After trying out the closed beta test of Digimon: New Generation for some time, here are my first impressions of the game.
For those who are unaware, the closed beta for Digimon: New Generation began on August 5, 2021 and lasts until September 5, 2021. Developed by Qixia Interactive Entertainment and Bandai Namco Shanghai, the full game is set to release exclusively in China for mobile devices.
With that out of the way, here are my first impressions from the Digimon New: Generation closed beta test.
Story and Setting
The game starts you off with Paildramon, Sakuyamon, Beelzemon, MagnaAngemon and MetalGarurumon in your team as you save the world from Apocalymon. Fast forward 20 years later, and you’ll then get to create your character.
You play as a DTF (Digital Task Force) leader tasked to keep both the real world and the digital world safe. As you may expect, danger is on the horizon and you will need to save both worlds again.
Digimon fans should be used to the plot by now. While it isn’t anything revolutionary (like the postponed Digimon Survive), the story gets the job done. It helps to set up a coherent premise that lets us meet our Digimon friends, which is where the game really shines.
The World of Digimon
What really blew me away is the game’s visuals. For a mobile game, its graphics are incredible. The game looks comparable to Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth and it really shows.
The central hub where you can walk around looks absolutely stunning. Even though the map is small, the buildings look incredibly colourful and vibrant. The best part about the map is definitely being able to walk around with your selected Digimon companion accompanying you, which is really nostalgic for fans of the old Digimon games.
Aside from walking around town, I was also really amazed by the game’s animations. I am not exaggerating when I say that every single Digimon plays their own unique animation when you view them on their stats screen. For example, when I first looked at Agumon’s stats, the game showed him running to the centre of the screen, tumbling down and getting up again. All other Digimon have their own animation, so I was really blown away by the level of detail that the developers placed into the Digimon.
One thing that Digimon fans will absolutely love is the music. The game has iconic music from the anime. In one fight, when I evolved my Agumon to Greymon, the battle music switched to Brave Heart. As my Greymon proceeds to utterly destroy the enemy as Brave Heart hypes me up, I cannot be any more pleased as a Digimon fan.
The game is similar to mobile MMORPGs in a sense that there is the option for auto-pathing that lets us move from one objective to another. In the city, we can meet with NPCs to advance the story or take on other events. There is also the convenient option to skip cutscenes and dialogue outright. In the Digital World, auto-pathing will send you to the next point of interest, which is usually item/resource pickups or a battle.
Battles follow your typical turn-based RPG combat, with up to 5 Digimon on each side of the field. Digimon take turns to attack and you can tap on various icons to activate different skills for your Digimon. You can also let battles play in double speed and/or let the AI take over and fight in your place with the Auto function. A really cool aspect in battles is that when the bar at the lower right of the screen is filled, you can temporarily evolve your Digimon to its next stage for the duration of the fight as it performs its signature move. This really feels like a homage to the old anime series, which is great.
Consistent with Digimon lore is the existence of the three main attributes for Digimon—Vaccine, Virus and Data. This sort of rock paper scissors mechanic determines how much damage a Digimon will deal or take when interacting with an enemy Digimon in battle. For example, a Data Digimon will deal 15% extra damage against Vaccine Digimon, but take an increased 15% damage from Virus Digimon. In terms of teambuilding, you will pretty much want to build different teams of 5 same-attribute Digimon to tackle some of the harder fights.
Overall, the combat is pretty grindy and can get repetitive quickly. Like most gacha RPGs, you will most likely progress through the story missions until you finally hit a wall. When that happens, enhance and evolve your Digimon, and the process repeats itself. There are other modes such as arena for PvP and Challenge missions, both of which is necessary for getting items for evolving your Digimon, but the grind remains largely the same.
What makes the grind somewhat bearable is getting new Digimon and the evolution system. As per most Digimon games, Digimon can branch out into various evolutions. For example, Agumon can evolve into Greymon or GeoGreymon. You will need to meet certain requirements to evolve into certain types of Digimon. This aspect of the game feels a lot more polished compared to other gacha RPGs as it is very satisfying to get new Digimon and raise them.
Gacha in the game is pretty simple. Instead of rarities, the chance of getting a Digimon is divided according to their evolution stage. The rates are as follows:
- Child: 83.5%
- Adult: 15%
- Perfect: 1.5%
Currently in the Digimon: New Generation closed beta, the highest stage a Digimon can appear as is Perfect. It may be possible to roll for Ultimate Digimon in the future but at the time of writing, the only way to get Ultimate Digimon permanently is by evolving a Perfect Digimon.
Since the gacha system is based on evolution stage instead of rarity, this makes progression quite flexible. In other games, not getting the highest rarity can make things very difficult. However, in Digimon, getting Child Digimon gives you a lot more flexibility in terms of how you want your Digimon to evolve. Getting Perfect Digimon saves a lot of resources needed to evolve, but you may not be able to end up in the evolution path that you want since your Digimon starts off in Perfect form.
To evolve a Perfect Digimon to Ultimate stage permanently, you will need soulstone. Soulstone is also obtainable via gacha but at a drop rate of 0.5%. Thankfully, there is a pity system, but it is rather large at 200 pulls for a guaranteed soulstone.
Digimon: New Generation suffers from a lot of typical mobile gacha RPG problems such as being grindy and pay-to-win. However, I also feel that it is a love letter to Digimon fans. It is visually incredible and the animations are marvellous. The evolution and gacha systems also make it stand out amongst other mobile gacha RPGs.
Even though this was just a closed beta test, I didn’t encounter any issues with the game and it runs very smoothly. When the game officially releases in China, I sincerely hope it does well enough so that Western fans can give the game a shot.
Visit the game’s website to learn more about it.