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LONG BLOG

Infinite Backlog - Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth

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Watch the video review here,

Released originally in 2015 for Japan and in early 2016 for the rest of the world for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation VITA, it's Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth.

Based off the “Digimon” franchise that began it's roots in the mid 90s as a weird tomagachi knock off thing, but then sky rocketed in popularity with the iconic animated series and movies released originally in Japan in 1999 and then sure enough, the rest is history.

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Fast forward to 2016, developed by Media. Vision and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment, in Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth you begin by picking your gender of the main protagonist and giving them a name, the boring person I am I just left it as the default name that appeared and began my journey...

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 You begin your adventure in “EDEN”, a physical plain or world if you will, created in the cyber space of our very own internet, with forums, chat rooms and websites and such that with your avatars you can I guess... Physically... Digitally? Go to and... Walk around... Or something.... I never understood the convenience of this place. Anyways, in Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth to keep the story brief and spoiler free, it can basically be summed up as.... "OH NO! Hackers!"

Yeah... Hackers are up to no good in EDEN with command of their very own Digimon that have without spoiling anything, somehow spilled into this human created digital realm, one thing leads to the next, you stumble on your very own Digimon, then some stranger tells you get in her car and next thing you know you're working as a detective now known as a “Cyber Sleuth” working for the Nanako Broadway Detective Agency solving digital crimes.

But is it any good? Let's find out with,

The Good

  • Fun turn based gameplay, heavily inspired by Persona and Pokemon
  • Tons of Digimon (over 240)
  • Interesting environments and presentation
  • Interesting story and good dialogue

To sum up Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth on a gameplay perspective, it's basically a turn based JPRG taking inspiration from games such as Pokemon and Persona, with over 240 Digimon spanning across the original series to some of the newer shows and films, it's easily the best aspect of this game.

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It's packed with different types of Digimon to tame and throw in some fun turn based RPG action and you've got damn good 3D Pokemon clone on your hands. Each Digimon have their respective base type ranging from; Virus, Data, and Vaccine types. Virus trumps Data, Vaccine trumps Virus, and Data trumps Vaccine. Basically your typical sort of rock paper scissors alignment, then throw in some elemental types in addition to this, such as wind, fire, water, ETC, for additional damage multipliers your Digimon can do, making the turn based RPG action all the more fun and interesting. You can acquire Digimon by simply fighting the ones you'll randomly run into while you're in the lower sections of EDEN, each time you fight a Digimon you gain percentage in their “scan rate”.

Reach 100% and you can then create and hatch this Digimon, reaching a max of 200% gives them a small stat boost once you've created them.

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Once you're Digimon have reached a certain level or ABI requirement or other stat requirements, they can then digivolve and become even stronger.  The next best thing about this game is simply the environments themselves, everything from exploring the digital realms of EDEN in all it's weird and colorful glory, to running around Tokyo Japan and checking out real world locations such as Shibuya and the iconic weebo mecca of Akihabara.

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As for the story itself, once again without spoiling anything, I thought was pretty decent, the cast of characters is fantastic and the dialogue for the most part is pretty enjoyable and light hearted. The story goes from we gotta stop the gosh darn evil hackers, to let's just say... Something... A lot more interesting. On top of that, throw in some great side cases or quests if you will, which the game has plenty of and some free DLC missions as well and you've got plenty of content here. You can easily sink a good 100 or more hours into this game, then throw in a online battle system as well and you've got plenty more you can sink in. But with all these hours of gameplay...

There is always....

The Bad

  • Graphically not too impressive (VITA port, minor stuff)
  • Minor camera issues
  • Translations issues
  • Heavy grinding if you want to survive optional content of the game
  • Difficulty is all over the place

Graphically this game isn't exactly much to look at, but to be fair this a VITA game ported to the PlayStation 4 and all things considered it runs absolutely fantastic and during my over 100 hours with it, I had no crashing or any bugs what so ever.

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However, on an aesthetic note the camera is in a fixed position, for the most part it works fine in almost every area, but there is the odd time where it pans down for whatever reason and if you have a lot of large Digimon on screen it looks like a bit of a mess. Speaking of messes, whoever was in charge of translating this game definitely messed up. I lost count of how many times I either read some horrible grammar or bad typos.

One other issue I have with Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth is the amount of grinding you'll need to do, If you want your Digimon to have the best stats, you're in for one hell of a grind. But not only that, every time you digivolve your Digimon they go straight back to level 1....

Then throw in maxing out your ABI to 100 on your Digimon, you'll then be devolving and evolving your Digimon and grinding relentlessly for the best stats, which I'll argue you'll probably need too if you wanna do some of the optional content, simply because the difficulty level is all over the place. For a good portion of the game, it's a complete boring rock, paper, scissors-tier cake walk with very little challenge thrown your way. But later on in the game, out of the blue the game just spikes in difficulty, especially with the free DLC cases, I'd argue the difficulty in the DLC in cases in particular is artificial as well, since the Digimon you're going up against don't have the same abilities then the ones you can capture and train in-game, even if you use the exact same ones.

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These Digimon have absolutely absurd stats and abilities that can completely lay waste to an untrained or lower ABI team. Even with my maxed out grinded half to death Digimon I had a fair share of pretty tough battles and the whole time I couldn't help but think to myself if I were a casual player who didn't bother grinding much and just fast-tracked my way through the game without much thought, this would be absolute hell right now. I found the best way of dealing with these challenges was simply to cheese it basically and abuse items half to death.

But with all that being said, now let's discuss....

The Opinion

If you're a fan of the Digimon series or turn based RPGs in general, then Digimon Story Cybersleuth at the end of the day, is a game you definitely shouldn't miss out on, despite my issues with the difficulty and some other minor things like the heavy amount of grinding, the story kept me interested despite this and in the end I clocked plenty of hours into this game. Here's hoping in the future if we get more Digimon games coming west, we can get a better translation at least.

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About Dan Roemerone of us since 4:38 PM on 08.30.2014

Could be video games. Could be gabagool? Who knows! All I know is I'm still somehow allowed to do stuff around here. Not sure how I managed that one.

I've been enjoying and dabbling in Destructoid content since 2014. My goals are pretty simple as of late: Have a complete Offspring vinyl and CD collection, film a documentary, and work within games media as a full-time career.

Disclosure: I backed Shenmue 3 on Kickstarter and I'm a former Patreon supporter of Noclip, Mega64, and Alanah Pearce.