Digimon Story Hacker’s Memory Review: More Of The Same But That Aint Bad

  • Playstation 4
digimon hackers memory art 3
You'll encounter many different Digimon in Hacker's Memory Bandai Namco

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth when it was released back in 2016. The dungeon-crawling, fun story and turn-based battles were easy to jump into even without knowing too much about the Digimon franchise.

So when Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth: Hacker’s Memory was announced I was excited to get my hands on it. The inclusion of new Digimon was a huge draw, but I wanted to battle with new partners and get a glimpse into a brand new story in this world of Cyber Sleuth.

Hacker’s Memory does take place at the same time as Cyber Sleuth but from the perspective of a different group of people. This didn’t detract from my overall enjoyment of the game, but any one who didn’t play the first game (and I recommend you should) won’t get the most out of the story.


The story of Hacker’s Memory is simple. You play as a newbie hacker named Keisuke who has his identity stolen and becomes accused of a crime he didn’t commit. He joins up with a hacker group and does various tasks that help prove his innocence.

erika digimon hackers memory
Erika will play a huge role in 'Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth Hacker's Memory' Photo: Bandai Namco

While the Cyber Sleuth focuses on the investigation team who try and take down hackers, Hacker’s Memory shines a bright light on this aspect of the Digimon Story world. Not all hackers are bad, and your group acts as gatekeepers for anyone who wants to travel between the Digital and real world.

However, while the story’s perspective is different it runs parallel with the protagonist of the first game. You’ll meet familiar faces and battle similar villains. It’s a nice touch for those who played the first game, but if you didn’t you may feel lost or not get the full effect of encountering these characters again.


As for the gameplay, there’s not a lot that’s new. Players will be able to move around the overworld like any other dungeon crawler like Tokyo Mirage Sessions FE or Persona and if they’re in the Digital world, they’ll encounter Digimon.

digimon story hackers memory battle
How the battle interface looks like in Hacker's Memroy Photo: Bandai Namco

The turn-based fighting in Hacker’s Memory is simple but gets deeper once you start to understand speed, type advantages and other aspects of battling. The game does make it easy to understand, a circle over the selected opposing Digimon signifies if your attack will do increased (blue) or reduced (red) damage based on type advantages.

But even with these small battle features its still a pretty straightforward endurance fight. The game is rather easy and that’s in large part due to the grinding nature of Hacker’s Memory. I found myself defeating wild Digimon left and right and having my party partners quickly become overleveled for the areas I was discovering.

There are level caps depending on the class of your Digimon but once you gain access to the DigiLab, you’ll be going back and forth digivolving your team to even higher levels. Even the boss battles were not as difficult as I would have liked. They were challenging, but I didn’t really feel at any point that I was in danger of losing.

The Digivolution aspects of Hacker’s Memory retain all of the features from the first game and if you’re into raising your Digimon to be the very best you can still do that with a series of Digivolution and De-Digivolution to get the right level cap and stats. I honestly don’t care for this feature but I can appreciate the game giving players who want to be more competitive in online play a way to raise their Digimon the way they want.

One new feature in Hacker’s Memory is the implementation of Domination Battles, which adds a new wrinkle to battling. Instead of just turn-based attacks, you and your opponent will move on a checkerboard as you attempt to take over as many spaces as possible. You can engage in battles to take over a space but if you fall, you’ll lose your spot. The battle ends when you have enough spaces (points) on the board.

It’s a great way to change up the battling but there could have been more of these battles in the story to break up the monotonous fights.


Overall, if you loved the first Cyber Sleuth (like I did) then you’ll really enjoy Hacker’s Memory. The story is simple and gives a new perspective to this world, but if you didn’t play the first title you may be lost when a particular character shows up. To get the full experience, you’ll want to have played both games, which I recommend if you’re a fan of the Digimon franchise.

Having more than 300 playable Digimon is great for mixing and matching your party and the inclusion of Domination Battles does break up the formula set in the first game. There are parts in the story that lead to over-levelling characters from excessive grinding, and the difficulty seemed easy, but I still really enjoyed jumping back into the Digital World.

Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth: Hacker's Memory
More Of The Same But That Aint Bad
if you loved the first Cyber Sleuth then you’ll really enjoy Hacker’s Memory. The story is simple and gives a new perspective to this world, but if you didn’t play the first title you may be lost when a particular character shows up.
  • Simple Battling
  • Over 300 Digimon
  • Enjoyable story
  • Similar story to first game
  • Too grindy
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