Digimon Adventure Tri: Reunion Review

After quite a few years, Digimon has returned to the big screen. It’s been fun watching all of the seasons and getting caught up with the franchise. I still have to finish Fusion at some point, but beyond that I have seen all of the shows and most of the movies. Tri beings the main cast back to the mix for a new adventure. I’d say that Part 1 is mostly used as a nostalgia trip ala Battle of Gods and to set the stage for the bigger fights yet to come. If Resurrection F is any indication, Digimon’s also going to ramp up the intensity of the series goes on. That being said, it already has a more serious tone and actual stakes compared to DBZ. (Thanks Beerus…) The film is very strong and only has 1 real flaw which I shall get into.

It’s been a few years since the DigiDestined saved the galaxy. They let the Season 2 cast handle the fights at this point and go about their everyday lives. Even if they wanted to help out, they are no longer able to use their Digivices and have no way of reaching the Digital World. The gang have all started to lead their own lives so even though most of them attend the same school, they don’t get to chat much except to exchange pleasantries. That changes when a Kuwagamon attacks the city and the government quickly shows up along with everyone’s Digi partners. The team beats back the threat, but it seems to only be the beginning of a larger threat. Can the team shake off the rust to defend the planet or will they have to call it a day and try to locate Davis?

It’s always good to start a film off with some kind of excitement. Build up is great and all, but you need a preview of something intense. Tekken Blood Vengeance started off with a quick motorcycle chase/fight scene and Yugioh 3D started off with Jaden defending the country from monsters. Tri doesn’t start off quite as intense, but we do get quick flashes of what is happening in the Digital World with the 02 cast, which was cool to see. I’m glad that it was thrown in there as it helps to set the stage from the get go. I’m mildly skeptical on the team getting wrecked so easily, but at the same time…they never were as strong as the 01 cast!

The animation is pretty solid and definitely a lot better than I had been expecting. While it’s not quite as colorful as the original show, I do think that the animators put a much better effort into the fight scenes and character designs this time around. (Compared with the previous Digimon movies) The energy attacks all look great and we do get a nice extended fight scene between Alphamon and the DigiDestined. I should add that this scene was also my favorite moment in the film. I love seeing a villain take on an entire group and while the difference in strength was considerable, it’s not like everyone was fainting from a single tap. They still put up a good fight. The battle of Super Megas didn’t really get to happen much, but that will likely happen in the future. I wasn’t really expecting Alphamon to do much in this film anyway so I was pleasantly surprised to see him get in on the action so soon.

As for the soundtrack, it was solid as well. I was never crazy about the Japanese version of the Evolution theme, but thanks to the movie transitioning it into an insert song, I liked it more this time around. Alphamon’s theme for when he takes on the heroes was also very well done and was easily the most Epic theme in the film. I’m hoping that it can return for the sequels. Tri also remixed the original opening to Digimon by adding electronic elements and more of a rap feel to it. I liked the actual beet and it’s a theme that should help pump you up a bit. It probably would have been better without the lyrics though. It has a bit of a mysterious feel to it so the 02 clips meshed well.

The writing is good and the film is already adding a lot of plot lines that will be investigated more in the future. One example of this is the government. I’m glad that they are playing more of a role here because there is no way that they shouldn’t be aware of Digimon by now. The events of the first two seasons should have certainly sent in some warning bells and luckily we find out that the Government has known about all of this for quite some time now. They were fairly well prepared as well even if they should probably not be so secretive. None of them appear to have any Digimon yet either so in a fight all they can do is talk a good game. I look forward to seeing them appear more in the future.

Lets talk about the heroes now. Izzy’s usually my least favorite member so we’ll start with him. He’s still not really my kind of character, but at least he’s dependable. He tries to help Sora out with a problem even when he’s fairly busy and Izzy always makes time to help the gang out even when others (Joe) put other matters ahead of saving the world. He builds the gadgets that help the team out quite a lot here so he’s already contributed a lot. He just needs to grab a Mega Digimon and he’ll be set to help out in the fights a little more.

Mimi’s easily the most outgoing character here as she has grown even more vocal than in the TV show days. While she may be a little too oblivious to the fights and villains running around, at least she keeps the team from taking themselves too seriously. I could do without all of the teasing that she directs at Izzy, but beyond that she’s a good character. It’ll be good to have her back in the city with the others so she won’t have to keep catching planes to make it in time for the fight scenes.

Joe is back to the school mission and that’s where things start to get a little hazy. If he misses the test, then his future plans may not go too smoothly, but if he doesn’t help the others in the fights then his friends could die. Clearly Joe should make the latter call, but unfortunately he has a very tough time deciding. It’s not as if he is a power hitter or anything like that, but he should definitely let school take a back seat now. He hasn’t let it get toooooo far yet, but he’s quickly heading in that direction.

TK looks very good here and is definitely one of the more likable members. He’s the only person who was able to attend one of the events (Although Sora would have probably, possibly made it) and he helped Matt out a lot the entire time. His new design works pretty well and it’s still cool to see that he and Kari still have the new Digivices that are a little more high tech. Since he has some of the closest ties to the season 2 cast, I expect him to get a bigger role as the series goes on.

Kari also looks good here and she has a solid new design as well. The roles have definitely reversed with her and Tai now as she has to look after him since he tends to forget his lunch of panic a lot. Hopefully she is able to help him realize how far he has fallen over the years. I also have to say that her friends seem to have Birthday parties quite a lot, but Kari is probably popular in school. Unlike the other DigiDestined, she always seemed to have a lot of friends. Since she has a better 6th sense than the other members, she’ll probably be really useful soon as well.

Sora’s role is pretty minimal compared to some of the other characters here. She tries to be a peacemaker between Tai and Matt, but that’s always a very hard thing to do. Helping the new character get adjusted to the tough world of Digimon is also tricky. Mainly, Sora just needs a good action scene and the rest will fall into place. She’s definitely a solid character though and I’d say that she’s better than Mimi, Izzy, and Joe.

Finally, we’re at the two main characters. Let us start with Matt. He’s easily the best character in the film and he’s eager to fight. Matt does get a little exaggerated in the film like trying to punch out two guys who were talking bad about Digimon, but it’s always good to defend your friends. At least he’s a guy who will stand by you. From the start, Matt decided that the DigiDestined should proactively try to find the new villain organization and put a stop to them and he doesn’t hesitate to jump into the fray either. Tai would have died twice if not for Matt’s quick action. I liked him a lot in the show as well, but I believe that Tai ultimately won the battle there. In this film, it’s not even close. Matt definitely cares a lot about helping out and doing the right thing, even if he keeps up the tough exterior.

As for Tai…well, he’s the worst character in the film. The change happens very suddenly as well so it’s rather odd. He’s thrilled to see Agumon and is eager to fight off the Kuwagamon. Unfortunately, Agumon greatly overestimated his abilities and got wrecked. Mix that in with the collateral damage and Tai decides that fighting evil in order to protect the innocent is not a good thing to do. It’s better to just let the villains run wild and leave it all to the cops. Needless to say, this is a pretty terrible attitude to have and you’ll wonder if this is the same self-less leader from the TV show. It gets very extreme as he even refuses to help a teenage girl when she is being attacked by Alphamon. If Matt hadn’t stepped in, she would have been vaporized. It was impossible for Tai to come back from that and all of his arguments with Matt are his fault. Matt was in the right every time and his demands weren’t even that harsh. He just wanted to fight the villains to minimize damage to the city, but Tai refused to fight even when the villains were around. That’s pretty sad and I’m hoping that Tai will get past this, but it looks like that could take a while.

Meanwhile, Meiko is the newcomer to the group. She’s super timid and has a hard time fitting in with the rest of the group. She’ll likely get better at it as time goes on..before regressing in part 3. It was cool to recognize the voice actress from the Madoka series and I admit that it is the main reason why she is okay so far. Otherwise, she’s certainly not my kind of character and her Digimon needs to be a little stronger if it wants to hold its own here. Not to mention the fact that it definitely seemed to be avoiding her so she should try to get to the bottom of this.

Alphamon made for a great villain. He doesn’t talk, but the design is really sharp and he certainly has a lot of power to back up his plans. He ran away awful quickly, but maybe part of his plan is to keep chipping away at Tai’s confidence. If so, then it’s a really well thought out plan. He’s automatically the best Digimon villain from the 01 line although if we count 02, then it gets tricky. Black War Greymon and SkullSatamon (Close enough) are still so awesome. I’m glad that Alphamon is the main villain so far and the proper rematch between him and Omnimon will be pretty hype.

I also like Kuwagamon so it was fun to see him get involved. He got a nice power up thanks to the virus and was able to hold his own and defeat the DigiDestined champions. In a 1 on 1 match, he proved to be too powerful for any one of them to handle. Granted, they could have used their Ultimates to defeat him, but plot hax and writer logic couldn’t have that. I imagine that they will be back to using Ultimates at will in Part 2 to handle the next threat. Kuwagamon probably won’t be back, but it was great to see him modernized. Even the design felt a little more humanoid this time around.

As a minor thing, I found it odd that Tai wasn’t wearing the goggles so he could locate the incoming threats even though that was the whole point of them. He only put it on by chance because Matt asked him about it and that’s when he saw the monsters. Yeah, Tai was really slipping this time around. I also think Tai and friends should have gone off in search of the 02 cast right away since the threat was so big. Based on the Part 3 preview, they took a long while to begin searching for them. Maybe they just didn’t think of it since the whole thing was so sudden, but you can use all the help that you can get in a situation like this. Especially with Mega Digimon involved, collateral damage is going to happen regardless, but having a lot of allies will help with that.

I got to see this English dubbed version in the theaters thanks to the limited time release. The intriguing part was that after the movie, they showed a full recap of Part 2 to spoil the whole thing and then the first 8-10 minutes of Part 3. Based on Part 3, Izzy’s character is going to go down the drain, but hopefully Tai’s will go up to counter that. What happens in Part 2 is easy to guess anyway, but hopefully there are still a few unexpected wrinkles in there that the recap wouldn’t bother to mention. I suppose I can probably forget about seeing a cool Alphamon fight in that one though. I’m expecting Part 1 to beat Part 2, but Part 3 could possibly match it depending on how far along the plot we are at by then. You can tell that quite a lot of things have yet to happen or be explained so the series has potential to do just about anything it wants at this point. The sky’s the limit.
Overall, My only real gripe with Tri was the fact that they completely butchered Tai’s character. He’s nothing like the the character that I liked in the show and seeing him fall to this level is pretty sad. I can only hope that he will get better as soon as possible. I definitely recommend this film to all Digimon fans and to anyone that likes a good action film. We only get 2 real fight scenes this time, but they’re both at a good length and the rest of the film works on building up the stage for what will happen soon. We finally also get to see this franchise’s take on how the universe was created along with the Digital World. The lore can finally be complete on the wiki. The film goes by in the blink of an eye and the pacing never really slows. IT definitely has a lot of replay value and I can safely say that Tri does a great job of bringing the old gang back. It may be a while before I see Part 2, but I’ll be eagerly awaiting what Tri has in store.

Overall 8/10

Digimon Adventure 02: Revenge of Diaboromon Review

Our War Game was definitely a great Digimon movie and my personal favorite from the collection. Making a sequel to that one makes a lot of sense and Diaboromon was a really cool villain so I was glad to have him back. Unfortunately, they only gave the sequel around 30 minutes to work with which limits this movie to a noticeable extent. It is still a fun film, as a result, there just isn’t a lot of time to do just about anything. It’s very rushed, but we do get 2 big fight scenes so that’ll do. Considering the players in the actual battles, it still has more stakes than 2 out of the last 3 Digimon films.

The film starts off very quickly as Diaboromon returns and decides to wreck havok on the world once again. Luckily, the DigiDestined have learned of his plot so the main characters of the first two seasons have a meeting on what to do about this. They ultimately decide to send in Omnimon to take care of Diaboromon while the other characters handle the rookie Digimon that are infesting the city. Sounds like a good plan, but can Omnimon really win? After all, he only beat Diaboromon the first time because they used emails to slow Diaboromon down from the inside. Otherwise, Omnimon was much too slow to do anything about the villain, which continues to be a bit of an issue for him here. Davis may have to step in if things get dicey!

The film has no time to waste so that’s why things happen very quickly here. As with the last encounter, some of the Digidestined are a little too busy to help out, but most of them are ready this time. TK and Kari are probably the most useful characters aside from the main 4. They may not have super strong Digimon at their disposal like the others (They don’t want to use their strongest forms or haven’t mastered them I assume since they go with the standard modes) but are still able to give Diaboromon a good tackle and dodge his array of lasers for a good amount of time. They handled the situation well and I would have liked the other members to have helped out as well. Perhaps in Tri we will finally get to see the whole team help out.

I’m still not really a huge fan of the animation style used in this film. It’s a style that has been used for most of the Digimon films at this point and makes all of the characters very wavy. It makes for good explosions, but also makes the movie lose a lot of its color. For example, just about everything and everyone are faded out as opposed to the bright colors from the original TV show. It looks more like Seinen character designs as opposed to Shonen or Kodomo. It’s not necessarily bad of course, but the humans lose a bit of their individuality and I’d just like to see more color introduced.

I also think that it could possibly be linked with how Omnimon looks a lot weaker here than he should. He’s portrayed as extremely slow to an extreme level. It may be because of how the Digital World works in the film universe, but it definitely didn’t make him look all that impressive. In the human world he was a bit faster though so it may not be an animation/directing thing and just Digital rules that came into play. Imperialdramon got to show his stuff though and the hyped Paladin Mode was fun to see. With the raw power of a quadruple Mega, he should definitely be a force to be reckoned with. In Cyber Sleuth he had the ability to take out an entire team of 12 Megas in a single shot so even today he is considered to be one of the strongest of all time.

The final fight scene on Earth is quite good after all. The shots of Diaboromon’s true form slowly approaching were handled well and his rematch with Omnimon was good. It’s a shame that his fight against Paladin Mode only lasted a few seconds, but this is where the short length of the film really came into play, similar to the Janemba DBZ film. It also shows how strong the form is of course as it would look less impressive if it was more of an even fight. I’d still take Omnimon over Imperialdramon in a fight any day, but both of them are strong fighters since Imperialdramon has his humanoid mode. If he was stuck in Dragon form, things would be pretty tricky for him.

It’s pretty neat that now most of the kids in the world know about the Digidestined. It should make their work a little easier if they don’t have to hide the fights each time. Plus, since emails can slow down the villains, having the aid of the other kids can really be useful. Most of the adults will probably still be left in the dark since they can’t really comprehend the world of Digimon, but that’s okay. It made for a really fun plot in season 3, but it would need a lot of screen time once again so it would deserve its own movie if the series ever gets that plot.

I think it is safe to say that Tai is the best character here. He’s pretty serious the whole time and doesn’t hesitate to go into battle. Matt’s a close second though as he is also ready for action and has matured a lot over the years. He even acts as the leader a bit although Tai will always be the true commander of the team. Izzy helped out a bit from his end as well with a little aid from Yolei. Of course, the whole situation was Yolei’s fault as well so she was really trying to fix her own mistakes at that point. Mimi and Joe didn’t really get to do much, but at least Joe lent his bike to Davis and Ken so they could make it in time to help out. Ken and Davis were solid characters as well. I definitely agree with Davis that he should have been allowed to go and help from the get go. If Diaboromon had to deal with 2 Mega level Digimon at once, there is a chance that he never would have made it to the human world. The small Digimon weren’t really causing all that much damage anyway so they would have been fine even if they had been left to their own devices. Ah well, they got to prove their worth in the end after a rather long run to make it.

The soundtrack is all right here. As with most of the Digimon films, it takes a rather serious, Godzilla esque tone for the music. There was a nice quick theme that played near the end during the battle on Earth though. I remember that one being pretty solid. I do miss my classic English Dub Digimon evolution theme and hope to see it a bit in Tri or some kind of remix at some point, but I know it can’t always be around.

Also, one thing I definitely like about this film is the fact that the Digimon just hang out with everyone in the real world. I never liked the fact that they were forced to part ways at the end of Season 1, but the films helped to correct that. Now, the Digi Destined can hang out with their Digi partners whenever they want. Even when the Digimon go back to their world, you know that they can always come back to hang out as well. It also gives the humans more options since they can quickly summon a Mega to defend themselves if an enemy suddenly attacks the human world. Otherwise, they’d be defenseless and that would certainly be a problem. The season 2 cast is still basically defenseless without Davis and Ken (I don’t count TK and Kari) so they shouldn’t go too far. I’m still interested in how the 02 cast could lost in Tri, the main two members are fairly tough. Ah well, we’re getting closer to Tri so the mysteries will start to become clear.

Overall, Revenge of Diaboromon was a good way to bring back the fan favorite villain. I’ve always considered him to be similar to Broly in that sense as he is one of the only movie villains to return and it always takes the full cast at their peak in order to stop him. Without the season 2 guys, the DigiDestined would have been doomed against Diaboromon and his new power. He had the complete edge in the Digital World thanks to his army and in the real world his new form’s durability was quite impressive. Omnimon’s attacks couldn’t make a dent in his armor. It was a fun way to say good bye to the original cast until the new Digimon Tri movies. I do wish that the film could have been longer and I’d like the movies to start adding a little more color. It doesn’t have to be a lot all at once as a gradual effect will do, but I like my sharp colors. However, the film still holds its own and I’d put it in second behind Our War Game.

Overall 7/10

Digimon All Star Rumble Review

After all these years, Digimon has finally gotten itself another fighting game. I had a lot of fun back in the day playing Rumble Arena 2 and I just barely missed out on the original one. This is essentially the Rumble Arena 3 that we’ve been waiting for all these years and it’s definitely worth it. The game didn’t get a whole lot of publicity before it came out so hopefully the sales are still strong since this could be the start of a new series!

The game actually has a small plot. It’s not much of a story, but it certainly beats not having one. Essentially, a tournament is starting and a lot of Digimon want to enter it to win. They don’t know exactly why they want to enter…it’s almost like it’s destiny! They follow their primal instincts and quickly get ready for the fight of their life, but is there something more to this tournament? Then you pick the fighter that you want to play as and you’re set. I naturally played the game with Agumon the first time around, but I’ll beat it with everyone at some point for that shiny Platinum trophy!

The roster is pretty small considering that it’s a PS3 game. I think they definitely could have doubled or tripled the character selection, but with a limited budget I suppose that it would have been difficult. What would have helped is if they let some of the Mega Level Digimon be playable from the Get Go. I have unlocked all of the characters except for 3 starters and I do not have access to nearly any of the alternate Mega Digimon. Those will likely pop up along the way in the Story Mode paths. Counting all of those figures, the roster looks a lot better.

The gameplay is like Rumble Arena, but it’s in 3D. I suppose that you can picture Naruto Ninja Storm as an example. It’s a 3D playing field and you have your standard attacks, power attacks, and your projectiles. You can mix and match to make various combos and the goal is typically to defeat your opponent. (Although other modes feature games like capturing the flag so vary up the action) Once your meter is charged you can transform into an immensely powerful Mega Digimon. Once you’re in that form, you’re basically ready to rock and roll!

There are also items of course and they can really change the course of a battle. One of the items makes a twister form around the player. Another one lets you turn the opponent into a ball of living slime and the best item in the game allows you to instantly Digivolve. You cannot begin to compare that to any of the other items because it is so great. A thunderbolt is probably the second best item as it does some serious damage and it also stuns the opponent. It’s like a double effect for the price of one!

Surprisingly, the game actually goes up to 4 players. I don’t know many people who actually have 4 remotes, but it’s great that we are actually given the option. It’s certainly something to consider and I do have 3 remotes over here so at least I can go almost all the way. Every fighting game gets more and more fun as you increase the amount of players. It’s just common video game logic! Things get more chaotic and it will definitely test your mastery over the game.

The computer A.I. is decent, but it’s not great. You should be able to crush the hard difficulty level with ease after a handful of battles. Ah well, that’s not so bad since we have multiplayer mode and the computer is not downright easy either. I’m sure that a case can be made for it being just right.

The graphics are very bright and it works pretty well for the game. It may not be the most stylish game, but you would never mistake it for a last gen title. All of the character models are sharp and they really stand out no matter which stage you are on. I’m satisfied with the amount of stages as well as there are around 10-12 of them. Some of them even have gimmicks like a fog that will damage your fighter if you go near it.

The soundtrack is pretty nonexistent. I suppose that it would have been pretty tough to have had a pretty memorable one alongside everything else, but it certainly would not have hurt. There aren’t any real battle themes either, which is odd considering that it is a fighting game. How awesome would it have been to have had the Digimon theme song for the first few seasons included during the battles? That would have definitely been a lot of fun!

Surprisingly, there is no online capabilities in this game. I’m fine with that since it’s not the kind of game where I would play online a whole lot, (Madden and Smash Bros are really where I have fun online. Other than that, I typically stay local) but it’s still pretty surprising. Maybe they just didn’t think that enough people would be playing it right away to warrant a purchase of a few servers to run it on.

Some of the trophies are a bit of a grind, but none of them are really that hard. Waiting for the 50 hours to show up on your PS3 may be the toughest part or collecting the Digi cards, but it’s only a matter of time. The toughest trophy to get skill wise is probably beating the game with every character, but I’m sure that you’re up to the task. I only need 13 trophies left so that should be a breeze.

Overall, Digimon All Star Rumble is a solid addition to the Digimon franchise. The campaign mode is very short, but the multiplayer mode makes up for it. This gives it infinite replay value and that’s more than enough for you to be content. While the character roster may be pretty limited we do get fan favorites like Agumon and Guilmon. Old timers may be disappointed that some of the Season 1 stars were cut out, but maybe they’ll make the sequel. I’m sure that they would since a sequel would likely fill out the rest of the spots for the main characters from season 1 and season 3. No guarantees on season 2 of course, but those guys likely wouldn’t be missed quite as much. This is definitely a title worth obtaining if you want some solid action!

Overall 8/10