Game Reviews

Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth: Complete Edition Review

Two simultaneous stories going on within the world of Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth.

by Dean James
Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth: Complete Edition

Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth finally brought the Digimon game franchise back to the West when it released back in 2016, with that trend extending to other games as well. One of those games was Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth Hacker’s Memory, a side story rather than a sequel that actually takes place concurrent to the first game. Originally exclusive to PlayStation platforms, both games have now arrived on Nintendo Switch and PC in a combined collection known as Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth: Complete Edition.

This new release starts off by letting you select which game you want to play after selecting New Game, though it is a little strange that Hacker’s Memory is on the left while the original Cyber Sleuth is on the right. Each game has three save slots you can use, allowing you to play through both games at the same time if you would like.

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Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth offers a completely different story from any of the games or anime prior, which can actually get pretty dour at times, though this is nothing new for the Digimon franchise. The basic premise is that the digital world of EDEN has been overtaken by hackers and you get thrown right into the mix as a player character that gains the ability to use Digimon. With the hackers taking over the space between the real and Digital World, data Eaters become a problem in both worlds and you venture in to the land of hackers known as Kowloon to investigate. This leads you to coming across detective Kyoko Kuremi and you become her assistant as a literal Cyber Sleuth for the cyber crimes occurring here.

Taking place at pretty much the same time as the first game is the side game Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth Hacker’s Memory. This game takes place in the same world, with you not playing a new player character who had their EDEN account stolen. This causes him to be blamed for a crime he didn’t commit, which leads him to a group of hackers known as Hudie. He joins this group to dive deeper into EDEN to try and find out who stole his account, with him also becoming able to obtain Digimon along the way to use in battle.

One of the enjoyable features in Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth is the ability to choose a male or female protagonist, though it’s even more disappointing here that you still can’t do so in Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth Hacker’s Memory when you have both games side by side. Considering it would not have made a difference in the story in the long run, it still doesn’t make sense that the second game would remove a feature like this that was praised upon in the first one.

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The story found in both games are still enjoyable to play through even a second time, though the dialogue can still get pretty longwinded, especially on second playthrough. Even as a side game, Hacker’s Memory does a great job at connecting just enough to the original in some ways to make them feel like a cohesive unit. It would not be recommended to go back and forth between the two games, instead being better to play them one at a time even though they are interconnected.

Having both games in the same package also works very well due to the fact that the gameplay for both games is very similar. The goal in both games is to collect many different Digimon and digivolve them to be stronger for use in battle as you make your way through the different levels of EDEN. You are given a starter Digimon in each game, with Terriermon, Palmon, and Hagurumon being offered in Cyber Sleuth and Betaman, Gotsumon, and Tentomon being offered in Hacker’s Memory.

Getting additional Digimon is very different from your usual Pokemon like catching that you might expect. Instead, you actually fight various Digimon in the game and continually build up a capture meter. When you reach 100%, you can create this Digimon to add to your party. However, you can wait and take the percentage up to 200% to get a better version of the Digimon if you so choose. This is still a lot of fun to do without feeling overly grindy, with the total of Digimon available across both games being pretty incredible for fans of the franchise. If you have a favorite Digimon, there’s a very high likelihood that you’ll come across them in this game.

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These fights against the Digimon are pretty much the same across both games, with a turn-based battle system that feels like it was taken right from the past. This is not a bad thing at all, as far too few games go with a traditional turn-based approach in lieu of action-based combat these days. This classic style still fits Digimon very well and is a lot of fun across both games. Hacker’s Memory also still has the alternate form of combat known as Domination battles, where you have a lot more strategy brought into the mix as you try to gain territory against other hackers in a grid-based battle.

The majority of your time spent in both games will be in the Digital World of EDEN, which features a labyrinth like design akin to something like Persona. They do still feel a bit held back due to their handheld roots, but they are still a lot of fun to explore regardless. The only real disappointing aspect is that due to these essentially being straight ports of the original releases, you still have the random battles found in Cyber Sleuth while Hacker’s Memory has the Digimon found in the overworld before you interact with them. It would have been really great to have the original move away from the random battles, but it’s understandable for a port like this.

Being ported to the Nintendo Switch can sometimes come with both good and bad qualities depending on the game. One of the usual suspects is that of a visual downgrade between games, but Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth: Complete Edition really looks great on the Switch. The visual style found in the originals were not pushing any limits on the PS4 due to the cartoon graphical style, especially since they were also available on PS Vita, so they carry over well here.

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Both games also perform quite well here on the Nintendo Switch, which is not really a massive surprise. The turn-based gameplay here prevents too much from happening on screen at one time to where lag or framerate dips would be a big problem. This is the same in both docked and handheld mode, with the handheld mode itself being a major selling point for this latest release. These two games are perfect candidates for on-the-go gameplay where you can pick up and play here and there, which is why it also originally released on PS Vita, so having them both on Switch makes it even better.

Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth: Complete Edition brings two solid Digimon games to a platform where it feels they could thrive even further with its portability in the Nintendo Switch. Both games still hold up well, though they definitely have some flaws due to their handheld roots. It is a little disappointing that nothing new has been done to these games for this latest release, such as adding Digimon to the overworld in the first game, but Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth: Complete Edition still brings together two enjoyable games that fans should greatly enjoy.

The Verdict

While it may not add anything to make it worth double dipping outside of some previous additional content, Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth: Complete Edition gains the element of portability on the Nintendo Switch that makes the game more accessible than ever to play as you aim to collect the more than 300 available Digimon and save the real and digital worlds.

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  • Available On: Nintendo Switch, PC
  • Published By: Bandai Namco Entertainment
  • Developed By: Media Vision
  • Genre: RPG
  • US Release Date: October 18, 2019
  • Reviewed On: Nintendo Switch
  • Quote: "While it may not add anything to make it worth double dipping outside of some previous additional content, Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth: Complete Edition gains the element of portability on the Nintendo Switch that makes the game more accessible than ever to play as you aim to collect the more than 300 available Digimon and save the real and digital worlds."
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