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A Game Completed

I so should have been sleeping while I wrote this xD.

84:20:02 behind and Digital Devil Saga's first part was beaten just ten minutes ago.

The story is quite complex so I won't try to summarize it up here (it is about to be a morning, my brains are jelly), but it takes place in wasteland called Junkyard which is inhabited by six main tribes that battle themothers in order to destroy the rival tribes and to be then the ones to get to descent to Nirvana. The main characters belong to a small tribe called the Embryon.
Strange things take place and suddenly everyone is branded with atma, and they are turning into demons and overwhelmed by an urge to devour themothers. Oh dear. Also a strange girl appears and plays a very crucial part in the fatal game of becoming the top dog of Junkyard.
Argghhh, I suck in this, but I just couldn't go to sleep before this is done xD.

I'll just say that the story is great and suprising and not pink-and-fluffy.

And to play the game "just" through would take perhaps around 50-60h, I grinded like mad and did some ungamerelated things while playing, ahhhaha.

The main characters are well made through and through. Their personalities greatly differing from themothers and their appearance personal and cool. (Though after watching hours and hours of Serph's running back, I can't help wondering whose decision was to make the back of pants look like that, see pic later >__>.)
Aside of the main characters there is naturally punch of other people (well, the other tribe leaders mainly), who also seemed hugely interesting, but they were quite fastly met and left behind and therefore there wasn't too much time to roll over their beings (sigh, some of them really seemed and sounded very delightful).

The overall graphs then. All of the places that were visited looked differen't and had some nifty details, yet they mostly seemed to be bild on surfaces of same kind (well, they WERE all cities and buildings, ie lots of walls and hallways and more walls), yet only the sewers felt much like tunnnnnels, but even they had differing angles and such to make them feel less like a tunnel run.

Even though some of the areas are relatively big, the save points are scattered well balancedly around them, and since you can transport to the start (or other 'big terminals' inside the area) from every of them, you have always a nice escape close if the fiends are too strong.
The difficulty level then, even when you are running 80lvl on tunnel where you could survive with 60lvl group, you may end up dead in a second, and that is if your skills are badly chosen.
That is for all the characters have weaknesses, and if a fiend manages to strike to that not only does it make more damage on the poor character but also the enemy gains an extra turn (the same of course goes with the weaknesses of fiends, and that can make the battles fly by in seconds),  and sometimes the npcs really seem to be feeling cruel and shamelessly kill you without letting you to even flinch.
But in general, if you are aware of the bad guys around the area and have done your share of levelupping, they won't be that bad (or bad at all).

The battlesystem is turn based one with fight menus (as seen on down left). The turns still unused can be seen on the top right corner, and the HP, MP and turn numbers of your team members on the down right corner. Pretty clear and easy to get, right?

The skills are learned through mantras: you can purchase mantras in save terminals and then with them equipped one at a time, you can learn a new punch of skills. There is huge amount of these mantras and they come in dozen of shapes like elementals, physicals, and auto skills. The learning of mantras is crucial and you can even balance out the weakness of each of your character with them.
Also unlike in some other SMT games (like LC and Personas), you don't need to overwrite the skills whenever you want to learn new ones. From all the learned ones you can choose the ones you want to use in the battles in hand and set them to your fight menu that consist room for several at a time.

Aside running in tunnels and waiting to get hit by regular fiend battles, there are small puzzles thorough the game. They ain't very hard, but bring a good and entertaining change in the flow of running.
Aside of the storyline running, the game also offers extra bosses, beating of which requires some extra amount of grinding and planning (and in these you really need to think through what skills you are wanting to bring in battle).  I also came by a claim that the most difficult optional boss of the ps2 RPG genre can be found on the new cycle of DDS, now that's quite something, eh?^^
Also as a first part of a saga, there is a pile of things that will affect the DDS2's things, to know exactly what things, it's prolly good idea to sreach out some websides with those listed.

As for things that weren't too wonderful, the first thing that I come to think of is that there wasn't a too great place for level upping those final levels. At the last floor of the last area were the place where propably the thoughest fiends of the game are located, but after the 80lvl line, they may hurt you a bit but can't earn you levels or mastering of skills too efficiently (even if devouring which ever enemy you can, for that'll boost the skill mastering). The optional bosses will help a bit in this grief, for from beating of them you'll earn a nice load of karma (ie experience) and money, and to get to them, you'll need to slap your way through some tunnels with nasties inside of them. Yet, there will still be lots of time left to just grindgrindgrindering. Also the money runs easily short while trying to master all of those amazing mantras. The money will run REALLY short. There is after all five characters that would be wonderful to have learning all kinds of bad-ass things.
(Of course no one says you need all the mantras mastered, though that will earn you a thing or two to the new round and to the DDS2, and since it can be done, of course we want it done).
Also though the dubbing was very nice as for the voices and voice acting, they didn't always go with the lipsync. The music served its purpose without rising to remarkable levels, (and am I the only one who was constantly baffled by the fact that the enemy didn't quite make voices during battles but gave a small shriek when they die and disappear? Some of those voices really felt rather badly placed...)
(And the small map in the corner of the tunnelrun screen didn't show walls, which may lead you to pass by forks and make you run around wondering why is it a dead end, until you open the big map or your eyes while tracing your steps back, ahhhaha, but that's really no big deal >__>.)

Did I forget something? I hope not, but I better read this through after I have my brains in working condition again xD.
There was of course all sorts of little details and stuff in the game, that I didn't mention here, but what fun is it, if everything is laid bare? Especially the old players of SMTs may find lots of familiar things..

All in all, I hugely applause to the idea, story and world and give mighty purring and smiling to the characters and their designs.
As for the gaming, it was familiar looking turn based fiend slapping, well working and rather pleasant, even if running too short with good regular opponents when reaching the big levels.