I initially played through Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth a few years ago, back in 2016, on PlayStation 4 shortly after it launched. Similarly to Persona 5, I went on vacation about a month after it launched and ended up sinking a ton of time into it during the evenings while spending my afternoons on the beach. I quickly found myself thinking about it, even when my feet were buried in white sand, and started looking forward to heading home just to play.
Fast forward to 2018, when Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth – Hacker’s Memory released, I missed the boat. I really wanted to play it, but never got around to it. Now, Bandai Namco has released a dual pack for Nintendo Switch and PC of both titles with Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth -Complete Edition.
I think it’s important to point out that both Cyber Sleuth and Hacker’s Memory take place at the same time. Although you’re going to want to play Cyber Sleuth first, otherwise you’ll miss a lot of the story beats in Hacker’s Memory. Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth – Hackers Memory is more of a side story than a sequel, and looks to provide an all new story as well as filling in a lot of the character gaps from Cyber Sleuth.
Both games play very similarly, but with Hacker’s Memory launching two years after the first title, it’s important to note that it received some quality of life updates and new gameplay mechanics that freshened up battles and gameplay. I had already played Cyber Sleuth pretty heavily, but I still played through about half of it again as a refresher. Even playing through half of one of these games is a time sink, as the first game ran around the sixty hour mark for my first PS4 playthrough, and the second game was around the 45 hour mark. There’s plenty more content here that I didn’t experience for a complete run, so I’ll still be playing for a while.
It’s actually rather impressive that both of these games fit on one cartridge for Nintendo Switch. Sure, a lot of the environments were reused from the first to second title, but there’s a lot of gameplay here, so I’m impressed Bandai Namco was able to stuff both games into one cartridge, especially when Capcom couldn’t get the Resident Evil Revelations Collection out the door without a download.
Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth takes place both in the real world and the digital world of EDEN. After being attacked by a mysterious creature, the main character is pulled out of the digital world, but their logout becomes corrupted and directly links them to the digital world. Your character then takes on a role solving cyber-crimes, and the real work finding out who these mysterious creatures are working with.
Like I mentioned previously, Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth — Hacker’s Memory runs concurrently with Cyber Sleuth, and it’s important to play them in order. After being accused of a crime he didn’t commit, Keisuke joins a group of hackers in order to find the real culprit of these crimes and reclaim his identity.
Unlike Cyber Sleuth, Hacker’s Memory doesn’t let players pick main character gender, and while this doesn’t affect me, or the way I generally choose to play, it may annoy some people. Why put this new feature in for one title, but not the other? The story and gameplay would have remained the same, just with different visuals on the protagonist. Either way, it doesn’t affect core gameplay in the slightest.
My biggest issue when I played through Cyber Sleuth the first time was the way the story is paced. It’s a traditional JRPG through and through, which often means having to slog through the first ten hours or so. The pacing eventually finds its footing and weaves together a few different storylines really well. I think the ten hours or so cut off of Hacker’s Memory really works in its favor, and helps give early game story pacing decent momentum.
Much like Pokemon, players will discover a large number of Digimon to capture and battle with. There are plenty to do with these digital monsters in both games, and fans of the franchise will love what’s been done with them. There are over 200 Digimon for players to find in the first game, and an additional 100 in Hacker’s Memory. For more hardcore fans, there’s increasing level caps through evolution (or de-evolution), and lots of repetitive battles just to increase scan rate. Increasing scan rates to 100% means that Digimon can be hatched in an egg in the DigiLab, a location where players should become as comfortable with as early as possible, because you’ll spend a lot of time there.
As much as I really enjoyed spending time in the DIgiLab, it can quickly result in losing story momentum. No, this won’t happen to everybody, especially those wanting to progress the story a bit quicker. Players looking to get the most out of this package though will end up here often.
One thing I’ve always really respected Bandai Namco for is how they handle their ports. God Eater 3, and Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Remastered are two relatively recent ones that spring to mind. It isn’t about doing the bare minimum to put it on a console. It’s about giving players the best experience possible. I played through Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth -Complete Edition on Nintendo Switch, and both look pretty great on Nintendo’s Hardware. I have a hard time believing they’d run anything less than great on PC too, but I didn’t get a chance to dig into visual options on that platform. Digimon Story actually ran smoother than I remember things being on PS4, but I didn’t pop my old disc in to double check.
These are classic JRPG’s though, and turn based battles are its bread and butter. I don’t think that either Digimon Story title are all that difficult, but they really nail the feel of the franchise, and the bright and colorful visuals are a great foil to the darker and mature storyline. Sure, there are plenty of cutesy Digimon to collect and Digivolve, but these are titles that should appeal to both fans of more mature storylines that still love the Pokemon franchise.
I can easily recommend Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth -Complete Edition to fans of traditional JRPG’s. Especially for those that have already finished Final Fantasy X Remastered on the go. It’s easy to pick up and play for an hour or two before you go to bed, and still feel like you’ve accomplished something in these large games. There’s plenty of content here, and if you’re committed to the titles, you can easily spend over 100 hours during playthroughs of Cyber Sleuth and Hacker’s Memory.
Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth -Complete Edition is available now for Nintendo Switch and PC. This review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy of the game provided by the publisher. Purchases are available here.
Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth - Complete Edition
- Tons of content for the price.
- BOTH GAMES ON ONE CARTRIDGE
- Lots of Digimon to collect and Digivolve
- Both games run great on Nintendo Switch.
- The first ten hours or so are a slog-fest.
- Almost requires playing them in order, even when they take place at the same time.
- Hacker's Memory could have used more tutorials.