Video Games Weekly: Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth
This week, I am reviewing Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth. The game has 40+ hours of gameplay, which is why it took me a little over two weeks to play through it! I’ve been a longtime Digimon fan, so of course I didn’t mind dedicating all of that time to the game 🙂
Background: Digimon (short for Digital Monsters) is a franchise that started in the 1990s. The concept of Digimon is like a blend of Pokemon and Tamagotchis. There are different storylines depending on if you are playing the video game, trading cards, or watching the anime, but the basic concept is the same. The Digimon world exists inside computers, where you “capture” Digimon and use them to fight battles and save the world. The best part, in my opinion, is Digimon are mostly influenced by dinosaurs, which was pretty cool when I was in like 3rd grade. Overall, the franchise was so popular in the 90s that there is a new anime coming out to celebrate the 15th Anniversary, as well as this new game.
Single or Multiplayer: Single
Storyline: The beginning of the game is confusing, but you can watch it here if you prefer to watch it rather than read about it. You start the game by choosing your gender and username. You then appear in a virtual chat room with your character’s friends, and suddenly an EDEN robot appears. The EDEN robot threatens to hack your online accounts if you don’t check out this awesome new virtual reality place called EDEN, and then the robot disappears. Your character and two friends decide to check out Eden because it’s owned by a well known company named Kamishiro Enterprise.
You stumble upon a digital wasteland overcome by hackers and digimon. What I love about this game is it uses the word “hackers” to its fullest, which means “hackers” does not carry negative connotations with it. In this storyline, hacking simply means people who manipulate data in their favor, and that could be for good things or bad things. Also, “digimon” are the digital monsters who are also labeled as roguelike programs in the EDEN world. While prancing about in EDEN, your group gets attacked by a digimon. Your group manages to log out quickly, but the world goes dark before you can fully log out.
You wake up to discover your physical body is in a comatose state (called EDEN Syndrome), and the digitized version of you manifested in the real world (think reverse The Matrix). A detective agency discovers your digitized body and helps you restore your body parts in order to appear human in the physical world. Basically, you now have a super power where you can go in between EDEN and the physical world. You decide to continue working for this detective agency, and together you solve cyber crimes while discovering the truth behind EDEN Syndrome.
Overall, the story has dark overtones that are reminiscent of older anime series with themes about morality, ethics, life, and good versus evil. It is nothing like the Digimon anime I used to watch as a kid, which is great news because I think the storyline will be appealing to teens and adults even though Digimon is often associated with a younger audience. The storyline is addicting, so even though the gameplay is over 40 hours long, it doesn’t feel like it!
Gameplay: The game is a turn-based battle game with a role playing adventure. Like Pokemon, you use digimon to battle other wild digimon and enemies. There are different kinds of Digimon, and each type has a strength and a weakness attribute.
Yes, I am both a Pokemon and a Digimon fan, but I have to say that Digimon did a better job of balancing the gameplay so it doesn’t drag. Let’s say in order to progress in the game you have to beat a difficult boss, but your digimon aren’t able to beat them. Instead of running around mindlessly trying to level up (called “grinding” in the gaming community), there are plenty of side quests to complete that are guaranteed to level up your digimon and not make your brain numb.
It’s also much easier to “catch ‘em all” in Digimon compared to Pokemon. Every time you face a monster, your digivice “scans” the monster. If you beat a monster a certain number of times, you can add it to your own collection. You can also digivolve your collection into brand new crazy dinosaur monsters in a nonlinear fashion!
The only weakness in this game is the dungeon layouts. You’ll spend most of the time doing quests in the same dungeons, and they are not very innovative for the genre. Your character doesn’t run a fast pace, and you end up spending a lot of money purchasing “Escape” items so that way you don’t have to waste time running back and forth.
Verdict: This game is awesome, but it’s not for everyone. Give this title to Pokemon fans who want to try something new while they wait for the next Pokemon game, or to teens/adults who were fans of the series.
Questions? Comments? Tweet them at me!
By: Alanna Graves
Filed under: Uncategorized
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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