Digimon All-Star Rumble (PlayStation 3) Review

By Eric Ace 15.11.2014

Review for Digimon All-Star Rumble on PlayStation 3

Digimon All-Star Rumble is the latest game in the Digimon franchise - one that has not seen an entry released outside of Japan in over four years. Digimon has long struggled in the shadow of its very successful counter Pokémon, maintaining a loyal fan base. How does the latest game stack up? Does it give hope to the franchise?

Digimon All-Star Rumble attempts to take the series into a new direction, with this game being a pseudo-platformer and a 3D fighter very reminiscent of recent brawler games like the highly successful Super Smash Bros. series, while making a questionable decision to lack online play. The entire game radiates a very bipolar feel, where some parts of it are actually really good, but then other parts are so horrendously bad and rushed it mars the game as they simply cannot be overlooked.

The quality control on this game is abysmal, as the periphery is actually pretty good, such as the graphics, loyal to source material, passable audio, but the heart of the game is so unpolished it leaves a very bad impression that Digimon All-Star Rumble was rushed out simply to cash in on fans desperate for a long-awaited game. Unfortunately, this is only going to hurt fans' hopes of a good game any time in the future with how bad this one is.

Screenshot for Digimon All-Star Rumble on PlayStation 3

The problems are not immediately evident when starting story mode, as players find themselves in a simple 3D platformer game, where simple attacks dispatch easy enemies. The graphics here are actually very good for a fighting game. After very short platforming, less than a minute or two typically, there is a Digimon that is challenged and the fighting portion of the game begins.

Early on, the problems are not immediately clear, and the whole game actually feels somewhat novel as it radiates a bit of an RPG-adventure game that actually would have been a much better direction to take the game in, because of how bad the fighting part of it is. The Digimon challenger is fought until victory is achieved, and the next level is then opened. As the story progresses, there is some option to equip 'cards' onto the character. There is no instruction or tutorial included regarding this feature, and despite having them equipped they only rarely activate, with no discernible outcome. This fact only contributes to the general rushed feel of the game.

Screenshot for Digimon All-Star Rumble on PlayStation 3

The battle system takes place on a fairly small 3D field, the characters all run the same speed, and for a fighting game the options presented are very small: weak attack, strong attack, ranged, guard and escape. Ranged attacks use up a bar of energy that is only restored by attacking. Simplicity can occasionally be good if it leads itself to an open-ended depth. In this game, it is a punishing simplicity. Very punishing.

There are no 'combos' to speak of short of a few pre-programmed ones, such as XXXX, and OOOO, meaning if a player hits with the first X, and faces the right way, hitting it 3 mores times will continue the attack, and the other player is stuck in this combo. No major problems there, except the devil is in the details. Being 3d, there is not a 'lock on,' which for all intents means the characters are flailing around with unpredictable hit boxes. The start-up and cool down on moves is unforgivably slow; it is typically better to wait for someone to attack and likely miss than to launch the first attack.

On the defensive side it is even worse. Despite 2/5 buttons being defensive in nature they do nearly nothing. The guard is a perfect guard for one attack, to which after being hit the character enters a semi-stun state that they get pounded by the remainder of the button mashed combo. The escape is finicky and random, it needs at least half of the ranged-attack bar to work, and it will do anything from teleport across the map, to right next to where the player just was and allows them to continue getting attacked. What the game devolves into is 'dodging' simply by moving the character in the 3D space and hoping to not get caught by a strange hit box.

Screenshot for Digimon All-Star Rumble on PlayStation 3

The final levels of the story really summarise the entire problem with Digimon All-Star Rumble. The platforming goes away, and becomes a group brawler of upwards of eight enemies fighting the single player. It might be a fun challenge if the character had any good response or evasion. Instead, what it becomes is running in circles and rushing in for a quick poke and rushing out hoping to not be nearly killed by a stun-locking group attack.

The frustration mounts in that the challenge comes from the controls, not the game itself. The character never moves quite right, they never move fast enough, they never have enough options, they are stuck in a very simplistic paradigm that on higher difficulties the AI exploits remorselessly simply due to the fact they know the start-up and distance of the awkward hit boxes to punish the player in an endless aggravation. Without an online mode the player is stuck playing the computer, or any friends they might convince to play the game for a short period.

Screenshot for Digimon All-Star Rumble on PlayStation 3

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 3 out of 10


Digimon All-Star Battle has all the feel of a rushed game cranked out simply to cash in on fans, which is unfortunate given how long it has been for a release in this series in the West. The fighting portion of the game is extremely bad, with simplistic flailing, punishing start-up on attacks, and nearly zero evasion or dodge to speak of. The only good things going for it are the decent graphics, and the source material; the game itself leaves nearly everything to be desired.




Bandai Namco





C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  3/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   


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