Digimon Heroes on iOS and Android Soon... or Now by Location

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MarcFBR

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Digimon Crusader, which we recently found out would be coming out in various countries has started to roll out in a few places.

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It's been retitled Digimon Heroes! for it's western release.

While it's up on the app stores, it hasn't launched in many countries yet (a few sites are reporting it has fully launched, but it appears that's just more who can see it if you find the url.) It appears our Australian friends can play it for now though.

Here's a trailer.


Will update as we get more areas where the game is playable.

iOS App Store
Google Play Store

Previous discussion thread is here.
 

Bombfuse

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I am so excited right now and I can't explain why
 

ShikaSS

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Definitely hyped for this, even though I don't own a smartphone.
Operation Decode's facebook page suggested Bandai Namco may be announcing the European/American version on next week's Japan Expo. Does anyone else think this will happen?
 

Unknown Neo

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Wow... This is big news. Good to hear it. Thanks.
 

MarcFBR

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Definitely hyped for this, even though I don't own a smartphone.
Operation Decode's facebook page suggested Bandai Namco may be announcing the European/American version on next week's Japan Expo. Does anyone else think this will happen?
That appears to be a guess based on a place they are going to be and the fact the game is prepped and ready to go.
 

Bombfuse

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I've seen several places to download the apk for the english version, but I'm wondering if it's worth the wait for the US version on the app store because of online capabilities or anything?
 

SilentMC

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It seems to be out on the Australian store. Just played past the tutorial and entered my name, so everything seems to be working fine.
 

Saiga

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Finally, being Australian has paid off!

I've been playing it just fine, although I don't have any idea what I'm doing. Got a Garmmon and Guardromon right off the bat so at least I'm doing well.
 

Theigno

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Digimon Heroes! It's finally here but how does it hold up in comparison to the original?

Let's go over most of the changes in this version.

The first noticeable changes are among the most obnoxious: The game desparately wants you to use a „google games“ app linked to your google account as well as the facebook integration. And if you're like me and don't want the whole world looking over your shoulder while you're gaming and thus refuse refuse to link any account, it will continue to pop up google and facebook requests every fucking time you open the game and there is no option to make it shut up about it. (edit: after a while it seemed to have given up on the facebook thing, google still wants me to log in every time though)

But enough about that...
Right off the bat it's clear that this is not just a simple translation like the chinese version but also a pretty much a complete redesign. Listing every single thing that looks different would be overkill but let's just say that Digimon Crusader's color palette in the menus was anywhere form green to turqoise, heroes on the other hand is very blue. Overall I have to say that the UI looks a bit flat compared to crusader's.
There is some signifcant restructuring in the menu system which might be a bit confusing for players used to the layout of the original version.

  • There is no longer a link to the „gifts“ page in the main menu at the bottom instead the gifts can only be accessed on the main page beneath the „notifications“ link

  • You can now access your items as well as your digimon collection from the Digimon management menu (now called „Digimon box“)
    this makes much more sense than it did in the japanese version where for some reason the item inventory and the collection was located in the options menu.

  • Because „gashapon“ isn't really a big deal outside of japan, the gashapon feature has been redesigned and is now called „Digi-eggs“ where you can get cards from random eggs you get by paying Digimoney, spending friend points or special tickets. The lists of available digimon in each digi-egg category no longer opens up in an html page but is shown via the info button in the form of images of the available cards.
    Annoyingly the friend point digi egg (the only one you'll be able to use most of the time without paying money) is displayed last so you'll have to scroll past all 4 special eggs to get to it. It should be the other way around but aparrently "Heroes!" Really wants to remind of all the cool stuff you could get by spending money.

  • The options menu features a facebook login as well as a google play leaderboard. One significant option that no longer exists for some reason is the ability to download all avaliable cards and images to your phone so assets no longer need to be loaded on the fly. This was a nice feature to have if you got some decent space on your phone and without it, every time some function requires the game to display a card that you haven't seen yet a loading icon will block the screen, the ressources get downloaded and then the game continues. If a part of the game needs to load many cards (for example when you get many egg drops in a level from digimon you haven't encountered before) the download can take about half a minute; needless to say, stuff like that really breaks the flow of the game. (This has been fixed in recent versions)

  • There are no longer separate menus for Fusion, Evolution and special fusion (Now renamed Digifusion, Digivolve and limit break) but only one upgrade screen that lets you select which kind of upgrade to perform after you tap on a card. Only selling your Digimon is done from a different menu.

  • While evolution works the same as it did previously, it is no longer possible to view the evolution options of your digimon before it has reached max level. You will only get a notice telling you "only certain Digimon can evolve once they reach their max level". This is a completely idiotic change after all knowing what a certain digimon evolves into and planning ahead is one of the major incentives to level up your digimon in the first place. But as it stands the game won't even tell if your digimon can evolve at all so you might be spending hundreds of cards and hours of gameplay to level up a card only to realize that it doesn't evolve into anything when you hit max level. And obviously a Digimon might be able to evolve into Digimon you might not expect so by witholding critical information the game expects you to take shots into the dark and just randomly level up digimon to see if it can maybe evolve. It's the same for limit breaking (which increases a digimon's max level but only works with a select few Digimon) (This has been fixed in recent versions)

  • The special event Levels and the normal levels are no longer on separate screens in the event selection. The current first and only event (playable when reaching tamer level 5) called „The wicked ones“ is possibly (based on the fact that it focuses on BelialVamdemon) equivalent to the event in the original game called The Great Evil's Scheme (巨悪の策略) I'm mentioning that because in the original game the event had a cutscene attached that is nowhere to be found in Heroes. Now it could be that this is because they are still testing things out with the first event but if it turns out that they just skipping the entire story of the game by not including translated event cutscenes I'll be incredibly dissapointed.

  • Now the Digimon collection got a really important change. In the original you could only access information about the cards you already have with the rest being replaced by question marks. In heroes all portraits are visible from the beginning but the ones you don't own yet are greyed out. But not only do you know the position of every digimon in the collection but the greyed out status of the portraits does not stop you from tapping on them and accessing the information and image of the cards! You have perfect information about every digimon right from the beginning. And while this is great for casual players or those who only want to see what the contents of the game are it still feels a bit weird. With the gallery being complete and every card freely accessible collecting all Digimon cards is not really useful anymore because it doesn't really unlock anything anymore (This has been changed in recent versions)

  • The second big thing I noticed looking through the collection was that quite surprisingly the game does not use dub names or dub terminology! That just kinda blew me away... while I was excited for the english release of crusader I was also prepared to be annoyed to hell by dub names and now it turns out that it just isn't the case. Ultimate still means Ultimate, MegaloGrowmon is still MegaloGrowmon, those are not things I expected from an official english release. If that's how australia and romania roll then more power to them. I doubt that the eventual US release will keep the original names but well... as long as they don't introduce any exclusive features there'll be no reason to change to that version. That doesn't mean everything is perfect though. There are is some weird terminology at play here for example „Level“ is called „Generation“, Xros Wars Digimon simply have „Xros Wars“ stated as their level and I'll just let Lilimon' profile speak for itself:
    A Digimon that looks like a human, but hides immeasurable power. He is impossible to control once he starts crying. He opens his heart only to humans with the same temperament as his.
  • For some reason the transitions between the individual rounds of the digimon battles looks worse than it did in the original when in comes to the background animation. In Crusader the animation automatically advancing through a dungeon was quite smooth and there was a bit of head bobbing on implying the scene to play out in first person. But in heroes the camera just goes straight forward ina lower jerky framerate. It's possible that this happened because they removed the frames containing the the little shaking effect but I have no idea why they would do that.

One significant change I wanted to note: The cards you use in battle have been redesigned. While they still show the same symbols the background was redesigned making them look a bit different. I needed a while to get used to it and I don't really know why that was neccessary but... whatever.


So far that's everything I've got to say about the game from the design and gameplay standpoint, anything that wasn't mentioned is probably working the same way it did in the original.

But now comes the real interesting part:
For a long time I have been very annoyed with Digimon Crusader for a very particular reason: While the battle images of Enemy Digimon were quite nice looking and compressed in lossless PNG the cards themselves were mistreated horribly. they were heavily compressed in a very lossy format called "pkm" that squashed the filesize of every card to exactly 128 Kilobytes while absolutely destroying image quality. I expected Digimon heroes to use the same system. But as it turns out... it doesn't!
The cards are loaded as PNG files without any additional compression
In other words most of them look much better than they ever did in crusader.

Two examples of the visual difference; Madleomon and Gabumon:
http://i.imgur.com/pCFeOxB.png
http://i.imgur.com/JMA7Zmc.png
No more pixelated details, no more obvious color banding and as you can see cards that were once virtually unchanged from their jintrix appearance have their jintrix stats removed (they no longer matter in this game anyway) and got the emblem of their respective digimon category.

...However some things are simply to good to be true. Unfortunately not all cards got this kind of makeover. Especially cards that came out later throughout Crusader's run and contain crusader original artwork still look exactly as bad as they did in the japanese version (the new game loads them as PNGs too but it's obvious that they are simply the orignal PKM files converted), so If you were hoping to see for example MagnaKidmon or Jupitermon Wrath mode in better quality... you're out of luck. I'm not sure how this happened though. maybe some of the artwork was simply not available in better quality however there are also examples of cards that use the same artwork but one card looks great while the other still has the original compression so who knows what happened there. It's also possible that in the future more cards will get replaced with higher quality versions, I'll definitely keep my eyes out for that and will periodically redownload the entire batch.
As of now there are 1026 in the game (Crusaders had about 400 more cards by the way). 713 of those cards are now high quality for the first time.

And while I was counting them I thought I might as well upload them in one package

High Quality Card Collection Download
[url]http://www.mediafire.com/download/ad7mhphn3uli63u/heroescards.7z
[/URL]
(all cards not included in this set look exactly like they did in Crusader, no point in reuploading them​

The second big extraction are of course the Profiles and event descriptions. In crusader those were stored in .bin files and at first it seemed like Heroes took a different approach because it used .sav files to story the data... but then it turned out that the structure was completely identical so I could just extract everything exactly like I did years ago (ah... happy memories).

Here's the collection of all card profiles:

http://www.mediafire.com/view/859uog899r6kuwe/HeroesCardMaster.txt

(as you might remember back from the original crusaders I didn't manually layout those files, I simply extracted the readable parts of the file with a script. This still leaves some whitespaces and some other cryptic symbols that the program uses to process the file... just ignore them, removing them by hand is too much work...)

And all the event descriptions (all events featured in crusader are already listed and translated so this document contains story spoilers for the non-aegiomon stuff)
http://www.mediafire.com/view/n3gistirr6d7851/HeroesQuest.txt

Overall it's a nice game. the core gameplay wasn't changed in any way (as far as I can tell all the digimon's stats are identical). It's obviously pay-to-win but crusader always was like that and while I'm not sure why they needed to overhaul the UI as radically as they did, in some aspects the game does things better than the original.
 
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Saiga

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I'm glad that this doesn't use dub terms! I saw "Garumon" and was really surprised.

Are there any guides to this game, would guides for Crusader still be relevant?
 

Theigno

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Are there any guides to this game, would guides for Crusader still be relevant?
Basically anything said about the gameplay of crusader will still be true for for Heroes. The digimon cards have exactly the same stats and skills they had in crusader (at least if my memories are correct), all levels are still the same as well as the mechanics (critical hits wild cards, the way the game autmatically combos...). the only gameplay change I've noticed is that a digimon's skill is activated by double tapping your digimon, whereas in crusader you only had to tap once.

another neat thing that I just noticed is that longer card combos will make animations play faster. that goes for card draw animations as well as the attack following the combo. It's not really noticeable if you only get like 3x or 4x combos but if you are lucky and get a 10x or something like that, stuff will speed up significantly. it's probably meant to make longer combos not as time consuming....
 

flintlock

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Theigno I really appreciate the image ripping.

Do you have links to all your other image collections? Sorry if I asked this before.
 

Bartz

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Thanks for doing this Theigno! Nice to have better quality artwork of the in game cards as a lot of them look good, but did have that issue.

Hopefully it comes out in the US soon as I'd like to play, even if it means working around the pay-to-win model.
 

Faust

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I'm enjoying it so far
I just use an alternate Gmail account for Google games and I don't mind syncing to Facebook so that's not a problem for me at all.
 
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