Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network How Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth Was a Franchise Turning Point https://www.gameskinny.com/vh5r4/how-digimon-story-cyber-sleuth-was-a-franchise-turning-point https://www.gameskinny.com/vh5r4/how-digimon-story-cyber-sleuth-was-a-franchise-turning-point Fri, 19 Jul 2019 14:02:04 -0400 Josh Broadwell

Digimon might remind themselves they're the champions every time an episode of the Digimon anime played on American television, but the truth of the matter was quite a different story for a long time — and still is, to an extent.

Despite technically being born before their much better known rivals, Pokemon, the digital beasties never enjoyed the same reputation in the West. A big part of that is down to timing and marketing, but there were plenty of production issues involved as well.

In fact, it wasn't until 2016 saw Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth release in the West that the franchise attained anything resembling coherent design and  cohesive originality. Now that it has, though, all signs point to the franchise hopefully remaining unique and a presence in the West for years to come.

It Starts with an Egg

Digimon started life, ironically, as a pocket monster franchise, literally. It was one of those little monster-raising things you keep in your pocket — the ones we all got in trouble with at school because it was more interesting than school.

From the start, it emphasized training your digital monster and helping it grow, not necessarily attached to any kind of story.

The first Digimon video game was a little ditty titled Digital Monster Ver.S: Digimon Tamers (not to be confused with the third season of the anime) on the Sega Saturn in 1998, which functioned basically as a TV-oriented conversion of the virtual pet. This entry has been lost with time, a bit for good reason. It didn't hold a candle to Pokemon's RPG offering, which released a full two years prior in the region.

The series's first full-fledged video game outing, Digimon World, didn't make it West until 2000, leaving Pokemon to begin its course of cultural domination with a multi-pronged media approach centered around video games and anime a full two years prior in North America. Pokemon had won.

And it's not too surprising that Pokemon succeeded. Red and Blue are rather simple by today's standards, but they wrapped up monster catching and raising in a more interesting package. Instead of just waiting for your Pokemon to poop and grow, you could take it on an adventure, stick with it for as long as you wanted or shelve it for a newer 'mon, and then win the ultimate challenge against the Elite Four.

All this was a huge hit, despite the slightly misleading premise in Pokemon's core mechanics. You really don't "train" your Pokemon in the same sense you would train your Digimon. Yet along with the more attention-grabbing adventure elements, the Pokemon anime got a two-year head start as well, so when Digimon caught up, it could only be perceived as an inferior contender.

After all, a franchise that defines itself by claiming it's better than something else clearly doesn't have as much to offer, right?

The World is Your... Farm?

Earlier Digimon games didn't do much to emphasize the series' foundational features and dispel that idea.

Tell that to a die-hard Digimon World fan, and you'll be quickly educated on how wrong you are, but that's sort of the point here. Digimon was confined to "those people" on the other side of the playground. While it was dearly loved by the ones who did take a chance on the copycat monsters, the developers went about setting the franchise apart in all the wrong ways.

The original PlayStation Digimon World games were a hodgepodge of genres and mechanics that work well when they do work, but lack clear direction. From recruiting people to a city to completing random mini-games, engaging in fights, and doing some 3D exploration, they offer a bit of everything without perfecting any one thing.

In that sense, you could say Digimon World was ahead of its time, with the genre blending and more open-ended sense of play.

It's a shame, then, that the micromanagement aspects of Digimon raising held it back. Waiting for your Digimon to do its digi-doody when it lives in a small piece of plastic inside your pocket is fine because you can do other things. Waiting for it as a form of entertainment whilst sitting in front of the TV is another matter entirely.

Meanwhile, Pokemon was off refining perfection with Gold and Silver, offering an improved — and much more focused — experience that also had the major benefit of being handheld.

That hit Pokemon's target audience the most, since Nintendo's handhelds were always marketed towards younger gamers, while the franchise was still  one of the only games of its kind. Digimon was overshadowed not just by Pokemon again, but by other, more innovative and rewarding, PlayStation era games too.

Mimicry, Flattery, and All That

Fast forward through several years and past some more Digimon spin-offs, and we get to the point where Digimon made it back to gamers' pockets — and deserved the aspersion hurled at it that it was just a copycat franchise.

Digimon World DS followed a pattern very similar to Pokemon. You get pulled into a new world, meet a professor-type person (well, digital monster in this case) pick a starter Digimon, and travel around fighting and training monsters. Leveling up the Tamer rank is equivalent to getting a Gym Badge, and it's all just too familiar. That fact wasn't lost on fans and critics alike when the game launched in the West.

Granted, a lot of this was still very Digimon. Raising and training via managing the Digi-Farm, Digivolving, and thoughtful management all played a vital role in progressing through the game. In fact, Digivolving is one of the things that really set and continues to set Digimon apart from its better-known rival.

Where evolving a Pokemon is fairly straightforward, Digivolution employs a less hardcore version of Pokemon's IV training. Focusing on a specific stat or meeting some other requirement allows a Digimon to change form, and knowing when to Digivolve or not has always been part of the series' main gimmicks.

However, there just wasn't enough to make it worthwhile in World DS. The difficulty is very low, with no option to change; the story is non-existent; and the localization is appalling.

Its sequel mimicked Pokemon even more, splitting the game into two versions — Dawn and Dusk — with different monsters and slightly different dungeons. Yet it also diluted the experience with endless fetch quests and lower production values.

It says something when a set of games considered mediocre like the DS Digimon World games is simultaneously praised for being the best in the franchise.

Timing was another issue here, and again, it stayed in Pokemon's shadow,. The first World DS game was three years too late with mechanics and ideas Pokemon's Gen III implemented.

Dawn and Dusk released in the same year as Pokemon Diamond and Pearl, The former were iterating again on a now four-year-old formula with little to show for it, while the latter launched Pokemon into a completely new audience with IV stats, a focus on the meta-game, and vibrant new graphics.

A Long Intermission

Unfortunately, North American video game sales figures aren't made widely available. Marketing research firm The NPD Group publishes monthly and yearly Top 10 style lists of sales for hardware and software, and that's about it.

There might not be any reliable statistics for how the Digimon World DS games sold in the US, but we can safely assume they didn't do very well at all.

Why? Because localization for Digimon games from then on was spotty at best, with the West only getting random titles like Digimon World Championship. That was a shame for Western fans and potential newcomers to the series, because 2008-2013 saw Digimon games of much higher quality release in Japan.

Notable highlights include Digimon Adventure for the PSP that basically lets you play the anime and the successful Digimon World Re: Digitize, which, in Japan, garnered first week sales just 10,000 shy of Pokemon Black 2 and White 2's first week numbers.

Alas, Western gamers languished with no Digimon to hope for in the near future — or rejoiced, depending on your experience with the games up to that point.

Jumping Back Into the Future

Those two games in particular started a trend that would carry over to Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth and its sequel, namely trying to forge a unique identity and create a unified set of mechanics.

Cyber Sleuth builds on the longtime series staple of existing alongside a digital world by taking it further, blending the concept with ideas and situations specific to the mid-2010s.

No longer is the idea of vanishing inside a computer meant to be enough of a draw. Instead, people live through and in EDEN, a virtual reality city that — in a nod to the problems of online socialization — lets you completely recreate yourself and hide your real identity.

This brief and simple setup immediately sets the game apart from its rivals. Accusations of copying certainly couldn't be leveled at Digimon here, particularly since it has Sword Art Online beat by many years in the "entering a digital world" department.

More importantly, Pokemon continued to offer more of the same (since that's what people wanted), leaving fans wishing for something more "mature" or at least something more ambitious in the story department.

Cyber Story delivers on both counts, drawing on Digimon's origins of a monster-based series in a super-modern world to finally set the series apart.

It's been called Persona-lite, with its modern setting and emphasis on relationships, and that's not really a bad thing.

From cyber-crime syndicates to malicious hackers and all manner of problems in between, the world of Digimon Story is a vibrant place that, despite being fictitious, still manages to resemble the real world in some ways. The story doesn't hit Persona's level of maturity, but the story beats, darker elements, and bits of intrigue and mystery are still not something we've seen or are likely to see in Pokemon, let alone something a Digimon game has ever tried to do before.

Having a solid story, something that compels you to progress through the game, gives you a reason to raise your Digimon as well, and it gives the monsters more significance than just being something to collect.

It's helped along by a couple of other factors too, though.

The first is the difficulty. On default, Cyber Story is somewhat easy, but the difficulty level can be bumped up to accommodate those with different needs. That the game makes allowances for different playstyles is another first for the series and something Pokemon still hasn't done.

Masters of Digi-volution can probably still steamroll through the game by min-maxing stats in their Digi-Farms and breaking the game through skillful control of their monsters. Newcomers can take it easy with normal difficulty or take on a greater challenge as they try to learn the ropes.

Making Digi-volution so important to progressing through the game adds a much greater, and much needed, sense of cohesion when combined with the improved story elements. There's a clear goal for raising a Digimon and an easy-to-understand path for getting there, whether you want that extra power or you need to crush a boss.

Sure, it's something the World DS games had, but there's no denying it's much more enjoyable when you feel like you're doing these things in a unique game instead of a game that just acts as a bridge to the next Pokemon. Equally as important, it was the first time in nearly two decades Digimon's traditional mechanics of raising and evolution finally got packaged together as something you could reasonably call fun.

Finally, there's combat. Pokemon was never overly simplistic in its numerous type match-ups, and for those who didn't grow up with a type chart permanently seared into their brains, things like Ice > Flying > Grass >Fire > Ice are something of an entry barrier.

Not so with Cyber Story. A few basic types, a few more subtypes, and that's it.

The Final Results

So, Cyber Story had interesting characters, forged a unique identity, doubled down on making the mechanics fun and worthwhile, and finally had the means to leave Pokemon's shadow. But did it work?

Yes and no, but mostly yes. Timing, again, has a lot to do with why Cyber Story was received well.

How well is somewhat relative, though. The game came West in 2016, the same year as Pokemon Sun and Moon made their appearance. But this time, Digimon was on the Vita, which reached an entirely different market than the 3DS.

These were often the people who grew up playing Pokemon and wanted something different, and by 2016, Vita owners were already starting to see the handheld console's slow death on the horizon, noticeable first and foremost by a steady drought of new games. A new monster-collecting game promising a hefty bit of content and darker story wasn't something to miss, even if it was digital-only in the West.

And that's important to understand. Cyber Story didn't break the top 20 PS4 games in the months following its release in the West, but consistently remained in the top 5 Vita games.

The same went for its sequel, Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth — Hacker's Memory when it released a few years later. In fact, Hacker's Memory was 2018's top Vita game, and that isn't taking into account the Asian-with-English-subs versions available for import.

Yet it didn't appear on the PS4 lists again, and Pokemon continued to dominate the handheld titles.


With data like that, it probably seems a bit disingenuous to say Cyber Sleuth was a major turning point in the Digimon video game franchise. However, context is everything here.

The Story games were still handheld hits, far surpassing the DS World games in both popularity and quality. Quality is the most important point here, though, as this is the stage when finally — finally — Digimon got its act together in a sensible, focused game.

It's not known exactly how well the games did perform, but it was enough to reverse the localization curse. It convinced the series' producers to continue with the Story subset of Digimon games and ensure future games in the Digimon franchise were localized for Western audiences.

It's even the reason we'll be getting Digimon Survive (whenever that happens). If that isn't a turning point for a franchise once considered a sad, desperate copycat, I don't know what is.

Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth Complete Edition Coming to Nintendo Switch and PC https://www.gameskinny.com/dr15l/digimon-story-cyber-sleuth-complete-edition-coming-to-nintendo-switch-and-pc https://www.gameskinny.com/dr15l/digimon-story-cyber-sleuth-complete-edition-coming-to-nintendo-switch-and-pc Mon, 08 Jul 2019 09:09:22 -0400 Erroll Maas

At the Future of Digimon panel during Anime Expo 2019, Bandai Namco revealed that Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth Complete Edition would be coming to Nintendo Switch and PC on October 18, 2019.

This complete edition includes both the original Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth game as well as Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth Hacker's Memory, which shows the story of the original game from another side. It is currently unknown if the complete edition will have any exclusive content or feature previously exclusive content.

The first Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth game released in Japan for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita on March 12, 2015. The western localization was announced at Anime Expo 2015 and launched in North America on February 2, 2016 and in Europe on February 5, 2016.

The following game, Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth - Hacker's Memory launched for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita on December 14, 2017 and worldwide on January 19, 2018.

The western version of Hacker's Memory did not include a feature which allows players to transfer their Digimon from an original Cyber Sleuth save file, which was present in the Japanese version. It is currently unknown if the complete edition will now include this feature.

Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth Complete Edition will launch worldwide for Nintendo Switch and PC on October 18, 2019. Here's to hoping for some more information from Bandai Namco over the coming months.

What's In A Name? How Digimon Story Stole the Digimon World Name for Western Audiences https://www.gameskinny.com/r9vea/whats-in-a-name-how-digimon-story-stole-the-digimon-world-name-for-western-audiences https://www.gameskinny.com/r9vea/whats-in-a-name-how-digimon-story-stole-the-digimon-world-name-for-western-audiences Tue, 08 Aug 2017 16:05:37 -0400 Erroll Maas

Digimon, short for Digital Monsters, started as a spin-off of Bandai's Tamagotchi virtual pet toys. But the franchise took on a life of its own -- spawning multiple anime series, a handful of movies, video games, toys, and even several different card games.

The first and perhaps most well-known of the Digimon video games is the Digimon World series, originally developed for the Sony PlayStation. While most players in the West might assume that the majority of Digimon games are part of the World series, this isn't actually true. In fact, many of the games that the West knows to be part of Digimon World's lineup are actually other series that were simply published for Western audiences under the Digimon World name. 

Some western fans still don't realize that Digimon World and Digimon Story are two separate series -- so let's try to clear up some of the confusion by looking at the perplexing history of the Digimon World series in the West and why they took the different monikers they did. 

Four Very Different Games

The first four Digimon World games -- which are all under the Digimon World name worldwide -- all have distinct differences from each other. Though they keep certain gameplay features intact, there's a lot of variation in the experiences between them. So it's sort of intriguing that they all share a series name. It's difficult to determine whether the distinction between these World games was due to experimentation with different gameplay formulas, an effort to create or coincide with other Digimon trends, or a combination of both. 

The original Digimon World, released in 2000 for America, tried to capitalize on the success of the franchise's toys and anime series. The gameplay revolved around raising a single Digimon from egg form, then engaging it in battles in order to evolve its forms. The forms a player's Digimon would evolve into depended on how it was raised -- closely following the caretaking of the original virtual pets that spawned this game. Paying attention to your Digimon was the central aspect of gameplay in this entry, as players needed to feed, rest, and otherwise tend to their pocket companion.

Oddly enough, Digimon World 2, 3, and 4 abandoned this style of gameplay, and fans didn't see it again until Digimon World Championship released in 2008.

New Digivolution in Digimon World 2

When it was released for North America in 2001, Digimon World 2 was the first game in the series to launch after the anime began airing. With gameplay that was vastly different than its predecessor, the player's initial experience felt rather similar to Pokémon or Monster Rancher, both of which had their first sequels released just a year earlier. 

Digimon World 2's gameplay saw the player exploring dungeons with a team of up to three Digimon. They could still evolve and be trained, but no longer needed to be rested, fed, or taken to the bathroom like the original game. The exploration and combat encounters took center stage here, rather than the more nurturing aspect that Digimon World relied heavily on.

This sequel also added a new digivolution concept known as DNA Digivolution, which allowed the player to combine two Digimon into one -- but the resulting Digimon would be one level lower than its parents. This also allowed the resulting Digimon to level up further than either of its parents. 

Digimon World 3 Makes Digivolution Temporary

The next entry in the series kept the DNA digivolution element, but changed pretty much everything else about the formula once again. 

Oddly enough, this game released in North America first in 2002, then came to Japan and Europe later that year. Unlike the first two games, this third entry in the series was more of a traditional RPG that took place in an MMORPG in which the players and other friends could get trapped (a popular concept at the time, as evidenced by the Bandai-published title .hack). Though the player still had three Digimon partners, battles were fought one-on-one, and creatures could be switched out, much like a Pokémon game. 

Digimon World 3 was the first in the series to feature random encounters as opposed to running into Digimon on the map. Although normal digivolution and DNA digivolution were still included in the game, the way these systems worked was changed once again so that each Digimon was allowed to bring three forms into battle. 

It was also the last Digimon World entry to appear on the original PlayStation. 

Digimon World 4 Ditches the Turn-Based RPG Formula

The successor to Digimon World 3 was a considerable departure from the gameplay of any past games in the series. Digimon World 4 was released worldwide in 2005 for the PS2, GameCube, and Xbox. It was based on the Digimon X-Evolution animated movie -- and even went so far as to reuse a few scenes from the film. 

Instead of being a monster-raising RPG like its predecessors, Digimon World 4 was a four-player co-op hack-and-slash adventure where players took the role of certain Digimon. These playable Digimon used weapons and elemental magic rather than the special attacks fans were familiar with, and could gain a digivolution after meeting certain requirements. 

In spite of its name implying that it's another entry in the main series of games, Digimon World 4 is actually a spin-off rather than a true numbered successor. The stark departure in gameplay was a shock to Western fans who were totally unaware of the Digimon X Evolution film at the time of the game's release.

So What's With The Shared Names?

If these Digimon World games were all so different, wouldn't they have warranted different names? Perhaps so, but Bandai didn't seem to think so. 

Carrying the World name across these four distinct entries might have been an effort to keep fans flocking to a more familiar name in spite of each game not being a true sequel to its predecessors. This sort of decision isn't unprecedented -- and is similar to what we've seen in series like Final Fantasy or Dragon Quest. So this may have been Bandai's justification for putting a few more titles under the same name in the West, despite prodigious differences between each game. 


More Confusion for the West

Though some Western players were jarred by the starkly different gameplay of the Digimon 4 spinoff/main series entry, but the real confusion began when the Digimon Story series began in Japan. 

If you look at the covers pictured above, you might think that you're looking at two different games that share a franchise name. But in fact, besides the language of each one, these games are exactly the same title published under totally different series names in different regions.

Released for Japan in 2006 on Nintendo DS, Digimon Story was published under the Digimon World name in the West, despite being part of a separate series.

Dubbed Digimon World DS, this game took a more Pokémon-like approach to its gameplay, while also implementing some unique elements. Players controlled a team of three Digimon -- similar to Digimon World 2 and 3 -- with three more as backup. Battles were either three-on-three encounters, or three-on-one for certain bosses. New Digimon could be obtained by battling them repeatedly until their data was 100% scanned. The game featured over 230 Digimon to discover, and those not in use could be stored in Digi-Farms (similar to the PC in Pokémon games). These Digimon could only evolve by collecting experience from defeating certain species of Digimon, achieving a certain aptitude level, or increasing friendship.

At the time of its release, Digimon World DS was praised as one of the best games in the Digimon World series -- even though it was technically part of another series entirely. Either way, it marked a true return of Digimon RPGs in the West.

The West Gets A Game Based on an Anime Series

The second game to adopt the Digimon World name in the West was Digimon World Data Squad, released in 2007 for PS2. Known as a spinoff called Digimon Savers: Another Episode in Japan, this game was based on the Digimon Data Squad anime series. 

This was the first Digimon game to feature English dubbed voice acting, and the only Digimon game to feature cel-shaded graphics. Digivolution in this title shared some similarities with the first true Digimon World game, as the form into which a Digimon would evolved was affected by how the player took care of it. But it also introduced a new method of digivolution known as the Galactica Evolution System -- which determined what Digimon the player's partner would digivolve into. 

Though this game is not an actual part of the Digimon World series, it's almost understandable that it would borrow the World name for the West, since the anime series didn't air in those regions until around a month later. As such, Digimon World Data Squad was able to continue the fandom around the World series, while also making Western fans aware of the new anime series. 

A Double Dose of DS Digimon

Several years after the release of the original Digimon World DS, a two-version sequel -- Digmon World Dawn and Dusk -- hit DS consoles in the West. However, this was part of the Story series in Japan, dubbed Digimon Story Sunburst and Moonlight. This entry in the franchise introduced several new Digimon, finished out previously incomplete or mixed-up digivolution lines, and reintroduced the DNA digivolution popularized by Digimon World 2 and 3

Because it was a sequel to Digimon World DS, it obviously would have been a mistake not to use the Digimon World name. Unaware Western fans probably would have been confused by the sudden title change, especially given the similarities between these sequels and their predecessors. 

These two DS games were the next-to-last Digimon games to release in the West before a long hiatus -- and they were the last Digimon Story games (though they didn't go by that name) that saw a Western release until 2016.

The End of an Era

The last game to release under the Digimon World moniker for Western audiences was Digimon World Championship. Known solely as Digimon Championship in Japan, this title was a bit closer in gameplay to the original game that spawned the Digimon World name. 

In battle, Digimon chose which attacks they used instead of being told. The game also introduced several new Digimon with the Dracomon digivolution line. 

But due to its departure from the gameplay of the two previous Nintendo DS games, Digimon World Championship saw relatively poor reception -- so maybe relying on the World name wasn't such a great choice in this case. 

Either way, Digimon World Championship was the last Digimon-raising game the West would see for many years -- and it was the very last Digimon game to ever receive a Digimon World name change for Western audiences.

The Names in the West Are Finally Fixed

Though the West saw a few Digimon games here and there after the sub-par release of Digimon World Championship -- like the Digimon All-Star Rumble fighting game or the Digimon Heroes! match-3 mobile game -- there were no other Digimon RPGs released until 2016's Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth for PS4 and PS Vita. 

This was the first game in the Digimon Story series that didn't get a name change to Digimon World for Western audiences, and it was also the first one to see a release on both handheld and home consoles. Cyber Sleuth borrowed from and built upon many of the gameplay elements from Digimon World DS and its sequels, Digimon World Dawn and Dusk. 

2017 saw the release of yet another Digmon World game, called Digimon World: Next Order. This was a true sequel to the original Digimon World series -- so much so that it kept the World name worldwide. The game provided a modern update to the playstyle and mechanics introduced in the original games that started the series, though this time with two Digimon partners instead of one.

At the time of writing, it's unclear whether there will be another Digimon World game. But another entry in the Story series -- dubbed Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth: Hacker's Memory -- is slated for release on PlayStation 4 and PS Vita in Japan on December 14, 2017. It will make its way to the West sometime in 2018. 

Either way, with the release of Digimon World: Next Order and Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth, it seems like Western names for this popular series have finally caught up to their Japanese counterparts. But only time will tell if the trend will continue. 

8 Monster Collecting Games You Can Play Instead of Pokémon Ultra Sun & Moon https://www.gameskinny.com/tt295/8-monster-collecting-games-you-can-play-instead-of-pokemon-ultra-sun-moon https://www.gameskinny.com/tt295/8-monster-collecting-games-you-can-play-instead-of-pokemon-ultra-sun-moon Mon, 12 Jun 2017 14:07:28 -0400 Erroll Maas


Stars Not Yet Aligned


While these games may not have the popularity or staying power of a franchise like Pokémon, they are still decent alternate options for players looking to play other monster collecting games. There are plenty of other monster collecting RPGs you can play as well -- such as Dinosaur King, Monster Rancher, Moco Moco Friends, and Spectrobes, just to name a few. Those featured on this list are just some of the more recent and notable ones.


Although a mainline Pokémon game for the Nintendo Switch may still be a few years away, hopefully we'll have these games, their upcoming sequels, and maybe even others yet to be released to help satisfy our need for capturing hundreds of monsters until then.


Monster Hunter Stories

Nintendo 3DS

The most recent game on this list to be released in Western territories, Monster Hunter Stories is a turned based RPG spin-off of Capcom's popular hunting action series.


In Monster Hunter Stories, you take on the role of a Rider from a hidden village. Instead of hunting monsters, the riders of this particular village befriend monsters by stealing eggs from nests then hatching and taming them. 


In battle, both the rider and your companion monster are able to attack the enemy -- and the rider character has access to different skills depending on the weapon and equipment used. Additionally, companion monsters can be ridden in the overworld.


Companion monsters can also be customized by using a feature called the Gene Bond  -- a system somewhat similar to breeding in other monster collecting games -- in which you transfer Bond Genes from one monster into another monster’s slots in order to obtain different stats and abilities.


Monster Hunter Stories  should be able to provide plenty of enjoyment for those not interested in Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, and additionally, in true Monster Hunter fashion, has plenty of post game content. 


Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance

Nintendo 3DS/ PS4

While this game doesn't focus solely on monster collecting, it's still an important aspect of the game.


In Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance, instead of running around various Disney worlds with characters Donald and Goofy, you explore select worlds with new creatures called Dream Eaters. Friendly dream eaters are called spirits, while the enemy dream eaters you fight are called nightmares.


Spirits are created by combining Dream Fragments together with an item or spell, either by trial and error or using recipes found throughout the game. The player characters can also link with Spirits to perform unique attacks.  You can even pet and play with your Dream Eaters which will help them gain new abilities, similar to Pokémon-Amie, although surprisingly this game did it first.


Although not a monster collecting RPG at its heart, Kingdom Hearts Dream Drop Distance can still be played as an alternative to Pokémon if you focus more on the spirit creating aspect, and you get the additional benefit of getting to visit several amusing Disney-based worlds on the way.


Fossil Fighters: Champions 

Nintendo DS

Fossil Fighters: Champions is a sequel to the original Fossil Fighters -- also for Nintendo DS -- and greatly improves upon the gameplay introduced by its predecessor. i


To obtain monsters in this game -- called Vivosaurs --  you have to dig up their fossils and clean them off using the touch screen. This system of obtaining monsters is quite unique and can be rather exciting for awhile. Having to clean every single new fossil you find can become tedious and frustrating early on, but certain items obtained later can help speed up the process.


The combat system isn't too deep, and each vivosaur has a predetermined moveset of only 4 or 5 attacks they learn from leveling up. But if you don't mind that, then Fossil Fighters: Champions can still be a fun experience.


With strong charm and atmosphere, great and memorable characters, and awesome looking creatures, Fossil Fighters: Champions is a nice way for you to get your monster collecting fix -- especially if you happen to be a fan of Fossil Pokémon and wish there were more.


Dragon Quest Monsters Joker 2

Nintendo DS

Perhaps the most challenging game on this list, the sequel to Dragon Quest Monsters Joker, and the fifth game in the Dragon Quest Monsters spin-off series, Dragon Quest Monsters Joker 2 vastly improves the gameplay of its predecessor.


The Dragon Quest Monsters series has always had a strong focus on breeding, even before Pokémon had the option. Breeding powerful monsters takes a lot of trial and error to get what you want, due to having very few rules. Because of the detailed breeding system, catching every new monster you encounter is obligatory if you want to create a monster with the best stats and skills. Monsters may also have hidden bonuses that won't be obvious to new players at first.


Another factor that motivates catching many monsters is the difficulty of the game. Sometimes you won't be able to progress to the next part of the game until you have a monster strong enough or have reached a high enough rank. The game expects you to stay on top of everything, so if you aren't properly prepared for an especially challenging battle, you may have a difficult time getting past it.


Featuring a more challenging difficulty than most other monster collecting RPGs and an extensive post-game, Dragon Quest Monsters Joker 2 is great for any monster collecting RPG or Dragon Quest fan looking for a new challenge.


Hopefully the Nintendo 3DS sequel, Dragon Quest Monsters Joker 3, will be announced for Western release soon. 


World of Final Fantasy

PS4 & PS Vita

This is Final Fantasy returning to it’s classic turn-based formula, while at the same time also trying to take a stab at the monster collecting genre. To prevent clutter during battle, a new mechanic called stacking was created for the player characters to fight alongside their monsters (known as mirages). There are also summons called Champions -- chibi forms of famous Final Fantasy characters which are summoned temporarily, including Sephiroth from Final Fantasy VII and even Sora from Kingdom Hearts.


The story of the game isn’t quite as interesting as other Final Fantasy games, but a revelation near the end of the game about the main characters might surprise you. At times, the game can be pretty boring, and as much as using the fast forward function helps in battles, sometimes it doesn't feel quite fast enough. Part of the last dungeon can be pretty frustrating too, due to lack of a proper map.


Despite its few pitfalls, World of Final Fantasy is not only a great alternative to Pokémon, but a great start for anyone looking to play a modern Final Fantasy game with more traditional gameplay.


Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth

PS4 & PS Vita

 After a drought of localized Digimon games, Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth was finally released in the West in February 2016. Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth had almost everything an avid Digimon fan wanted in a new Digimon game -- similar battling to the beloved Nintendo DS titles, a decent amount of Digimon, and a world which felt like the near-perfect combination of the popular anime films Summer Wars and Digimon: The Movie


There are a few glaring flaws, but how much they're noticed depends on the player's prior knowledge of the franchise.  Some digivolution lines are intact, while others are all over the place and connect Digimon species who would otherwise be unrelated to each other. In addition to this, Digimon you haven’t seen or obtained will show up as "who’s that Pokémon" style silhouettes, so you'll have to find out what they are yourself or look up a guide.


It's not the worst since you can just dedigivolve them and level them up again if you you're unsatisfied -- an easy task when having experience boosting Digimon and items later on in the game, but a tedious activity in the earlier parts. The most irritating part of the messed up digivolution lines is that some Digimon which are not obtainable in the game (despite the rest of their line being obtainable) will still be seen on collectible medals. So it's a bit odd these missing Digimon were still put in the game that way. 


Hopefully, the upcoming sequel, Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth: Hacker's Memory, adds plenty more digital monsters, and fixes these and other minor flaws from the original. But otherwise, Cyber Sleuth is another great alternative to Pokémon.


Yo-Kai Watch

Nintendo 3DS

The first game in this series, plus its corresponding anime series and movie, finally came to the U.S. in 2015 after originally being released in Japan 4 years prior. The second game(s) released in the U.S. in September 2016 -- taking a hint from Pokémon with two versions, Bony Spirits & Fleshy Souls. The third, updated version, Psychic Specters, is coming this fall. 


In the first game, the main character is given the titular Yo-Kai Watch, which causes them to be able to see Yo-Kai -- spirits that cause all kinds of odd everyday occurrences good, bad, or just plain weird. A significant difference between this game and other monster collectors is that the player does not technically capture Yo-Kai, but instead befriends them by feeding them their favorite foods -- and is given their medal so that they can be summoned from the Yo-Kai Watch at any time.


Yo-Kai Watch has been losing steam recently after the third iteration didn't sell as well as the previous ones -- possibly due to Pokémon's comeback, the lack of creativity with some of the newer creatures, and the absence of true backwards compatibility between the games and the toys. The series also isn't nearly as popular in the West as it was in Japan, but it has found a pretty decent fan following in Europe -- with plenty of kids (and some adults) all over the world still enjoying it.


Although the gameplay is a little outdated being mostly touchscreen-based, the Yo-Kai Watch series is still a fun, and more inherently Japanese,  alternative to Pocket Monsters.


Ni No Kuni

PS3 & PS4 (via PS Now)

Created by Level-5 and Bandai Namco, with art and animated cutscenes by Studio Ghibli (Spirited Away, Grave of the Fireflies etc.), Ni No Kuni is a great game to help satisfy your monster collecting RPG itch.  


In Ni No Kuni, you play as a boy named Oliver, who has just lost his mother and only parent, and is racked with guilt. His tears bring the fairy plush toy, Mr. Drippy, back to life and they venture into the world of Ni No Kuni to find Oliver's mother and defeat the Dark Djinn, Shadar, and the titular villain of the game, the White Witch.


In addition to having different spells and abilities themselves, each of the three rotating members of your party is allowed to use one monster -- called familiars -- at a time, in which the human and their respective monster share a health bar. Similar to other games, you can capture more monsters to expand your collection. These monsters all have evolution trees as well, although sometimes changes are more subtle, such as adding accessories or just palette swapping.


The sequel, Ni No Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom, will be coming soon -- and although the gameplay will be a bit different, playing or replaying the first game would be a good refresher before the sequel's release.


Many were disappointed by the announcement of the new Nintendo 3DS exclusive sequels to Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon -- called Pokémon Ultra Sun and Pokémon Ultra Moon respectively -- despite not being given much information.


After changing up the long standing tradition of an updated third version with the the release of Pokémon Black 2 and Pokémon White 2 in the fifth generation, and entirely skipping an updated version of of the sixth generation games, Pokémon X and Pokémon Y, players weren't sure what to expect for the future of the seventh generation.  Many were expecting either the long rumored Pokémon Stars for the Nintendo Switch, or at least some kind of Switch port of Sun and Moon with cross play compatibility, similar to the recently announced Monster Hunter XX (double cross).


Many players, however, forget that there are plenty of other great monster collecting games out there. They might not be as popular as Pokémon, but they are still great games which can stand out on their own. Here are 8 monster collecting games to try if the announcement of these new Pokémon games made you bitter like the taste of a Switch cartridge.

7 Bandai Namco Games That Should Be Ported to the Nintendo Switch https://www.gameskinny.com/of9uy/7-bandai-namco-games-that-should-be-ported-to-the-nintendo-switch https://www.gameskinny.com/of9uy/7-bandai-namco-games-that-should-be-ported-to-the-nintendo-switch Thu, 13 Jul 2017 14:24:16 -0400 Erroll Maas


To Be Continued?


Bandai Namco has plenty of games in its ever-expanding catalog. Between anime tie in games, Dark Souls, Little Nightmares, the upcoming Code Vein, and others, there's no shortage when it comes to games the publisher could bring to the Nintendo Switch.


If the ports of Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 and One Piece Unlimited World: Red do well enough, we could see a lot more Bandai Namco games coming to the Switch in the near future.


Naruto Ultimate Ninja Classic HD Collection


While the PlayStation 4 is getting the Ultimate Ninja Storm Legacy Collection and PlayStation 3 is getting the Ultimate Ninja Storm Trilogy, many forget the fighting game series which Ultimate Ninja Storm came from-- which is the original Ultimate Ninja series for the PlayStation 2.


Unlike Storm, the original series is a 2.5D fighter that had five main entries, with the fifth never being released in North America. The first three games took place before the timeskip, while the last two were primarily based on the later series, Naruto Shippuden -- but still contained modes which retold the story of the original series as well.


After the release of Ultimate Ninja Storm and its sequels, many fans seem to disregard or forget this series. Due to Naruto's continuing popularity with the spin off series (Boruto: Naruto Next Generations) and plenty more planned games coming out, a collection like this could provide newer fans with some insight on older games, while at the same time providing older fans with feelings of nostalgia.


Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth Series


Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth originally released exclusively for the PlayStation Vita in Japan in 2015. A PlayStation 4 port was released in Japan, North America, and Europe in 2016 alongside the Western release of the Vita version.


The four Digimon games released in the West before this -- Digimon World DS, Digimon World Dawn and Dusk, and Digimon World Championship -- were all released for the Nintendo DS. There were also several games exclusive to Japan, such as Digimon Story: Lost Evolution and Digimon World Re:Digitize Decode, released on the Nintendo DS and Nintendo 3DS, respectively.


It might seem weird to bring the Pokémon rival back to Nintendo consoles, but with games like Monster Hunter Stories and Yo-Kai Watch 2: Psychic Specters already out in Japan and coming to the West soon, Nintendo is no stranger to monster collecting RPGs that aren't of the Pokémon variety.


Tales Of Graces:f 


Tales of Graces was originally released for the Nintendo Wii in Japan in 2009, with an enhanced port known as Tales of Graces:f released a year later for the PlayStation 3 in Japan, North America, and Europe.


The game takes place in a world known as Ephinea and follows Asbel Lhant. During his childhood, Asbel befriends an amnesiac girl and witnesses her death. Seven years later, he is reunited with the girl who mysteriously returns, albeit still with amnesia. They then go on a quest to save humanity from being destroyed.


Tales of Graces:f received praise for its gameplay with mixed reviews for its presentation.  Longtime Tales fans often claim it has the best gameplay of any game in the entire series.


Due to this positive reception, Tales of Graces: f may be a major contender for the upcoming yet unannounced Nintendo Switch Tales game. If not, Bandai Namco should still think about giving this game another re-release.


Chroma Squad


Although the recent beat'em up, Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers Mega Battle, left fans disappointed -- and the fighting game Power Rangers Legacy Battle is restricted to mobile devices at the moment -- Bandai Namco still managed to release an interesting game heavily inspired by the Super Sentai series which Power Rangers was created from .


Chroma Squad follows a team of stunt actors who decide to start their own Tokusatsu studio after growing tired of their previous job. Once the studio is established, the player must assign the actors to different roles and suit colors for the teams.


Like the various series the game takes inspiration from, each stage is a different episode of the show in which the heroes fight a group of villains -- and their performance during the episode makes a direct impact on the show's ratings.  The episodes are grouped into seasons, and failure to complete the goals set by the sponsors at the end of each season will lead to a game over.


Chroma Squad is currently available on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, but a Nintendo Switch port could be possible. Its pixelated graphical style would be perfect for the Nintendo system.


Jojo's Bizarre Adventure All Star Battle


Jojo's Bizarre Adventure All Star Battle is a fighting game by CyberConnect 2 based on Hirohito Araki's popular ongoing multi-part  manga and anime series of the same name. The game was originally released on the PlayStation 3 in August 2013 in Japan and April 2015 in Western territories.


Jojo's Bizarre Adventure All Star Battle not only includes characters up to the most current anime series at the time, but even includes characters up to the most recent manga. This feature is still seen in Jojo's Bizarre Adventure fighting games today.


While this game deserves a re-release on modern consoles in general, being one of the two best games based on the franchise, bringing it to the Nintendo Switch would add the extra benefit of portability.


The eShop on Switch has plenty of classic NeoGeo fighting games, so why not add some more modern ones as well?


Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch


In Japan, Ni No Kuni originally released as two separate games, Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch for PlayStation 3 -- which later released worldwide -- and Ni No Kuni: Dominion of the Dark Djinn  which released a year prior for the Nintendo DS.


In Ni No Kuni, you play as a boy named Oliver whose mother has just passed. After bringing a fairy plush toy to life through his tears, he sets out to find his mother in a fantastical alternate dimension, while also fighting against a great evil power. Oliver ventures through the magical world with some new friends and has the ability to obtain different Pokémon like familiars along the way.


With Level 5's other monster-taming RPG, Yo-Kai Watch, losing popularity, bringing their critically acclaimed RPG to a portable system may be a wise decision. They could maybe even add some familiars and other features exclusive to the Nintendo Switch version.


Soul Calibur 2 HD Online


Originally released in 2003 for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, and GameCube, the 3D fighting game Soul Calibur 2 had a different guest character for each version: Heihachi from the Tekken series on PlayStation 2, Link from The Legend of Zelda on GameCube, and Necrid from Spawn on Xbox.


In 2013 an enhanced version of Soul Calibur 2 was digitally re-released on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 as Soul Calibur 2 HD Online, and both versions featured Heihachi and Spawn. But Link was nowhere to be seen.


If Soul Calibur 2 HD Online came to the Nintendo Switch, it would be the true definitive version, since Link could be put back in. There also hasn't been a Soul Calibur game since the lackluster Soul Calibur V for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, so why not make a return with a portable version of what many fans claim is the best game in the series?


One Piece: Unlimited World Red - Deluxe Edition -- an enhanced port of the Nintendo 3DS game -- was announced for the Nintendo Switch not too long ago, and will be Bandai Namco's second anime-related game to be ported to the hybrid console after DragonBall Xenoverse 2, which was just announced to release on September 22.


Bandai Namco publishes a handful of anime tie-in games for other series in addition to notable games such as Dark Souls, God Eater, and the Tales series, among others. With so many different properties under its belt, Bandai Namco has the option to bring even more of its catalog to Nintendo's portable system.


Here are seven games that we think should be prime contenders for the next port.

More Details Released for Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth - Hacker's Memory https://www.gameskinny.com/7v9jv/more-details-released-for-digimon-story-cyber-sleuth-hackers-memory https://www.gameskinny.com/7v9jv/more-details-released-for-digimon-story-cyber-sleuth-hackers-memory Tue, 25 Apr 2017 04:22:54 -0400 Erroll Maas

Bandai Namco has provided more details for the upcoming monster battling JRPG, Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth: Hacker's Memory, the details are as follows:

The new main character, Keisuke Amizawa, has to become a member of a hacking group known as Hudie, due to mysterious circumstances. Keisuke's team meets up in an internet cafe to help with a handful on conflicts in the digital world. In this internet cafe, Keisuke will be able to access special underground websites and accept plenty of different quests to help him become a perfect hacker and solve more cases in the digital world.

New Digimon abilities will allow hackers like Keisuke to use different hacking skills which can unlock security or  provide support for other Hudie members, such as Erika Mishima, a smart girl with mysterious powers. A conflict arises between hacking groups when returning character, Fey, the leader of the largest and most well known hacker group in the digital world, known as Zaxon, uses Hudie to keep other hackers out of her way.

Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth - Hacker's Memory will be available both physically and digitally for Playstation 4, and digital only for PlayStation Vita in Japan later this year, and in early 2018 for North America and Europe.

Digimon Cyber Sleuth - Hacker's Memory is the sequel to the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita game, Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth, which originally released in Japan in 2015 for the PlayStation Vita. The PlayStation 4 version of Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth released in 2016 for Japan, North America, and Europe, alongside the PlayStation Vita versions international release.

First Screenshots of Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth: Hacker's Memory Show New Digimon https://www.gameskinny.com/ovgrz/first-screenshots-of-digimon-story-cyber-sleuth-hackers-memory-show-new-digimon https://www.gameskinny.com/ovgrz/first-screenshots-of-digimon-story-cyber-sleuth-hackers-memory-show-new-digimon Sat, 22 Apr 2017 11:15:12 -0400 Erroll Maas

Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth: Hacker's Memory, the sequel to 2016's PlayStation Vita and PlayStation 4 game, Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth, has released new screenshots in the most recent issue of V-Jump, introducing four  new Digimon to the series.

Let's check them out in the screenshots below. 


First, we have the Mega level (Ultimate in Japan) Digimon, Gryphonmon, a Digimon that had a brief cameo appearance in the third Digimon anime series, Digimon Tamers.

Gryphonmon's signature attack is Solo Roar (also known as Supersonic Voice), an attack which produces a high frequency sound wave which can disrupt the opponents entire data structure. Gryphonmon's other attacks include Mobius Bite, Legendary Blade, and Legendary Claw.

Guardromon (Gold)

Then we have the recently introduced rare Champion level (Adult in Japan) Digimon from Digimon World Next Order, Guardromon (Gold). Normal Guardromon is brown and part of the Andromon digivolution line. Fans may remember original Guardromon as the Digimon partner of Kazu Shioda in  Digimon Tamers

Guadromon (Gold) has the same signature attack as its regular counterpart, Guardian Barrage (also known as Destruction Grenade), where it shoots missiles from its wrists, which is also its only known attack at the moment.


Following that, we have the Ultimate Level (Perfect in Japan) Digimon, and pre-evolution of Gryphonmon, HippoGriffomon. HippoGriffomon may look familiar to fans of the fourth Digimon anime series, Digimon Frontier, as he was a villain in the movie, Digimon Frontier: The Island of Lost Digimon.

HippoGriffomon's signature attack is Heat Wave, where is spews out an extremely high-temperatured wind. It also has a Sonic Voice attack.


And finally, we have the Ultimate level SaviorHuckmon, a new Digimon in the Huckmon/Jesmon digivolution line. Jesmon is one of the Royal Knights from  Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth, while rookie form Huckmon has an important role in the recent Digimon Adventure Tri movie series.

SaviorHuckmon's signature attack is Trident Saber, where it attacks the enemy with its three red blades. SaviorHuckmon also has two other special attacks known as Rage Streit, where it launches a flying kick at the enemy using the blades on its feet, and Meteor Flame, where it rapidly shoots fireballs from its mouth.

Other screenshots released show new returning characters Fei and her Digimon partner, TigerVespamon, and new character Erika Mishima. 

Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth: Hacker's Memory will feature more than 320 Digimon. The game is slated for release some time later this year in Japan, and in North America and Europe in 2018 for PlayStation Vita and PlayStation 4.

New Digimon project, Digimon Universe: Applimon project announced. https://www.gameskinny.com/62g5o/new-digimon-project-digimon-universe-applimon-project-announced https://www.gameskinny.com/62g5o/new-digimon-project-digimon-universe-applimon-project-announced Mon, 23 May 2016 07:36:50 -0400 Jeffrey Rousseau

A new Digimon series was announced by Bandai Namco and Toei Animation. The series, revealed as Digimon Universe: Appli Monsters, is intended to be a cross media franchise. Appli Monsters will have an anime, feature magazines, toys, videogames, and more.

The premise behind the new series is smartphone applications. Smartphone apps are home to living AI referred to as appmon (Appli Monsters). There are as many monsters as there are apps in the world. This new series will have no connection to prior series.

This Appli Monsters announcement follows a wave of popularity for the Digimon brand. Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth was released in America this February and was well received by fans. Recently, Japan saw the release of Digimon World: Next Order in March for the PlayStation Vita. During this time, a new animated film serving as the sequel to the original TV show, Digimon Tri, has been airing as well.

It's currently unknown what consoles Digimon Universe: Appli Monsters will be released for.

More details will be revealed in June 9 at the International Tokyo Toy Fair.

Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth basic training guide https://www.gameskinny.com/xmq0q/digimon-story-cyber-sleuth-basic-training-guide https://www.gameskinny.com/xmq0q/digimon-story-cyber-sleuth-basic-training-guide Tue, 19 Apr 2016 11:15:51 -0400 Jeffrey Rousseau

Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth (DSCS) has an abundance of digital monsters you can use for battle. The highest level monsters in particular require a lot of time and prerequisites to obtain them. This guide will help make the overall process easier and address what items and basic methods are needed. We'll cover experience, stat requirements, camaraderie, and ability.


Leveling takes time but the following cuts down the time for grinding exp.


  • Tactician USB - An item that yields more EXP when equipped to an active party member. Yes, you can have your entire team using this item to yield more results.
  • PlatinumSukamon - Is a champion level virus type that evolves from Keramon. It has the unique skill Platinum Bonus, and it increases exp earned in battle as it's in the active party. You can have 2 or 3 in battle, and the effects increase dramatically. The exp gained will be the same for all creatures traveling with you, active member or not.
  • Function Call - Is a hacker skill your character can use when you have a free type Digimon in your party. With level 1 you can increase encounters, and with level 2 you can forces encounters in the field. 



Statistic Requirements

Certain forms require specific stats for monsters to obtain. Specific stats are obtainable if you pour enough levels into your beasties. Others can't be reached unless they're properly bred.

  • DigiFarm - It's where Digimon whom aren't part of your party can gain stats and exp. Based upon your preferences, you can tailor the bonuses you want. With a variety of training items you can place on the island, no stat limit is unreachable.
  • Personality - As your digi-friends level up, their stat increases are based upon their nature. If you need a partner to achieve an attack threshold faster you can change his/her nature via disks. These personality disks can be bought from the beginning of the game.
  • Food - A faster way to increase stats is through the use of food. You can find and or purchase food regularly via the DigiLab. Food that yields more specific boosts cost more yen of course. 


Camaraderie (CAM) in DSCS is the stat responsible for how likely team members can attack, heal or provide buffs together randomly. 

  • Items - The game gives you access to CAM boosting items fairly early via the DigiFarm. As the game progresses, for higher prices you can purchase more effective CAM boosters. 
  • Battle - CAM also rises as active party members win battles. This can be lengthy but you can visit low level areas and increase encounters to speed up the process.


Ability (ABI) is the most important stat for reaching the best critters within the game. It's often the last stat you'll concern yourself reaching because it requires more time than others.

  • Miracle Meat - Miracle Meat is the only item that provides you ABI. They can be bought in the post game for 1 million yen each. It can also be found throughout the game but only three are found per playthrough.
  • Digivolving/De-digivolving cycles - As mentioned briefly, ABI raises after digivolution. It also increases as you De-digivolve them to lower forms. Reverting monsters to their weaker versions will give them substantial ability. The cycle of wash, rinse and repeat can be shorten using quick exp gains.

Hopefully this guide will prove useful for raising the best Digimon. If you feel anything is missing please feel free to leave a comment below.

Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth Review, all JRPG fans may apply https://www.gameskinny.com/43n2e/digimon-story-cyber-sleuth-review-all-jrpg-fans-may-apply https://www.gameskinny.com/43n2e/digimon-story-cyber-sleuth-review-all-jrpg-fans-may-apply Sat, 19 Mar 2016 16:06:05 -0400 Jeffrey Rousseau

The Digimon (Digital Monsters) franchise began its popularity in the late 1990s. Over the years, we've seen a fair share of game and anime releases. In celebration of Digimon's 15th year anniversary, Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth (DSCS) was released in Japan back in 2015 for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita.

It was well received overseas and then Western fans asked Bandai Namco if we could see a release. Thanks to a petition signed by over 65k fans, DSCS was released this past February. So, is DSCS a game that only Digimon fans enjoy or can any fan of JRPGs find something worthwhile? Here's our spoiler-free review to answer both.

Detective Fiction

Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth doesn't require any knowledge of the anime or past games. But is is important to note that the game's voice-work is in Japanese and it is subtitled English. It's a tale involving a young man (or young lady depending on your choice) that get's caught up in a near-future mystery. A local gumshoe takes our main character under her wing, they become her assistant beginning a career as a "cyber sleuth". With an array of special skills you'll find clues, solve cases, and reveal secrets for the people of Tokyo and digital life-form alike.

The narrative plays out across 20 well-paced chapters featuring a colorful cast of characters. If you're familiar with the cyberpunk genre then the narrative here isn't entirely groundbreaking. However, the story does feature a healthy dose of mystery and writing. The result is a memorable and unique experience that lasts for 40-50 hours.  

Gameplay Trifecta 

The overall gameplay of DSCS falls into three categories: detective work, battling, and training digi-buddies. As a detective you'll be traversing Tokyo, cyberspace, and digital dungeons for cases. Cases will either involve locating objects (or people/monsters), fighting hackers, and some other possible *ahem* "barely legal" activities. If you ever happen to forget case details, you can always refresh yourself by talking to NPCs or looking at your case profile. Also, the main story only progresses as you see fit. So you can always take your time with extra cases to expand the roster, get more items, and money.

Next, there's the matter of battle. The details of battle are surprisingly deep but overtime you'll get the hang of it. First and foremost encounters are random which can be seen as an old mechanic by some. Battles are turn-based (also considered dated) but fast paced. How fast you can dispatch foes hinges upon your command of the rock-paper-scissors weakness system of the game.

I'll try to keep this brief and uncomplicated as possible. Beasts fall into types and elemental affinities. Data types are effective against vaccine types and vaccine types beat virus types. A fire attack is effective against a monster with a plant affinity. So what does this mean? Attacks can be at most 3x as effective in a good match or barely effective in a bad one. Unless you exploit types and elements properly, a quick and painless fight can become long and excruciating. 

The final and most time consuming part of the gameplay experience is raising your team. With over 200 Digimon there's a lot of choices available. The Digilab is where you'll hatch creatures you've encountered in the wild, digivolve them, and more. To help with training, you can place your critters in a Digifarm where they can gain experience and level up their stats.

This will allow you go about the story or side quests while you'll have non-party participants gaining experience to be champions later. The game will remind you (in boss fights no less) that having fully evolved versions of your party is a necessity. To access stronger evolved versions of the little guys certain requirements need to be met. These requirements include specific stats, story progression, and a variety of other things. 


Visually speaking, DSCS is pretty easy on the eyes. The game is perpetually bright and stands out. A good example is the digital environments. The game mixes a cel-shaded design for digital space with 3D character models. The human characters and monsters are equally beautiful in battle and cutscenes. The amazing art is thanks in part to designs by Oh! Great (Air Gear, Tenjho Tenge) and Suzuhito Yasuda (Devil Survivor 1 & 2, Gundam Build Fighters)

Finally, there's the impressive soundtrack that's a varied mix of jazz, techno, 8 bit, ambiance and more. Nearly all the tunes are fitting, contemporary, and natural (especially the digital tunes). The soundtrack is brought to you by Masafumi Takada. If you've never heard of him his works include Dangan Ronpa 1 & 2, No More Heroes, and Killer 7.

Case Conclusion 

In short, it's a good JRPG and one you should give your attention to if you're looking to play something different. We often don't have games that are cyber punk in nature and it's rare that it's a detective story as well. The game is packed with enough content to keep you engaged. I haven't even mentioned that there are post game challenges, a new game plus mode, local/online battle, and arena challenges as well. Ultimately, DSCS is a game any lover of JRPGs will enjoy, Digimon fandom isn't required.