Digimon Rumble Arena 2 - PS2

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Digimon Rumble Arena 2 (PS2)
Also for: Xbox, GameCube
Viewed: 3D Third-person, floating camera Genre:
Beat 'Em Up
Media: CD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Bandai Soft. Co.: Bandai
Publishers: Atari (GB)
Released: 15 Oct 2004 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 12+
Features: Vibration Function Compatible, Multitap adaptable
Accessories: Memory Card


Until recently, the Nintendo melee series that is Super Smash Brothers has had little in the way of competition. Particularly popular in Japan, the platform-based beat-em-up has proved that there is a substantial market for the taking, and it seems now that Bandai is to give Nintendo a run for its money with Digimon Rumble Arena 2.

The first current-generation appearance of the Pokemon clone to be seen in the UK, Rumble Arena 2 somewhat unsurprisingly pits players in a platform-based beat-em-up against a plethora of well-known Digimon fighters taken from all four TV series. The list of so-called battle arenas, spanning icy glaciers, open fields and fiery caverns, is varied. They have multiple levels for escape routes and added strategy, and they're just as competent as anything seen in the two existing Smash Brothers games.

But these locations merely serve as host to some serious multi-player brawls. Though a single-player game is great fun in itself, it's the multiplayer game that most Digimon fans will be interested in. Assuming the role of any of 40 renowned Digimon, players can engage in battle with up to three others for a friendly skirmish of sorts that sees individuals taking advantage of multi-tiered environments and unique Digimon abilities to defeat their opponents. Victories are rewarded with numerous bonuses, and if players manage to fulfil certain criteria, they'll also be able to unlock hidden Digimon.

It's all very familiar, and although Rumble Arena 2 isn't exactly subtle in its similarities to the Smash Brothers games, it's a solid multiplayer beat-em-up and is worth a few hours of a genre follower's time.