Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth PS4 review – Digimon for older fans

digomon story cyber sleuth

While previous Digimon games were aimed towards a younger audience, Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth is aimed towards the older fans who really enjoyed the series back in the ’90s. What you end up getting is a much deeper and complex story that’s set in the real and cyber world where your main character (after selecting either male or female) finds himself/herself stuck in the middle of everything after a tragic event. The character is now a rookie Cyber Sleuth, aka detective, exploring the truth about the creatures known as Digimon.

Playing Cyber Sleuth felt a lot like playing one of Atlus’ Shin Megami Tensei games. There were quite a few similarities in terms of story and presentation, which all worked in Cyber Sleuth’s favor. While the game has a huge focus on the virtual cyberspace known as ‘EDEN’, players will also travel back and forth between popular locations across Japan that have been recreated wonderfully for this title, including Akihabara, Nakano, Odabia and Shibuya.

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Depending on your preference, you might be disappointed to hear that the game features no English audio and instead is completely in Japanese. It doesn’t hurt the game, instead it just means you have to do a bit more reading especially during the few anime cutscenes.

As a PlayStation 4 game, you won’t see Cyber Sleuth win any awards for graphics since it was originally developed as a PlayStation Vita game. However the game is still beautiful and the PlayStation 4 version ran smoothly and looked beautiful, from its bright and well-created locations to its sharp and detailed characters from Suzuhito Yasuda (Durarara!!!, Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor).

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Complete with vast and well-designed dungeons to explore, Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth features a pretty familiar formula in JRPGs with a turn-based battle system where you fight with three active Digimon in the front row, complete with a timeline to let you know the turn order based on current stats. While Digimon can attack, defend, use skills and items or switch out to any other Digimon in your party, Cyber Sleuth is filled with random encounters. It is something that can get tedious if you get attacked every few steps. Raising your Digimon plays are big impact as you are able to decrease frequency of battles or even raise them to grind faster, along with letting your Digimon automatically attack. Luckily it comes with a very smart AI which only focuses on one Digimon at a time.

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Digimon are broken down into four different categories: Vaccine, Data, Neutral or Virus. Vaccine is weak against Data but strong against Virus. Virus is strong against Data and so on. Learning to take advantage of the types can deal massive damage to opponents, while letting you take less damage if done right. You never know what you’ll end up fighting, so having a nice variety of Digimon can play a big role in battles.

It’s really easy to get lost in the fun of raising Digimon in the game rather than proceeding with the story. I found myself just constantly jumping into battle and raising the levels of my Digimon in order to Digivolve them into their next forms. Rather than capturing Digimon, you scan their data each time you fight them. Once you reach 100-200%, you can summon that Digimon to your bank, making it yours to use and train in the Digilab. The Digilab also has a few other features that will prove to help you as you progress, including the ability to Digivolve or De-Digivolve your Digimon, send your Digimon to the Digi-Farm where you can assign your Digimon with a variety of things to do including training to raise their levels and stats, create items, or help you investigate finding items and cases. Learning to make good use of these can help make growing your army of Digimon easier without needing to train every single one of them.

You can also join the Battle Arena which lets you fight other players’ Digimon online. It’s a nice concept, but you really want to spend time building a powerful team first, since I had a tough time in the matches. Three players from Japan faced me with a team of Megas, and it wasn’t a very pretty battle.

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With over 230 Digimon in the game, Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth is the one Digimon game fans have been looking forward to. I was able to play over 70 hours. It’s complete with the nostalgia factor and a soundtrack, including one song that plays quite often that features a few bars from the Digimon Tamers intro ‘The Biggest Dreamer’. In terms of JRPGs, it features a lot of your standard elements and tropes, but it’s a step in the right direction for the series, creating an enjoyable game that follows a very simple formula that’s safe but works.

Rating: 4.5/5 Atoms

NR 4_5 Atoms - A-

Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth 
Developer: Media Vision
Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment
System: PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita
Released: February 2, 2016

 

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Chris Del Castillo
Chris Del Castillo 2588 posts

Growing up Chris watched a lot of the original Saturday morning cartoons and developed a love for arts and animation. Growing up he tried his hand at animation and eventually script writing, but even more his love of video games, anime and technology grew.