Digimon Rumble Arena 2 PS2 Review

The Digital Monsters are attempting to move into Nintendo’s territory with the release of Digimon Rumble Arena 2. It’s a game that shares a lot of similarities to Super Smash Brothers, but that doesn’t mean that this effort is another clone that is blatantly cashing in on the success of Nintendo’s series as it presents enough to be rated on its own merits as a credible enough standalone title.

Digimon Rumble Arena 2 is an uncomplicated fighting title that sees popular characters from the brand duking it out in flat and tiered arenas from a side view perspective, which brings up those inevitable comparisons with Super Smash Brothers again. Many of the arenas are hazardous to your health, with the danger of lava and drops to take into consideration but others also give you the upper hand, enabling you to spring off rubber trees and more. Thankfully each and every one of these scenes has enough personality to make each fight that little bit more interesting.

The fighting system itself is respectable enough and probably a little deeper then one might expect. Obviously the real complicated stuff is left to Tekken and company, but the game still has some simplistic combos and attacks to learn, but thankfully nothing annoyingly awkward to master. The digivolve is a unique addition to the game, which allows most of the combatants to transform into stronger entities after accumulating a required amount of orbs, which scatter during all the ruckuses. When the accompanying bar is maximised a simple tap of the R1 button sees your character become larger and meaner. A bulk of the characters can digivolve twice and even use an ultra attack when fully evolved, which is as devastating as it sounds.

The single player game offers plenty of incentive to play again and again as repeated play is the only way that you’ll earn and uncover all the games secrets. The main mode allows you to pave your own path through to the end, if you want to play it safe then you head towards the bottom of the pyramid shaped grid for an easier time, likewise if you’d rather aim higher you head upwards on the said grid for more of a challenge. The mode and pyramid ends in one of six places and the boss character at the foot of each path then becomes available for your use after each one is hopefully stricken down by your might.

The biggest attraction is the multiplayer options though and it’s just as colourful and exciting in this aspect as Nintendo’s fighting museum. The game can be played with up to four players, expectedly this can become a little confusing at times, but it’s all part of the fun for a title of the party genre. Fun, fast and relatively unpredictable: a nice gaming cocktail it is.

Fans will love the game, whilst those uncaring of the franchise will probably avoid it, but there’s plenty here for those who enjoy pummelling without the complexity for once. It’s not just a character roster switch around from Nintendo’s title either as the game does champion a few nice and neat separate ideas of its own.