There’s a good reason the title is terrible, honey, you just haven’t thought of it yet.
Cyber Sleuth is a typical dungeon crawler. Or to put it in idiot terms, “It’s like Persona, but with worse pokemons”.
Prepare yourself for a brain-rotting battle system with bosses that would test you on your knowledge of the mechanics in a better game, but here are simply gatekeepers for a masochistic level grind.
You’re given a collection of quests to complete as a means to advance to the next chapter (of 20), but it’s never clear which are the sidequests and which are the main quests, nor is it obvious how difficult each quest is supposed to be.
For example, a few hours into the game, there is a quest given to you by one of the starter-type digimon. If you select it, you’re placed in a level filled with the RPG equivalent of finding yourself caught in a zone where all the enemies are randomly 10-15 levels above you.
Of course, if your team can survive the battles, this becomes incredibly exploitable. And within a couple hours, you’ll find yourself sweeping the game with literal piles of shit thanks to the game’s poorly coded leveling system.
Playing efficiently necessitates the use of a specific team (PlatNumes/PlatSukas), as if you end up trying to play for fun, with a team you actually like…
…all you’ll be doing is wasting handfuls of hours on what is a terribly dull combat system held up by poor mechanics and a forced grind.
Fucked either way, the gameplay is certainly not this game’s strong suit. Which is unfortunate, because the story sure as hell ain’t worth writing home about. …or writing about here for that matter. Read its product description if you really must know:
Set in the near future, the line between the real and digital worlds is blurred. Logging into cyberspace is part of everyday life. For one teenager, a harmless on-line chat spawns a chance encounter with a mysterious hacker. Little did this teen know, this brief meeting would lead to a Digi-monumental adventure. In Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth, scan, raise, and train your faithful Digimon companions to battle by your side against a group of hackers. Do you have what it takes to crack this Digi-case?
Helpful, huh? That’s really about all there is to it, though.
To put this in terms everyone here should understand, the translation reads like it was done by what must have been the only person in history to fail a Commie translation test.
Translation mistakes (the game is often explicitly wrong about its mechanics, necessitating the use of a fan-written guide) and poor English are about as common as the constant rejections the TL must have received from society to turn them into the kind of sense-deprived maniac that would come up with the following dialogue:
The issues manage to seep themselves into the story, as even if you choose a female avatar at the start of the game, all the dialogue will treat you as male.
Sometimes the bad translation makes scenes unintentionally funny, but more often than not it’ll force you to try and back-translate what was said so it’ll make a lick of sense.
Continuing with the theme of utter incompetence is the state of the dialogue choices in Cyber Sleuth. Half the time you can sorta make out what the TL was going for if you squint hard enough. The other half…?
Anime fans may have low standards, but they’re not low enough to tolerate this kinda shit in a $60 game. Learn to QC, Bandai. I don’t need you blaming the inevitable poor sales on a “non-existent market” when the issue is with your incompetent localization team.
While I had this game on pre-order from the get-go (Suzuhito Yasuda‘s art on anything makes it day 1), Bandai apparently thought more consumers needed to jump on the pre-order wagon, so they lazily locked a handful of Digimon to the stipulation that you promise your money to them regardless of how shit the product ends up being (a good call on someone at Bandai’s part, I guess).
If the game’s non-existent marketing didn’t clue you in to this, or even the game’s existence, you’re forever fucked, as they are not planning to release the black digi-lines anywhere else.
And the game’s pretty heartless about this, reminding you that you’ll never have a complete pokedex without something you’re not even allowed to buy anymore.
While the game is also available on the Vita, and technically supports save file transfer between the two versions, if you only pre-ordered for one of the systems, you can’t transfer your save files between them as it will throw up an error. Competency!
Oh, and if you ordered from Best Buy, hope you didn’t use Luck as your dump stat, cuz they didn’t even have enough DLC codes to go around for all the pre-orders.
As I mentioned before, the only reason I bought this game, and apparently the only reason to buy this game, is Yasuda’s character designs. Luckily, Bandai didn’t waste them, even though they turned each character into a one-line gimmick.
I would willingly watch a show where these guys just trope about, doing fuck-all but running out the episode’s run time. Here, they provide the only incentive to complete the mind-numbing quests, which often still isn’t enough of a carrot for anyone with self-respect or better things to do.
These Digimon Ain’t Champions
Did I have fun playing this game? No, not really. Hell, I didn’t have the motivation to finish it once I realized I had spent over 20 hours grinding my soul into dust.
The title feels like it might be worth it at a $15-$20 price range, or at $30 MSRP if we’re being generous. But at $60 for a half-finished hack job? Not recommended unless you hate your money.
Oh, and here’s some poorly drawn Cyber Sleuth porn. Didn’t think I’d forget Valentine’s Day, did ya? (NSFW, obvs.)