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    dkirschner's GameLog for Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga 2 (PS2)

    Thursday 2 August, 2012

    It's interesting how fine the line can be between methodical and tedious. I played another dungeon and change in DDS in the last 2 days and I seem to have crossed the line. I pinpointed some reasons:

    (1) My Perfectly Planned Characters - I spent a lot of time mapping out my perfectly planned characters through choosing skills in the mantra grid. I would have all the major bases covered, all the elemental attacks and defenses, all the status cures, all the healing and resurrection...everything would be spread out across my party, and some really important things would be doubled up. But then, DDS began killing off my characters! The one I relied upon for Death and Expel magics? DEAD! Now what happens when I face enemies who are strong/weak to Death and Expel? I have immense trouble because no one else learned death and expel magic and no one else can defend against it! She was also my secondary healer, so now I have only one healer. In addition, DDS takes your main character away for the duration of a long dungeon! That's the one you rely on most usually, right? GONE! Then DDS gives you a simulacra for a while, and then gives you your main character back. So the dungeon I'm in now, I have two of the exact same character, my healer/electricity person and my force/physical person. They took away my alt healer, my earth, death, expel and ice people. It is really debilitating!

    (2) Enemies Becoming Superbeings - For the first half of the game, I'd analyze an enemy and find out that it had 2 or 3 strengths and weaknesses, so I had a few things I could safely attack it with and a few to avoid. The scales are so tipped against me now. When I analyze an enemy now, there will typically be one weakness (which is half the time the aforementioned death/expel/earth that I no longer have) and about 6 strengths. Needless to say, this also sucks.

    (3) 1 + 2 = I Quit - Having enemies only weak to one thing, and then not having that thing because the game keeps screwing with my party is making me frustrated. And things that I liked/didn't mind before are just exacerbating it now, like the long dungeons/confusing story. And I can't just learn the spells I'm missing again because it takes time and grinding in the dungeons. I can get like the basic earth or healing spells pretty quickly, but the ones with more oomph that I need will take a while. And then while I'm worrying about replacing skills that I already had once, I'm not getting any new ones. So I fee like my characters are just growing too weak and spreading themselves out. Where once I felt like I could reliably progress through the mantra grid and learn skills I needed according to how I thought would be useful, I find now that the game will mess up your plan. Added challenge, sure, but I don't want that challenge. And the type of challenge it's added is one of tedious grinding, not strategy.

    So boo on you DDS2.

    Oh also, the "Jamaican" character has revealed himself to be of "Latin" origin! Even though he doesn't sound Latin at all, whatever Latin means. He sounds like a terrible imitation of a Jamaican or some kind of Caribbean islander.



    Sad to see your character progression plan fail so epically.. I probably would have tried the same. I guess stacking a couple balanced characters is the way to go in this game? .. perhaps the game is just extremely difficult at a point..

    Friday 3 August, 2012 by MJumbo

    Yeah, you know how building characters in some RPGs is more of a do-it-as-you-go thing and you'll be okay because the game is designed to handle lots of character variety, and then other RPGs it's like if you don't know exactly what you need later on, it's going to be much harder because the game requires specific character builds? This turned out to be the latter. Just a very unforgiving system.

    Saturday 4 August, 2012 by dkirschner
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