"Fans will appreciate the ability to see Digimon rendered in high definition compared to the days of pixelated monsters..."
Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth: Complete Edition is a collection of two turn-based RPGs (from 2016 and 2018) that bring a host of fan favorite digital monsters into a world of humans to team up and stop an array of antagonists. Since the events of Cyber Sleuth and Hacker's Memory occur simultaneously, this Complete release is perfect to see how the plot in each game relates to the other. Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth: Complete Edition contains a roster of over 250 Digimon, giving you the ability to create the ultimate team to take down the assortment of villains corrupting the real world along with the cyber realm EDEN.
The story of Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth follows a male or female protagonist who is an amateur hacker that joins a chatroom and gets offered a tempting gift by a mysterious hacker within Cyberspace EDEN, a physical-interaction social network. There, the protagonist meets fellow users Akkino and Blue Box. Arranging to meet in EDEN, the three encounter a ghost boy along with a few different Digimon. The protagonist selects a Digimon to become their partner, and begin the long journey to solve the problems they learn are plaguing both Earth and the digital world.
Following a similar premise, Hacker's Memory introduces a protagonist named Keisuke, whose EDEN account has been stolen along with his identity, leading him to be falsely accused of a crime. To prove his innocence, Keisuke joins a group of hackers called "Hudie" to investigate who the real culprit is. Attempting to locate the criminal, Keisuke discovers a Digi-Market where Digimon are allegedly being sold, but are actually being deleted. After acquiring his own digital partner, Keisuke and Hudie press deeper into EDEN to solve its many mysteries.
The gameplay structure of both games sometimes feels repetitive, alternating between multiple plot quests and side quests, but this can keep you absorbed for hours. Some of the side questing will consist of helping friendly Digimon with an issue, assisting humans with unique desires, or providing aid to the protagonist's friends. Cyber Sleuth and Hacker's Memory will each provide about thirty or more hours of gameplay, spent farming for experience points, training your Digimon's stat points, and experiencing the in-depth storyline. You can also partake in the online Digimon Battle arena, in which you submit your Digimon team into an online battle with fellow tamers and see whose party reigns supreme.
During the game's early stages, you can access the DigiLab where Mirei will advise you about available quests. You will be able to create a Digimon dream team with four different types of Digimon: Vaccine, Data, Virus, or Free. Each type of Digimon will have a strength and weakness to another (Data > Vaccine, Virus > Data, Vaccine > Virus, and Free which has no special affinity). This gives you opportunities to do more harm to enemy Digimon. During battle, you can see the upcoming turn order of each Digimon, though some Digimon can learn skills that alter the order of combat, along with various combat and beneficial abilities.
The main control functions in combat are Guard, Item, Skill, and Change. Each Digimon will have an overpowered skill which will usually cost the most SP points. You will be able to have up to eight more Digimon on Standby, which can be a huge benefit if you have a variety of Digimon types as backup to be prepared for any situation. Items can be purchased at shops or dropped by enemy Digimon. Items provide Digimon with temporary stat boosts or heal the entire field of your Digimon, which is vital in tougher battles. Every Digimon will be able to Digivolve into a stronger monster by meeting certain stat requirements on the Digivolution chart. From Baby Digimon to Megas and Fusions, there is a vast amount of Digimon to acquire.
The visuals in both games are nicely detailed in regards to the character models. Unfortunately, a lot of the maps in the digital dungeons and human cities can be annoying to navigate since the map cannot be expanded beyond what's visible in the circular mini-map. Aside from minor scenes where the voiceovers don't properly align with the on-screen text, both games can be enjoyed with full Japanese voices and English subtitles. Fans will appreciate the ability to see Digimon rendered in high definition compared to the days of pixelated monsters, and the ability to rotate the Digimon in the Digivolution selection to see all of the included details. Cyber Sleuth's music can become repetitive, almost to the point that I considered placing the game on mute. It's not really a lack of quality sounds in the games, but there could be more variety.
In conclusion, Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth: Complete Edition will not disappoint hardcore Digimon fans who want to enjoy both games on a portable console (assuming you get it on Switch). Getting both games in a package for a lower price compared to when they first released is a great deal. I would recommend this game to players who enjoy taking on several quests at once and completing a game in its entirety, but also people who may have struggled to love older installments of Digimon games. Both Cyber Sleuth games provide solid RPGs that will appeal to both longtime Digimon fans and newcomers alike, who may be less familiar with this "other" monster collecting franchise.
This review is based on a free review copy provided to RPGFan by the developer. This relationship in no way influenced the reviewer's opinion of the game or its final score.