Like A Hardboiled Detective | Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth Review
Sometimes petitions work. Sometimes. Since it’s announcement in 2013, Western fans of the franchise had been eager to play the title. So much so that a petition was created to ask that Bandai Namco release the Digimon RPG in the West. Needless to say, it was successful. But with the fervor that the petition caused, was it worth it? Ultimately, I do think so.
I admit it. I’m not a huge fan of Digimon. Not that I feel like it sucks or anything. The series just never really caught on with me as much as another very popular monster catching game. My experience is pretty much limited to the first season of the anime and a bit of Digimon World 3, and when jumping into Cyber Sleuth, I was pretty overwhelmed by it. Not only by the sheer number of Digimon (I can only name Agumon and Terriermon), but by the gameplay mechanics. I felt almost inundated by new things within the first few hours of the game, but as I kept playing that feeling melted away.
The Digimon collecting and raising aspect absolutely hooked me. As I said before, the amount of Digimon was staggering. Not so much the number (as I am used to having 700+ Pokémon), more so the Digivolving/De-Digivolving process. Several Digimon can Digivolve into others, but can De-Digivolve into something else entirely. Not only that, but types and forms can also change between stages. After a while, I rather enjoyed that. For the most part, it made switching out Digimon crucial. You might have a well balanced team, but after Digivolving one you find that you have too many of one type, so you have to balance your party members out with others regularly.
I played the Playstation 4 version of the game, and for a port of a Vita title it looks pretty good. Now there definitely are some concessions being made here, but the game does look solid. The artstyle helps the transition from the Vita’s screen to HD. Some of the textures are at a lower resolution and come across as blurry, but overall they are pretty “flat” and coupled with the outlines on the characters it does look good on my TV. The aspect that hurts the most in the conversion is how big areas are. Instead of a continuous area to explore, the worlds are segmented into “rooms.” The areas in the digital world tend to be pretty simple with a lot of reused textures and patterns, but generally larger than the real world which has a bit more detail.
Will Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth set the world on fire? Nope. Is it fun? Definitely. The game knows what to focus on which are the Digimon. It works well, despite some unnecessary gameplay mechanics. The short investigations help to make the game great to play on the go or in short bursts, but there’s plenty of stuff to do for long play sessions as well. Between the two versions, I’d recommend picking the system that feels the most comfortable for you and grab it.