Digimon are the champions!
I recently got my hands on the newest Digimon Story game from the friendly folks at Bandai Namco and fans of Digimon will want to give this one a look. The game takes players into the seedy underbelly of the hacking universe complete with Digimon partners for support. Let’s get right into it, as there is a lot to cover!
Long story short, you play the lead character of Keisuke Amazawa, whose name you have to the option of changing during your play through. However this will be the name that will show up online so be careful in what you use! Anyway, you have your profile tampered with online as well as being wrongfully accused of crimes that you didn’t do. You decide that you have to get your identity back and the only way to do that is to go into the black market of hacking.
When you discover this hacker’s paradise, you find Digimon that are being mistreated on the black market and you try to play the hero card to rescue them. It’s this act of “heroism” or stupidity that catches the eye of the Hudie, the hacker team that you eventually join and become the muscle of the team. As the muscle you will go out on missions for the team and fight with your new Digimon hacker companions and use them for battle. The battle system is similar to an RPG where you have the attack phase for each team. You have the option of using items that can heal your HP or status effects or you can guard against enemy attacks.
The battle set-up is comparable to the likes of Pokémon and Super Mario RPG. You have special attacks that you can use and you have combo attacks too. You’ll have the chance to obtain and raise more than 300 Digimon over the course of your adventure and there is an interesting way to obtain them originally. You won’t be able to obtain Digimon until you’ve been to the Dig lab, which is similar to a Pokémon Center where you can heal Digimon, buy items, and view the Digi-Farm. The Digi-Farm is where scanned Digimon go after you obtain them but you won’t be able to scan them until you get 100% on their scan meter. Seeing them in the wild is the only way to raise the scan meter and is the way for you to level up your Digimon.
Certain Digimon have level max’s where you can’t level them up anymore but that has an easy solution, you can Digivolve them. There are certain requirements needed to digivolve to the Digimon you want your partner to evolve into next! They could be as simple as having the right level or having high attack stats. It’s pretty easy to get the Digimon you want for your team but if they don’t fight in battle, since you can have 6 in reserve, they won’t gain stats that could be crucial for digivolution so keep an eye out on that if you want a certain Digimon. You’ll also have the option to perform quests in the game, both of the story progression variety and side quest variety. These range from finding people/Digimon in certain places to fighting other hacker teams and collecting information that will be important later in the game.
You’ll need the help of fellow Hudie teammates Erika Mishima and Chitose Imai to help you succeed in your “new” hacker lifestyle. Erika is a master hacker that will help you on certain missions as well as collect information and Chitose will give you certain hacker tools and also gather info. You’ll be able to level up your hacker abilities overt the course of the play through and perform certain abilities like taking down firewalls. The gameplay has the repetition feeling to it but it is an role playing game and you will need to level up your party so going in you should have this mindset that repetition is going to rear it’s head. You need to do a lot of leveling up in role-playing games and the only way to do that is to fight battles. Another minor issue I have is that your party/Digi-Farm has memory and you can only do things within that memory capacity.
You have the ability to upgrade that memory but it just slows things down in terms of being able to perform simple tasks in the game. I guess that’s exactly why the game does it, so you can’t do things too early in the game or make things too powerful. Finally, I again have to state that I would have liked to have English dialogue as an option. I understand that using the original voice work is cheaper than recording new English voice acting but it would be nice to have the option and I feel that I’m in the minority in wanting English voice acting in games like this. Digimon Story Cybersleuth Hacker’s Memory for the PlayStation 4 gets a, 8.0/10. I would like to thanks Bandai Namco for the review unit.