Move over Pokemon! I said, move over… damn it, why won’t you budge? Fine, stay there. I’ll just review a Digimon game until you move.
Played on: PS4
Also on: PS Vita
Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment
Agumon was a detective down in Texas (Claps repeatedly)
Date posted: Janurary 18, 2018
Hey, it’s time to talk about Digimon! You know Digimon, right? The “Pokemon” clone, that’s not actually a Pokemon clone, but since there is nothing to compare it to, it’s considered a Pokemon clone? Yes, that’s the one! No, don’t point at Monster Rancher! Put your hand down- that’s a whole other review!
Anyway, Digimon was another craze in the late nineties, and one of the few trends that almost toppled the might of the Pokemon empire, which was in full swing. Of course, as we know, Digimon would eventually lose, but left an entire library of media in it’s wake, including a cartoon (anime, actually) that lasted multiple seasons, trading cards, toys, and of course, video games.
I could go on an tell you how much better the Digimon anime was then the Pokemon anime, and how much overall the Pokemon games were compared to Digimon’s, but I am digressing way too much. Back in the day, I enjoyed Digimon just as much as Pokemon, honestly, all things considered.
I know I said Digimon “lost” the great collectible monster craze of the late 1990s, but not really- there has been a lot of new Digimon related media since then. New anime series, new games, etc. Not only that, but it remained in the hearts and minds of most 90’s kids for pretty much forever- hell, I still hear people complaining about Adventure 2’s ending.
So why explain all this? Well, it because, frankly, I’m a madman! Also, I just wanted to give you a brief history of Digimon so this Review is easier to understand. I could just say something like “It’s Persona with Pokemon!” and call it a day, but I decided not to.
So now I explained the history of Digimon, lets talk about one of the more recent games in it’s long line up, Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth
Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth takes place in a version of Tokyo, Japan where people can enter virtual reality chat rooms using avatars and what not. However, something has gone wrong, and now viruses are appearing and putting people into coma’s. You play as either a boy or a girl (how progressive!) as you try and figure out what is going on, with the aid of , you guessed it,
The story is actually a bit complex, and has a lot of twists and turns, and a lot of characters. Now I can see why I’m so hesitant to cover JRPG’s on this blog- theres always so much to cover! However, I’ll solider on and tell you what I liked and disliked about this somewhat overlooked JRPG.
Like I said, this game has a lot going on! There are so many characters that it’s hard to go over all of them. I guess what I’m trying to say is that there is a lot of story- maybe a bit too much story (see CONS). Anyway, I guess I’m saying I like the story. It starts out pretty bizarre, as your character loses his or her body! This allow you, however, to enter digital space to solve cases, led by a detective named Kyoko, who is saves you from your data being destroyed. A lot of things happen throughout the game, but I don’t want to spoil it. Just trust me that the game really does pick up, especially when the “Royal” Digimon show up.
Time to talk about the real draw here- the way you raise and train Digimon. There are over 250 Digimon to discover and collect, and the way you digivolve is actually quite complex. You see, a Digimons stats can be changed all sorts of ways, and you can actually make a Digimon stronger by Dedigivolving it. It sounds quite complicated, I know, but once you play it for yourself, it should become quite obvious what’s going on.
Also, the selection of Digimon here is quite nice! Fans of the original anime will be happy to know that pretty much all training, champion, and ultimate Digimon from the first three sereis are all here- Agumon, Gabumon, and the others from Adventure 1, Veemon, Wormon, and that one bird Digimon. Okay, look, I don’t all the names of all these guys, capisce? All you have to know that is that most of your favorites are here! Yes, even that one! The one you just thought of! No, that one. The other one! It even has some of the villains from the series, like Mylotismon, LadyDevimon, and even that virus thing from the movie, whats his name. Yeah, him!
With all these Digimon, you don’t even have to worry about training them, as the Farm system lets you leave Digimon in a virtual space to level up and gain new abilities, and can even be trained to make items and find new sidemissions. This system makes grinding your Digimon to Mega a breeze, and allows just enough leeway to not feel like your cheating.
The battle system, while basic, works well- not only do you have the “Water beats fire” weakness system you see in games of this type, but you also have to take into account the types of Digimon available- Data, Virus, and Vaccine. Virus does more damage to Data. Vaccine does more damage to Virus. Data does more damage to Vaccine. Not only this, but the effects stack with the elemental attributes, meaning you can do three times as damage if you know what your doing. The system is simple, yet effective.
Spells work in strange way, as Digimon can actually learn and use spells form previous forms, meaning you can have fire Digimon with water spells. Each Digimon also has a powerful special move that range from their ionic attacks from the show, to simply throwing s@#t at the opponent. Yep. Thats right. S@#t.
If you like Tokyo, then your in luck! Most of the “overworld” map are actually well-done interpretations of some of your favorite districts, like Shibuya and Shinjuku, among others. Hell, Akihbara even has the SEGA sign in all its glory- even tough this is a Namco Bandai game!
The game also has a post game, where you can face some pretty powerful Digi-Knights that are pretty much super-bosses. Theres also a new game plus option that allows you to pretty much keep everything from your past play-though. Neat!
My main complaint is the story- there is just way too much filler! You’ll be forced to go on what equates to boring side missions that feel lifted from generic anime filler in order to progress the story. Find out what happened to some old guy’s cat! Help a group of ghost hunters find-well, ghosts. Get someone to sign an autograph. Go around eating a various places for some reason. It can get pretty annoying. Here you want to go fight these powerful digimon, but first, you have to do mindless errands. Thanks, I guess!
Adding to this is the fact that these side missions constantly make you revisit the same “side” dungeons over and over again. It gets tiring after a while, especially when the actual “story” are actually pretty good.
This game also boasts some weird translations errors. Words are misspelled, or the wrong words are sometimes used. The weirdest comes at several prompts where a question and a choice needs to be made- you can somehow choose the question itself! These prompts also don’t really do anything, so I don’t know what the hell was going on with them.
A personal preference for some- the game also has no English dubbing. There are subtitles, but no English option for voices. I didn’t mind this- your going to be reading a lot of text- this is a JRPG after all. Adds some culture, I think. Some may not like the fact that everyones speaking Japanese, though.
Another minor note- while this game doesn’t look bad persay, it could look better. I understand that the PS4 version is a port of the Vita game with a higher resolution, but it still looks like a PS3 game with slightly better visuals. Again, it doesn’t look bad, but the PS4 is a powerhouse- it just could have looked better.
Despite its faults, Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth is a pretty good JRPG with a robust Digimon farming/training system that makes the game worth playing. The story may drag in places, and their quite a lot of backtracking, but I think any Digimon fan would most likely dig this digital mystery.
Agree? Disagree? Good! Leave a comment about how terrible my taste is in the comments below!