Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth – Hacker’s Memory review for PS Vita, PS4

Platform: PS Vita
Also On: PS4
Publisher: Bandai Namco
Developer: Media.Vision Inc.
Medium: Digital/Vita Card/Disc
Players: 1-2
Online: Yes

Like my colleague Dustin Chadwell, who reviewed Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth for this site a few years ago, I came to Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth – Hacker’s Memory as a Digimon newcomer, with only a tangential awareness of the franchise?s existence. Unfortunately, this is where our paths diverged. Where Dustin was pleased to discover that he had a slight affinity for the series, I had no such luck: Hacker?s Memory bores the crap out of me.

In Dustin?s defense, after reading his review and comparing it to my experience with Hacker?s Memory, I get the sense that the two games are somewhat different. Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth was, apparently, action-heavy; Hacker?s Memory, by contrast, goes heavy on the story. Very, very, very heavy.

I suppose this isn?t an issue if you?re invested in the Digimon universe and want to know more about the humans inhabiting it, but if, like me, you?re more in the mood for having your digital monsters train and engage in cyber-combat, you?ll be a little disappointed. There?s not nearly enough of that, at least for my taste, since the developers seem to have decided that what people really wanted in Hacker?s Memory was endless dialogue and lots of real-world fetch quests that required your character to log off his computer and venture out into the streets of Tokyo.

I should note, of course, that for what the game is, it?s certainly not bad. There?s a huge cast of characters that seem like they?re sure to interest players who are already invested in the universe, and even if that may not describe me, I give credit to the game for at least making them seem visually distinct from each other. I?ve played a lot of talk-heavy Japanese games, and Hacker?s Memory definitely stands apart in this respect, particularly because some of the character designs are really pleasant to look at, just from an aesthetic perspective. The game also does a neat job of conveying movement during dialogues, having players walk across the screen as if they?re walking, making it seem like they exist in a 3D space rather than just flat screens where they slide on and off.

And when you do finally get to the battles, they?re well done. Mostly your standard turn-based stuff, of course, but Hacker?s Memory at least assumes that you?ve got some idea what to do, and doesn?t bog you down in endless explanations and tutorial screens. It?s a shame there aren?t more of those battles, but, I guess, that?s not what the game is.

I?d be lying if I said that Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth – Hacker’s Memory made me eager to check out more games in the series, let alone expand my horizons to see what else Digimon has to offer. But if you?re already a fan, I imagine that this game is competent enough and expansive enough that you?ll find all kinds of stuff to enjoy.

Bandai Namco provided us with a Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth – Hacker’s Memory PS Vita code for review purposes.

Grade: B-