Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga Image

Generally favorable reviews - based on 42 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 34 Ratings

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  • Summary: (Known in Japan as "Digital Devil Saga: Avatar Tuner") Junkyard, a town of endless rain. With his four companions, Serf, the main character and a member of a tribe called Embryon, sets out for Nirvana, a land that can only be reached by the champions of Junkyard. They devote themselves to fighting against the never-ending resistance mustered by other tribes. In the midst of chaos, a mysterious object, the Pod, suddenly appears. Countless spheres of light are emitted by the Pod and infect Serf and his comrades, awakening their demonic powers. An unimaginable battle unfolds within their faint conscience. They develop a desire to tear the flesh and shatter the bones of their enemies, who have also been transformed. Their instincts tell them to devour every being in their path. Until then, Serf and his comrades only knew of battle, but for the first time, they experience new emotions. At that time, a dark-haired girl, Sera, comes to their rescue. Although she does not know where she came from, she holds a strange power - the power to control the party's demonic transformation. They receive orders from the Church of Karma to head for Nirvana, and they are accompanied by the dark-haired girl. "They who reach Nirvana first shall be recognized as the champions of Junkyard." The struggle intensifies, and they discover that the girl holds a key to the mystery. But, true fear still awaits Serf's party. Including Embryon, the tribe that the main character leads, several groups are at war with each other in order to survive. "Devour" your enemies and absorb their devastating powers and special abilities! [Atlus] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 42
  2. Negative: 0 out of 42
  1. It’s rare and quite refreshing to come by a game that is so unique in every aspect, with such complex characters and such a great story, that I feel the same sense of satisfaction that comes with reading a good novel when I play it.
  2. Though it did lose a bit of Nocturne's charm with the replacement of the Fusion system, the game is still a blast to play.
  3. Despite the more simplistic nature that could seem to "Nocturne" fans like a step backward, this might make it a better game for FF fans needing their fix.
  4. Its interesting story and deep, yet easy to learn mechanics make it an enjoyable, and yes, lengthy experience. It's not for casual gamers.
  5. 9 / 7 / 8 / 8 - 32 gold [Vol 814; 23 July 2004]
  6. But with a story falling well short of its potential, fairly generic party members, dungeons that run on far too long despite the game being extremely brief for its genre, and a feeling of a Nocturne recycling project all drag this game down into disappointment range.
  7. In the long wait for Digital Devil Saga we’ve been spoiled by some bar-raising and envelope-pushing efforts in the RPG genre, which make it seem rather tired and staid. [July 2006, p.136]

See all 42 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 9
  2. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. NickL.
    May 31, 2006
    This game is Excellent!! Big fan of the series love each one, used to import the first titlesfrom Japan before they started being released in the UK, let's hope Digital Devil Saga 2 will also be released over here. Expand
  2. StephanieA.
    Apr 28, 2005
    I loved Nocturne as well.
  3. Dec 31, 2011
    This game held my interest with it's combat system that grants bonus turns for playing smart and it's very strange world. It's 2011 so it's hard to look at these days but back in 2005 when this came it it would be considered decent. If you're into games like persona 3 and 4 for the dating elements you will be disappointed but if you like nocturne or strange journey this is a enjoyable experience. Expand
  4. WilliamC.
    Apr 26, 2005
    A good rpg needs different settings and pacing. It needs towns and fields. Places to relax and explore. The story was good but shallow. The battles were ingaging and stratigic but too frequent. There were so many good things about this gam, great things even. But was lacking in many areas as well. i recommend this game, but with caution. And a bit of a side note, the packaging was really nice and worth the extra 5 bucks. Expand
  5. EricL.
    Sep 9, 2009
    The Shin Megami Tensei series is my favorite game series, and this game isn't too bad. The story seems to be the only thing that most critics seem to agree is great, and I was suprised that it actually was! It doesn't have that level of interaction in most other games in the series, but it still written really well. There also is an art style, but it's only noticible during cutscenes, the music is good, and the combat requires a lot of strategy as always. However, there are just too many things about this game that bug me. I'll start off by mentioning that my biggest problem is the random battles, because they are just waaaaaay too frequent. I thought they came often in Nocturne, but I grew to accept them in that game, but in this one there is one every couple of steps, and that is no exageration. The next thing is that you only get to play as your crew, but each member can use the same skills once learned, making the only differences in combat their stats, gun attack, strengths, and weaknesses. It takes away the sense of discovery found in the other games of the series. Also, the level design is terrible, I can never tell if I'm going where I want to go (thankfuly there is a mini map that expands as you explore), and that wouldn't be that huge of a problem if it didn't take forever to get from point a to point b due to the random battles. Also, the stage designs seem to be full of copy/paste, like in Nocturne, but in that game it actually worked well because if there was a blood stain or something, my attention would instantaniously be drawn towards it, making it quite impactful. In this game there rarely is any blood, even around corpses. I'm assuming that since the story revolves around the subject of cannibalism the developers either wanted to make it look like there were no "leftovers", or didn't want it to look like some sort of gore-fest. Lastly, the puzzles are headache inducing, and tediouse as can be. Fortunatly they are not as frequent as in Nocturne, but they're still present. I know I'm refering back to Nocturne a lot, but there are really a lot of problems here that shouldn't have been present. All I can say is that even though I realize that I've spent forever talking about the problems, it's still a pretty fun game, and it's rare too, so show it off to everyone who may be jelouse. Expand
  6. FredF.
    Apr 27, 2005
    Absolutely average game. The way it moves, the plots, combats. Nothing new.
  7. Feb 24, 2014
    I really wanted to like it, but Digital Devil Saga tried its hardest to make me hate it, and ended up hating it I did. From the second chapter all the way to the final end boss, it was a repetitive, dull and grindy chore. A non-stop barrage of identical dungeon corridors, random encounters and downright dirty AI scripting. The combat is the game's main draw, and is very strategic. It can be enjoyable with its press turns, enemy weaknesses, etc. but the tedium and monotony outweighs any positives I had during my 30 hours playing the thing. Expand

See all 9 User Reviews