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Developer:
Atlus Software
Publisher: Atlus Software
Platform: PS2
Release Date: April 5, 2005

by Josh Ferguson




The story of Digital Devil Saga takes place in an area known as the Junkyard. During this time, several different factions are waging war trying to eliminate each other until there is only one group left. It is said that the surviving group will earn the right to climb the Karma Temple and reach Nirvana. As the Embryon Clan (your group) and the Vanguards battle it out, an explosion occurs, transforming everyone into demons. In the midst of the explosion lies a mysterious girl, who really is only mysterious because of her black hair. Who is this girl and what is her point?


With Digital Devil Saga, the series takes a complete left turn from Nocturne and gives the player a set party of characters. Unlike Nocturne where you could recruit many different characters, Digital Devil Saga only allows you to keep your main five characters, each with a different elemental strength and weakness. This comes in handy, since throughout the game you will face a large number of elemental-type enemies. It also comes in handy that throughout combat you are allowed to switch characters taking place of that individuals turn. In combat, your characters are also able to transform into their demon forms or change into their human forms. Both forms have their own advantages, but the demon form will be your main form and most useful. In fact, when in your human form you are not allowed to use magic skills and are weaker physically, meaning that your physical attacks will do less damage and your enemies’ attacks will do a greater amount.


The leveling process is also a little different from many RPGs. When a character gains a level their stats increase, but like Nocturne you will only be able to control the points of your main character. This can be a little frustrating when some of your characters will be considerably lower in HP or strength than some of your other characters. However, unlike Nocturne, characters can permanently obtain all of their skills rather then dismiss them when better ones come along. When combat is over, a character earns experience toward their level-gaining and toward their skills. The skills experience is known as atma. The skills system is much like that of Final Fantasy X's sphere-grid. Like FFX, any character can learn any ability, depending on what skills you want for different characters. To earn a skill you must first have enough money to purchase that skill and then when the skill has maxed out in atma, the character will permanently gain that ability.


Visually, Digital Devil Saga is very much like Nocturne. Many of the enemies from Nocturne appear in Digital Devil Saga and look basically the same. It appears that Atlus decided to take the exact design of those characters and just throw them into this game. The characters, when in their human form seem nice to the eyes, however when in their demon forms a few of them look a little . . . silly. These demons in Digital Devil Saga definitely have a unique look, but some of them seem rather odd. In fact one of the demons seems to have mouths on her breasts. Rather odd, yes, but very . . . unique. Digital Devil Saga also has several cinemas that are pleasing and look very well done.


The sound in Digital Devil Saga is also done well. Digital Devil Saga introduces voice-acting, which was non-existent in Nocturne. The voices are done well and have a wide variety, from your big tough macho-type to a Jamaican-sounding individual.


Digital Devil Saga is an interesting RPG with some rather unique characters. Although this game more than likely won't be winning any awards for best game of the year, it is still a nice pick-up for anyone who was a fan of Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne or any RPG player.


Final Grade: 84%




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