Digimon World: Data Squad Review for PlayStation 2 (PS2)

Digimon World: Data Squad Review for PlayStation 2 (PS2)

If this game were any slower, you would play it backwards.

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.

Digimon World: Data Squad screenshot

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.

Digimon World: Data Squad screenshot

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.

Digimon World: Data Squad screenshot

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.

After a command is chosen, you have to wait while the camera scans the environment. Then you have to wait while the move is implemented. Then you’ll wait while the attack is registered. Then you’ll wait for the outcome of the command, after which you’ll wait for the opposing Digimon to do unto you. It’s a tiring process which drains you of any patience that you have left at the end of the day. Kids, heed my warning. You’re going to need a double dose of Ritalin just to get through this game.

Digimon World: Data Squad screenshot

There is little correlation between this game and the animated series. This game is tedious, and while it features popular characters from the series, the game is unable to capture any of the charm. This RPG format is definitely a wrong choice for this franchise. An action game would have been better. Instead, I find this game to be an example of a poor man’s Pokemon.

Graphically the game looks old and tired. The command menu looks outrageously messy, while the environments are sparse and drab. The Digimons are decent enough, as are the alternate forms that they digivolve into, but there is also a lot of repeated characters with slightly different skins. There is some cell shading which rivals the graphics in the cartoon, but overall, the quality and attention to detail is inconsistent. The animations aren’t even altogether smooth. The environments are huge and there is no world map. Navigation requires accessing menus. And menus take time to load. There is a damn menu for everything.

Expect some slowdown, and I’m not talking about the load times that choke any remaining semblance of fun right out of the game. At times, the animation is even more jerky than the original Pokemon cartoons that caused epileptic fits in children.

Unless you’re the biggest Digimon fan on the planet, don’t even bother to rent this mess. Because if you do, you certainly won’t be the biggest Digimon fan on the planet anymore.


  • Dozens of Digimon: As you travel through over a dozen stages, collect and evolve over 140 Digimon.
  • Each Digimon has its own unique strengths and weaknesses, and upgrading your Digimon can be easily done through the intuitive Galactica Evolution System!
  • Exciting new look and feel: Digimon World Data Squad is a new kind of RPG featuring cel-shaded artwork and emotive Digimon that are affected by the way you treat them!
  • Digimon speak their minds: Digimon World Data Squad features a unique emotion engine for the Digimon, allowing them to communicate to the player what they would like to do in battle.
  • Numerous items to wield: There are over 250 items to find and acquire during the course of the game. Some items will help you solve complex puzzles, while others will give you different advantages in battle.
  • Find them all! Unique storyline and characters: Digimon World Data Squad features a storyline that parallels the new and exciting Digimon Data Squad cartoon and also has new exclusive characters for the game!
  • The same voice actors from the cartoon have brought their characters from the show to life in the game!

  • Rating out of 5 Rating Description


    Too ambitious. Little attention to detail in the environments.


    You have to access menus for everything. Long loads make it frustrating and tedious.


    Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
    Music, sound effects, and voiceovers are culled from the TV series.


    Play Value
    There is no way you’ll want to go through the repetition of another battle.


    Overall Rating Poor
    Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

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