Ever since Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth hit Japanese shelves, I had an interest in the title. I was a big fan of the Digimon World series on the PSX, and this looked to be the first title to hearken back to those titles.
After playing through and checking out the newest version of the digital world, Digimon Story is definitely a great entry into the digital saga, if a bit linear in its mechanics.
The story centers around your main character (male or female) that is relatively silent. After a mishap in EDEN, the digital world, you become an avatar trapped between worlds. However, you also gain the hacker power to capture and fight Digimon, which comes in handy while figuring out the mystery behind EDEN and helping the cyber detective agency with various cases, such as why the digital world is converging with the real world.
There’s actually quite a few areas to explore in the game as well. As you get deeper into the story, you’ll have plenty of areas to explore in Tokyo, and even more in the digital world. Between hub worlds where you can talk to people, dungeons to explore and find Digimon and the lab, you’ll be traversing a lot to fully see everything.
Dungeons are a fairly linear experience. There are a few twists and turns, but they can normally be ran through relatively quickly. What will take your time up in them is farming Digimon battles. As you battle Digimon, you scan their data. Once the data is above 100 percent, you can summon them at the lab. If you hit 200 percent and summon them, they often have increased stats or another ability.
The battle system is actually a fairly standard affair. It’s a normal JRPG system (attack, defend, use skill or change out for other Digimon in your party), but you can see the turns coming up via the timeline on the side. So, if you know you have a Digimon in the party that’s weak to the enemies, you can use their turn to change out to a stronger party member to go on the offensive next round.
It’s worth noting that the battles are random, and you can’t see enemies on screen, so there’s no way to avoid enemies to skip battles. Depending on how much time you have, this could be a good or bad thing. Thankfully, you’ll eventually earn hacking skills by evolving Digimon that will let you reduce (or even increase) the frequency of battles.
The evolutions all take place at the lab, which is where you’ll spend a decent amount of time after leveling up for a bit. Most Digimon have 3-4 different evolutions, plus you can devolve so you can get higher attributes before evolving a different way. This is especially handy for some smaller Digimon that require high levels, attributes and items you get late in the game for huge evolutions.
Outside of evolving Digimon, the lab also houses the DigiFarm, where you can have extra monsters train, search for quests or make items, all while leveling up (even when they’re not in battle). You can also utilize the store, move Digimon between your party, farm and bank (which is necessary because of the cost limit you have for your party) and battle online. There’s also an offline battle arena in the store that’s your real world hub, which can give you rewards as you advance as well.
Graphically, the game shows a bit of age, mainly because it was originally designed for the Vita. Still, the game looks nice on the PS4, and the virtual world of EDEN is intriguing to explore as you go through, as some nice detail was put into the digital landscape.
If you aren’t a fan of Digimon or RPG titles, Digimon Story won’t change your mind about either one. However, if you need an RPG to pass the time, or just want to relive some of the memories you have of the original Digital Monsters, you won’t go wrong with trying to solve all the cyber mysteries in the digital world.
Final Score: 8.0