Digimon Masters Online Preview plus 16 Mins of Gameplay
Digimon Masters Online is an upcoming free-to-play MMORPG based on the Digimon Universe. Joymax is currently holding a Pre-CBT “warm up” which gave me the chance to take a look at the English localization of this fascinating MMO. Fans of the Digimon Data Squad television series can rejoice as the game brings this particular series to life in stunning cartoon rendering.
So far players can pick from three of the characters from the Data Squad series, those being Marcus, Yoshino or Thomas. Every Tamer needs a Digimon to aid them so players may also choose from Agumon, Lalamon or Gaomon as starter Digimon. Upon completion a new Tamer is taken to the DATS Centre, where they will begin their journey to become the number one DATS Agent. There are Digimon flooding into the real world, and Agents have begun research on the various Digimon to try find out more about the situation. Needless to say there is only so much you can learn in the real world.
DATS come to the conclusion that Agents will need to venture into the Digital World in order to fully understand the strange appearance of all these new Digimon in real life. With this Tamers embark on an adventure to capture Digimon and train them to fight by their side, while travelling throughout the dangerous reaches of the Digital World.
One Digimon follows the players around at all times, a total of 3 Digimon are allowed to be carried by the player at any given time. There are two hotbars for various actions, one for the Tamer and one for the Digimon. The Digimon hotbar consists of its currently available skills, while the Tamers hotbar performs actions like switching out Digimon or picking up items. Collecting additional Digimon requires a player to kill that Digimon and collect the DigiEggs it drops. Some DigiEggs are hatchable, meaning they can be hatched into the Digimon it is named after.
To hatch an egg players must collect Scannable DigiEggs for Data Chips, once the required amount of Data Chips have been obtained players can inject them into the egg to hatch it. Additionally players may inject extra data into an egg to make it stronger upon hatching. Scannable DigiEggs have a chance to provide the chips required or may result in random loot; this is the main method in which players receive items from mobs they kill in the game.
Any fans of the series should fall in love with Digimon Masters Online as the developers have done an outstanding job at really capturing the cartoon in a living 3D space. The whole game holds a unique charm and the DigiEgg system will be sure to keep players extremely busy. Players can trade eggs and data chips, this is the foundation for the player economy; and that means the ‘cooler’ Digimon are farmed heavily. There is something rewarding about walking through the local village with your Gabomon by your side as players stare on in envy.
I will be keeping a close eye on Digimon Masters Online, and with the CBT coming up there are bound to be many incredible things to come. With the Pre-CBT coming to a close on September 1st 2011, it was a short but memorable glimpse at what might be an acceptable adaption of the second favorite ‘monster capturing’ cartoon of my childhood.