After years of gamers' waiting, pleading and anticipation, Bandai Namco has finally decided to bring “Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth” to North America sometime in 2016 for Sony's PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita game consoles, according to an announcement last week at Anime Expo 2015 in Los Angeles. It will be the first “Digimon” game released in the West since the ill-fated “Digimon All Star Rumble” for PlayStation 3.

The game originally came out in Japan as a PlayStation Vita exclusive but gained popularity with fans after various gameplay videos were discovered and shared, causing Western fans to yearn for the title. Many fans were also intrigued by the story and gameplay of “Digimon Story,” as it was said to be a mix of “Pokemon” and the “Shin Megami Tensei” series, making it appealing to both older and younger audiences.

The game will feature more than 200 Digimon to capture, train and eventually Digivolve, Dual Shockers reported. Many of the creatures from the game come from anime like Agumon, Gabumon, Gatomon and Wizardmon, with a variety of places to travel -- in both the real and digital worlds.

Many fans got into “Digimon Story” because it seemed more sophisticated than most of the “Digimon” anime came out in recent years. For example, it dealt with issues such as cybercrime and hacking. To date, many consider the third season “Digimon Tamers” to be the most dark and mature of the “Digimon” anime, as the various series before and after “Tamers” were aimed squarely at children.

Interestingly enough, while the original Japanese version of “Digimon Story” for the PS Vita was available in retail stores, the new title will be available only for digital purchase in the U.S. for the Sony handheld platform. The PlayStation 4 version of “Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth” will be available in retail for North America and can be pre-ordered via Amazon.

While “Digimon" never became as popular as “Pokemon,” it's clear that the franchise has been able to gain a loyal fan base, and the Western plans for “Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth” are proof of that. Fans will have to wait until next year for the game, but for many it will be worth the wait. 

Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth - Anime Expo 2015 Trailer (Credit: YouTube/Bandai Namco Entertainment America)