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Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga (PlayStation 2)

82
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.9
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
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Description

Junkyard is a grim wasteland, a realm of eternal rain and eternal battle. Its inhabitants are divided into six tribes that constantly fight each other, each trying to become the champion, earning a passage to the promised land Nirvana. Serph is the leader of the Embryon, a small tribe based in the Muladhara region of Junkyard. One day, the Embryon and their rivals, the Vanguards, find a strange pod, which both believe to be a weapon placed by the other tribe. During the fight, the pod opens, and as a result Serph and his lieutenants transform into demons, literally devouring the Vanguards.

The pod disappears, and in its place Serph finds a mysterious, yet strangely familiar black-haired girl, who remembers nothing about herself. Serph and his friends try to find out who or what sent her into Junkyard, what is the meaning of their demonic transformation, and, ultimately, who they truly are and how they ended up in that desolate place. Meanwhile, the battle for survival continues, and soon only one tribe will retain the hope of leaving the Junkyard forever.

Digital Devil Saga is a role-playing game set in a post-apocalyptic world with elements of Indian culture, influenced by the teachings and mythology of Hinduism. The game belongs to the Megami Tensei universe; it is regarded as a spin-off, comparable in this position to the Persona series. The game shares several thematic and gameplay-related elements with other Megaten titles: heavy mythological overtones, post-apocalyptic setting, fairly complex dungeons, elemental and support magic, etc. However, as opposed to other Megaten games, it is impossible to communicate with random enemies (demons) by talking to them, or summon them in battles in this game.

Instead, Serph and his companions are able to turn into demons themselves. During the turn-based combat, the characters can fight as humans (using guns); however, transforming into their demonic counterparts is the only way to use magic and special abilities. Characters learn new spells, attacks, and immunities by buying Mantras, which act like equipment sets. Mantras are located on a grid and divided into categories; in order to unlock stronger Mantras within the same category, the character must first purchase a weaker one, moving on a defined path. Abilities contained within a Mantra are learned gradually, depending on the amount of Atma Points (AP) gathered in battles. Using devouring abilities to finish off an enemy greatly increases the amount of AP received.

The weakpoint-based combat system has been carried over from Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne. Player-controlled party and enemies are able to gain extra turns when exploiting physical or elemental weaknesses of the opponents.

Screenshots

Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga PlayStation 2 Character status screen
Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga PlayStation 2 Title screen
Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga PlayStation 2 Battle actions menu scrolls to left and right
Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga PlayStation 2 One can assign up to 8 skills for each character

Alternate Titles

  • "数码恶魔传说" -- Chinese spelling (simplified)
  • "Digital Devil Saga: Avatar Tuner " -- Japanese title

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

Weird and magically absorbing Oleg Roschin (164863) 4.43 Stars4.43 Stars4.43 Stars4.43 Stars4.43 Stars

The Press Says

Gaming Age Apr 06, 2005 A- 91
Legendra Oct 06, 2004 9 out of 10 90
1UP Apr 12, 2005 B+ 83
play THE PLAYSTATION Sep, 2006 82 out of 100 82
GameSpot Apr 05, 2005 8.2 out of 10 82
Eurogamer.net (UK) Jul 12, 2006 8 out of 10 80
Legendra Jun 27, 2007 8 out of 10 80
Video Game Talk Apr 15, 2005 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
IGN Apr 05, 2005 7.8 out of 10 78
GameSpy Apr 07, 2005 3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars3.5 Stars 70

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Trivia

Once you have played the game through for the first time and saved a clear "new game" file, an optional boss battle against a creature called Hitoshura (Demi-Fiend) is unlocked. Beside being considered by many players the hardest boss in RPG history (he is indeed almost impossible to defeat), Demi-Fiend has also quite an interesting background story: he is the protagonist of Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne!

Related Web Sites

Oleg Roschin (164863) added Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga (PlayStation 2) on Oct 05, 2004