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Video Game / Digimon Rumble Arena

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Digimon Rumble Arena is a series of 2.5D Platform Fighters centered around the Digimon franchise, and are among the few Digimon games which are tied into any of the anime series. The series plays not unlike Super Smash Bros., except it retains the traditional fighting game health bar. Similar to the situation with the western renaming of Digimon World DS and its sequels, it's only really a series in the west; the Japanese names are significantly different from each other.

Digimon Rumble Arena (Digimon Tamers: Battle Evolution in Japan) was released for PlayStation as a tie-in to the then-ongoing Digimon Tamers anime series, and so the stylistic influence of Tamers is the most prevalent in the game. Despite that, all three then-current series of Digimon were near-equally represented. Most playable characters have access to one evolutionary form, almost uniformly the character's final form (Wormmon being the exception). The Japanese version's soundtrack consisted of remixes of tracks from the anime, all of which were cut and replaced in the translated version. It sold rather well.

Digimon Rumble Arena 2 (Digimon Battle Chronicle in Japan) was a multiplatform release for the PlayStation 2, GameCube, and Xbox. The game's scope was expanded to include characters from Digimon Frontier. However, the game's focus was clearly on the characters of Digimon Adventure, with all eight main Digimon playable; every other series represented got just two representative Digimon at best. For most playable characters, two Evolutionary Levels are now available. Being that it was released at a time with no ongoing Digimon anime series to support it, it was much less of a commercial success than its predecessor.

See also Digimon Battle Spirit, which is pretty much the same thing for Game Boy Advance and WonderSwan.

Ready? TROPE!

  • Amazing Technicolor Battlefield: The arena where you fight Reapermon in the first game certainly applies.
  • American Kirby Is Hardcore: While the American cover has a gritty color-scheme and features Guilmon and V-mon fighting each other, the Japanese one uses the anime's artstyle and features a variety of smiling human and Digimon characters either running towards the viewer or otherwise posing heroically.
  • Artificial Stupidity: Most of the difficulty of the game can be negated completely by exploiting the AI. Problem is, you can exploit the AI a little too easily. To note:
    • AI players tend to freak out when you're in the air, preferring to wait for you to get on the ground unless you're in their immediate vicinity. This can be abused greatly for both respite and offense. Reapermon in particular almost never jumps in his own stage, allowing human players to bypass most of the stun-locks he's most famous for by just staying in the air, where his attacks can't reach you.
    • The first reaction of the COM characters upon seeing some finishers at mid-to-close range is to block first, then wait for an opening and counter. Even if the finisher itself only hits once and they could have canceled or avoided it. Even if the finisher breaks guards. This is especially egregious with (Black)WarGreymon's; if they can't physically reach you with any of their attacks, they will patiently wait until the big ball of fire invariably incinerates their faces away.
    • The AI has no concept of multi-blows and is prone to spontaneously stop guarding in the middle of one. While you can exploit this with any Digimon with a multi-hit attack, Reapermon's Skull Dance is most effective, since you can trick the AI into receiving all but three of the blows. His Skull Dance is 12 hits long.
    • The COM prioritizes evolution over any other action, provided they're in the ground. Problem is, doing so makes them lose any I-frames they may have, allowing a canny player to greet their evolved form with just about any attack that wouldn't have hit should they have waited out a little. While it's fine and all with simple kicks and punches, if you can get a special attack on their collision area during their invincibility while they have a full meter, they will still trigger their evolution as soon as they can, and they will get hit by your attack as soon as that finishes, without any chance to block. This can lead them to take a whole finisher in the face.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • Reapermon's Skull Dance in the first game. It's the exact same move the boss used against you so many times to stunlock you into oblivion. However, that's exactly what's wrong with it. The move was thought out to be used in Reapermon's arena, since it's a series of hits that extend over a large distance. Using this move carelessly in basically any other stage will end with you colliding face-first into a stage hazard, or even down a pit, especially considering that it's a one-button combo: you cannot cancel it until it's done.
    • Sakuyamon in general is able to deal high amounts of damage when used well, and especially with her special (which completely ignores guards and freezes any enemy within its area of effect). She even has a regular attack that can hit behind her, for all that is worth. However, she is also incredibly awkward to use. Her pipe foxes are both hard to navigate, and leave her open for any sort of interruption if they miss. Her Izuna has an awkward angle to it, requiring you to almost be point-blank for it to hit, and it also has a heavy wind-up time that opens her up for attacks. Finally, her special requires some very specific setup to be effective. Namely, the enemy should ideally be stunned or otherwise incapacitated and unable to punish the exceedingly long wind-up, pushed against a corner to maximize the amount of damage, and currently not in the air, since the enemy-freezing capabilities of the mandala that would theoretically offset the heavy wind-up only works if the opponent is firmly standing on the ground within the special's aoe (or if they happen to land within the aoe). This inherent awkwardness to use is perhaps the main reason why Renamon has arguably the best attacks from the rookie roster: her fox-leaf arrowheads have infinite range and do very decent damage at mid-to-close range, and her kohenkyo can be used for great effect to place the enemy in front of an unavoidable stage hazard.
    • Seraphimon's special is also a very high-damaging, nigh-unavoidable attack, and it definitely does not hurt that he himself is a very decent fighter overall. The big problem with it? You have to be basically smelling your opponent's breath for it to work. The actual attack you proc when using his special is a weak kick with almost no range. If the kick connects, then Seraphimon will stun the opponent and proceed to rain lightning bolts directly on them. If it doesn't, though, then that's it: you lose your special gauge to a very unimpressive knee-jerk.
  • Brought Down to Normal: In the second game, losing a life reverts you back to an inferior form. Diaboromon's ultimate move "System Crash" forces every opponent back into their base forms.
  • Difficult, but Awesome : The WarGreymons. Knowing how to effectively use Great Tornado and Black Tornado are the first step to effectively use them but mastering that allows you to jump around the field in seconds, travel through the screen faster than anyone on the cast and a good dodging/attacking/combo tool in general. It's just that good.
  • Elemental Powers / Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: The first game divided all playable Digimon between elements, pretty much completely disregarding established canon in the process with respect to the choice of elements and elected affiliation. Some characters, like Omnimon, have attacks that use different elements.
  • Final Boss: Reapermon (Jp: Gokumon), from Rumble Arena, is an interesting case. Examining his information in broader Digimon canon reveals that he's an alternative evolution of Keramon, which explains why he's A) so damn tough, and B) why his boss arena has those chains of Keramon eyes circling around.
  • Goomba Stomp: Everyone can do this in the second game, and the higher they start the stomp from, the more damage it does.
  • Grapple Move: Everyone can throw, naturally, but Duskmon in the second game is notable that his grab hurts the enemy before he bothers to throw them. Of course, given he has blades instead of hands, it's to be expected...
    • Palmon also can damage opponents passively during grabs via her thorny hands and the unlockable virus versions of the main cast can drain digivolution energy from opponents.
  • Interface Screw: MaloMyotismon's ultimate move does no damage, but temporarily scrambles all opponents' controls and cannot be avoided.
  • Joke Character: Neemon in the second game.
    • Lethal Joke Character: Despite his goofy moves and lack of evolved forms, he is definitely not weaker than the rest of the cast and even has a few advantages that make him a very annoying opponent in more than one way.
  • Mascot Fighter: For the anime.
  • Mirror Match: In the first game, you can pit the same Digimon against one another by holding the Select button at the player-choice screen. Neither the game nor the manual indicate this.
  • Mythology Gag: Reapermon and his arena make more sense if you're familiar with the Diaboromon Strikes Back movie of Adventure 02.
  • Old Save Bonus: In the first Digimon Battle Spirit game, after clearing the game with one character, a six-letter code sometimes appears, which you can use in the first Rumble Arena game to unlock characters.
  • Rank Inflation: Inverted. Rumble Arena 2 features a Rookie > Champion > Ultimate evolution ladder and the entire cast of the 1st season amongst other franchise favorites. To prevent characters who had Mega stages from skewing gameplay, Megas take the place and function of Ultimates on their evolution ladders. Some evolutions, such as Greymon > WarGreymon and Garurumon > MetalGarurumon were popular with the fans because they were considered to have a better thematic flow than the ones presented in the Anime.
  • Palette Swap: The first game has Imperialdramon Paladin Mode, a white version of the regular Fighter Mode. The two share almost all moves. Same goes for Wargreymon and Black Wargreymon.
    • The second game allows you to unlock "Black" versions of Agumon, Gabumon and Guilmon. Their moves have different properties compared to the originals and their grabs can drain digivolution energy from the victim.
  • Secret Characters:
    • Digimon Rumble Arena: Reapermon, BlackWarGreymon, Omnimon, Impmon and Imperialdramon Paladin Mode. Under certain circumstances, all the evolved forms can also be unlocked as fighters independent of their base forms, but limited to versus modes only.
    • Digimon Rumble Arena 2: BlackAgumon, BlackGabumon, BlackGuilmon, Duskmon, Diaboromon, MaloMyotismon, Omnimon, and Neemon.
  • SNK Boss: Reapermon from the first game is a particular offender, as he can spam his Grim Slasher Special multiple times in a row, destroy your guard almost instantly, has better guard than the rest of the cast, and has ridiculous amount of damage done from his attacks.
    • Even on lower difficulties, Reapermon has an annoying habit of chaining a Grim Slasher into a either a Brimstone Burner or his throw attack, leaving your digimon confused roughly 90% of the time regardless of it's level.
      • This is mostly averted in the second game- though the bosses are difficult, part of the challenge comes from the Chaos Wasteland arena itself, whereas Reapermon's arena is the only one in the first game to have no powerups or hazards at all.
  • This Cannot Be!: Reapermon, on defeat.
    'Reapermon: No way! How could I lose!?
    'Reapermon: I lost?! IMPOSSIBLE!!
    'Reapermon: No! It can't be! I can't lose!
  • Trash Talk: Most of the characters just say something along the lines of "I won!" in victory, but Reapermon? He insults you every time.
    Reapermon: *Evil Laugh* Back down to where you belong.
    Reapermon: *Evil Laugh* You weakling!
    Reapermon: *Evil Laugh* You'll never be a match for me!