Overall - 70%
If you had your fill with the original Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth, then you won't find much different in Hacker's Memory. However, if you enjoyed the original and want more, then there is plenty to chew on here.
Two years ago we got the original Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth in the states. Now, in 2018, we get the sequel Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth – Hacker’s Memory. Does Hacker’s Memory do enough to separate itself from the first game, or are you better off sticking to the original? Check out our review and find out.
Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth – Hacker’s Memory Review
You play as a hacker in Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth – Hacker’s Memory. All hackers hang out in a cyber space called Eden, a place where people can physically enter. While in Eden, you get your account stolen, and you are accused of a crime you didn’t commit. Enter Hudie, a hacker group you join to find out who stole your account. Finding your account is always the main objective, but helping out Hudie takes much of the focus of the story. They help people out by solving their problems in Eden, and as a member, you do the same. This story runs parallel to the original Cyber Sleuth, and you will bump into characters from the first game every now and then. That said, you don’t need to have played the first game to get into this story. Just a warning though, if you don’t understand Japanese you will be reading a ton. Hacker’s Memory is story heavy, and is in Japanese with English subtitles. Overall the game will run you 60-70, hours depending on how much extra content you do.
While there is a ton of story to get through, you also have plenty of combat and exploration to undertake. Combat is turn-based in Hacker’s Memory. There is a turn order that can be adjusted based on speed and other factors, but for the most part, one group goes first, followed by the other. That part is basic, but knowing the enemies weakness can be tricky. If you are strong against the enemy, you do at least two times the damage. However, if you are weak to that type, you do half damage. Thankfully Hacker’s Memory makes it easy for you tell by making the marker red if you are strong to the enemy or blue if you are weak to it. Attacks have elements as well, so you can add to the bonus damage if they are vulnerable to that element. If you find the game too easy, you can bump up the difficulty at any time in the options.
Raising and leveling Digimon is another core component of the game. You can do this one of two ways: by battling for experience or by using your farms to train extra Digimon. There is a lot of Digivolving and Regression involved with getting strong Digimon, and admittedly it can be a grind to get the one you want. However, if you are just satisfied with going through the evolution chain the first time, you can still get through the game, albeit at a higher difficulty. If you know you want a certain Digimon, you can start the training process of really early, and I recommend you do. If you leave them at the farms, you can add items to boost their stats through training. These are expensive items or can be found while exploring in rare cases.
Farms are used for more than just raising and leveling Digimon though. You can also have your Digimon investigate and develop Items. When they investigate, they will sometimes bring back new cases or new items for battle. The new cases can be missed if you don’t send your Digimon out to investigate. Development can be cheap or expensive, depending on which option you choose. Early on, the items they bring back are helpful. However, as we progressed in the game, the quality fell off quickly. On the other hand, if your Digimon doesn’t find any new cases, then the items they find during the investigation are even worse then when you do development. It becomes personal preference as you get towards the end of the game.
On the subject of cases, they are broken up into three different categories. Cases are the missions for the game, so you have main cases, side cases, and Digifarm cases. Main cases are pretty obvious, and you do them to progress the story. Side cases will often have you backtracking through an area to find enemy Digimon or trainers to fight. They are good for money and items, but they literally all end in a fight. Digifarm cases will have you hunting Blacklist hackers or doing the new Domination battles. These are fought over a grid with point squares scattered on them. You and two of your allies need to capture a certain amount of points to win the battle. If an enemy has a square you want, then you battle them for it. Domination battles are a nice addition that you didn’t see in the first Cyber Sleuth.
There are also multiplayer battles that you can take on whenever you’d like from the Digilab. These give you special currency that you can use to buy new avatars for Multiplayer. They can also be used to buy accessories for your Digimon such as hats and glasses. As far as connectivity was concerned, we didn’t run into too many issues when fighting online. It is all turn-based, so there isn’t much strain on servers when battling. Outside of real players, you can also take on AI for special events that will net you exclusive accessories. At the time of writing this, there was only one being as it was week one so we assume more will be added each week.
There are a few problems of note with the game. There are conversation choices, but they don’t seem to change much of the story. Sometimes there’s only one choice to pick from, which makes you wonder why there is there even an option to begin with. In addition, you cannot move the camera which just feels wrong on the PlayStation 4. Finally, this game is simply ful of reused assets from the last game. If you played the last Cyber Sleuth, you will see a number of similarities.
If you had your fill with the original Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth, then you won’t find much different in Hacker’s Memory. However, if you enjoyed the original and want more, then there is plenty to chew on here.