Bandai Namco has just announced via twitter that fan favourite Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth will be getting a sequel, dubbed Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth- Hacker’s Memory,” and it’s slated for an early 2018 release. It will be set in the near future of the original game.
In light of this announcement, let’s revisit why Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth is the prime example of a Digimon video game.
Despite a lack of promotion and digital only releases for most regions, Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth sold over 115,000 copies in the year of 2015.
Its largely cult-based success was due to a return to the original features Digimon fans have come to love. Set in modern day Japan with a youthful cyber-punk aesthetic, the player follows the narrative of a young man turned cyber sleuth when his body succumbs to a mysterious illness known as “Eden Syndrome.” This syndrome is contracted when virtual reality users come into contact with digital anomalies known as “Eaters.” The protagonist fortunately meets a detective who provides him with a cyber body that can be used to navigate both the real and digital world in order to uncover the mystery of these “Eaters” and the shady business organisations threatening world peace. The sleuth consequently enlists the help of countless Digimon to assist in solving this case. A simple yet entrancing plot. Hopefully, the upcoming sequel will build on some of its previous mysteries.
Aside from its narrative, here are some features that we hope will return in the sequel, Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth- Hacker’s Memory:
One of Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth’s best qualities was its diverse, unique and highly personable characters. Featuring all Japanese voice acting and a team of cyber-punk hacker friends, the player became immersed in the quirks and mannerisms of each character. The character growth and tough subject matter the game tackled, including death, sexual harassment, gender equality, greed, freedom of sexuality, and the pursuit of knowledge, were tempered by well-timed jokes and the over-arching theme of friendship. In fact, the characters possessed an awareness of themselves as part of a video game and often broke the fourth wall with wisecracks. It shocked players, as some would not expect a Digimon game to have such deep and serious real life commentary.
The traditional JRPG approach of turn-based team combat works wonders with a Digimon team. Team attacks, physical and special moves, party reserves and various Digimon types are nice additions to spice up gameplay.
3. Digimon Roster
Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth has possibly the biggest roster of available Digimon ever, boasting 240 different rookie, champion, ultimate, mega and ultra Digimon for gamers to find, capture and train. It was easy to find fan favourites, and for more serious gamers, grinding and completing special quests to unlock rare Digimon and make your ultimate team is a key aspect of the series.
The game was often highly plot driven; however, the Digi-Farm allows players to leave their Digimon to train and experiment with many different types of Digimon without unnecessarily long grinding. This allowed gamers to make better use of the enormous roster and try out different teams.
5. Missions Board
Aside from main story missions, Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth allowed players to choose various cases to solve and truly immersed the player in the role of private detective. The rewards and side plots to each of these many optional and special missions made sure the main story was never stale and allowed players to choose their own path.
6. Hacking Skills
A real cyber sleuth needs special tools to interact with the environment, find clues, make breakthroughs, disguise themselves, capture Digimon and solve the mysteries of each case. Hacking skills allowed the environments to feel more alive, allowed greater character interaction, and fully immersed the player in the role of cyber sleuth.
The highly stylised anime aesthetic of the game, paired with its cyber-punk theme, is a match made in heaven for the Digimon series. It expressed beautifully the meeting of the digital and real worlds. Additionally, the techno-house soundtrack further coloured the game with a neon flare as an obvious nod to the electronic and technological heart of the Digimon series.
With the announcement of the upcoming Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth- Hacker’s Memory, it is clear that Bandai Namco have a strong foundation to create something special for the many new and old Digi-destined across the globe.