Virtual Pet Spotlight: Digimon Pendulum Progress

A new fortnight means a new group hatch that humulos has organised for DigiHatch – this time participants can raise either a Digimon Pendulum Progress or the Pendulum X.

I have all versions of both devices, but honestly have not played either as both are fairly annoying, demanding, and difficult, but for this hatch, I chose the Digimon Pendulum Progress: Dragon’s Roar, because, as humulos of the DDC accurately described it; “Pendulum Progress: At least it’s not the Pendulum X!”

Digimon Pendulum Progress

Digimon Pendulum Progress – The Hatch

Immediately this hatch was off to a rocky start, my Digimon decided that bedtime was one hour after it hatched – at 9am, and then it slept until after midday, despite it not having any sleep disturbances and it being 0 year old.

While this may be because the device itself is rather old (as others, such as Airdra, in the Digimon Discord Channel informed me), I found that every Digimon on this device seems to really like its sleep.

I was already slightly negative about this device due to previous failed attempts at raising it, and the rocky start had me very negative, but after four days in, I looked at my device as was actually surprised to see VDramon had evolved to perfect – a feat I have never actually achieved.

Digimon Pendulum Progress – What It Does Right

Prior to this hatch, I don’t think I would have been able to come up with any positives, but after running one for a almost a week, I’ve actually grown to kind of like this device!

Big screen

The big screen means bigger sprites! While the Digivice quest toys have had these bigger pixel sizes, the virtual pets, prior to the Progress’ 2002 release had always been 16×16 sprites on a 32×16 screen, but the sprites on the Progress are 32×32, which allows for additional monster details.

The device itself is also bigger to accommodate for the bigger screen and buttons, but it still fits in my transport solution, so it’s still an easy size to transport.

The overall design is pretty nice too and it feels less like a cage and more like a device.

digimon pendulum progress

CPU Battles

As a child, I was never able to reach perfect level on the original virtual pet because it was hard to accumulate battles for the evolution requirements if you only had one device. However, the Progress has a solution for this; CPU battles! What’s more, victories add to your battle count, but loses do not, meaning you’ll also have a sufficient win count for evolution. The battle includes three successive adult Digimon, followed by its evolution, but for easy wins, you can just keep fighting the adult Digimon.

Version 3’s pause feature

While the first two versions didn’t have an inbuilt pause feature, like the previous virtual pets, the third version actually did.

Cross Device Jogress
(kind of)

Not only can you Jogress your Digimon with Digimon from the Pendulum Progress, you can actually Jogress with Digimon that you’ve scanned with your D-Scanner.

Additional evolution requirement – time trained

The Progress adds an additional factor when a Digimon evolves – when the Digimon is trained the most often, morning, noon, or night. It’s a fairly unique mechanic to the Progress, but it’s one I’d like to see feature in more virtual pets.

Stat screen

In addition to the usual ‘Hunger’, ‘Strength’, ‘Age’, etc, the status menu also includes values for the Digimon’s current AP, SP, and HP. Instead of just guessing a Digimon’s strength, it’s actually quantified in the status!

digimon pendulum progress

Digimon Pendulum Progress – What It Does Wrong

As I said, I haven’t had much luck with the Progress prior to now; despite having all three versions, I’ve never actually achieved perfect level until now!

The weird sleep issue and train time requirements

The training time requirement is one of the positives, because, on paper, it’s a great idea, however, the Pendulum Progress, as mentioned above, seems to have weird sleep times where sometimes Digimon just sleep into the afternoon, meaning that it’s not possible to rack up the training count in the morning. Bit of an oversight there.

No call icon

Due to the large screen, all icons which, on previous devices, have appeared above and below the Digimon, have been moved to a menu (similar to the Digvice Toys).

I work all day on weekdays, so I have to mute my virtual pets, meaning if I miss a call, I have to physically check the status screen to see if my little monster needs anything, instead of just checking for an alert icon on the screen. It’s not a huge issue, but it’s something I miss.

I can’t work out shake counts in training!

This is probably unique to me, I feel like it’s really hard to get a score above 4 (which is counted as successful) – instead of the device having high shakes are good and low shakes are bad, it has a specific range to aim for.

This isn’t uncommon amongst the Pendulum series, but it’s always something that is slightly annoying.

digimon Virtual Pet Spotlight: Digimon Pendulum Progress digimon

Digimon Pendulum Progress – Overall

The Digimon Pendulum Progress, while having its own flaws, actually seemed to pave the way for its successors, with great additions like CPU battles and a bigger screen, it really sets itself apart from the previous releases.

It’s not an easily or cheaply acquired virtual pet, especially the third version, but I’d really recommend it as a bit of a challenge and the overall sprites are really nice.

Maybe in 2022 we’ll get a Digimon Pendulum Progress v20th for the Progress’ 20th anniversary?

What are your thoughts on the Digimon Pendulum Progress? Are you taking part in the current DigiHatch? Let us know in the comments!

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