From what appears to be out of nowhere, a new Digimon game titled Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth was released on the PlayStation Vita and PlayStation 4. I recall walking into Gamestop and being told how the new PS4 Digimon was a solid game, and I had completely forgotten about it. But upon researching and finding out that it was on the Vita, I purchased that bad boy the same day. As is with any impulse buy, skepticism and excitement emerged. Does it do the Digimon name justice? Or is it just another mediocre game with a license slapped on it?
Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth starts off with a group of internet users chatting away when a hacker pops in and enticing the members to find them in the avatar virtual reality-based internet world known as Eden. Upon the group meeting up, events unfold in which the player is given a program called the ‘Digimon capture’. This serves as the player’s way to gain Digimon, the actual fighters, or monsters in the game. Eventually, the player is pulled out of Eden into the real world due to an encounter with an Eater. The forced logout throws the player out as their avatar. The player’s physical body is left essentially comatose in what is known in the game as Eden Syndrome. Once this takes place, Eden begins being attacked by Eaters, mysterious creatures that do just as their name implies. Eating away at Eden and it is discovered that they are destroying the digital world. This sets up the story as you are trying to find a way back into your physical form. Additionally, it is discovered that there are others who suffered from Eden Syndrome. The player sets out to find a way to cure for Eden Syndrome and save the digital world.
If you’re a fan of JRPGs, this is absolutely for you. You run around capturing Digimon by battling them, if you encounter a Digimon enough, it’ll raise a 100% scan. Allowing the player to capture the Digimon. The more you encounter a Digmon, the better chance the player has of getting better stats. There is a Digi-lab which allows the player to store their excess Digimon and even create farms for them to train in the background. This in itself creates one of the most addicting parts of the game. As you can try digivolve your Digimon as soon as the criteria, which is listed, is met. Which leads me to the next and most interesting part. The digivolution mechanic, which allows the player to digivolve and reverse it, which creates a lesser stage Digimon with better stats. This mechanic alone ensures that you aren’t stuck with a Digimon you are unhappy with. Even more so the fact that each Digimon has branching digivolutions you can choose from.
The game’s battle system is as straightforward as a JRPG can get. Turn-based battles with 3 Digimon at a time but you can switch them out when it is the player’s turn. Very similar to the battle system seen in Final Fantasy X. There’s nothing revolutionary about the setup, but the overall package creates a very addicting experience. The player’s job is that of a detective. Picking up certain cases progresses the main story, while others serve as side quests for loot and XP.
Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth is a pretty decent looking game. Taking into account that this is PlayStation Vita title, it’s one of the best looking games on the system. As far as playing it on the PlayStation 4, it’s definitely on the weaker side of things. Each Digimon has their own unique attack animations whether it be a standard attack or special attack. The cutscenes are my only complaint as the character models freeze in place and then the dialogue takes place over it. Similar to something you would see in the Tales Of series. I was a fan of the voice acting but the character models have very limited animations and sometimes their reactions don’t really make sense to what’s going on. Nonetheless, the 100+ Digimon models look fantastic and I found myself letting the battle camera rotate just to sit back and admire how everything looks.
Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth is a game that is instantly one of my favorite PlayStation Vita games. While true that the game is also available on the PlayStation 4, that game originated on Sony handheld. That said, the experience is the same and even has a cross-save function enabling you to play on either, or between the two if you wish. The nostalgia factor coupled with the fact that this is a really good game makes me hold the title to a great extent. It’s a solid JRPG, but if you’re a fan of the source material you won’t be disappointed. While the story drags in what feels like an absurdly long time for filler purposes but, once I hit the halfway mark, I was hooked. It took me about 60 hours with side quests included, to beat. Even then there’s a good amount of post-game content, and the combination of digi evolutions for each Digimon kept me wanting to go around and, stop me if you’ve heard this before, “capture” them all. Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth can be found on the PS4 at Gamestop for $19.99