Digimon and Pokemon have each explored dark times in the past, but Digimon SurviveThe emphasis on obscurity will be a first for either franchise. The long-awaited title follows a group of teenagers who fight for their lives to escape the digital world. Death and danger are dominant themes in Digimon Survive, which presented its darkest history as a major selling point.

The Digimon the animated series was often considered to have more advantage than Pokemon, but that was not the case for its video games. As Pokemon, Digimon the games focused more on their collectible monsters than the humans who collect. By putting humans and Digimon in equal jeopardy, Digimon Survive will be able to tell a story that eschews the lingering optimism of its previous titles.

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Two games, two goals

hybrid digipoke artwork

Pokemon games rarely feature dark stories, but that may be because Nintendo has different goals for the franchise that Bandai Namco has for Digimon. Although Pokemon first released over 20 years ago, Nintendo is still trying to attract young fans. There is darkness on the outskirts, but on the surface Pokemon the games have the same overall tone and artistic style that they always have.

In contrast, Bandai doesn’t seem too keen on attracting young fans to Digimon. The anime has gotten progressively darker over the years, and Digimon Story: Cyber ​​Detective had a Teen rating from the ESRB. High-level Digimon can be terrifying, while even the most powerful Pokemon retains an innocuous charm.

The artistic style in Digimon Survive is also more mature than most Pokemon games, reflecting a seriousness reminiscent of a prestigious anime. This change in artistic style was also present in the animated series. Digimon Adventure tri., a more mature entry that follows the DigiDestined as they try to understand their childhood experiences. The darker tone reflects the way Digimon evolved alongside his fans as he grew older.

Face the darkness

Although Pokemon games rarely deal with mature themes out of hand, there have been a few exceptions. In the very first Pokemon games, Lavender Town contains a giant memorial tower where dead Pokémon are buried. There’s even a fan theory that suggests the main character is responsible for the inadvertent murder of his rival’s Raticate.

Pokémon X and Yes become more extreme. Lysander, the leader of Team Flare, believes humans are inherently evil and is trying to exterminate millions of people. The plan is eerily similar to Thanos’ in Infinity war, indirectly referring to themes such as eugenics, genocide and population control. Considering that villains like Team Rocket were content to simply steal Pokémon, this was a shockingly violent plot for one. Pokemon Game.

Digimon has also dealt with apocalyptic themes, but generally does not delve into the motivations behind them. More Digimon the bad guys who try to take over or destroy the world do so because they crave power. It has always been possible for Digimon to die, but they are usually reborn as eggs and retain their memories. Digimon historically had a darker tone than Pokemon, but had fewer moments that felt completely out of character.

Focus on the flaws

meicoomon digimon adventure tri

The Digimon the anime dealt with human weaknesses in a way that Pokemon did not. Most of the original DigiDestined had personal demons, such as depression, insecurity, trauma, or isolation. Matt had a lot of residual anger after his parents divorced and had to learn to support his younger brother, TK. While these weren’t inherently dark themes, they were surprisingly mature concepts for a kids’ show.

Even though it’s very interesting to see Digimon Survive exploring death, it will be more interesting to see how the characters react. Raising the stakes will lead to more complex character flaws, which will ultimately lead to a deeper narrative. Digimon Survive story could be presented in a way that resonates with children and adults alike, even if it seems a little extreme.

Digimon Survive is currently in development for PC, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One.

MORE: Digimon Survive’s Focus On Choice Could Be Game-Changing

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