16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Better Than Final Fantasy - And Less Emo,
This review is from: Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga (PS2) (Video Game)
This game is a niche game that deserves to be appreciated by a wider audience. I got into the series via owning DDS2 on import, and after playing that from 10am to midnight, I have to say I was biting at the bit when I heard the first part was coming out in the UK. Do not let online reviews fool you - there is a WONDERFUL story to this game that spans two volumes. Having played the second, I can honestly say it's the best RPG I've ever seen, outside of Suikoden 1 and 2. Final Fantasy compared to this is good, but overrated.
The artwork is wonderful, as is the soundtrack. The anime-styled graphics were what got me into the second half and there's not a sign of Tolkein-esque fields in sight. Everything is based in the Junkyard, where tribes fight for supremacy.
Digital Devil Saga is the first game to introduce Serph and his companions, plus one of my favourites from this game, Heat. In ?DDS 2, the graphics are updated, as are other things. If you want the full experience, you must play this game before starting DDS2. You get to port in your game complete data, and in this game it helps unlock certain things, including Heat as a character.
Throughout, the music has a technological quality and suits the post-apocalypse setting and dark imagery the game uses. Though some tracks may get boring after a while, they are all decent in quality. The soundtrack in DDS2 is just wonderful.
The story is where this game shines. Obviously, you'll want to play this before moving onto part two, but if like me you came in on this part it also deals fine. As Serph, the leader of the Embryon Tribe, you and your companions are forced to eat other demons in order to survive, lest you be eaten. However, there are plot twists galore. There are masses of characters, all of whom have depth and are well developed. There are some genuienly sad moments.
The gameplay is good and deserves a high score as whilst it is detailed and allows for choosing your skills, it is not made overly complicated. Turns operate on something called the 'press turn system'. Each press icon equals one turn for each of your characters. Whilst this may seem easy, the bosses and enemies you encounter also have the exact same system. So if you go in with the wrong skills equipped, you'll get wiped out in no time at all. Strategy is needed. The need to learn different mantras is there, and as ever, there are the secret optional bosses. Plus a certain Demi-Fiend from SMT: Nocturne.
In all, I recommend this game if you enjoy anime-themed adventure games. Or even those with sci-fi leanings, plus if you like deep plot and gore you'll find it here. It's something that has had me up late constantly playing it.