Digimon World 3
North American boxart
Digimon World 3 (デジモンワールド3 Dejimon Wārudo 3?), also known as Digimon World 2003 in Europe and Australia, is a role-playing video game created by Bandai for the PlayStation. The series is the third installment in the Digimon World series and it was first released on June 5, 2002 in the US and then on July 4, 2002 in Japan and November 15, 2002 in Europe. The game tells the story of Junior, who begins playing an MMORPG called "Digimon Online" with his friends, but when terrorists attack, Junior and the other players are trapped within the game and must find a way out using his Digimon partners.
Digimon World 3 differs from its predecessors as the system has been changed to be more like Japanese Role-Playing games of the time such as Final Fantasy VII or Legend of Dragoon. The game has 2 primary modes in which it is played: an overworld map and the battle screens. The player character navigates through a 3D world map using sprites that represent the playable character and the monsters that make up his party. In battle, players control the parties with up to 3 monsters in turn-based style battles where the player’s party fights one on one against the opposing party, with the option to switch or perform certain actions with the party members. Unlike the predecessors, Digimon World 3 has no battle mode against another player via memory card.
Junior, and his friends Ivy and Teddy, log-in to "Digimon Online", where Ivy renames herself "Kail". Soon after Junior arrives, the players are trapped in the game by an error in the system. MAGAMI's "Game Master" publicly assures the players that the situation is under control, and blames the incident on the hacker, Lucky Mouse. Junior proceeds with his adventure as normal and travels to the A.o.A. controlled West Sector, and after defeating the real leader, travels to a secret base of Lucky Mouse, who reveals himself to be Kail's long-lost brother and an agent working against the A.o.A., Kurt, who reveals that MAGAMI is a front for the A.o.A., but soon the A.o.A. arrive and threaten to turn Kail into Oinkmon, if Kurt doesn't give the Vemmon Digi-Egg to the A.o.A. This results in Kurt being turned into Oinkmon and the Vemmon Digi-Egg stolen. Junior leads an attack on the Admin Center, which results in the Game Master being defeated and interrogated. Junior uses a network break to transport himself to the Amaterasu Server, where he defeats two of the A.o.A.'s chiefs and learns more about their plans. He returns to Asuka, defeats the fourth leader, and uses an emergency teleport system to reach MAGASTA, but is unable to prevent the Juggernaut from being unleashed. The Juggernaut is then used by Vemmon to digivolve to Destromon, which also allows it to manifest in the real world- thus becoming a very real threat to humans.
Junior returns to the Amaterasu Server to defeat the final two chiefs, and gains access to Amaterasu City. He leads a fresh attack on the Amaterasu Admin Center, leading to the MAGAMI President being defeated. Junior then uses the central computer to destroy Destromon, before returning to Asuka to ask Airdramon to help him in lifting the virus which is affecting most of the players by transforming them into Oinkmon. Before long, the Oinkmon virus returns and strikes most of the players, with only Junior and Kail surviving untouched. Vemmon had used the beam containing the Oinkmon virus and shot the beam through all servers. Junior then goes into the admin center, and in the Master Room, Junior is challenged by an entity calling himself Lord Megadeath. Junior then travels to a military satellite, Gunslinger, to challenge Lord Megadeath. Once close to the control room, Junior battles Armaggeddemon, and defeats it. He then reaches the control room, and battles Lord Megadeath. Lord Megadeath is defeated, but succeeds in his project of creating Snatchmon, by combining three Vemmon. Snatchmon absorbs Lord Megadeath, challenges the player, and merges with the Gunslinger to become Galacticmon- its ultimate goal being to merge with the Earth to become an unimaginably powerful Gaiamon. Junior defeats him, and Galacticmon's satellite body falls to Earth, burning up into a meteor shower in the atmosphere.
Three months later, Junior returns to the Amaterasu Server, where, as is revealed in the PAL and Japanese versions of the game, four new Server Leaders have been established and Kurt is the new World Champion.
Digimon World 3 was developed during a busy year for Bandai (now Namco Bandai Games); they worked on it alongside several other anime-licensed games. Bandai showcased the game at E3 2003, where it was playable at several booths.
The title was released only in Europe as Digimon World 2003 and followed the Japanese game more closely than the US version by retaining the post-game segment. It is speculated that the title was changed as Digimon World 2003 because the second game in the series, Digimon World 2 was never released outside of Japan or the US.
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Digimon World 3 was met with mostly mixed to negative reviews from critics, with an average score of 47 on Metacritic.  However, in opposition to what critics have said about the game, fans have widely spoken highly of the game  and have called it a 'cult-classic.'
- Fujita, Akira Mark (May 24, 2002). "Bandai: E3 Booth Report". IGN. Retrieved February 18, 2014.
- "Digimon World 3". Electronic Gaming Monthly: 128. July 2002.
- Fox, Fennec (May 17, 2002). "Digimon World 3". GamePro. Archived from the original on 2011-06-07. Retrieved May 1, 2010.
- Shoemaker, Brad (October 4, 2002). "Digimon World 3 Review". GameSpot. Retrieved May 1, 2010.
- Bedigian, Louis (July 12, 2002). "Digimon World 3 Review". GameZone. Retrieved May 1, 2010.
- "Digimon World 3". Metacritic. Retrieved May 1, 2010.
- "Digimon World 3". Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine: 102. June 2002.