The original Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth was released on the PlayStation Vita back in 2013, and was a massive success with fans of the Digimon franchise. Many western fans were pleased to learn that the game was being translated for a European and American release, as several of the newer Digimon titles such as Digimon World Re:Digitize were chosen not to be localised. When a sequel was announced in the form of Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth: Hacker’s Memory, fans were puzzled to learn that is a prequel to the original game. Despite the initial confusion, the prequel is a competent continuation of Cyber Sleuth’s legacy, and one that deserves every bit of attention it can get.
Unlike in the original game, Hacker’s Memory does not allow you to choose the gender of your protagonist. This time around, you take on the role of Keisuke Amazawa, a young man from Tokyo whose identity is stolen by a rogue hacker and used to commit a series of cyber crimes. In order to recover his identity and prove his innocence, Keisuke joins forces with a group of ethical hackers named Hudie. Along the way, he obtains the ability to tame digital AI programs known as Digimon, and discovers a deeper plot at work which threatens both the human and virtual worlds. The plot of Hacker’s Memory deals with the same real world issues that Cyber Sleuth portrayed, such as the over dominance of the digital landscape within modern society. Like the older entries in the Digimon franchise, Hacker’s Memory contains several darker moments alongside the relatively tame storyline, such as the permanent death of main characters instead of simply having them be defeated.
The core gameplay of Hacker’s Memory is more or less identical to the original game. Your time is split between solving missions in the real world, and raising a group of Digimon to defeat other stronger Digimon in the virtual world of EDEN. Instead of eliminating issues caused by rogue Digimon, your main focus this time around is to stop the rogue hackers from performing illegal acts. The game is around the same length as the original, so you can expect to put in around 40 hours of gameplay if you want to cruise through the storyline, or double that amount of time to complete all the side missions and raise every Digimon.