Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth is a turn-based RPG featuring, as the name implies, Digimon. The original release of Cyber Sleuth came out in its native Japanese in 2015 and 2016 in English for the PlayStation 4 and the Vita. Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth – Hacker’s Memory, which takes place during the events of the prior game, came out in late 2017 in Japan and early 2018 in the West. The Complete Edition, which contains both games, was released in 2019 for Nintendo Switch and the Windows operating system.
I’ll go over a brief review of the gameplay and not talk much about the story to avoid spoilers, and then I’ll go over getting this game running on my Linux machine. In my case, I’ve only played the first game, and I haven’t finished the story yet.
In both games, the player manages a party of Digimon in battles. Your team can consist of a maximum of 3 active combatants and 8 reserve party members, with the ability to swap team members between the two groups. Your Digimon can evolve and de-evolve to different types of Digimon, gaining new abilities as they level up.
I’ve found it best to give any Digimon I regularly use a nickname to make identifying them easier. Three of my party members: Clank, Birb, and Fluffy, who I’ve raised all the way to Mega level from Rookie, are pretty different looking now compared to how they looked back at the start. Fluffy is the funniest example, since he started as a Dorumon, a fluffy little dragon thing, and now he’s a Slayerdramon, a tall buff dragon man with a flowy cape and a flaming chainsword.
Another critical thing to be aware of is type advantage. A Digimon has two type modifiers on it: an element, and whether it’s Virus, Data, Vaccine, or Free type.
Virus, Data, and Vaccine function somewhat like rock-paper-scissors, where the type with the advantage deals double damage and takes half damage. Data beats Vaccine, which beats Virus, which beats Data. Free type has no advantage but also has no disadvantage. Elements are similar, as shown below, with < denoting the element with the weakness:
- Water < Plant < Fire < Water,
- Earth < Wind < Electricity < Earth,
- Dark and Light elements both have an advantage over each other,
- Neutral has no bonus and no weakness.
I’ve found the battles in this game to be engaging, and as I’ve gotten better at the game, they’ve gotten a bit too easy for my tastes on normal difficulty. Fortunately, there is a hard mode available, and I think I’m not going to wait for my next playthrough to enable it.
My biggest issue with running this game in Linux was not making it run; Steam’s native proton handled that fine. The issue was screen tearing. For those who don’t know what I’m talking about, when your system is rendering more frames per second than it can display, screen tearing occurs, where multiple frames attempt to display simultaneously. V sync usually fixes that, But it didn’t seem to work in this instance.
My forum searching eventually turned up a similar issue for Hollow Knight, with screen tearing regardless of v sync. The fix I found for it worked perfectly fine for Cyber Sleuth. The issue is with Nvidia’s Linux drivers. The fix is first to open Nvidia X Server Settings, go to the X Server Display Configuration tab, pick your display, then in Advanced settings check to box labeled ‘Force Full Composition Pipeline’ and, if you want this setting to stick through computer restarts, click ‘Save to X Configuration File.’
Once I fixed the tearing, I could finally appreciate this game’s story in its entirety. Hoo boy, the twists and turns this story goes through. It’s a fantastic story, but the game is at its best when it can keep you guessing on what’s going to happen next, so I won’t spoil it. I wholeheartedly recommend it if you’re a fan of the Digimon franchise, the Persona series, or any RPG or mystery game.