If you grew up into any form of Digimon (Digital Monsters, for those of us in the know), you’d be hard-pressed not to check out this new video game, Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth, available now on the Playstation 4 and Playstation Vita consoles!
There’s an unusual vibe within this game that harkens back to such games as the Shadow Hearts series, the Persona series and more! The music is crazy at times, jumping from throaty, haunting tracks to some that scream Persona 4‘s sunlit streets. It’s a great soundtrack that affects the overall mood of the game. There are creepy boss battles where your adorable Digimon face off against things called ‘Eaters’ who have partially absorbed young, Japanese girls, so the frail, feminine frames are dangling on top of the creature as it attacks you…
There’s certainly a creepy factor to this game, but the lighthearted and often jovial ramblings of most of the Japanese-speaking main characters (yeah, NO DUBS, man!) is enough to bring the mood right back around! You think you may become a manic depressive? WAIT until you see what your boss, Kyoko, has put into her special blend of strange coffee…
With the turned based combat that this Digimon game offers, you feel transported to a simpler time when RPGs didn’t rely on running around and smacking things on-screen with a big sword. No, this is a great throwback and something that I have missed dearly from contemporary RPGs.
You know it isn’t Digimon without some form of digi-volution, and it is pretty much perfect in this game! Each Digimon has a stat called an ABI and this number affects the number of bonus points the Digimon can earn towards their skills. It is recommended that the player make his or her Digimon with high ABIs so that they can attain stronger sets of skills, such as strength, intelligence and speed. While each stat certainly affects gameplay, it is in my experience that speed is a critical factor. The higher your Digimon’s speed is, the quicker they can attack and devastate an enemy party!
It’s all really up to you when it comes to playing but you can craft heal Digimon and attack with nothing but negative status abnormalities or really strong KO punches! The Digivolution affects the ABI statistic by increasing it when a Digimon digivolves or de-digivolves. This back and forth process will guarantee that you come out with a party of epic battlers, but it will take some time. To get a good grasp of gameplay mechanics and to do a lot of side leveling, I found myself at well over sixty hours of gameplay in the thirteenth chapter… It certainly doesn’t feel like it’s ending yet! Hardcore Digimon fans will find this grind thrilling! Digivolving is like Christmas day! You see a black silhouette of a Digimon and you have to become it to see what you’ll get!
While you have a battle team of Digimon out doing crazy things in the internet world Eden, you can leave other Digimon in what is known as “The Farm”, where they can train, investigate things for you (because you are a cyber sleuth, after all) and gain experience while away from battles. This place will become familiar to you as you’ll find yourself here a lot, throwing various meats at your Digimon to make them love you! I’m not even kidding. There’s Best Meat, Exciting Meat, Boost Bananas and much more to toss their way!
Also, while you’re out investigating and trashing evil Digimon, your Digimon that you are neglecting (sorry, leaving at the farm) will message you with questions about your life, trivia about other Digimon and nice things to say, just to show how much they care! It’s kind of a neat touch, this message system. It also has another use; the game’s NPCs will message you throughout the story to let you know what is going on in their lives or what you need to be investigating!
As far as sounds and visuals, the game excels in both! There’s one specific song that I couldn’t find around the internet, from some of the dungeons, but it is both funky and cool! I found myself swaying along to the beats while rampaging through dungeons with my Lillymon flower blasting everything into sweet, perfumed oblivion!
I’ve seen a couple of overlapping things, such as when I have my Kerpymon and Lucemon both following me. Lucemon seems to move in and out of Kerpymon’s gigantic hands. The levels are what you’d expect from a game put in this setting. There’s a lot of places that seem digitalized and as if they’re fading away. Fits the theme, I’d say! There’s one level, where you go inside of a man’s memory (and that place was sort of basic but VERY interesting!). It had a backdrop of changing worlds, the man’s guilt and other things that I shouldn’t mention, but it was awesome to run around inside!
As I mentioned before, there is no dubbing in this game. So, unless you’re fluent in Japanese, you’ll have to rely on subtitles to understand what is going on. You might think that was a negative point but it wasn’t for me! I actually got past the lack of a dubbing and now, I wouldn’t want it any other way. The Japanese voice actors do a great job and I understand what’s going on pretty much!
You’re probably reading this and thinking “Digimon? How childish!”. But I’ve got news for you. Digimon has always been little badasses but this game plunges them just a step further than that! Some curse and even take selfies! There’s a Lillymon in a town, later in the game, who gets mad at a human because he hit her bag. They’re not little kiddy monsters, though I’d say anyone of any age would enjoy the game, the story and the fun of making new Digimon and finding your old favorites!
There are over two hundred Digimon available in the game, but as any fan knows, this number pales in comparison to the actual number of Digimon that are out there! While a whole list of my personal favorites were in the game, such as Lillymon, Myotismon, Lillithmon, and Wizardmon, others were not. I found myself longing to have a Phelesmon, Arukenimon, Mummymon, and Witchmon follow me around! This wanting of other amazing Difgimon combined with the fun time, I am currently around 80 hours of gameplay. I’m hopeful for an even bigger and better sequel to this really great game!
Of course, I’m scoring the game a 10/10! There’s replay value and great nostalgic music that I want to download. Check it out! You’ll be doing yourself a big favor!