|System: PS2||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: BEC||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Namco Bandai||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Sept. 18, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Cole Smith
Slower than molasses on a typical Canadian winter day. That's what I think about Digimon World: Data Squad. It's like transferring data over a dial-up connection in Eastern Mongolia. This game is sluggish, lethargic, ponderous, frustrating, and boring. I don't care how much you love the animated series, you'll find little to like about this game.
There's a line dividing worlds. The world as we know it and the digital realm. That line is being crossed. Monsters from the digital world are entering the real world where they are abducting humans and causing all kinds of mayhem. The only line of defense is the Digital Accidental Tactical Squad, also known as DATS.
You will play as any of three main characters in this turn-based RPG. More party members will be acquired later. There are tons of unavoidable battles. As an RPG, Digimon World: Data Squad resorts to every cliché in the book. This is a repetitive and redundant game - just like this sentence. The commands are basic, the storyline is hackneyed, the dialogue is awful, and the load times are horrendous. This game is all talk and no action.
As a Digimon trainer, you pit your creature against a dangerously wild Digimon. You can digivolve your creature, which changes its form, although this is more cosmetic than anything. For the sparse few techniques that you acquire, the main moves and animations remain the same. A menu system will appear when it's time to make a move. It looks daunting (or messy) as it encompasses the entire screen, although the Digimon remains in front of it. However, upon closer examinations, there is a short list of commands that are repeated numerous times. The more an action is repeated, the more that your creature wants you to choose that command.
You see, you have a personal relationship with your Digimon. By choosing the command with the highest repetition, you'll make your Digimon more happy and agreeable. But if you begin to ignore your Digimon's suggestions, he or she will begin to sulk and their performance will deteriorate. The mood of your Digimon is important to your success, but there's really nothing more to it than evaluating the commands, determining which one is most prevalent, and then selecting it. Unless you want to piss the poor guy off.
There are four main command categories: Action, Guard, Escape, and Support. You can use any moves in the Support category, but the other three are dependent on the mood of your monster. A mad Digimon will display little more than Attack commands. A more centered monster is likely to have a better balance of commands to choose from. If your monster takes a hit, you should give it some encouraging words to keep its spirit up. Otherwise, it will just want to give up. Be nice to your creature, and it will do well in battle. After a while, I was just so frustrated at the slow pace of the gameplay I tormented my Digimon until it had a complete nervous breakdown. Better it than me.