View Full Version : Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga; AWESOME

09-09-06, 20:54
I'm a big RPG fan, so naturally I was attracted to Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne on PS2. Shin Megami Tensei has a huge following in Japan, but it's pretty unpopular in the US. Truthfully, Shin Megami stretches back to the SNES days and did the monster capturing mechanic before Pokemon, but Nocturne was one of the first games to make it over.

Nocturne follows a typical teenage Japanese boy who lives in Tokyo. Shortly into the adventure, the Conception occurs and destroys the human world, filling the now post-apocolyptic earth with hellish demons; only a handful of humans survive. In your quest you travel across demon-ridden Tokyo and befriend demons to fight for you. However, due to the non-linear demon/party system, preparing yourself properly for bosses was absurdly unreasonable, coupled already with an unbelievably hard game with enemies that greatly exploit the battle system, frustrating bosses, daunting experience requirements for level ups, and scarce save points.

Then comes along Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga. It's similar to Nocturne in many ways; same killer, dark visual style, same population of demons and same crazy amount of random battles. However, the game is made considerably less insane by removing the demon capturing aspect in replace of a team of permanent party members which undergo character development, and the game just follows a much more balanced difficulty.

Basically, Digital Devil Saga follows the story if several different tribes in the Junkyard. The Junkyard is an isolated city where these tribes are free to battle each other for survival and domination. The story focuses on the Embryon, whose members include Serph (the main character and tribe leader), Cielo, Heat, Argilla, and Gale.

During one of the tribe wars in the Junkyard in the beginning of the game, a mysterious capsul falls into the center of the battlefield and unleashes a wave of power that grants all of the tribe members in the Junkyard with a strange tattoo. This tattoo is a symbol that allows the once human warriors to transform into demons.

This enables a pretty interesting mechanic for the battle system; mantras and devouring. To gain new abilities, you access the mantra grid with has hundreds of different skill sets to learn for your characters. Purchase one with cash and when you finish a battle, AP will be gained that will help master the skill set. Once it's mastered, you gain access to the skills and can move on to more mantras. It's kind of similar to Final Fantasy X's sphere grid. However, it can take a while to learn abilities, so what better way to gain extra AP then by EATING your enemies? When in demon form, you can finish off enemies by devouring them and this nets you more AP, so you can learn mantras in as little as 3 or 4 battles.

While demon form is optimal for one to use most of the time, human form still has its advantanges as some demons are weak against guns, which is what the characters use in human form

Also, the Shin Megami Tensei games are rated M (or maybe 15+ in Europe) which is pretty refreshing considering nearly all RPGs are rated E or T, including Xenosaga Episode III which had to suffer massive censorship of violence and gore in the English to avoid an M rating. So it's extremely satisfying to know Atlus translates and localizes games in their intended manner.

Pretty much, Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga 1 and 2 are both amazing games. 1 focuses more on character development just get you attracted to these guys, while 2 is more story and plot-twist oriented, but both are amazing games.

The first Digital Devil Saga is nearly impossible to find now, but Digital Devil Saga 2 can be bought for $30 USD, new, at EB Games, and it comes with a soundtrack. ^_^

Here's some reviews if you need some pursuasion.


10-09-06, 03:18
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Legend of Lara
10-09-06, 11:07
All the Shin Megami Tensei games are really interesting what with the concept of turning into demons. I'm planning on buying Lucifer's Call sometimes. :)

EDIT: DDS isn't impossible to find in Iceland. There's loads of copies here.

10-09-06, 18:18
Ack! Lucky!

Anyway, Nocturne is the same game as Lucifer's Cell, just named differently in different regions.