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International Women's Day: Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth Review

To celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8 and to show that when it comes to gaming there is no gender dominance, we reached out to some of our customers to ask if they could provide us with a guest review of their favourite games. 

Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth Review 

Growing up, there were many franchises that I adored but only a few remained predominant in my life as I grew older. One of these franchises, Digimon, was a TV and gaming staple in my household, so when it was announced that Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth was being released in the west I couldn’t help but let nostalgia enhance my excitement for the game’s release – and thankfully, this is a game that is exciting to play even if the nostalgia is non-existent.

The 5th game in the Digimon Story series, Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth takes place in an alternate Tokyo where a virtual reality world called EDEN is all the rage and has made itself a staple in society. The story starts when the main character, Takumi or Ami Aiba depending on your choice, is approached by a hacked EDEN mascot in a private chatroom. When they meet up with fellow chatroom occupants Nokia Shiramine and Arata Shanada in the hacker-filled dungeon of EDEN called Kowloon, all 3 are given the ability Digimon Capture which allows them to scan ‘programs’ called Digimon and turn them into digital copies they can use how they like. However when Aiba is attacked by a program which corrupts their player profile before they can fully log out, they return to the real world as a digitised persona, becoming acquainted with Detective Kyoko Kuremi shortly thereafter who then takes them under her wing and has them join her detective agency as an Assistant Cyber Sleuth.

From that point on you slowly begin to uncover the history behind EDEN’s creation and its occupants, all while meeting a wide roster of characters who will try to assist you or stop you as you delve deeper into both worlds. While the natural progression and depth of the story is something that has kept me on tenterhooks while exploring both digital and physical worlds, the diverse range characters present in Cyber Sleuth adds just the right amount of humour needed to lighten what could be considered a dark story line, while maintaining the amount of intensity needed to keep it from diverging into ridiculousness. 

As the western release of Cyber Sleuth is the first time the game is appearing on a home console, the PS4 port holds up well when compared to its portable counterpart and the range of environments that you can explore are vast, creative and aesthetically pleasing, whether you’re exploring the different levels of Kowloon, roaming around the crossings in Shibuya or visiting areas where the Digital and real world collide. When paired with the electronic-based and fast paced music that plays throughout the game as well as the stellar Japanese voice acting that lends authenticity to the game’s setting, it’s easy to become immersed in the atmosphere of Cyber Sleuth and forget that there are things that you need to do aside from exploring Tokyo and EDEN.

Like most RPGs, one of the most important aspects of the game is how you fight. As it runs on a 3-team set up with 8 Digimon in reserve, turn-based combat and 4 different types of Digimon that counteract with each other (Virus, Data, Vaccine and Neutral) there are numerous ways to mix up your team and make things either very easy or very difficult depending on your set up. Aside from freshly Digivolved Digimon joining your team in later chapters, the only battles in Cyber Sleuth you may find challenging are the boss-like battles that happen roughly once per chapter, but with the game’s combat you can be as strategic as you like when taking them down, especially when the occasional guest Digimon assists you.

Aside from the battles, there are two more mechanics in the game that are of vital importance – the Digimon Scanner and the DigiLab. Once you’ve acquired your Digimon Scanner and picked from the three Digimon available to you (Terriermon, Palmon and Hagurumon respectively), most Digimon you encounter will be scanned, and once they reach 100% you can add that digital monster to your team through the DigiLab, run by the mysterious Mirei Mikagura. In the DigiLab itself there are 4 booths that you can visit – a healing spot where you pay to heal your Digimon, the DigiFarm where you can raise spare Digimon and train their abilities, find items or find cases, the DigiBank where you can move or store your Digimon as well as Digivolve or De-Digivolve your Digimon and sacrifice multiple Digimon to increase the level of another and a shop where you can buy items for battles or enhance your DigiFarms – all of which prove to be very useful as you make your way through the game. However, the case files your Digimon find for you in the DigiFarm only consist of 2 types – finding items and defeating Hackers – and both involve you having you spend more time looking for the task requirements rather than completing them which gets old fairly quickly. Another gripe I had with Cyber Sleuth is the lack of upgrades available to you early in the game, which is irritating when you Digivolve and have to remove a Digimon from your Party because there’s not enough room or your DigiFarm and DigiBank begin to fill up, however while this is rectified by the time it hits Chapter 6 it’s still a long time to deal with those problems.

If you’ve completed the story and you’re not sure what to do with your life, then here’s some good news – there are 12 additional missions available as free DLC on the Playstation store if you want to keep playing, collectables in the form of 500 Digimon Medals and a New Game+ option if you want to play through the story again, all of which is good if you find yourself wanting stay as a Cyber Sleuth for just that much longer.

After clocking 24 hours of gameplay, I’m currently 7 chapters into the story, while new case files are being delivered from the DigiFarm every hour and a very light dent has been made in both my Medal collection and the Field Guide, which catalogues the Digimon you come across on the field and have created in the DigiLab – from here there is no end in sight, however the slow burn and time-draining experience of RPGs like Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth is one that I’ve come to love over the years. 

For Digimon and RPG fans alike, this is the perfect game to start up and waste the day away in. With its quick paced story, strategic gameplay, colourful characters and beautiful graphics, prepare to get wrapped up in everything Digimon and wish for your very own Digimon Capture hacker skills.

About International women’s day 

International Women's Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.

International Women's Day (IWD) has been observed since in the early 1900's - a time of great expansion and turbulence in the industrialised world that saw booming population growth and the rise of radical ideologies. Find out more here

Source: http://www.internationalwomensday.com/About

Edited On 01 Mar, 2016

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