Digimon Rumble Arena

Digimon Rumble Arena[b] is a fighting video game developed and published by Bandai in association with Hudson Soft for the PlayStation. It was released in Japan in 2001 and in North America and Europe the following year. Digimon Rumble Arena is part of a video games series connected to the Digimon franchise, and showcases the titular creatures within the context of a fighting video game. The player controls one of several Digimon[c] and engages in combat with other Digimon within a variety of settings. Apart from the central fighting gameplay, a trio of mini-games are available upon the single-player campaign's completion.

Digimon Rumble Arena
Digimon Rumble Arena cover.png
North American box art with Guilmon and Veemon
  • Ayano Fujiwara
  • Yukio Umematsu
  • Takashi Aoyama
  • Hirotaka Watanabe
  • Atsushi Minowa
  • Hiroyuki Seki
  • Yasuaki Takahashi
  • Yutaka Sato
  • Masahiro Tobita
  • Takayuki Hanamasu
  • JP: December 6, 2001
  • NA: February 2002
  • PAL: July 5, 2002
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

Digimon Rumble Arena received mixed reviews from critics, who noted the game's similarity with Super Smash Bros., and believed that the gameplay, while simple and accessible, lacked polish. A sequel, Digimon Rumble Arena 2, was released in 2004 for the PlayStation 2, GameCube, and Xbox, while a spiritual successor to the first two installments, Digimon All-Star Rumble, was released in 2014.


Gabumon (left) and Renamon (right) battle in an arena, with health bars and time remaining visible on the lower part of the screen

Digimon Rumble Arena is a platform fighter set within the universe of the Digimon media franchise. The game features a 2.5D perspective and single-button attacks.[1] In the game's single-player mode, the player controls a Digimon and fights a series of computer-controlled opponents, unlocking new characters in the process.[2][3] Clearing the single-player campaign unlocks three mini-games that can be played against a computer-controlled or human opponent. The mini-games consist of "Target Games", in which characters toss a ball to collect gems; "Digivolve Race", in which characters punch a speed bag to fill a gauge; and "Basketball Game", in which characters shoot baskets into a moving hoop.[3][4] The two-player mode allows two human players to compete against each other, and the "Vs. Computer" mode allows the player to face the computer-controlled opponent of their choice. In the options screen, the player can alter the button configuration, set the game's difficulty level to "easy", "medium", or "hard", and enter passwords to unlock new characters.[2]

Digimon Rumble Arena initially includes nine playable characters out of a total of 24.[1][5] The roster is composed of characters featured in the anime series Digimon Adventure, Digimon Adventure 02 and Digimon Tamers.[3] Each character is associated with one of three "specialties" – consisting of "fire", "nature", and "water" – which makes them stronger against or more vulnerable to certain fighters.[5] The gameplay primarily consists of two Digimon fighting one-on-one in one of seven themed arenas.[1] Characters can jump, guard, and have a series of basic attacks as well as two special techniques.[3] Landing successful hits against the opponent or guarding against attacks will gradually increase the player's "Digivolve Gauge", which allows the player character to transform into a more powerful character when it is filled. In this state, the character can execute a "Special Finish" technique, which empties the gauge and returns the character to their previous form.[6] When the transformation is triggered, the Digimon's human partner briefly appears to order the transformation.[3]

The game's seven arenas feature interactive elements and traps (such as falling rocks or lava flows) that players can avoid or use to their advantage.[7] Matches may be timed, with the winner being determined by which character has the higher life gauge,[6] though the time limit can be deactivated in the options menu.[2] During a match, items and cards will randomly appear that are either beneficial or detrimental to the player.[6]

Development and releaseEdit

Digimon Rumble Arena was produced by Bandai under the direction of Ayano Fujiwara and Yukio Umematsu of Hudson Soft. The game was designed by Hiroyuki Seki, Yasuaki Takahashi and Yutaka Sato, and was programmed by Masahiro Tobita and Takayuki Hanamasu. The opening CG movie was created by Toei Animation's digital content department. The voice actors from the Japanese and English versions of the anime largely reprised their respective roles with the exception of Brian Beacock, who was replaced by Mary Elizabeth McGlynn as Takato Matsuki. The final boss Reapermon[d] was respectively voiced by Ken Yamaguchi and Steve Blum in Japanese and English. The English voice acting was recorded in the studio Oracle Post under McGlynn's direction.[8][9] The game was released as Digimon Tamers Battle Evolution in Japan on December 6, 2001.[10] It was released as Digimon Rumble Arena in North America in late February 2002,[3][11] and in Europe on July 5 of the same year.[12]


Because Digimon Rumble Arena was released late in the PlayStation's life cycle, it received little coverage from critics.[16] However, it garnered a 64/100 aggregate score on Metacritic (indicating "mixed to average reviews"),[13] with most reviewers pointing out the gameplay's resemblance to Super Smash Bros..[e]

Akira Fujita, in a preview for IGN, commended the responsive controls and considered the graphics to be satisfactory for a PlayStation game, but felt that the execution of the "digivolution" mechanic was imperfect, explaining that the attacks by non-evolved Digimon were sometimes faster and more effective than the slower Special Finish techniques of the evolved Digimon.[3] Fennec Fox of GamePro lamented the lack of four-player gameplay and substantial features compared to Super Smash Bros., and dismissed the music as "typical generic anime stuff", though he was surprised by the smooth character animation, respected the game's effort to recreate the feel of the anime series, and concluded that the game was one of the better budget titles for the PlayStation.[1] Sam Kennedy of Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine regarded the gameplay as clunky, stiff, and unbalanced, but admired the multi-level environments, commended the game's accessibility, and found enjoyment in the multiplayer experience and unlockable content.[15] While Romendil of Jeuxvideo.com observed that the game "daringly draws on the classics of the fighting game", she felt that the result's success was hampered by major handicaps; namely, she castigated the gameplay for its imprecision and lack of arena variety, adding that evading a string of combos from an opponent was "often impossible".[12] Jeanne Kim of Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM) acknowledged that the game's simplified combat mechanics granted accessibility, and opined that the game fulfilled a single purpose of allowing fans to fight Digimon in real time, summarizing it as "unsurprisingly contrived, but surprisingly solid and OK fun". Chris Johnston, also of EGM, determined the game to be the best Digimon title he had played, but nevertheless criticized the awkward controls, stiff combat, uneven character balance, overly difficult final boss, and inability for two human players to select the same character in two-player gameplay. James Mielke, the third EGM reviewer, was impressed by the "ambitious" arenas, but felt that it affected the game's graphics by rendering them "grainy and unkempt", and considered the fighting system to be weak.[14]


A sequel, Digimon Rumble Arena 2, was released for the PlayStation 2, GameCube and Xbox consoles in 2004.[17][18][19] The game features a roster of 45 playable characters representing the first four seasons of the anime series, fully destructible environments, and four-player gameplay.[16] It was unveiled at the 2004 Electronic Entertainment Expo,[20] and received mixed reviews from critics upon release.[17][18][19]

Digimon All-Star Rumble, a spiritual successor to the Digimon Rumble Arena games,[21] was released for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 consoles in 2014.[22] The game, which features a roster of 32 playable characters representing the first six seasons of the anime series,[23] was poorly received by reviewers.[22]


  1. ^ In association with Hudson Soft
  2. ^ Known in Japan as Digimon Tamers Battle Evolution (Japanese: デジモンテイマーズ バトルエボリューション, Hepburn: Dejimon Teimāzu Batoru Eboryūshon)
  3. ^ The term "Digimon" is both singular and plural.
  4. ^ ゴクモン (Gokumon)
  5. ^ [1][3][12][14][15]



  1. ^ a b c d e f Fennec Fox (February 8, 2002). "Digimon Rumble Arena PlayStation Review". GamePro. IDG Entertainment. Archived from the original on December 5, 2003. Retrieved May 27, 2021.
  2. ^ a b c Bandai staff 2002, p. 4.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Fujita, Akira (January 2, 2002). "PlayStation: Digimon Rumble Arena". IGN. Snowball.com. Archived from the original on February 17, 2002. Retrieved May 27, 2021.
  4. ^ Bandai staff 2002, p. 16.
  5. ^ a b Bandai staff 2002, p. 5.
  6. ^ a b c Bandai staff 2002, pp. 12–15.
  7. ^ Bandai staff 2002, pp. 10–11.
  8. ^ Bandai (December 6, 2001). Digimon Tamers Battle Evolution (PlayStation). Bandai. Level/area: End credits.
  9. ^ Bandai (February 24, 2002). Digimon Rumble Arena (PlayStation). Bandai. Level/area: End credits.
  10. ^ "デジモンテイマーズ バトルエボリューション". Bandai. 2001. Archived from the original on February 20, 2002. Retrieved June 9, 2021.
  11. ^ "PS2 Previews: Digimon Battle Arena". Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine. No. 54. March 2002. p. 92.
  12. ^ a b c d Romendil (August 5, 2002). "Digimon Rumble Arena - PSX - Test avec". Jeuxvideo.com. L'Odyssée Interactive. Archived from the original on May 6, 2004. Retrieved January 7, 2022.
  13. ^ a b "Digimon Rumble Arena for PlayStation Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on November 23, 2010. Retrieved July 12, 2010.
  14. ^ a b c Kim, Jeanne; Johnston, Chris; Mielke, James (March 2002). "Review Crew: Digimon Rumble Arena". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 152. Ziff Davis. p. 144.
  15. ^ a b c Kennedy, Sam (April 2002). "Reviews: Digimon Rumble Arena". Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine. No. 55. p. 109.
  16. ^ a b Sulic, Ivan (September 10, 2004). "PlayStation 2: Digimon Rumble Arena 2". IGN. IGN Entertainment. Archived from the original on September 12, 2004.
  17. ^ a b "Digimon Rumble Arena 2 Reviews for PlayStation 2". Metacritic. Red Ventures. Retrieved June 9, 2021.
  18. ^ a b "Digimon Rumble Arena 2 Reviews for Xbox". Metacritic. Red Ventures. Retrieved June 9, 2021.
  19. ^ a b "Digimon Rumble Arena 2 Reviews for GameCube". Metacritic. Red Ventures. Retrieved June 9, 2021.
  20. ^ Navarro, Alex (May 12, 2004). "Digimon Rumble Arena 2 E3 2004 Impressions". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on January 12, 2014. Retrieved June 9, 2021.
  21. ^ Hannley, Steve (November 11, 2014). "Review: Digimon All-Star Rumble". Hardcore Gamer. Archived from the original on January 2, 2022. Retrieved May 20, 2022.
  22. ^ a b "Digimon All-Star Rumble Reviews for PlayStation 3". Metacritic. Red Ventures. Retrieved June 9, 2021.
  23. ^ Romano, Sal (July 31, 2014). "Digimon All-Star Rumble announced for PS3 and Xbox 360". Gematsu. Archived from the original on August 2, 2014. Retrieved June 9, 2021.


  • Bandai staff (2002). Digimon Rumble Arena instruction booklet. SLUS-01404.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: ref duplicates default (link)