Recently, Digimon World Re:Digitize Decode was released the for Nintendo 3DS in Japan, and the game’s developers took part in two different interviews with Japanese media—one with Famitsu and one with Dengeki Online. Both these interviews focused on the transition from PSP to 3DS.
The choice to go with the 3DS was simple, according to the interviews. Originally, the PSP was chosen because it had a strong audience of Digimon fans. Not only was it powerful system, but it was also a system that had a large audience of children and parents. According to the developers, “We would love to see Digimon reach the 20-year mark. We would love to see Digimon last into the next generation, that after 20 years, parents and children can enjoy Digimon together.”
In expanding to a new system, the producer and director hoped to attract new fans as well as take advantage of the system’s functions to create a more in-depth game.
The two screens are used in Re:Digitize Decode to make choices such as in the training minigames as well as to input commands during battle. It is also where the new function the Digitter will be displayed. However, this was the least of the changes made for the 3DS version.
During the creation process, Tri-Crescendo and Namco had originally planned on doing a direct port. However, because both the director and producer felt this was a new opportunity, they decided to add as much content as time allowed—and they did it to the point that even they felt a “sequel” might fit better than just a port with “additional content”. Everything that’s new was created after the PSP game had been released, so even they felt that they had pushed their limits.
They attributed their success to the fact that, when they first worked on the PSP game, they were focusing on learning about Digimon and its existing material, while for the 3DS game they had already grown attached and were focused instead on making the game more “Digimon”.
This focus is also shown in the additional “Decode” in the title. Originally, it is “a program that decompressed data back into information,” whereas in this case, they used it to mean “to analyze a previous work and reconstruct it in a better incarnation”. In addition, it also refers to the new Decode function of the main character, which “reconstructs a Digimon’s soul [after death] and gives them stronger abilities”.
Thus, the original purpose of Digimon World Re:Digitize was to appeal to the core Digimon fans who had played the original Playstation game 13 years ago. Meanwhile, Decode’s goal is to focus on an enormous increase of content, on fine-tuning what already existed based off player comments, and on making changes the developers had wanted to previously, but couldn’t fit into the PSP game either due to space or time restrictions.
In addition, the creators hope to appeal to a wider audience. Previous Digimon franchises were aimed at a variety of audiences, down to as young as elementary students, but this time they decided to set their sights on high school students and higher, since “the majority of Digimon fans are now in their twenties”.
As such, they asked character designer Suzuhito Yasuda to create catchier, more unique designs such that players could tell the approximate age and personality of the character just from a glance. For example, for new character Rina Shinomiya, they asked for a “lively, active girl”.
Digimon World Re:Digitize Decode is available now in Japan.