Digireview Story: Cyber Writer.
Digimon has always been something I’ve known existed for a long, long time now.
However, the only exposure I had of the series is hearing the first few lines of the anime intro before switching to another channel a bunch of times, many years ago.
I never really had any interest in the series just as I was never into Pokemon, but in light of its 15th anniversary, I decided to finally see what all the fuss was about, with mixed results.
Digimon is short for “Digital Monsters” (if that wasn’t clear enough already), and just like its name would have you believe, takes place in a futuristic world where the boundaries between the real world and a “Digital World” is blurred.
The overarching story in Cyber Sleuth feels disjointed and largely uninspired.
The reason for this is actually my biggest complaint about the whole game, the localization.
The translation often makes absolutely no sense at all, so much to the point I had a hard time following simple conversations.
Also, the various quirks of the characters are over-exaggerated into some of the most cringe worthy nonsense I’ve ever read in a video game.
If that wasn’t bad enough, dialogue choices repeated over themselves and even cut themselves off over a paragraph instead of simple sentences.
I won’t even go into the myriad of grammar inconsistencies and spelling mistakes, as those are just minor annoyances compared to what the poor translation does to the story and characters.
At a certain point, I completely lost interest in what the characters were talking about, enough that I dreaded the fact that there was no way to quickly skip over the dialogue at all.
It’s a clear example of an amateur localization effort, and whether it was a budget, time or talent issue, it’s an absolute disgrace, all the same.
However, try as it may, the localization doesn’t completely ruin the game, as the core mechanics are quite fun and addictive.
Unlike Pokemon, there aren’t any balls to throw at helpless animals after beating them half to death.
Instead, Digimon are scanned when encountered and they can be converted in the Digilab.
Digimon can also digivolve into different, more powerful Digimon after certain criteria are met and it was always exciting to see what my Digimon would turn into next.
There are hundreds of different Digimon, all with unique skills and designs that I found I spent most of my time power leveling and digivolving, all the while completely disregarding the story missions.
The combat is a standard turn-based system with a rock, paper, scissors trend of different elements and species.
Even though it doesn’t do anything new or exciting, it’s a solid system with room for some creative strategy based on party composition.
Lastly, there is a multiplayer component of ranked matches where you can pit your Digimon against others, but unfortunately I was never able to find a single match to test the functionality.
Whether that means there aren’t any players looking for matches or that the mode just isn’t working, it certainly doesn’t bode well either way.
For the 15th anniversary and the first Digimon game to be released in the west in over seven years, the fans deserved better than the localization effort put forth here. Still, despite these issues, the core gameplay remains strong and stands as a fun game to play- just not to read.
Fun Tidbit – If you’re planning on power leveling early like I did, I recommend you get some Platinumsukamon and some Tactical USB sticks from the 1000Y farm development to help you on your way.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.