There have been many Pokémon games over the years, but still no sign of an MMO version -- not an official one, anyway. Apparently sensing an opportunity, Digimon, often regarded as a rival to Nintendo's franchise, has put out its own online title. And, as is the case with so many new MMOs these days, it's free to play.

Digimon Masters features cel-shaded visuals which capture the look and feel of Digimon's animated incarnation rather well. Unlike past games, it features real time combat using more than a thousand characters taken from the first five seasons of the TV series. It also promises to follow the established story of the franchise, allowing players to immerse themselves in the lore of Digimon's parallel worlds.

The game also features an interesting sounding "Royal Knight" system whereby players have the opportunity to take control of the various areas of the Digital World, with the assistance of their guild. These Royal Knights have the right to impose taxes on the populace as well as to take advantage of certain perks -- but, as we all know by now, with great power comes great responsibility, so you'll have obligations to fulfil to the people if you want to keep hold of your position. The system sounds somewhat similar to TERA's political system, which we heard about at Gamescom this year.

You can check out the new game, freshly open to the general public, by visiting the official website.

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This article originally appeared on GamePro.com as Digimon Masters MMORPG Launches Today