|System: DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Epics||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Namco Bandai||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Aug. 26, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Amanda L. Kondolojy
Digimon is a franchise that began in the late 90s as a digital pet toy that was made to rival the then-dominant Tamagotchi. The toy consisted of a little keychain with an LCD screen, where you could interact with your little Digimon pet.
You had to feed, train, and clean up after your pet, and eventually it would evolve into a full-fledged Digimon monster. If you had a friend with a Digimon virtual pet, you could link the two together and they would be able to do battle. Fast forward a decade or so and you have Digimon World Championship for the Nintendo DS, which essentially the same idea, just with color.
You begin the game with a single Digimon egg. You'll quickly learn that once the egg hatches, you'll be responsible for feeding, training, and cleaning up after it. The interface is very simple and consists of several modules where you will be able to let your Digimon rest, exercise, and heal after a hard day of training. After you get comfortable with the interface (which takes all of about ten seconds) you'll learn about getting new Digimon. The Digimon capture system is very similar to the Pokémon capture system. You go to a place where Digimon roam free in the wild and then capture them. From there, you can incorporate them into your training facility and continue to can feed, train, and clean up after it.
If all this sounds terribly repetitive, it is. Tending to these Digimons' basic needs (all three of them) is the real center of the gameplay, and it feels like a chore. But, Digimon veterans will know there is always a battle component to any Digimon-affiliated game and this holds true here. However, there is a major problem with the battle gameplay. You can't control it.
Once you train your Digimon to the point where he is ready to battle, you will be able to enter him in the World Championship Tournament. Then, once you do, it's time to put down the DS and watch. You literally have no control over what happens during the Digimon battles. The idea here is that if you were training your Digimon properly, they'll have all the right moves to defeat their opponents. Though taking the control away from the player in a game just feels wrong. I really wished they would have taken a more RPG-like approach like they had in past Digimon games. Taking the gameplay out of the battle system really takes the life out of this game and makes it little more than a reinterpretation of the virtual pet toy that inspired it more than ten years ago.