Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga PS2 Review

We’ve experienced some silly RPG storylines in our gaming time, and Digital Devil Saga does nothing else, but proves that the Japanese are a bunch of crazies, or perhaps the English translation team are just inept. There’s no point in making excuses for all this silliness, lets just say that the words “eating” and “devouring” are frequently mentioned.

It’s not that Digital Devil saga is completely devoid of plot interest, as it’s a well-crafted sci fi storyline, bolstered by voice acting that is on the right side of decent. It’s just that when the characters start saying that they are going to eat each other, it becomes a little difficult to take seriously.

The storyline is pretty engaging stuff in spite of the above mentioned, whilst the inventive battle system is sure to delight the RPG faithful. The rather clever battles reward you for exploiting the weaknesses of your enemies, thus essentially buying you an extra turn. You’ll find yourself throwing everything – including the kitchen sink – at your odd opposition to establish what inflicts the most hurt and best reduces their hit point tallies.

As each character has a demon and a potential human form during battle, a rather unique feature is the ability to use combos, which are mixed up between the two forms. It’s certainly one that is rife with depth, which will undoubtedly please the seasoned RPG player looking for their next challenge.

When you aren’t devising a battle strategy you’ll be getting yourself involved in by-the-numbers RPG traditions, which includes everything from running around, exploring and hitting walls (better known as random battles), sorting out your party with enough equipment to make your eyelids heavy with the thought of carrying it all, and chatting to the locals.

Something less generic is the use of a grid that allows you to customise your characters skills. True, it’s Final Fantasy X’s Sphere Grid in everything but name, but to say it’s a rip off is like saying that random battles should have stayed where they were originally pioneered. Subtle differences here mean that attacks are not granted to you instantly (instead they have to be assigned and learned), and costs are required for each new skill.

Digital Devil Saga may not have a traditional world map, but it certainly has a clear and precise diagram that helps you through each of the games locations with a guiding hand. This map shows you exactly where you have and haven’t been, and is much appreciated, given the fact that the locations you adventure through are generally repetitive (although the sharp and distinct visual style is very appealing).

The repetitive environments are perhaps Digital Devil Saga’s biggest blow, but in no way does this stop us in saying that this is one fine game, and is therefore an essential addition to any RPG collection.