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DIGIMON STORY CYBER SLEUTH review
by markbass69

I enjoyed this but it's a tough recommend. Firstly, it's super long. Egregiously so. But, unfortunately, it is weirdly front-loaded in terms of content. Like by the time you get to the final two chapters, you finally unlock the ability to digivolve to all these major Digimon that have been hyped up the entire game (not that you necessarily need them, there are just some cool-to-have ones), but you straight up have to grind at that point to (a) unlock them individually and (b) level your Digimon up to even be able to digivolve. And these endgame Digimon have VERY high stat requirements. So by the time you're all done, all you can do is wander aimlessly in the mostly empty dungeons you already cleared or compete in the offline colosseum, which has its own ridiculous difficulty curve. I guess there's New Game+ but the story isn't exactly enticing enough to make me want to dump a second 50-70 hours into it just to evolve a handful more Digimon. There's minor translation issues constantly - to the point that some dialogue options are one sentence split up across three lines and you pick one of the lines - and a plot that introduces and picks up new characters and plot threads all the time. It's long enough of a game that, looking back over time, you can squint and see it as multiple seasons of a show, but taken as a whole, it can be a little nonsensical. It makes me wonder why they even wrote the story they did and if I would have been better served going right to a more low-stakes story in Hacker's Memory. But, again, I don't feel particularly compelled to drop another 50-70 hours for a slightly better plot.

All that said, the core of the game, the Digivolutions, is strangely compelling. Wide-branching webs, stat requirements, de-digivolutions, and doing all this at will really set the bar for monster taming mechanics. The CAM stat could use a bit more refining (it's trivial to cheese), but they really set this game up to facilitate tons and tons of movement along multiple evolution lines. It helps that the starters they give you have some really wild options even if you stick with its "main" (I use that term loosely) evolution line.

There's some other small things that I think could have been improved like the reliance on palette swaps, lack of notice that you can nickname your Digimon (super helpful for tracking who you want to go where), occasional long animations in the overworld, but it's hard to obscure how much the Digivolution concept really stands out. I picked this up specifically after getting increasingly bored with Pokemon since back in the DS days and this really goes to show even one of the ways this subgenre can really innovate.

Other reviews3

6/10

A very fun Digimon game, marred by subpar character designs, notable translation errors, and a combat system which, though generally quite entertaining, usually forces you to use DEF / INT piercing moves during later boss fights in order to stand a chance. However, the Digivolution system and the range of Digimon you can use on your 3 'mon team makes it a great game for any fan of the series.
I was a fan of Digimon when it first airedin the US. I think I watched only the first couple seasons, however. So, I bought this game a while back, and it's been sitting on my digital shelf for a long time. I finally decided to play it, and to my surprise it hooked me--Enough so to get the Platinum trophy (*which I usually WANT to do...if I can). 

The game features a wealth of different Digimon, and an interesting storyline. The battle system wasn't too bad--Classis turn-based (which I love). My only complaint, is that the trees of Digivolution are confusing as hell. A single Digimon can turn into several others, and then it branches out again and again. I like Pokemon's system, where (most) Pokemon evolve into one certain species. It helps to keep track of which ones you have! But Digimon...is pure chaos.

Despite this, the story was great, and I look forward to playing the sequel, "A Hacker's Memory".
«Underrated»