This morning, Agetec announced that it would be bringing the next in its long line of Designer Series games to the United States. Called Color Quest stateside (Rakugaki Oukoku, or "doodle kingdom," in Japan), the game mixes Pokémon-style arena fighting elements with those of traditional role-playing games. The game's plot centers around a boy and girl whose father is taken away by the government, and you're tasked with getting him back by creating and raising monsters, much like in Pokémon and Monster Rancher, that will fight for his freedom.
The catch is that you don't actually catch or win these monsters--you draw them. Initially, you'll only have a limited paint supply with which to draw your creations, but as your monster wins battles and gains experience, you'll get additional colors, different brush strokes, and more axes to draw upon. Eventually, you'll be able to draw monsters with a significant amount of detail. Color Quest uses cel-shading to render its extremely stylized characters, monsters, and environments, and according to Agetec, Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli had a hand in the game's art direction. Miyazaki and Ghibli were responsible for the animated films Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away.
Color Quest is already available in Japan for the PlayStation 2, but it's slated for a May 2003 release in the US. We'll have more on this game as new information becomes available.