Oct 8, 2007
The Digimon franchise has always been copyright infringingly similar to Nintendo's world-dominating Pokemon critter-catching games. Both offerings have super-basic stories that charge you with amassing an army of odd, eternally bloodthirsty life forms that love to fight. Both feature battle systems that are far more complex than you'd guess at first. Both tend to release not one game, but a pair of nearly-identical games, each with hundreds of beasties, a few of which you can only get by trading with someone who has the other version. And both are also pretty darn good.
That's the big picture, which is enough for many folks. If you want to get more specific, there are a dozen minor differences, but they all boil down to this: basically, everything in the Digimon universe is slightly more complex and less sugary-sweetly charming than its poke-counterpart, for better or worse.
For instance, the graphics in Digimon World Dawn/Dusk are much more detailed than in a Pokemon game, even if you can't walk straight lines around the levels because everything's diagonal. That's cool. Also nice: you can buy islands and outfit them with training items to help your Digis gain levels when not in battle.
Less cool is that you don't catch the critters in Digimon by throwing balls at them - instead, every time you encounter a new digimon, a certain percentage of its DNA gets "scanned" automatically - even if you run away. Once you've scanned 100% of a given digimon's info, your in-game PC can spit out your very own copy of that digimon.