Review by blackravenrakka

Reviewed: 10/24/05

Maybe there is hope in seeing more Megaten games coming out here....

This is the long awaited “sequel” that Atlus finally released after the release of the first Digital Devil Saga. Because of the popularity of the other game, Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne, we are lucky to see the released of the Digital Devil series, the spin-off of the Megaten series outside of Japan. Digital Devil Saga is a RPG that only a few will like because of the dark story and atmosphere.

Story
The story for DDS 2 continues right after where the first game left off. Serph, who is the leader of the Embryon, is thrown into this new world including his comrades which was suppose to be Nirvana. However, they soon realized that “Nirvana” is anything but that and they begin to discovered the truth about themselves and the situation that they face.

Without spoiling the story, I think the story of DDS 2 shines the most in this game. There is a lot of characterization in this game for each of the characters. In my opinion, it provided more of a reason to care for them, like them, and even sympathizes with them.

Graphics/Music
Personally, I’m somewhat kind of disappointed with the designs of the second game. In some way, I’m not happy at the fact they use the same enemy model from Nocturne. There are a few new demons you can and do fight throughout the game but there’s are times where it’s just reminds you of Nocturne.

The designs of the dungeons felt really uninspired and bland. It probably has to do a lot with the story since the story mostly takes places in a different variety of building such as an office building. However, even with that consideration, there are times where the environments could use some more detail here and there in order to enhance the experience in the world.

There are a few nice music pieces here and there but in my opinion, the DDS2 music is nothing more than an remix of the first game. The opening song "Alive" is a great song to start out with. The battle music is unique and also the new Berserk mode music fits it perfectly.

Gameplay
Just like the first game and Nocturne, Digital Devil Saga 2 also uses the press turn system. Every battle starts out with three icon meaning that you can attack three turns. In order to achieve more turns, the battle system encourages to exploit’s the enemies weakness or obtaining a critical hit. The more you exploit you, the more turns you are able to gain.

The Mantra Grid has a completely different look in the second game then the first game. Instead of compose of a linear path which branches off in order to learn different skills, DDS 2 mantra grid is composed of hexagons. When one of the characters master a mantra, they are able to learn any mantra that touching the one that they just master. You are able to customization your character with a more variety set of skills.

Also, DDS2 also added something new to the game. The mode is called Berserk mode. During certain times of the solar noise, your characters are able to go into Berserk mode where they are stuck between human and demon. The attack level is higher but however, your defense and accuracy is lower. The characters are able to use magic because they are still somewhat human. However, if you are lucky to defeat the enemies in this mode, you are able to gain double the Karma then you usually would gain. If you are unable to defeat the enemies, you are able to escape with escape with ease since escape is 100 percent or die by enemies’ hand.

Conclusion
Even without the existence of the first game, there are some flaws in the game. I think the story hinders some of the gameplay aspects of the game. Since the story is very linear, it's hinders some of the character's growth aspect especially in the mantra system. The battle can get very tedious and ever more repetitive at times due to the fact that you sort of looking at the same generic character models and environments.

As a game, I think it meant more as a mean to compliment the first game. There are some things where I thought DDS1 was lacking where DDS2 makes up for it and even the other way around.

At the end, this game still provides an unique experience which I highly recommended people who are open to new things and to try out this game.


Rating:   4.0 - Great

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