Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth is a mix of Pokémon, .hack, and Persona. Growing up, Digimon was always the sidepiece to the main action of Pokémon. Cute, sure, but Pokémon was this writer’s life. Eventually he put both aside in high school until eventually coming back to Pokémon in college. Digimon? Ha, this is his first true foray back into the action and it couldn’t have been a better restart.
For the unaware, Digimon are Digital Monsters as apposed to Pokémon being shortened to Pocket Monsters. As the name suggests, Digimon exist in a digital realm, but unlike Pokémon, their contextual existence changes between the anime and games. For example, in the first season of the anime, Digimon are partners given to a group of kids: one Digimon per one child. In another season Digimon fuse with their human partners in a Power Rangers like way. In DSCS, Digimon are tools used by hackers. The creatures are always themselves, but are used in different means to support the plot of that particular property. In this way they’re more versatile than Pokémon more or less.
Getting back to DSCS, the story begins when the player meets up with some forum friends on the net. A mysterious hacker has invited them to join their ranks. One thing leads to another and they gain the power of Digimon along with losing their body in the digital world. While their real body is in a coma, their spirit has materialized into reality with the special power of not only controlling monsters, but also being able to hop into machines. In order to awaken their body, and countless others, the protagonist partners up with a local detective in order to solve the mystery. Again, it’s very Persona 4 meets .hack and it’s great…so far.
Gameplay couldn’t be more addicting thanks to its basic looping mechanics. Players enter dungeons; randomly encountering hordes of Digimon in turn based battles. Up to three Digimon can be placed in battle with the typical RPG command list. Digimon defeated in battle are scanned every encounter. Once they hit 100%, they can be created in a lab for the taking. In this lab Digimon can also Digivolve into numerous pathways. Monsters not in the party can hang out in a garden and gain experience as well. Battles themselves aren’t that hard in general, which may deter hardcore RPG fans, but hey, Pokémon really isn’t that hard either.
Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth is a brilliant, glimmering hidden gem. Of the recent Digimon games released in the U.S. it’s the best by far, which is like comparing diamonds to coal. It’s available for both PS4 and PS Vita, but if there’s a choice, go on PSN and get the PS Vita version as it’s made to be a portable. Fair warning this writer has only played about eight hours of the game. It may get terrible right after this posts, but as of now, he loves it. To those new to the series, please, give this a chance. It’s too good to pass up. And if this article isn’t proof enough, watch the supporting video for further convincing.
Special Notes: Check out the Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth video preview on the accompanying YouTube Channel, ReActionExaminer.