By Laura . April 11, 2010 . 12:45pm
Digimon Story: Lost Evolution will be returning the franchise to its Digimon Story roots (for the DS, at least). The basic premise is that the Digimon of the Digital World have all lost the ability to evolve, and no one knows who or what caused it. Tamers, humans partnered with Digimon, are also disappearing one after another, while a mysterious group has been showing its face more and more. An Agumon (yes, another one) decides to head to the Real World, where the humans live (or rather, our world), to find his own partner. He ends up getting there and you, as the protagonist, find him along with a group of friends. However, the others are kidnapped by a 3-person group that escapes into the Digital World. Of course, you decide to try to get them back, partnering with Agumon and chasing them into the other world.
In Lost Evolution, unlike the previous Digimon Story games, you can choose your gender. The default name for the boy is Shuu, while for the girl is Kizuna. Apparently you’re a 5th grade transfer student with a calm and peaceful personality who is both good in sports and athletics. Even though you just transferred, you have made many friends and have come to be relied upon by others.
The Digital World is much the same as it was before -– a world created in a computer network that is heavily inhabited by Digimon. This time, though, it seems like there will be a heavy emphasis placed on the different continents and islands, surrounded by ocean. The main website hints at needing to use a vehicle called the DigiShip to travel between the different lands.
One of your jobs as a Digimon tamer as you go on adventures is to restore the Digimon’s evolution. All of the Digimon’s evolution capabilities seem to be tied to an “Evolution Tree” in this game, with each node containing a “DigiPlate.” However, these Plates are missing at the start of the game, and your task is to find them — usually by defeating bosses — and restore them. This is done in an almost archaeological fashion –- using the stylus, you can use various tools, which include a plaster-like goo to fill in cracks in the Plate, files to remove the excess plaster, and cleaner to clean off the dirty spots, to repair and clean, within a fairly generous time limit, the Plates that you find.
Once this is done, you snap the DigiPlates into the node where they seem to fit (those with prior knowledge of Digimon shouldn’t have any trouble with this), and voila! You can now evolve into that Digimon (and so can the rest of the Digimon population, presumably).
The game is set to release on July 1. To encourage people to check it out, Namco Bandai set up a minigame on the website that involves the cooperation of many people over time. If enough hits are registered, extra content will be released on the site.