Shut Up and Take My Digi-Dollars! #6: Digimon Digital Monster 20th Anniversary Artbook

So last month something that I’ve been looking forward to for awhile arrived; the Digital Monster 20th Anniversary Artbook.
I really like artbooks, especially when they contain concept art or anything relating to ‘betas’ of games (eg, I love hearing about the beta versions of the Pokemon games) or concept ideas for the product or franchise.
I also have a fairly large amount of nostalgia for the original Digimon virtual pets as this was my introduction to the franchise since the anime wasn’t really all that popular. I think the only full season of Digimon I watched as it was airing from the first to the last episode was 02, everything else I would only watch a couple of episodes, maybe every few episodes (I started watching Adventure in the Dark Masters arc and when I was watching Tamers, the tv channel decided to take it off the air after like episode 36).
First of all, the box that it arrived in. Has the logo. Pretty standard.
Here’s the book! Pretty cool cover design. I think I’ve mentioned a few times on the podcast about how happy I am that they still show Tyrannomon as the poster child for the vpets.
Tyrannomon also struck me as the most famous Digimon when I was a kid before I started watching the anime. He was everywhere! He was on every commercial for the virtual pets and he was on the box for the version one. I thought my virtual pet was fake when I couldn’t get Tyrannomon or even ‘Darkmon’ (which was Devimon’s name on the English versions of the vpets) because I was the only kid with a version 2 (I know six versions were released in Australia but at the time where the fad was huge, only two versions had been released. I came pretty late to the fad).
More Tyrannomon! I love him! img_20180103_1202561397974341524380893.jpg
Images like these make me pretty happy, I was very happy for this to be one of the first things I saw when I opened the art book.
Probably the best part about the book is how it has each Digimon that makes an appearance in the ver20th vpets and each page has glorious art and concept art such as flexing Leomon.
Basically every page (except for a few) features a Digimon eating some of the ‘bone with meat’ from the vpets. It’s always cute, no matter how monstrous the Digimon is.
There’s also some cute art, such as Tyranomon and DarkTyrannomon hanging out at the beach!
Airdramon is still the best, no art with Airdramon and bone with meat though, which is weird.
img_20180103_1211588084878298660862064.jpgDrimogemon always gives me a rush of nostalgia. I blame Digimon World.
Also look! He’s in a cave!!
Speaking of concept art, there’s also information about the original concepts for Digimon (“Capsule Zaurus” maybe some virtual pet version of “Pocket Zaurus”). There are some very interesting initial designs for some of the monsters which look more similar to Pokemon in how they’re kind of cute. At the bottom right you can see a few concept designs for Digimon that we actually know of.
The Digimon shown in the left image on the bottom left page seem to be Tyrannomon, Monochromon, and Seadramon as well as even earlier versions which almost resemble Tamagotchi characters. The concept for Seadramon looks like a cross between Airdramon and Seadramon (rather, it looks like Airdramon without wings).
In the right image, we get a few baby Digimon designs. Concept Koromon looks like Dorumon’s in-training form. We also get a concept Numemon which seems to look more friendly.img_20180103_1213341507400523163041689.jpgThe book also has some pretty neat concepts for the virtual pets. They went through a few designs before landing on the final design. However, I do rather like the flip-phone looking style as well as the design where the pet is actually in some cylindrical cage.
There’s also the evolution chart for the first version! Which is pretty neat!
One of the most interesting pages is this size chart which compares the size of some of the Digimon.
I never could have possibly imagined how enormous GraceNovamon is – we only get to see her leg!! It’s interesting considering we already know Mugendramon and Examon are huge. They could probably be stepped on by GraceNovamon without her even noticing.
The images are of pretty amazing quality too. I didn’t use my scanner as my scanner chose not to like me, the quality can still be seen clearly even with just photos from my mobile phone.

This art book exceeded expectations.
I was only expecting an art book and was pleasantly surprised to have such detailed concept art and information (which I had never seen before) as well as that size chart I mentioned earlier which puts some things in perspective (if you had asked me prior to reading this art book, I would have said GraceNovamon was probably twice as big as an adult, maybe three times as tall as an adult, Omegamon’s size maybe).
This book, while seemingly more expensive than other artbooks I have purchased (usually around 40-70AUD), this one was around 100AUD. However, I would definitely say that it is worth it, especially if you:
  1. are heavily influenced my nostalgia
  2. like looking at really high quality images
  3. are an artist and want references for your art
  4. like concept art and information about the background and original designs for Digimon
Cost: $$$
Design: 10/10

I also intend on reviewing the art book that was in the Hacker’s Memory limited edition soon-ish too if people are interested in that. Though the art book for that isn’t as amazing and it’s mainly just art and concept art from other Digimon Story games, it’s still quite a nice art book.

Shut Up and Take My Digi-Dollars! #4: Usable Digi-Merch – What's For Lunch?

As I mentioned in my last post for SUTMD; I love using my Digimon merchandise in everyday scenarios. I previously mentioned my use of the OUTDOOR tote and backpack as well as the KOD sports towel so I won’t write about them again, today I will talk about another piece of Digimon Merchandise that I use frequently (besides the tote and towel which I also use everyday).
I recently bought the Digimon Adventure Tri lunch set that was available at the Tri Part 5 popup shop from a middleman service. It’s made up of two bags; a cooler bag to keep your lunch fresh and cool during the day, and a small tote-like bag to fit it in.
It’s got a really cute design on the cooler bag with some DigiTama on it (maybe so we can keep some DigiTama cool before we eat them?) and the carry bag has the Digimon Adventure Tri logo (in English, not Katakana) and the child level (plus Tailmon) Digimon of the eight Digimon Adventure children. I thought Meicoomon would have been included but it’s not a big deal.
It’s a nice colour theme – a nice sky blue, similar to the chapter 6 poster.
Recently, I’ve been cooking onigiri and bringing it for lunch and these bags are perfect for it! The coolerbag can fit two onigiri and one banana and the coolerbag fits perfectly in the carry bag (I put my pieces of nori at the bottom of the carrybag.
The carry bag would be perfect if it had room for one of those drink bottles that they’ve been selling.
This item may be harder to get a hold of since it’s from a popup shop but I would highly recommend trying to find a proxy service which does pick ups or has one they’re reselling as this is a useful item and a fun and useful piece of merch!
As with last time, I have attached related images to this post!
Cost: $$
Aesthetic: 9/10
Design: 8/10
Usability: 9/10
Shut Up and Take My Digi-Dollars! #3: Usable Digi-Merch - Baggage

Shut Up and Take My Digi-Dollars! #3: Usable Digi-Merch – Baggage

I have a lot of Digimon merchandise which all lives happily organised and displayed on some shelves and I have many favourite things in my collection, but honestly, I probably love the pieces I can use in everyday life the most.
I’m not just talking about vpets or pedometers either! I’m talking about actual things that help out in my life! So today, I will talk about the two Digimon OUTDOOR bags that came out about a year or so ago. I bought both of these on AmiAmi when they were first released.
First up, is the tote bag which I take to work every day so I can go on a run during my lunch break.
It’s a very large bag that zips up and it fits my gym clothes and my runners perfectly as well as my sports towel – which is also Digimon merchandise (or does it count as official Knife of Day merchandise???) and a waterbottle (when I went Rollerblading last I brought my Appmon waterbottle).
It’s pretty large and I love the fact it can zip up so nothing falls out. It has so much room I tend to also put my lunch bag and my tea flask in their too and there’s still room for more!
It also has a small pocket on the inside which fits something small like deodorant or my wallet and a small pocket on the front of the bag that can fit something like your keys. I don’t use this pocket for any long period of time in case something falls out but I have put my keys or my phone in it briefly (for example, if I’m walking to the office from my car and need somewhere to put my keys).
The strap is long enough so it can just slide over my shoulder and hang as I’m carrying it so it’s pretty easy to transport, but I can also carry it by the holding the strap.
It has a nice subtle Digimon design on it which doesn’t make it stand out too much as a piece of Digimon merchandise – it’s a sleek stylish design and you would have to know of Digimon to really realise that it’s a Digimon bag. The crest design is nice too.
The tote bag is a lot nicer than other totebags that have come out under the ‘Digimon’ brand as it zips up and can fit so much more. I used to use the Digimon Adventure Tri Pixel tote bag for my gym clothes but it was so hard fitting everything in when really it’s more suited for a shopping trip, to carry a laptop, or just carry shoes when going away.
The next bag is the OUTDOOR backpack.
This bag is a lot bigger than a standard backpack and it’s probably more of a travel backpack than an every day backpack.
It’s main compartment is rather long, meaning that the bag is pretty tall and it looks like I’m about to go backpacking around Europe whenever I wear it so I didn’t really use it until recently.
I recently got into Rollerblading with my best mate at a local rink and was transporting my rollerblades in a regular-sized backpack, meaning that my blades would stick out of the bag and the bag wouldn’t zip up. I was trying to think of a bigger bag which would make transporting them easier and safer.
And then I realised that I had a perfect sized bag!
Besides the huge main compartment where I store my skates, there are three small compartments; two on the front, and one on the top. The one on the top is slightly hidden so it’s a good place to safely store a wallet and the front two pockets are large enough you could store your phone, keys, wallet, sports towel, and lunch!
The main compartment even has enough room for a water bottle to be stored as well to keep me hydrated.
You can seal the main compartment at the top by pulling the draw string and then buckling up two buckles, so it not only allows for a lot of extra room by having draw strings and not a zip at the top, but it looks rather stylish!
A neat feature of this bag is that you can access the main compartment from the side as well as the top. The sides of the bag have long zips which you can zip down to access the main part of the bag without upsetting anything that may be on the top.
The backpack has the same design and colour scheme as the tote bag, so again, it’s stylish and not noticeably Digimon merchandise.
Both of these bags are OUTDOOR products so they’re a bit on the pricey side but, honestly, I’ve had the use out of both bags – especially the tote bag. I think if I were to recommend one, I would recommend the tote bag as the backpack is far too large unless you’re using it for rollerblades or to travel and it may be too small to use as a backpack for actual backpacking for any extended period of time. The tote bag I would say is better for everyday use, but I still love both bags and I’m glad I picked them up. They’re both worth the cost and, as I mentioned before, the design is subtle enough to use as everyday baggage.
I’d also recommend the KOD sports towel which I also mentioned in this blog entry as it’s perfect to dry you off after a long workout session.
I have attached a bunch of photos of everything I discussed in this blog post!
OUTDOOR Tote bag
Cost: $$$
Aesthetic: 9/10
Design: 8/10
Usability: 10/10
OUTDOOR Backpack

Cost: $$$
Aesthetic: 9/10
Design: 9/10
Usability: 9/10

Shut Up and Take My Digi-Dollars! #2: Digimon Links Review

Digimon Links was released in Australia for Google Play on October 4th, and boy, did I not expect much from it as I downloaded the app.
However, I was happy to be proven wrong, and, honestly, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the game. I was hooked instantly and even recorded a podcast with my thoughts for Lost in Translationmon on October 5th after a day of playing the game because I just wanted to talk to somebody, ANYBODY about it.
It’s been a week since I first pressed on that friendly green ‘Install’ button and 6 days since I excitedly chirped away about it on a podcast. Has the honeymoon period ended?
So I thought I’d write up a Digimon Links Review.
Continue reading

Shut Up and Take My Digi-Dollars! #1: The Truth About Cyber Sleuth

It’s a good game and I love rhyming (Cyber Sleuth came out over a year ago and I wrote it straight away and because of Jay not proof reading this when I initially wrote it, the review is coming out with bad timing).
So I thought this would be a great way to start my Digimon Review blog!
I wanted to write this review as soon as it came out but I also didn’t want to finish the game, not because it was bad, but because I enjoyed it too much and wanted to stretch out how much I could get out of this game and I’m still not finished; I want to 100% this game and get every trophy. I am finished the story, have most of the Digimon, and have sunk an odd 200 hours into this game so I feel I can talk enough about this game to warrant writing a game review. I’m not usually a completionist but I am going to squeeze every cent possible out of this game.
First of all I should start of saying I’m a huge and long-term Digimon fan. I have a huge Digimon collection and I co-host a Digimon podcast with my partner (who, unlike me, did not grow up with Digimon and is pretty pessimistic when it comes to the series) so I tried to be as nit-picky as possible and as unbiased as I could so I didn’t just give 10/10s across the board because that’s boring. I have also played most of the Digimon games that have been released, and, while, as a child I borrowed Digimon World from the local VideoEZY so many times I should have just bought the game, I can safely say that this is the best Digimon game in the series.
I can also say in a conceited tosser voice that I majored in Games Design and Development at university so I can pretend that I’m the authority of what makes a good game, and that, as an only child with poor social skills, I have played a lot of games over my years.
I woke up bright and early before work on the 5th of February to download and get my first glimpses of the game. I didn’t really know much about Cyber Sleuth’s gameplay because I wanted to have the freshest experience possible and I had managed to distance myself from the game when I thought it being localised was only an impossible dream.
The first 30 or 40 minutes are essentially a cut scene which I’ve noticed to be usual for games of the same genre. I found it slow and I felt like it threw me into the world and setting without much explanation (thought it was also before 6am in the morning so it’s possible I was off in my own world) but once this game starts, it really starts. The story is fun and unique and I really enjoyed it, and, as I mentioned earlier, much better than any of the previous Digimon Games (even though I really enjoyed Digimon World 2003 and that was my previous favourite and most played Digimon game). I enjoy the cameos of characters from previous Digimon games even though none of them were released in Australia and, with the exception of Digimon Story Dusk and Dawn, weren’t even released in English legally.
The DLC and free mission packs are fun and hopefully Bandai Namco add more in the coming months – even if I have to pay for them I will.
When I first loaded the game I was greeted by familar-sounding music – it sounded like the music in Dangan Ronpa and after a quick google I found out that the score composer for Dangan Ronpa and Cyber Sleuth are the same (Masafumi Takada). The soundtrack never feels out of place and really sets the scene and I’m honestly tempted to buy the soundtrack. It would be great if music from the Digimon anime was included (like how Beat Hit! was used during Jogress evolution in Digimon World 2003).
The sound effects are great and I love hearing the voices of some Digimon as they attack (like how Omnimon shouts his attack and Lilimon saying ‘ready, set!’). However, similar games of this genre usually have a two language setting where the spoken language can either be English or Japanese, Cyber Sleuth only has Japanese voices. I don’t mind because it gives me some Japanese practice but it’s just something that I noticed.
In the first few chapters you find yourself mainly running around the dodgy, hacker and Digimon infested, online zone called Kowloon (named after the urban area of the same name) and by about the time you start saying ‘Man I am really bored of Kowloon’, other locations are added.
While previous Digimon games have mainly existed in an online world or in the Digital World, this game makes you jump between worlds and has a very extensive setting where you can visit Shinjuku, Shibuya, Ueno, and, much to my delight, Odaiba.
The characters are well designed with unique looks and personalities. The playable character is a yellow and black clad, protagonist who constantly wears a gormless look. My one complaint about the main character is the game can’t seem to decide whether they’re silent (responding in facial expressions and ellipses), character controlled (choices are given to the player), or as vocal as the other characters.
Two of the other characters to get Digimon are the playable character’s online friends; excitable bossy pink haired girl with a name that has a certain ringtone to it (Nokia – get it, like the phone ringtone? I’m hilarious) and moody, black haired bloke who feels like Sasuke from Naruto (Arata).
The detective that your character works for, Kyoko, is one of the few adults that are main characters (the other being Date, who seems to be very interested in arresting and flirting with the main character).
The members of the occult club are all very cute and unique and I really enjoy the missions where they show up.
The only characters who are rather ordinary are Ryota and Sakura who are meant to represent the ‘normal civilian side characters’, so I can forgive that.
The mechanics are some of the most unique features I’ve ever seen in a game. I love the hacking abilities and I only wish that there were more puzzles based around them.
Medal collecting is fun for completionists and the art used is straight from the Digimon card game which can offer nostalgic appeal to players.
The DigiFarm is a great feature for training your Digimon and searching for missions and items but I feel like in previous ‘Digimon Story’ games it was implemented better. The other ‘Digimon Story’ games were on the Nintendo DS which featured two screens and the player could watch the Digimon in their farms move around, train, communicate, and be just plain adorable. The DigiFarm interactivity feels slightly lacking in comparison, the player can feed them stat-boosting items from the DigiLab and can reply to messages in a chat room that can be accessed at any time called ‘DigiLine’. In DigiLine the DigiFarm Digimon will send you quiz questions or cute little messages, supporting characters will also send you plot-related messages, but I feel it’s missing a PSN friend messaging system, I guess we can’t have everything.
The graphics are crisp, clear, and stunning on both the Vita and PS4 version of the game. The scenery for the real world is beautiful (I mean Kowloon is too if you like the colour blue).
There are a few clipping issues such as Rosemon’s hair clipping through her cape but most games with 3D models experience this. The battle animations are really cutting edge and it really brings the likeness of the Digimon to life and I love how each Digimon has a signature move which has a unique animation for every Digimon. However, some animations I’m not entirely sure on; Gigadramon’s ‘end of battle’ pose has a sort of earthquake effect and when I first saw it, I thought my game was glitching.
I would have liked the jogress evolutions to be animated in the same style as in the show (which was previously included, along with ‘Beat Hit!’, in Digimon World 2003).
The translation is one of the few points of this game that I consider ‘so-so’ or rough. There are a few grammar mistakes but not a huge amount, just more than you’d want.
Some parts of the DigiLine feature seem roughly translated or buggy. a character will say that you’re wrong after choosing the correct answer and the answer they display is the same as what you chose. My favourite is the question which asks you which Digimon dual wields shotguns, if you get it write the Digimon will say “Correct! The Answer is Botamon!” There are also a few names which are get a bit lost in translation such as the Ueno festival mission being misspelt as Nakano, Medieval Dukemon being called ‘Medical Dukemon’, GranLocomon is now GrandLocomon, and my personal favourite, ‘Desperado Blaster’ becomes ‘Death Parade Blaster’.
Other aspects of the translation that seems rough is the lack of changing the DigiLine questions in the localisation. Speaking of DigiLine, a lot of the questions that are asked are about Japanese geography and holidays, which I don’t know much about. I feel that some of these Japan-centric questions should have been changed to more general global-knowledge or removed.
The game seems to assume that the player character is a man even if the player chose the girl meaning that Nokia jokes about female characters being the player’s girlfriend, the police office Date seems to flirt with the character quite often, and the player is given male pronouns and called ‘Sir’.
The difficulty setting can be changed at anytime and personally I found that the two difficulty levels (‘Normal’ and ‘Hard’) provide a good balance; experienced gamers will enjoy the challenging difficulty of hard and less experienced gamers won’t find the normal difficulty too easy. I played on Normal for most of the game.
Overall it’s a fun game, the story is entertaining and some parts are actually pretty funny, the translation seems a little rough but you can understand what’s going on, the graphics are amazing and crisp and the music is catchy. I want to 100% it but getting all the medals is really time consuming, I’ll probably make a full attempt one day. This game is worthy of a replay and I hope Cyber Sleuth’s sequel next year is as fulfilling as this game.
Cost (out of five dollar signs): $$$
Music: 9/10
Sound effects: 8/10
Graphics: 9/10
Story : 7/10
Mechanics and Gameplay: 9.5/10
Setting: 9/10
Translation: 6/10
Difficulty level: Fair