Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth: Hacker’s Memory Review
For those familiar with the first Cyber Sleuth game, Hacker’s Memory is not so much a sequel; rather, it is a story about another character in the same world. Although it is helpful to have a brief understanding of the first Cyber Sleuth, it is not entirely necessary as Hacker’s Memory does give introductions to the world and gameplay. With a captivating premise and the delight of being able to fight alongside your favourite Digimon, Hacker’s Memory offers another exciting story with a nod to its predecessor.
The game follows our silent protagonist, Keisuke Amazawa, and his journey to find the unknown hacker who stole his online account. In Keisuke’s world, an online account is like an identification document, and not having one isolates him from society. Determined to have his life back, he crosses paths with Hudie, a group of hackers, and subsequently joins their team. With the guidance and support provided by Hudie, Keisuke eventually finds himself not only closer to the solution to his problem, but to the conclusion of an even greater anomaly.
Much like the first Cyber Sleuth game, Hacker’s Memory utilizes the turn-based battle system. Players are allowed up to three Digimon in the party and eight on the “bench”, with the option to swap Digimon during their turn. This gives the player a total of eleven Digimon to deploy. Digimon can perform several actions, such as regular attacks, special abilities requiring SP, and raising a guard status to halve the damage taken – these actions are up to the player to decide. Occasionally, Hudie team members assist with battles but the player is unable to control their Digimon’s moves. It is also important to keep in mind the elemental strengths and weaknesses of each Digimon, as picking the right attack can sometimes even triple the damage done to the opponent.
“It is not a jaw-dropping, life-changing piece, but it is an enjoyable experience especially for a Digimon fan.”
There are also Domination Battles, a new battle mode introduced in Hacker’s Memory. Also turn-based, players pick and control two team members to fight alongside them to claim different spots in the arena. Each spot is worth 1 point, unless otherwise indicated by a 5- or a 10-point marker. The victory condition is different for each battle, and the goal is to be the first to reach the number of points required to win.
Fortunately, the controls are very intuitive as the game does not demand the player to perform too many actions on their own. A quick save is almost always available, and the ability to toggle the gameplay difficulty is useful if the player finds the game too easy or too difficult. A limitation does exist with the view – while most games allow for the camera view to be changed as maps are explored, Hacker’s Memory is limited to a fixed camera perspective. The right analog stick does not adjust the view the way most games do, but it does help zoom in and out. The inability to face the same way as the protagonist makes it a little difficult when traversing through the cyberspace of EDEN, especially if one struggles with directions (such as myself) or is used to controlling the point of view. Having said that, the minor inconvenience does give a sense of mystery and adventure of “What’s beyond the screen?”, and eventually, the roads do become familiar after a couple run-throughs trying to capture Digimon data.
The North American release of Hacker’s Memory kept the original Japanese voice cast with the translated English text at the bottom. As expected, the casting for the characters was well done, and the Digimon’s voices are rather consistent with the anime. The music is as spectacular as the vocal cast and fitting to the genre, and composer Masafumi Takada does well to complement both the silly and serious moments in the game. Graphics are similar to the first Cyber Sleuth, and the animation is smooth and easy on the eyes.
All in all, Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth: Hacker’s Memory is a worthy successor. It is not a jaw-dropping, life-changing piece, but it is an enjoyable experience especially for a Digimon fan. The story is engaging from the first minute of gameplay and I personally found it difficult to turn the game off to go to bed. Overall, Hacker’s Memory is addicting and extremely satisfying, and here’s to hoping for a similar title in the near future.
*** PS4 code provided by the publisher ***
- The tasks and missions enjoyable
- Lots of Digimon available
- Familiar game mechanics
- Difficult to navigate new areas at times
- Tutorials are oversimplified