DIGIMON STORY CYBER SLEUTH: COMPLETE EDITION / DEVELOPER: MEDIA.VISION / PUBLISHER: BANDAI NAMCO / PLATFORM: PC, SWITCH (REVIEWED) / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
After getting stuck between real-life Tokyo and the virtual world of EDEN, your custom character becomes a digital detective (a Cyber Sleuth, see?), solving crimes by battling bugs and glitches manifesting as Digimon, while simultaneously trying to find a way to reclaim their physical body...
From your base inside the otaku haven of Nakano Broadway, you'll travel to several other real-world areas across Tokyo as well as jumping into EDEN, where human avatars and hackers are causing all kinds of mischief. It's all rather compact, but wonderfully eye-catching, full of bright colours, kooky characters, side missions and, of course, hundreds of Digimon.
It's easy to dismiss Digimon as a Pokemon clone, but Cyber Sleuth is way more than that. At first glance, battle mechanics seem very similar, but Digimon are able to learn more moves which allows for a much greater variety of attacks and combos. Enemy Digimon are automatically “scanned” at the start of battles, and can only be “captured” when the scan rate reaches 100% (although you can acquire a more powerful monster if you wait until you hit 200).
Your scanned 'mons can be brought to life in the DigiLab, where you can also organise your party, access the DigiFarm (where your dudes can automatically level up and hunt for new cases), shop for items, revisit cleared dungeons, partake in online battles and evolve your characters. Cyber Sleuth allows you to both Digivolve and De-Digivolve across branching paths, which gives huge scope for raising characters' stats, learning new attacks, then returning them to a more basic state before evolving them again into a different form.
This complete edition contains the base game and its semi-sequel Hacker's Memory. Gameplay is incredibly addictive, the evolution mechanics give you something to work towards, and the crazy story is way more interesting than those found in similar games. If you like the idea of Pokemon but found it to be a little on the flimsy side, this is exactly what you've been looking for. A complete surprise, an absolute joy to play and, with at least 100 hours' worth of content across both games, it's fantastic value for money. Quite possibly the best monster trainer going!