A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Digimon All-Star Rumble is a fighting game similar to Nintendo's Super Smash Bros. games. Colorful nonhuman fantasy creatures battle one another with punches or kicks, as well as with weapons such as swords, fireballs, and oversize missiles. There's no blood, and defeated opponents simply disappear. Characters sometimes grunt and cry out when they get hit. The story mode explains how Digimon are truly happy only when they're fighting because that's how they "digivolve" into super versions of themselves. The game is an offshoot of the massive Digimon media franchise, which tantalizes kids with toys, films, trading cards, books, and an animated series.
What's it about?
DIGIMON ALL-STAR RUMBLE stars a dozen popular characters from the Digimon universe, including fan favorites from the TV show. Similar to Nintendo's Super Smash Bros. games, up to four players in the same room can select a Digimon character and take it into combat in 10 distinct arenas. Kids use a variety of combination moves, power-ups, and specially earned "digicards" to beat their rivals. Multiple modes means that players can select objectives ranging from point-scoring battles to being the last man standing. Beyond multiplayer, a story mode allows players to work through short levels battling minions while collecting treasures en route to a special tournament that will allow Digimon to fight one another and "digivolve" into super versions of themselves. According to the narrative, this is the only way the creatures can achieve true happiness. Each Digimon beaten in story mode unlocks a new character that can be played in the multiplayer battle mode.
Is it any good?
From its visual presentation to its combat, the best word to describe Digimon All-Star Rumble is "bland." And maybe kind of cheap. The story mode is set in tiny, unimaginative levels with the most rudimentary platformer-style running and jumping challenges you're likely to see anywhere. Fighting, meanwhile, is just kind of frustrating; characters frequently get locked into attack animations facing the wrong direction while their enemies maneuver to attack from behind.
Things get a bit more exciting when characters "digivolve" into much more powerful versions of themselves and when they manage to snag upgrades scattered around each level, such as a bulging homing missile or the ability to turn an enemy into a weak slime monster for a short while. But afterward, it's back to uninspired melee attacks and combinations. There are much better fighting and brawling games out there, not least of which is Super Smash Bros. for Wii U (and 3DS). Digimon All-Star Rumble is simply unnecessary, save perhaps for the most devout Digimon fans.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the impact of violence in games such as Digimon All-Star Rumble, which suggests that its fantasy characters need to fight to be happy. Do you think that's true of any real people or creatures?
Discuss making wise decisions as consumers. How do you determine which toys and games are worth your money -- and which might be disappointing?
- Platforms: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
- Price: $39.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Not available online
- Developer: Namco Bandai
- Release date: November 11, 2014
- Genre: Fighting
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy
- ESRB rating: E10+ for Fantasy, Violence, Mild Suggestive Themes
- Last updated: June 19, 2019
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.