In the late ’90s, virtual pets were all the rage. Bandai’s Tamagotchi started a trend in 1996, with the company’s Digital Monster offering another take on it. While Tamagotchis were peaceful pets, Digimon were monsters you could raise, train and battle. Ten years after its 1997 launch, the Digimon Mini was released. This line offers smaller virtual pets for people to carry. Of this series, the Digimon Xros Wars variety is most convenient, giving people who grew up with the toys a more manageable pet.
It all starts with the design. Rather than raising a series of digital monsters, the Digimon Xros Wars toys are more limited. After you have set the time, you are immediately presented with a full-grown Digimon. The kind you get varies depending on the color of the Digimon Xros Wars toy you have acquired. The model I have is red, which means I always have Shoutmon with me. Black models offer SkullKnightmon, while blue have Greymon. This eliminates the raising portion of the game. You don’t have to keep a character alive long enough to reach the adult stage, the one where your main concern is training and battling. You are already there.
Training a Digimon Xros Wars character is easy. It all comes down to feeding and battling. The A button lets you feed it food or protein. The former is used when the character is hungry, and the latter is to increase its strength. When it is well-fed and strong enough, you can press the B button to take part in a X Battle against an AI opponent or C Battle against another Digimon Xros Wars unit. If you win, everything is fine. If you lose, you may need to press the A button to administer medicine. Your character’s stats are checked with the C button.
It is these battles that allow your Digimon Xros Wars to change form. Depending on the enemies fought, you may have the opportunity have your character DigiXross with the opponent to temporarily change its form for a time. As an example, I was able to turn my Shoutmon into Agumon after beating Starmon by pressing the A button to accept the prompt after a battle. Even though my character was definitely not Greymon, it was able to take a Greymon form after beating Dondokomon.
By tying forms to battles, it can be easier for busy individuals to enjoy the Digimon Xros Wars device. You do not have to pay tons of attention to the toy, attempting to meet certain objectives along the way, to get the Digimon you want. Instead, you spend a bit of time training the character and boosting its stats before the random X Battle, in the hopes of facing the right random enemy and triggering DigiXrosses.
But what if you do neglect your Digimon Xros Wars character? Perhaps you leave it on a desk or dresser for a few days, forgetting to clean up after it, feed it or even turn the lights off for it when it goes to sleep each night? Well, there are no permanent, negative consequences. The DigiXrosses are temporary forms, meaning they will fade eventually. Seeing the screen filled with poop or a dismayed character is easily remedied. You press the A button to clean things up, then use the A button again to offer comfort or medicine. Once the character is returned to a neutral state, you can begin feeding and battling it again. The character will never die.
It makes for a more convenient virtual pet. The idea of caring for a Digimon again is a pleasant one, but our lives get busier as we age. We do not have the same amount of free time that we once enjoyed. The Digimon Xros Wars devices remove the tedium associated with raising a character. They make it easier to get to the most exciting and interesting parts and remove the penalties associated with forgetting or being unable to care for it for a time. It makes it easier to still enjoy a Digimon as an adult.