WARNING! SPOILERS FOR DIGITAL DEVIL SAGA 1.
(Review code provided by Ghostlight. Compared with personal Physical copy)
(Digital Devil Saga 2 is now available on the PS Store priced £6.49)
Following the cliffhanger from DDS 1 this continues the story of the Embryon Tribe, now fully present in the "Real" world due to God's intervention. Explained at the beginning everything in the "Real" world is comprised of data and thus the survivors of the Junkyard are now embarking into the "Real" world. A Black sun looms over it causing people to turn to stone, the Embroyn tribe being uneffected due to the demonic genes they have.
Enter the Karma Society, a power house who send troops with demon genes out into the world with the purpose of consuming the remaining humans. Through a series of events Serph and Co wage war against the Karma Society and find out exactly why God chose to create a real life body for the group.
This essentially is disc 2 to DDS1, the narrative goes in a completely different direction than that of 1 yet still feels satisfying. The loose ends from the original are also cleared up and you get a much greater understanding of the world and narrative they wanted to achieve with this title. It's often mixed between people loving and hating the story due to the tone shift with this title but I have often regarded DDS 1 as a prologue to the greater story.
The setting of the real world is quite different from the pure fictional world of the Junkyard, this is more in line with what was used for Lucifer's Call (Nocturne). A post apocalyptic cityscape, the well equipped Karma Society & other environments await most have a present day spin such as Tube stations and the like.
Combat aswell has been improved within the game adding a "Berserk" state alongside the fantastic Push Turn System. A Berserk state is like halfway between demon & human, this grants a larger EXP boost, you hit harder and land more critical hits but at the risk of heavily reduced defense & accuracy. As you are part human elemental buffs aren't available either and you only have access to attacks, items and hunt skills.
The Mantra system has seen an upgrade now, it's now based on an Hex system. Basically you unlock a Hex and then the surrounding ones are then available for you to unlock, this means you will be planning your perfect build for each character from the offset of the game. Finally you have the Karma rings which you can equip to each character and upgrade using gems you can further your stats.
The major issue people have with Digital Devil Saga 2 is that it doesn't do enough to separate it's self from the original, to me I have never found this a problem from the start. I knew going in that it was a 2 part game and the release dates of each title weren't that far away so it was obvious it wasn't going to completely changed. I have always seen DDS 1 as the prologue to the greater story/game that is DDS 2, some people aren't too keen on the direction the story went but myself I love how unpredictable it got.
Quite rightly the Digital Devil Saga games are hailed as some of the finest RPGs on the Ps2 and I can't help but agree with this. Alongside the other SMT games, Wild Arms, Final Fantasy, Grandia & dare I say it Breath Of Fire: Dragon Quarter, Digital Devil Saga is not only a fantastic RPG for Ps2 it still stands the test of time and stands high above a wealth of RPG games released on the Playstation 3/XBox 360/Wii.
(I won't be doing the Who Should/Shouldn't for this one, if you need this consult my previous review here for what it would be)
Otaku Gamers Uk first 10/10