Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth - Hacker’s Memory wears its status of a side story on its sleeve. With every chapter being entitled “Just Another Side story” making the player acutely aware you are not the star of the story, you are merely a participant going along with the flow.
It is this self aware nature that makes Hacker’s Memory so good as it never tries to be something it isn’t. Hacker’s Memory was made because people asked for more Cyber Sleuth and Namco Bandai said sure. There is nothing beyond that, Hacker’s Memory is more of what you loved about the first game. Which is awesome as Cyber Sleuth was one of the best RPG’s released in 2016.
That being said the original Cyber Sleuth had a lot of issues going for it. Blending Digimon and Shin Megami Tensei style game play was a stroke of genius, however Digimon didn’t translate that well to the story side. With the story being largely forgettable, brought up only by its entertaining characters.
Hackers Memory understands this weakness in the original clearly as the original story does not play a large role while its characters pop in to have fun from time to time. While key scenes from the original are present they’re more fun Easter eggs then vital points of information for the equally forgettable story Hacker’s Memory tells.
In terms of story progression Hacker’s Memory has learned from its predecessor as well. With long segments of the game in the real world being blissfully cut down, they still exist just not as often. Sadly, it is not all good news as lengthy conversations still pop up, especially as a chapter nears completion.
Hacker’s Memory has clearly been improved by minimizing the negative, however it has also been improved by maximizing the positives. I of course refer too the real star of the game the Digimon. With over 80 new Digimon dozens of which are Mega and Ultra Digimon collectors will have a field day digivolving and dedigivolving to get the ultimate team.
Included in the game are several balance changes that are quite welcome. For example it was well known that Omnimon was far inferior to his component part WarGreymon. This was due to Omnimon lacking a “Piercing” attack a vital late game tool. This oversight and dozens of others like it are corrected in the new game.
It allows Hacker’s Memory end game team compositions to be much more variable. While you will likely still end up with the Virus, Vaccine, and Data type trio its now possible to not include online/end game stalwarts like ShineGreymon Burst Mode or UlforceVeedramon.
Furthermore, many of the new additions to the game just look amazing. If you are only familiar with Digimon up to Tamers (the best one - fight me) the designs of the new mega Digimon are just spectacular and varied. Honestly, I could write a list of my favorites there are so many.
In short, Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth - Hacker’s Memory has minimized the issues of the first game while buffing its strengths. It is in no way an original game reusing almost all the assets of the original, however the scope of its improvements has made Hacker’s Memory the superior game. If you are a fan of Digimon or the original I would check it out.