We are in the third consecutive year that Bandai Namco throws us into the fray of digital monsters with Digimon. It is undeniable, it is always nice to talk about this historic brand, which has always been in constant struggle with the PokéMon counterpart, creating two sides. What we are going to analyze is a second chapter, because of the Cyber Sleuth series there is already a title, released both on PlayStation 4 and on PlayStation Vita, just like in this case with Hacker's Memory. We assume that a turnaround has been made with respect to Digimon World: Next Order, i.e. the Italian localization is not present, leaving room only for English texts with attached dubbing. Media guys. Vision have managed to churn out a valid title that can attract the entire fan-base of the historic 90s brand to itself? We leave you to our review to find out.
As you can already guess from the subtitle “Hacker's Memory”, the production revolves around a group of hackers who are divided into different camps. The world is constantly changing and in the case of this chapter it has progressed so much that it has created a virtual reality called Eden, which is accessible through a headset - strangely reminiscent of PlayStation VR, who knows why! -. Inside Eden it is not all roses, as several hackers threaten the identity of the weakest, there is also an area similar to the Deep Web, where illegal Digital Monster exchanges take place.
The protagonist, Keisuke Amazawa, will find himself involved in an identity theft, or his own, thus making him a "Threat" to today's society, thus subject to prejudices even within his own institution. Precisely for this reason, following a particular event, he will be convinced to join a group of hackers devoted to good, in order to free Eden from the dirt that undermines the common good. Narratively speaking, the story flows quite well, but unfortunately it is not without clichés typical of the genre, trailing towards a forced end and from a monotony of situations that become rather frustrating. The game, however, shows its muscles with the personalities of the individual characters, characterizing them quite well, this also for the less important NPCs. If you have played the first Cyber Sleuth you must know that different situations will seem familiar to you and the frustration could be more pressing than those who have never touched a title in the series.
The places we will visit have a rather fluctuating trend due to some maps rather lacking in "inventiveness", where it will be enough to follow the road to get to the goal. It is true, in Eden there are some slightly more articulated Zones, but at the Design level we always reduce ourselves to the usual Textures, creating a sense of "already seen" rather annoying in the long run, leaving the player without amazement. As for the gameplay we have several praises to spend. As with PokéMon, we can carry a predetermined amount of Digimon with us, but to capture them we will have to face them and scan them up to one hundred percent of the required percentage. Here a tactical factor also comes into play thanks to Digievolution and De-evolutions, which allow us to assume favorable values based on what will be proposed to us on the screen, evaluating the pros and cons of the two types of evolutions. For lovers of side missions this is the perfect title, they are present in industrial quantities and many of these will give us useful objects or money to invest.
The soundtrack stands out immediately, some tracks have been fished from the previous chapter, but despite this, it is always nice to listen to them again. The dubbing of the characters that will accompany us is always of excellent workmanship, indeed, we are at higher peaks than we expected. The graphics sector does not scream a miracle, it is that of Cyber Sleuth with a slight cleaning and a greater depth of field, we would have expected to see that of Digimon World: Next Order in action rather than recycling an outdated engine, given the better visual impact.
As good as the game is and can be played without too many problems, we would have expected more from Media. Vision who did a very marginal work on the technical side, recycling material from his old project. Of course, the title is not to be rejected, but despite this we hope that the vote we are conferring is an incentive to do better with a possible next chapter of the Cyber Sleuth circle. In conclusion, we recommend Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth - Hacker's Memory mainly to fans of the brand, secondly to those looking for a slightly different JRPG.