gloomy tones make it even one of the most mature Digimon stories ever createdwhich we loved.

Forget the DigiDestined humming merrily or the jokes thrown around. In Digimon Survive survival (has no case) is not guaranteed at all. However, this should not intimidate you because the Spirit of the Digimon series lingers everywhere. Also in terms of the presence of Digimon, in great numerical inferiority compared to other titles, we find many references to Digimon Adventure. Although only Agumon is part of the protagonist group, they appear several times Byomon, Patamon and Palmon and all the other digimon of the first series are obtainable in game.

However, the characters we know are accompanied by a completely new story full of twists and turns that will keep you glued to the screen for hours. About that, to complete the story, we spent 30 intense hours.

Digimon Survive in digi-pills review

Digimon Survive is an innovative experiment in the Digimon video game series and as such it will get a not exactly unanimous judgment and that’s perfectly fine. The story that Digimon Survive wants to tell you is not for everyone and even if you are a great Digimon lover you could be very disappointed.

If you’re looking for a game full of challenging battles and incredible cinematics about our heroes’ digivolutions, you won’t find them here. Digimon Survive’s journey is more introspective and for some, more boring but offers an incredible story on par with a demanding TV series.


  • Graphically flawless
  • Well layered characters
  • A fantastic story…


  • …that could bore adrenaline seekers
  • Little balance between the amount of battles and dialogues
  • Some “important” choices do not lead to such profound changes
  • All in all, few Digimon

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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