After getting some thorough playtime with Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth, I realized that my time with the game has been one of rediscovery. I haven't kept up with the Digimon franchise as a whole, since the end of the first anime series, but getting the chance to play this game makes me feel like was a pleasant surprise that I almost passed over.
WHAT is DIGIMon Story: Cyber sleuth?
The game starts with you and your online friends are hanging out in a chat room discussing the rumors of hackers using Digimon. Then, a hacker breaks into the room, using the Eden Mascot Mr. Navit as their avatar, and threatens anyone who doesn't go to Eden tomorrow by hacking their online accounts. Eden is the newest digital world people can log in to, communicate and purchase things across the web. The two online friends that decide to go with you are a spunky girl named Nokia, who is a bit self centered and cares greatly about her appearance, and Arata, a reclusive and cool acting guy who is hiding something. After you enter the digital world of Eden, you will be missing your friends and decide to go looking for them. When you get the to open social area, Mr. Navit will message you to let you know that your friends are in the lower area called Kowloon, and you need to find your way there. Once you do make it to Kowloon Level 1, you’ll be approached by Nokia, and berated for being late and leaving her alone, but this is also when you three get the Digimon capture program installed onto your Digivice, and the story really begins.
into the digital world
When getting into the action and actually playing the game, the animations and combat feel really solid. The transitions between the digital world and the “real” world feel smooth, and are something I actually like, instead of a constant loading screen popping up when transitioning between worlds. They also do a great job of showing the change to the attack order in combat as enemies are defeated, stunned, paralyzed, or slowed down.
The music fits in very well for the encounters you face throughout the game. The animations and sound effects paired to just traversing the world also bring you further into the action. Attack animations flow just enough to work without pulling you to far away from your current target. One of the better parts of the game, in my opinion, is scanning Digimon to hatch them from an egg and raise them. You have a farm to begin with that they can be told to train on before you take them to battle other Digimon. They can also look for more items or help you find other cases to investigate. The end goal is to make them level up and meet the criteria to be able to evolve into more powerful forms, and they usually end up looking more badass as well.
Parts of the game do have issues though. I can’t say how well the characters and Digimon look when they’re following you around or in combat. On the Playstation 4 version, the game appears dated, looking almost like a ported PS3 remaster. It was obviously made for the PS Vita, and then scaled up to the PS4, and it definitely shows. This left it feeling bland on the larger, higher resolution displays usually hooked up to the Playstation 4. The main character is bland and has very little dialogue options, except for key points in the story, which leaves you with very little investment in moving him forward as a character. What does keep you moving forward is the combat and raising Digimon. It could have become agitating, but the story does a great job moving you on a nice pace throughout your adventure, and keeping you investigating the world of Eden. Another negative is it will take some time before you stop being an “errand boy” and the story actually starts to take off, as you begin the game doing some very grindy-feeling fetch quests. This may put some players off during the initial start of the game, but it does improve, again, once the story moves forward. Also, to turn in your investigations, you have to go all of the way back to the main office for your employer’s detective agency. This tends to pull you out of the action and resets the pace, once it really starts to get moving.
Time to digivolve
After spending my time with the game, I can say that this is definitely a wonderful Japanese RPG experience. It has a blend of Persona and Pokemon that seems to flow well. The music does a great job of complimenting the story well, which should take you about 80 hours or so to complete almost everything that the world has to offer. Even though it has a large time commitment, I personally will continue to play this primarily on my Vita during my time with the game, but if I want to take my game save to my PS4 and the larger screen then the games do support cross save via Playstation Plus, which is a nice touch.
In the end, I’m glad that I listened to some of my fellow gamers, and took the time to play this game. Hopefully, it is a start to rebooting the Digimon game franchise in America, as we have missed several games that ended up being Japanese only releases. There is no way I want to miss out on another game in the Digimon universe if they all end up being as good as this.
- Graphics feel dated on PS4
- Bland protagonist
- Busy work in early parts of game
- Great Team Battle System
- Raising Digimon from eggs to final Digivolution
- Excellent game art for world
For the purposes of this review, Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth was primarily played on a Playstation Vita system.