Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth
|Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth|
|Publisher(s)||Bandai Namco Entertainment|
|Platform(s)||PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 4|
Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth[a] is a role-playing video game developed by Media.Vision and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment for PlayStation Vita and PlayStation 4, based on the Digimon franchise. It is the fifth game in the Digimon Story series, following 2011's Super Xros Wars, and the first to be released on home consoles. An English version of the game was released in early February 2016, and features cross-save functionality between the two platforms. Unlike previous Digimon games, it does not have an English dub and retains Japanese voice acting. A sequel, titled Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth – Hacker's Memory, will be released in Japan in 2017 and in Western territories in early 2018 for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita.
Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth is a role-playing game, played from a third-person perspective where players explore control a human character with the ability to command Digimon, digital creatures with their own unique abilities who do battle against other Digimon. Players can choose between either Palmon, Terriermon or Hagurumon as their starting partner at the beginning of the game, with more able to be obtained as they make their way into new areas. A total of 249 unique Digimon are featured, including seven that were available as DLC throughout the life of the game, and two which were exclusive to the Western release. The title features a New Game Plus mode where players retain all of their Digimon, non-key items, money, memory, sleuth rank, scan percentages, and Digifarm progress.
The premise is that the player assumes the role of either Takumi Aiba (相羽 タクミ Aiba Takumi) (male) or Ami Aiba (相羽 アミ Aiba Ami) (female), a Japanese amateur hacker. While Aiba is hanging out in a chatroom, a hacker infiltrates it and leaves a message telling the members within to log into Cyberspace EDEN, a popular physical-interaction cyberspace network, to receive a "wonderful present." Although most of the room members declare it to be too suspicious to involve in, Aiba, along with users "Akkino" and "Blue Box" decide to look into it. Aiba meets them the next day as arranged in Kowloon, a hacker-infested area of EDEN, where they introduce themselves as Nokia Shiramine and Arata Sanada; shortly after, the three of them are given the "Digimon Capture" by the unknown hacker and locked into Kowloon. While searching for an exit, Aiba runs into a hacker named Yuugo, the leader of the hacker team Zaxon who resembles a rumored "white boy ghost" said to have been sighted around EDEN, who teaches them how to use their Digimon Capture and reveals that Arata is, in fact, a skilled hacker. Shortly afterward, Aiba, Nokia, and Arata run into a mysterious creature that attacks them, and although Arata manages to hack open a way out for them, the creature grabs onto Aiba's leg and corrupts their logout process.
Aiba emerges in the real world as a half-digitized entity and is rescued by a detective named Kyoko Kuremi (暮海 杏子 Kuremi Kyōko), head of the Kuremi Detective Agency (暮海探偵事務所 Kuremi Tantei Jimusho), who specializes in cyber-crimes and offers to take them into her service as her assistant. Aiba manifests an ability called Connect Jump, which allows them to travel into and through networks.
The game after that splits into three different simultaneous plotlines:
• Aiba helps Nokia reunite with an Agumon and Gabumon she'd met and bonded within Kowloon; she learns from them that Digimon are not hacker programs (as the public believes them to be) but living beings that come from a "Digital World", and that Agumon and Gabumon came to EDEN for a specific purpose that they can't remember. Nokia vows to help them recover their memories, but soon after begins to flee from confrontations with dangerous hackers; after being soundly defeated by Zaxon team hacker Fei Wong Tomoe Ignacio, she decides to become stronger and form her own hacker group, the Rebels, for the sake of improving relations between humans and Digimon. Her hard work allows Agumon and Gabumon to digivolve into WarGreymon and MetalGarurumon and sheer positivity ends up gaining her a large number of followers, causing Yuugo to worry that she might interfere with his goals of protecting EDEN and its hackers.
• Arata, who remains evasive about his own past as a hacker, assists Aiba in investigating "Digital Shift" phenomena around Tokyo, in which areas become mysteriously half-digitized. They meet a scientist named Akemi Suedou who identifies the mysterious creature as an "Eater," a corrupted mass of data that is responsible for digitizing areas and causing human victims to fall into a comatose state called "EDEN Syndrome" by "eating" its mental data. Further encounters with Eater signify that it has links to the "white boy ghost" that keeps appearing around it, and that by "eating" data it can evolve into different forms. After Arata learns the truth about Aiba's condition and witnesses many acquaintances become victims of EDEN Syndrome, he resolves to do whatever he can to save them.
• Yuuko Kamishiro, the daughter of the former president of Kamishiro Enterprises (the company that manages EDEN), requests Kyoko's detective agency to investigate her father's purported suicide and assists them in infiltrating the company when needed. Investigations via hacking into Kamishiro Enterprises areas reveal that the company's current president, Rie Kishibe, is planning significant EDEN update that ties into something called the "Paradise Lost Plan." Along the way, Aiba learns that Yuuko's older brother is, in fact, a victim of EDEN Syndrome.
Eventually, Yuugo mobilizes hackers around EDEN to attempt a large-scale hacking on Kamishiro Enterprise’s high-security Valhalla Server for an unclear purpose. Arata tries to intervene, revealing that he was, in fact, the leader of a top-class hacker group named Jude that dissolved due to a traumatic event that occurred during a previous Valhalla Server hacking attempt. Nokia, during a moment of determination, accidentally causes WarGreymon and MetalGarurumon to DNA Digivolve into Omnimon, but everything is quickly brought to a halt when Rie arrives and unleashes a large crowd of Eaters on the hackers, revealing that the entire setup was a trap to get Yuugo to accumulate Eater prey. While Omnimon puts a stop to the Eater rampage, Rie forcibly logs out Yuugo, who turns out to in actuality be Yuuko using a false EDEN avatar modeled after her older brother. Rie informs Yuuko that she'd imbued the avatar with an artificial personality that she had used to manipulate Yuko's actions, and begins a process of extracting Yuuko's memories.
Omnimon's restoration to his form causes him to remember that his real purpose of coming to EDEN was to save the Digital World from an infestation of Eaters, which was created from negative human emotions taking form in EDEN. The Digital World's ruler, King Drasil, had determined that humans were the cause, and its Royal Knights were split in deciding whether or not it will destroy humanity to eradicate the Eaters. Deducing that Rie's plan is to open a dimensional door to allow the Royal Knights in, Aiba and their friends chase after her in order to stop her and save Yuuko, but due to the interference of Suedou, who reveals that he was the one who had handed out the Digimon Capture, they fail to stop her from opening the gate and revealing herself to be the Royal Knight Crusadermon. The group then attempts to save Yuuko, who has been absorbed by Eater into an entity called Eater Eve, but even after defeating it Yuuko refuses to emerge from her despair at being manipulated. Aiba, realizing that Eater is digital and they can Connect Jump into it. With the help of Fei's TigerVespamon, they convince Yuuko that she's not alone and get her out, but Aiba is pulled into a digital void; there, they meet the real Yuugo Kamishiro, Yuuko's brother and a victim of Eater. He wishes Aiba and their friends well before asking them not to search for him, and a mysterious Digimon rescues them.
Aiba returns to the real world to discover that weeks have passed and the opened dimensional portal has caused the entire world to become a giant Digital Shift and that Digimon are running amok in the real world. The group begins to search for the other Royal Knights in the hopes of convincing them to join their sides instead of trying to destroy humanity. In the process, Aiba and Yuuko discover from Makoto Yamashina, a former member of Kamishiro Enterprises, that eight years prior there had been an EDEN beta test eight years prior involving five children; one of them, Yuugo, had become the first EDEN Syndrome victim, while the other four had their memories of the incident wiped by Suedou and the incident was covered up. Shortly after, Suedou sparks a specific memory back in Arata, which causes him to gain an obsession with becoming stronger and leave with him.
Aiba and their friends eventually manage to recruit most of the Royal Knights through various means; in the meantime, Arata partially merges with Eater and begins to rampage around town by "eating" data. A confrontation reveals that Crusadermon was, in fact, responsible for the murder of Yuuko's father, and that the five children from the EDEN beta test were in fact none other than Yuugo, Yuuko, Arata, Nokia, and Aiba, sending them into a recreation of the events of how they found a hole in EDEN, made first contact with the Digital World, and accidentally led Eater into it, thus accidentally instigating the Eater infestation. In order to save them as Crusadermon attacks, Kyoko arrives and reveals her true form as Alphamon, the thirteenth Royal Knight; after Crusadermon's defeat, Kyoko reveals that she and Rie are in fact former humans whose minds were victims of Eater and had their bodies possessed by Alphamon and Crusadermon and that their own personalities have received slight influences from their human mediums.
As Aiba and company head to the Tokyo Metropolitan Office to stop Leopardmon, the leader of the Royal Knights' human genocide plan, Arata, mired completely despair over having let Yuugo become an Eater victim and forgotten his own best friend, transforms completely into an Eater, but Aiba manages to save him with Connect Jump in the same way they saved Yuuko. After stopping Leopardmon, Suedou tells the group that they can stop Eater by traveling to its core in the Digital World and extracting Yuugo from it, which will make it so that Eater and EDEN Syndrome never existed. The group arrives to find King Drasil having been taken over completely by Eater into an entity called the Mother Eater; after defeating it, Aiba Connect Jumps in and extracts Yuugo, who refuses to be saved and reveals that, because he had been acting as a limiter on Eater's actions, without him as a central conscience it has no restraint to simply eat everything indiscriminately.
Suedou takes the opportunity to merge with Mother Eater and become its new conscience, hoping to recreate the world and make it evolve into a world without misery, forcing the others to band together and defeat him. Despite knowing that continually Connect Jumping into Eater will take a toll on their body, Aiba does so anyway in the hopes of rescuing Suedou. Suedou is amazed that Aiba would attempt to save someone like him and to claim that such a thing is outside King Drasil's calculations, decides to have faith that the future isn't fated to end in sadness and sends Aiba away so that he can reboot King Drasil and disappear with Eater.
As Aiba returns to their friends and watches the reforming Digital World, King Drasil performs a restoration on it, meaning that the humans will have to return to their own world, the Digital World will be returned to the state it was in eight years prior, and the world will be reverted to a state in which contact with the Digimon never happened. Alphamon and the other Digimon bid farewell under the promise to meet again, and Aiba accompany their friends back to the human world, but on the way back they dissolve into data before their friends' eyes.
In the real world, with its status changed so that Digimon contact never happened, only Nokia, Arata, Yuugo, and Yuuko remember the events while Aiba is still comatose; Yuuko's father is alive again, while Rie is an ordinary human woman, and Suedou was made to have never been born. Eventually, Aiba's scrap data is found by Alphamon, who has their Digimon team gather data from their memories of them to recreate their mind and restore them to their body. After being restored, Aiba meets Kyoko, who has no memory of the incident or them but invites them to work as her assistant.
Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth was first announced for the PlayStation Vita in a December 2013 issue of Japanese V Jump magazine, although its projected release date was still more than a year away. A teaser trailer was revealed near the end of the month on the official website, with a release window of Spring 2015 slated in a later September 2014 issue of V Jump. The game was developed by Media.Vision, and features character designs by Suzuhito Yasuda, known for his work on Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor and Durarara!!.
In June 2015, Amazon Canada listed a North American version of Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth under the title "Digimon World: Cyber Sleuth" for the PlayStation 4, hinting for a release in the region. Bandai Namco Games later confirmed English-language releases in North America and Europe for 2016, which would be a retail title for the PlayStation 4, and digital release for the PlayStation Vita. An English trailer was showcased at the 2015 Tokyo Game Show, with a final North American release date of February 2, 2016 announced the following month. Pre-order DLC bonuses for the North American physical PlayStation 4 version include two Digimon exclusive to the Western release, in-game items, and costumes for Agumon while the digital Vita version included the same pre-order items with four PlayStation Vita themes. Seven new Digimon were added as free DLC on March 10.
The game's music was composed by Masafumi Takada, and those who purchased the Japanese version of the game received a code for a free digital download of 13 tracks from the game grouped together as the Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth Bonus Original Soundtrack. An official commercial soundtrack containing 60 tracks from the game was released in Japan on March 29, 2015 by Sound Prestige Records.
The game holds a score of 75/100 on the review aggregator Metacritic, indicating generally favorable reviews. Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth received a 34 out of 40 total score from Japanese magazine Weekly Famitsu, based on individual scores of 8, 9, 9, and 8.
Destructoid felt that the game wasn't much of a departure from older role-playing games, stating "The battle system is basically everything you've seen before from the past few decades of JRPGs," which includes random encounters that are "either deliciously or inexcusably old-school, depending on your tastes." While PlayStation LifeStyle felt that the game "isn’t a perfect video game interpretation of Bandai Namco’s long-running franchise," criticizing its linear dungeon design and "cheap" interface, its gameplay improvements were a step in the right direction "for fans who have been waiting to see the series get on Pokémon’s level." The website also commended the colorful art and character design of Suzuhito Yasuda, declaring that "Yasuda’s art brings crucial style and life to Digimon’s game series, which had spent previous years sort of fighting to establish its identity." Hardcore Gamer thought that the game was an important step forward for the franchise, stating "It isn’t perfect; its story and script could use some fine-tuning, and the world needs to be more interesting, but overall, this is a solid first step."
The PlayStation Vita version of Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth sold 76,760 copies in its debut week in Japan, becoming the third high-selling title for the week. Although initial sales were less than its predecessor, Digimon World Re:Digitize, Cyber Sleuth managed to sell approximately 91.41% of all physical copies shipped to the region, and would go on to sell a total of 115,880 copies by the end of 2015, becoming the 58th best-selling software title that year. In the UK, Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth was the 11th best selling game in the week of release. The PlayStation Vita version was the best selling digital title in North America and Europe. The game also has good performance among Latin American countries (#2 Brazil, #3 Mexico, #3 Argentina, #3 Chile, #3 Costa Rica, #4 Guatemala, #6 Perú, #9 Colombia) and the PlayStation 4 version was the 20th best selling digital title in North America and the 19th in Europe on the PlayStation Store in the month of its release in their respective categories.
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The Original Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth is Included as Pack-In Title, Marking the First Release of the PlayStation 4 Version in Japan
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The announcement reveals three new improvements to the PlayStation 4 version: difficulty settings, a “New Game Plus” mode, and cross-save functionality with the PS Vita version.
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All of your Digimon remain, as well as any non-key items, your money, your total accrued memory. your sleuth rank, scan percentages, and all of your Digifarm progress.
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