I’ll just get it out of the way, Digimon World 3 is one of my favourite games on the PS1. Maybe even one of my favourite PlayStation games overall. So there’s that point out of the way, so expect way too much gushing. I’m really not sorry.
Pokemon or Digimon? The eternal question. From time immemorial there have been wars waged on this single question. Jokes aside, a lot of people seem to prefer one or the other. Or more accurately, like Pokemon and think Digimon is a bootleg ripoff of Pokemon.
I have always been of the opinion that both are pretty great. The anime, movies, games, and cards all had their places. Pokemon just had wider success, better games, and better cards. Recently, with some of the more recent entries, I don’t know if this is true. With some of the more recent games, especially the Cyber Sleuth series, being especially awesome.
Then there’s a reboot of the Digimon Trading Card Game and it looks good. I think this new Digimon TCG might have the best looking card art of any TCG. Along with some really well thought out and engaging gameplay. The franchise is really making such an effort to catch up with other similar ones.
Ever given the chance I’d be willing to talk at great length about all the great stuff Digimon has. Luckily for me, I have this site and, other than Zack, there is no one else to stop me! Wahahahahahahahahaha!
So for at least the first (maybe not the last), article about Digimon is a blast from the past. So without further ado, let’s start talking about Digimon World 3 for the PS1.
What’s the message?
You play as Junior as he and his friends take a trip to play a new game. It’s a full body dive MMORPG called Digimon Online. You rush ahead to get your Digimon partners and off to adventure.
It’s funny because they used the full dive gaming concept before Anime like Sword Art Online. Before the Isekai genre blew up and became an over saturated genre of Anime. The story would perfectly fit in with the current and previous seasons of Anime for the last couple years.
Things, as is standard in JRPGs, go terribly awry. There’s some kind of attack which means that the game cannot log you out and you must remain in it. You, along with some help, must find out the cause and stop whatever ne’er do wells are behind it.
I won’t spoil anymore, just in case anyone plans to play this nearly 20 year old game. For the first time. Specifically because of reading this…
Digimon World 3 is more of a classic JRPG than the mainline Pokemon games. Complete with a much longer story, a lot more dialogue, and a more robust set of characters. The protagonist even talks too, wild!
Seeing as you have just joined Digimon Online you have to choose a team. Your team consists of 3 Digimon that will accompany you on your adventure. You can choose between 3 different starting teams each with its own game unique Digimon. Bearmon, Kotemon, and Monmon. All 3 are actually pretty great but I think Monmon is the best, being Tarzan but as a monkey and having a slingshot. Very much into it.
You can actually get other Digimon for your party by beating their Ultimate form and taking the reward to a DRI agent. These agents are scattered around the map and so are the Digimon you need to beat. It’s a good way of fixing up your team how you like it. For example, if you start with a team that doesn’t have Agumon but you want him, then you can still get him. There’s also a way to get another Digimon not found on other teams, Veemon.
As comes with anything Digimon is Digi-volution. And there is a decent amount of Digi-volution in Digimon World 3. It’s split in a bunch of types; natural, branching, blast, and DNA.
Once you’ve unlocked your first Digi-volution at level 5, you can set it to ‘Battle On’. This means whenever you get into a fight, and you’re not ambushed, you’ll start the battle in that form. So if you turn Greymon as battle on, instead of seeing Agumon come out it will be Greymon. A nifty inclusion is that in battle you can still change your form.
Natural Digi-volutions consist of the natural path for each of your party Digimon. These are earned through normal level up at levels 5, 20, and 40.
Then as you level up each Digi-volution or raise certain stats, you can unlock branching trees for each party member. Then, depending on combinations, levels, and stats, you can get the big boys. Like Omnimon or Imperialdramon.
Blast Digi-volution is a neat addition to combat. Basically as you continue to fight with a Digimon and it takes damage, a meter will fill up. When it maxes out, your little Digi-boy will explode and become just a little more powerful. Going up to its Mega form and having some of its best attacks.
Then comes the DNA Digi-volutions. They take place in battle using 2 of your Digimon. If they have a correct combination of Digi-volutions that is.These are mighty impressive, especially for the PlayStation 1. Little cutscenes showing the two Digimon fusing and then becoming a much more powerful Digimon that fires off a grand attack. Dealing a bunch of damage and switching the active Digimon.
Trading Card Game
Like quite a few other games have wont to do. Digimon World 3 introduced its own card based minigame. It’s not quite as well polished or loved as, say, The Witcher’s ‘Gwent’. It is however an appreciated addition and just pads out some of the gameplay and gives you something else to collect.
I do quite like the game honestly, it’s really quite simple. Every time I play the game, I always make sure to play at least some matches. At least in the beginning of the game, as some of the later NPC decks get a bit mad, if you’re not making the effort.
What do I like so much?
Digimon. That’s it. I like me some Digimon and having three little guys running around behind me in colour and 3D. It has some of the most strangely specific animations too. Like the little skid when you stop running or the little spinning satellite that follows you. There’s seemingly quite a lot of extra little details that I really appreciate.
Digimon World 3 also has some of the most charming little soundtracks for the PS1 era. It’s not full of epic orchestral numbers or anything but they’re cute. They’re catchy, simple, and I’m here for it. I would place the soundtrack somewhere between PS1 era Final Fantasy and Pokemon. More complex than Pokemon but not quite a Final Fantasy.
All of the Digi-volutions are surprisingly complex but understandable. It gives you quite a large variety of Digimon, moves, and choice. Despite the fact that there are less than 10 base Digimon to pick from, very clever!
I really like the trading card game in Digimon World 3. It’s pretty easy to get to grips with and can be a really simple diversion whilst playing the rest of the game.
Honestly, there’s just not much that I don’t like. Running around as a kid with some actual personality, whilst fighting with monsters. It actually kinda feels like it’s what Pokemon should have evolved into. Digimon “Digi-volved” further than Pokemon has, two decades ago.
What does it all mean?
Out of just about every game that exists or has existed, Digimon World 3 might be the one game I think needs a remaster or remake. I really think this could do with some love, it’s unlikely to get it but I want it. The only other game is also a Digimon game; Digimon Rumble Arena.
Give them a “Final Fantasy on the Switch” style remaster. Improved visuals and performance, and then add in speed up features and the like. I would give 10 years off my lifespan for this. I’m not even joking. If a demon is somehow reading this, hit me up!
Frankly, Digimon is just a fantastic franchise and I love it. A lot of the games are just a bit hard or odd and I think this is where the series falls down. Despite this there are some truly great games in the Digimon series.
PS1 emulation has come quite some way and you may even be able to emulate this game well. If you have a spare, well a bunch of time, I cannot recommend playing Digimon World 3 enough.