Sgathaich: Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth

I’ve talked about Digimon before, both as personal pieces and reviews. With Ghost Game nearing its end there will be more to review, never did do Adventure 2020 as well… but those paying attention to my regular order should realize what kind of thing I’m reviewing today.

Digimon has lots of games to its name. Even before the first anime series took off we had the virtual pets and the original Digimon World on PS1 (hence why that game has no Megas, those came in Adventure… for those not knowing what that means… eehhh). and some games coming out recently too, such as Survive and Digimon World Next Order. But today I’m going to look at a JRPG with Digimon… which is honestly the best way to describe it.

two characters, female on the left, male on the right, in the Digimon game

But yes that’s how you put this. It’s a modern setting, Urban in fact.. well ok postmodern, not as far as Ghost Game appears… except for the ability to leap into cyberspace..  ok on to the plot (maybe the best way to explain things) So you and some friends were chatting in a chat room, when someone hacks in and gives you all hacker abilities, especially ones to tame Digimon, though you don’t know what that is.

Delving deeper into cyberspace you rescue three Digimon, Palmon, Terriermon and Hagurumon (which given the other 2 were very prominent in different anime series is a bit of an outlier). And so you and your friends set out on a long adventure, making new friends, discovering conspiracies and then as per a lot of JRPGs fighting essentially God, or a god… this is Digimon there are a whole lot of things that can argue that title.

Said story is broken up into chapters which you progress through doing the main story. You become a Cybersleuth and as well as the main cases which will lead you through the main story, there are also side cases which can be done much more at your leisure but may give helpful items to through the game.

Combat is done in the turn-based manner. Your Digimon will have an action they can perform be it attack, special attack, guard, item, change to a different Digimon when it’s their turn, which is affected by their speed stat. The indicator to who goes next is on the right-hand side of the screen so you can see when you or an opponent is going to attack. Know however that often a Digimon’s signature attack is slower than a regular attack so using it will cause them to take longer before their next action.

You can have 3 active Digimon at any one and several more in reserve, all based on how much Memory (a personal stat) you have, since Digimon of different grades take up more. This can be increased as you play through the game and get an item to do so.

And now (takes a deep breath) for a brief explanation of digivolving… This is probably the most complicated YET IMPORTANT element of any Digimon game. As you win battles your Digimon gain EXP and level up. Shortly into your game you get to a place that allows you to get more Digimon and digivolve them. Each Digimon has certain different things it can digivolve into (or de-digiviolving, which is also important) but it needs to meet certain criteria, and it’s not just levels. Digivolving then turns your Digimon into a stronger Digimon but resists its level to one, and then there are things that can digivolve into, hence it’s the main grind of the game. Since you need to often digivolve and de-digivolve multiple times to gain the right stats needed to get some of the big end game Digimon (basically all the end boss ones from the animes, looking at you Lucimon Shadowlord mode)

Downside to all that grinding I did to get the big Digimon I wanted (waves at Lilithmon) I ended up with a team that basically just backhanded the final boss without much effort, and the optional challenges weren’t that hard once I got the method of what not to do down. And given anyone who’s seen the franchise will want said big Digimon they know and love as part of their team… good chance a bunch of people will too.

Still I did enjoy the game, though JRPGs do take time to play through. The journey and the story are what you are here for so it’s not something to rush. I do get a chuckle comparing the protagonist and friends designs to those used in the various anime as it’s quite a contrast in age. But while going in blind to the story is what you should do… as with most Digimon games, you may want to look up guides part way through on how to get the Digimon you want… these games usually need spreadsheets.


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