NOTE: This article is from the oprainfall Campaign Hub, written by an independent campaign, and hosted on the oprainfall website. The opinions herein may not represent the opinions of oprainfall.
During the last few years, the Digimon franchise seems to have lost the original appeal it garnered in the beginning. During the first years of the 2000’s, it was not an exaggeration to say that Digimon was one of the best animated series ever created with its awesome characters, dramatic and exciting stories and cutting-edge animation (for that period).
The Digimon franchise spawned from the creation of the Digital Monster Virtual Pet by Bandai. It was a sort of spin-off of the previous Tamagotchi, and it not only allowed players to train their personal monster, but also to fight other players’ monsters through an infrared connection. Just like in the Tamagotchi, your digimon could evolve (in this case “digivolve”) into many other forms, for a total of 4 or 5 evolution levels, according to your training. After some days, your digimon died, letting you to restart from the beginning, changing your training methods to obtain all the other digimon in the evolution tree.
From there, the Digimon brand has grown more and more, spawning merchandise like new versions of the virtual pet, toys, card games, animated series and, obviously, video games. Talking about the latter ones, the very first entry in the Digimon World series, released in 1999 in all parts of the world on the PlayStation console, is still the most loved by fans, even today, after more than 13 years.
The game’s core gameplay is pretty similar to the original Digimon Virtual Pet: you have to train your monster, raise its battle stats, take care of its needs (eating, sleeping, going to bathroom, and so on) and obviously make him fight against other digimon. Aside from the main mechanics, you are entrusted with the mission of repopulating the once glorious File City, the capital of File Island in the DigiWorld. Digimon, in fact, are losing their minds and starting to go wild. Your task is to fight against them and convince them to return to File City, at the same time searching for the reason why digimon have been going insane.
The game offered a huge, deep and very difficult open-world RPG experience, where you begin your adventure with almost no hint of what you have to do and how to do it. The player has to explore the game map in depth in order to discover all the mysteries of the world and gradually learn about its secrets. There is a great variety of situations and locations and a huge number of subquests to solve, as well as a day-night cycle. Each digimon you save unlocks something useful, like an arena, a shop, an item searching business, a traveling company and so on, making your mission a little easier the more you advance in the game. The game literally “grows” along with you, giving you a fantastic sense of achievement.
In occasion of the 15th anniversary of the Digimon franchise, Namco Bandai decided to return to the origins of the brand, creating Digimon World Re:Digitize on PlayStation Portable. The game was released in July 2012, and it is basically a reboot of the first Digimon World game, with completely different characters (drawn for the occasion by Suzuhito Yasuda, the character designer of Durarara!! and the Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor series), new digimon to train, new storylines and new quests. The game mechanics are pretty similar to the original ones, but more polished and better-refined. Sadly, the game was never released outside Japan, because of the poor sales of the PSP console in the West.
Sometime after the PSP release, Namco Bandai announced that a port of the game would be released on Nintendo 3DS, with the name of Digimon World Re:Digitize Decode. The game was released on last 27th June in Japan, and can count on a huge amount of added content, to the point that it could be considered a completely new game. Not only it does include a lot of new digimon to train (more than 160, doubling the numbers of the original PSP version), but also two new scenarios and an exclusive new female main character.
The game has not been released in the West, and there are officially no plans to bring it to the West at the moment. And that is where Operation Decode takes the field. Our campaign was created in order to convince Namco Bandai Games to localize this game in North America/ Europe. We started as a Twitter campaign, then evolved (just like a digimon) into an online petition (you can find the link at the end of the article) that has reached almost 9000 supporters in three weeks. We believe that Digimon is still very popular in the West, and the amazing amount of signatures we’ve collected until now shows you how many people would love to play this game. The 3DS is also selling much better than the PSP, so it would be the perfect occasion for Namco Bandai to release it in North America/ Europe and revitalize the Digimon franchise.
If you desire this game as much as we do, then I warmly invite you to sign the petition and to share it with your friends who could be interested in buying it. We are in contact with a Namco Bandai community manager, who told us that we should try reaching at least 25-30k signatures for them to start considering. But the important thing is to reach the highest number of people we can, and if we work together to reach this goal, I believe we can do it. We do have other plans in addition to the petition, too, and we will also be posting other articles to give an in-depth explanation of what the game is about and hopefully attract even more people to support our cause.
Thank you very much for you attention. Viva Digimon!
Our petition on Change.org: Link
Our official page on Facebook: Link
Our official Twitter account: Link
Our official Tumblr: Link