Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth is one of the best Digimon games to date, capturing the mature feel that the children’s series has always had. Cyber Sleuth strafed into more mature territory, and Hacker’s Memory, which takes place parallel to Cyber Sleuth, introduces more mechanics to provide an even deeper experience.
Characters from the original Cyber Sleuth appear and are referenced to, and the Eaters are still a primary enemy, but otherwise Hacker’s Memory focuses on unique characters and plot threads. The two plots seamlessly intertwine without heavily relying on each other, meaning that newcomers can comfortably jump in if they don’t fancy playing through the first game. But, the original game is still well worth a playthrough.
The fresh-faced protagonist, Keisuke, finds himself joining hacker group HUDIE in an attempt to track down his hacked EDEN account. Hackers are shunned by much of society, but Keisuke is determined to get his account back as, if you make a new account, you’re unfairly deemed to be participating in illegal activities anyway. With little way to clear his name, Keisuke can at least find out who’s behind it and gain access to his old account.
The new characters are great, and I love seeing returning faces such as Kyoko, Arata, Fei Wong and Mirei, and they’re woven in in a way that makes it feel like you might’ve passed the newbies on the street in Cyber Sleuth. Hacker’s Memory isn’t forced to uncomfortably fit into Cyber Sleuth‘s world, but it compliments it and makes it grander. Cyber Sleuth introduced a rich world with plenty of room for more, and I’m happy to see that Hacker’s Memory gives me more of what I wanted.
Hacker’s Memory isn’t forced to uncomfortably fit into Cyber Sleuth‘s world, but it compliments it and makes it grander.
The turn-based combat is the same, and so are many of the Digimon available. Digivolution also works the same way, with you having to constantly digivolve and de-digivolve your Digimon to achieve the required stats, and work up to getting your Digimon dream team. There are some new mechanics though, and this is best seen with the game’s checkers-like mode.
In this mode, your team of characters have to slowly make their way across a board where each tile is assigned points. You can beat enemies to stop their advance, and there’ll be a point limit you need to achieve to win. It doesn’t last too long, thankfully, because whilst it is fun and breaks up the gameplay which has remain largely unchanged from Cyber Sleuth, it would grow tiresome if the matches lasted too long. Hacker’s Memory aims to provide more of the same, and very little effort is made to differentiate it from it’s predecessor. That said, that’s fine by me!
Whilst filling out your digidex is a blast, much of my enjoyment stems from Suzuhito Yasuda’s terrific art. He returns on character design duty, and his work is as distinct as ever.
It’s as entertaining to watch as it is to play, and each Digimon has been faithfully recreated — you can only have three in a battle at any given time, and whittling it down to only three of your favourite Digimon is a struggle!
Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth Hacker’s Memory is just as good as its predecessor.
Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth Hacker’s Memory is just as good as its predecessor, and it expands the tale of the original whilst delivering an entirely new narrative. Whichever you prefer will likely come down to which main cast of characters you prefer, but the solid gameplay, absolutely jamming soundtrack and gorgeous visuals are present.
Sure, a lot of areas will be familiar, and playing both games back to back would be rather tiresome, but there’s been just enough space between the two games to leave me very happy with revisiting the digital world once more. I wouldn’t complain if there was another Cyber Sleuth game.
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