Digimon World: Data Squad Hands-On

Digital monsters continue the evolution on the PlayStation 2, and we've got a first look at the game.

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The continued success of the Digimon series of games and cartoons might perplex parents, but for kids, there's no mystery. It should come as no surprise, then, that the upcoming Digimon World: Data Squad for the PlayStation 2 is aimed squarely at the younger set. We had a chance to check out Data Squad for ourselves at a recent Namco Bandai press event to see how this role-playing-game-lite is shaping up.

Random monster encounters are never too far away.

As you might expect, Data Squad is an RPG set in the Digimon universe, and it's one that's been created with younger gamers in mind. Many of the standard RPG conventions are intact; you'll guide your Digimon trainer through a map, encountering random monster battles as you go and, when in battle, you'll be able to control three Digimon monsters during the fight. The story behind the game will have you playing as Marcus, a new Digimon trainer who's responsible for protecting the world from a digital invasion of monsters and for discovering why kids are being kidnapped in the world. Once you add boss monsters that are supposedly inspired by the biblical seven deadly sins, you've got a storyline that may seem a bit grown-up for its intended audience. However, there's no denying that the bright, cartoon look of the game will be right up a kid's alley.

While collecting the 140-plus Digimon in the game will be a big part of the attraction, it isn't, of course, the only thing you can do with your ever-growing stable of digital monsters. Evolving them into higher digital forms will grant them more power on the battlefield, with a larger array of powerful attacks and guards from which to choose. You'll have two choices for evolving your Digimon: The first involves using a system known as the Galactic Evolution System. Here, you choose the path of your Digimon's evolution by mapping it out on what looks like a star system, with each star in the constellation representing a new destination on your evolutionary trail. The second method is to choose a random evolution, which will give your Digimon a random evolution, possibly a path you hadn't thought of before.

Another new feature in Data Squad is known as the emote feature. When in battle, you'll have a number of different options: attack, guard, item, or escape. Within each of these options, you'll have several choices, such as different kinds of attacks or attribute power-ups. Your Digimon's current mood will determine which particular action it wants to take at that given point in the battle. If you choose to follow your Digimon's mood and use that particular action, your Digimon will not only be more effective in battle, but it will be more apt to listen to your suggestions later in the game. Essentially, the emote system seems to be a help system for those new to RPGs or for kids who need a hand with defeating the many monsters they'll encounter along the way.

Some Digimon are more effective when armed with dairy products than others.

All of the Digimon in the game will fall into certain species or element categories; as a result, some Digimon will be more effective against certain enemies than others (it's up to you, as the trainer, to know those strengths and weaknesses). As you roam around the world, you'll be able to take up to four Digimon with you, though only three can accompany you into battle at any given moment. In addition, the game will have more than 250 items you can collect along the way to use on your party members or against enemies.

With approximately 20 hours of gameplay, Digimon World: Data Squad seems like it will be a nice introduction to the complex world of RPGs, especially for folks who are already fans of the Digimon universe. The game is currently due for release in fall of 2007.

Discussion

15 comments
Shaoran_Li
Shaoran_Li

This seems a lot more promising than the other Digimon World though of course who knows...I'm lookign forward to this:D

amr_ali_medicin
amr_ali_medicin

happy to know there is a new digimon game ,i got them nearly all since ps1, i will get it ,i love digimon and saw whole series.

mav_destroyer
mav_destroyer

looks cool, i'm getting this if its compatible with the PS3

PakoDX
PakoDX

I wonder if they ever gonna realize that they REALLY have no ability to do a game... however, they would get an A+++ at making stuff for torturing others :)

_AbBaNdOn
_AbBaNdOn

Will this be able to take out Digimon World 2 as the best console digimon game??? 3-4 sucked. Digimon World DS(for the ds) was pretty awesome. I hope it atleast equals how good that game is. Digimon world dusk/dawn should be awesome to.

PerfectParadox1
PerfectParadox1

looks oook but it will never match the rpg standards of pokemon

exokun
exokun

i always liked digimon, but this looks disappointing. it looks like it should've come out a few years ago :/ hopefully i'm wrong..

Cantius
Cantius

Eh,saw the video and it was pretty lame.

coolamigo
coolamigo

Since this is a side story to the newest season, Digimon Data Squad (Digimon Savers in Japan), people playing this game should try to watch the series (which is very good, especially from episode 26+) to see how they connect the video game to the anime. Plus if you enjoy the anime, you'll most likely would like to play this game more. Also, the Seven Great Demon Lords (based on the seven deadly sins) are perfect bad guys for this game!

mezz-mezz
mezz-mezz

lol the first digimon game which looks alright :D

blueflamedino
blueflamedino

hmm... how are the sales doing for the other digi-products?

pashmina626
pashmina626

It looks pretty cool from what I seen in the video for it so far.

Carbon_
Carbon_

*Sigh* Digimon? First Comment!