Shin Megami Tensei Devil Survivor

ClockworkHouse wrote:

A question about that first boss fight:

Spoiler:

Was that the fight against the Wendigo on Day One? I must have gotten the right combination of demons and skills by luck of the draw, if so, because I aced that fight on the first try.

Yah, that's the first real fight.

Spoiler:

If you happened to run away from Wendigo and more or less take him out last, then you probably won easily. If I recall I had a bunch of demons who were weak against ice and pretty much died instantly when fighting him. I think.

The reason boss fights tend to be difficult is (gasp) they're something like 10 levels ahead of you, so if you don't have the right combination of demons then grinding is perhaps the only answer.

I actually took a slightly different approach to that battle:

Spoiler:

I took out Wendigo first, or at least dealt so much damage to him in the first couple turns that he ran away from me for the rest of the battle. I happened to have a team with all fire and force/wind spells, so they were like a perfect little hit squad to kill Wendigo's fairy supporters and then burn him to a crisp.

Generally speaking, I'm really impressed with the combat model in this game. At this point, it's essentially a melee-only SRPG where status effects can be cast at a distance but real damage needs to be dealt up close and personal. Paying careful attention to elemental weaknesses and strengths has made a huge difference in how well my characters have done in battle and which demons they take into battle with them. I absolutely love that opponents' stats are displayed clearly and that I don't have to do any memorization of who is vulnerable to what or waste turns scanning enemies for that information.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

Generally speaking, I'm really impressed with the combat model in this game. At this point, it's essentially a melee-only SRPG where status effects can be cast at a distance but real damage needs to be dealt up close and personal. Paying careful attention to elemental weaknesses and strengths has made a huge difference in how well my characters have done in battle and which demons they take into battle with them. I absolutely love that opponents' stats are displayed clearly and that I don't have to do any memorization of who is vulnerable to what or waste turns scanning enemies for that information.

Which was my exact problem with Wendigo.

It's a cool game and a nice play on the SMT formula. It's too bad that there isn't more in-game 3D though. I wonder if that would've required an entire reworking of the assets since it's in 2D. Dunno, as I'm not a developer.

garion333 wrote:

It's a cool game and a nice play on the SMT formula. It's too bad that there isn't more in-game 3D though. I wonder if that would've required an entire reworking of the assets since it's in 2D. Dunno, as I'm not a developer. ;)

It would have taken more than a rework of the assets. It would have to have been a pretty top-to-bottom rework of the game's graphics and how they're rendered, since the combat screen is just a big sprite with a bunch of sprites on top of it. They didn't even do any 3D rendering with the backgrounds.

I suppose they could have made the menus and information cards and such 3D, but what would be the point in that? I respect Atlus for not bothering with 3D where it wasn't needed, although I do wish they'd added stylus support throughout the game.

I've been struggling with this game since October. I'm really enjoying the story. Yet, it seems that keeping a current crop of usable demons means either grinding the auctions, free battles, or both. I'm about halfway through day 3, but just can't seem to muster drive to buy/fuse more demons then grind them up to passing levels.

It seems like it's going to keep requiring more of the same with each in-game day.

Worse, this is the one game I want to finish more than any others -- if only it wasn't falling further out of reach.

And the sequel is just a week away. Did you ever finish?

I got distracted about 20 hours in but when I went back to it, I had no memory of what the heck I was doing. I think I'll need to start it over from scratch.

No

Stele wrote:

And the sequel is just a week away. Did you ever finish? :?

I have not.

I have part 2 on pre-order and have all but vowed not to play another game until finishing part 1. I'm about halfway into day 5 as of right now. I need to get cracking!

Quick status update: I'm up to 12:30 on Day 5.

Spoiler:

I allocted an evening and a half dozen rage-quits to saving Mari.

Some conversations I have read basically said that after day 3, it gets less grueling. I hope so. So far, so good.

I was also informed that Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey should be in the mail soon. This year looks like it will have a common theme.

SMT:SJ is quite different, but still good. The demon fusion mechanics are the main thing it shares with DS.

Stele wrote:

SMT:SJ is quite different, but still good. The demon fusion mechanics are the main thing it shares with DS.

I've been reading up on the different kinds of SMT games. I bought the 3DS for rpgs, and am excited.

I'm up to 10am on Day 6. It's time to grind up a few more levels. I should probably look at fusing some higher level demons, too.

Sorry for turning this into some sort of personal blog, but I REALLY want to finish this before going too far into DS2.

Still stuck on early day 6. I just realized you can crack skills without having to set them on your character immediately. Guess what I haven't been doing for most of the game? My money is maxed out from all the grinding, so thankfully I can try to compensate at the auctions.

No prob. The SMT:DS2 topic is mostly me talking so far.

Hurry up so you can join me.

I finally won that battle!

Spoiler:

I was stuck in the Contamination zone for too long. I read everyone else's tactics, but couldn't make them work. So, ultimately, I went on a huge level grind. Then I gave everyone Kikuri-Hime with Recarn.

My winning strategy: Two characters near each exit. The enemies kept killing the healers. The other healers kept reviving them from across the screen. My bruisers hid behind the perpetual cycle of healer meat-shields to dish out damage.

In the process, I got the main character's Magic skill all the way up to 40. Hitting enemy weaknesses or just lobbing a Holy Dance onto my foes is extremely satisfying now.

Hooray for magic-MC.

So, yeah. Magic level 40 and Holy Dance is suddenly less fun against Belial.

I've been stuck on him for the last three weeks. Or, more to the point, I'm getting so turned around trying to fuse what I know I need to defeat him that I haven't been able to properly cope.

After more intensive study, it seems I can't fuse the demons at my own level because I need to first fuse some higher level demons then retrograde fuse the ones I want at my own level.

I can see why there are so many demonic themes to the plot. They complement the mechanics of the game nicely.

Dear Diary,

Today I gave up grinding for levels and fought Belial with a slightly different outlook. Belial will no longer be troubling me.

Spoiler:

Main Character: Maxed out Magic skill with Ice Dance.
Ym with Holy Dance for limited offensive support, Evil Wave for ultimate defense.
Ubelluris to be thoroughly useless in battle, but provide the team with Double Up.

Atsuro slid between the Main Character and Belial to serve as a meat shield.

Yuzu had the only team incapable of performing Evil Wave, so Midori was able to land next to Atsuro and finish off the last sliver of Belial's health bar.

That only took about a month and a half to accomplish.

Now onto DS2!

I need to finish Day 7!

I'll pick an ending that looks fun and it will also tax my patience. But, I'll do it anyway. After that I may completely restart DS2 from scratch. I'm not 100% joyful over my first decisions and only got through the prologue anyway.

So, I chose Amane's path. From what I gather, this one has some of the bigger headaches. It may have been better to get a cheaper ending then come back with New Game+ to take on the harder ones. Only, I don't know if my backlog of games can allow me to do that.

Anyway, it took me a week to grind up levels and take down the first fight in this path. A week. On that note: I've defeated the US version of 7th Saga. Twice. I am not letting Devil Survivor get the best of me.

Day 7. Three battles down. 4 to go.

This feels like the first time since the middle of day 6 that I have been able to fuse anything useful.

FINALLY.

This game had been conquered. I had to laugh when the last boss was defeated by a slap to the face for 68 hp.

Maybe Amane's path soul have been better in a new game + situation, but it should make any future play throughs for new endings that much easier.

Now.... Decision Time. Devil Survivor 2, Strange Journey or Persona 2 on the PSP? I'm leaning toward DS2.

DS2 is pretty great.

But Strange Journey would be a bit of a change of pace.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

I got distracted about 20 hours in but when I went back to it, I had no memory of what the heck I was doing. I think I'll need to start it over from scratch. :(

I finally started over from scratch!

And got my butt kicked by Wendigo, which makes my conversation with garion at the top of this page hilarious. Turns out that you need to actually do some of the free battles and build up your team before trying to do a boss fight. Surprise! It's an SMT game.

So you did luck out before! And here I thought you were some uber strategy god, turns out you're just the Wizard of Oz.

In my defense, this time around I didn't do any of the free battles, so my party was ridiculously under leveled and under powered.

And stop peeking behind that curtain!

Edit: Okay, second try with some properly leveled demons was cake.

I just got to Day 6 and I'm starting to feel real pressure from the story. I love it. Depending on how the next 2-3 days play out, this might be my favorite video game story telling ever. Not necessarily my favorite story, but the best way of telling a story.

SixteenBlue wrote:

this might be my favorite video game story telling ever. Not necessarily my favorite story, but the best way of telling a story.

Devil Survivor is the reason I became a "gamer" again. Exploring the story was very satisfying.

I feel like the story presents you with so many choices without making clear what the results are that you're really just forced to press forward, come what may, without a real sense of how things will ultimately play out. It's beautifully done.