So since my wife had to work the dreaded Black Friday, I decided to head to Gamestop with my son on Wednesday night to see if there was anything that could tide me over and make me forget that I didn't quite have enough money for a nice big screen TV, or a nice PS3 bundle (which hopefully by next year I'll have both of). Having sold my SMT collection a while ago I held out a bit of hope that maybe I could replace some of that but honestly, I figured that the chances of that were slim and none.
I never would have guessed that when I walked into the Gateway Gamestop in Salt Lake that Slim would meet me in the used PS2 game section. A copy of Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga was sitting in the section with the Ws along with a copy of Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories. I looked around after plucking the two out, didn't find anything else of interest, then called my daughter and asked her if she wanted a DS game since I'd get more bang for the buck doing that then picking up Magna Carta or FF XII. She said she watned Kingdom Hearts, or Super Mario Bros. so I picked up SMB (Kingdom Hearts, not in) and then went to check out and asked the best question I could have asked.
"You wouldn't happen to have Digital Devil Saga 2, would you?"
"No, someone picked that and Nocturne off yesterday."
That definately brought some sighs to me until the person going and getting the discs stopped in his search, tilted his head, and pulled out a disc with a familiar logo. "I'll take that instead of Disgaea."
They sent someone to search for the case and the manager told the girl that if she was a case in the PS2 section with the spine not showing, to turn it around. Smart guy as in the Madden section the girl found the case for Digital Devil Saga 2. Nocturne was sold, otherwise it'd be the best B2G1 free ever, but at least my daughter's having fun with SMB, and I have both sections of DDS to keep me occupied over the holiday weekend.
It's been so long I nearly forgot how damn good those games were. I thought I might have been looking at DDS with rose colored glasses, but no, the game's still freaking awesome, and just a bit below Persona 4 as my favorite PS2 game this generation. Having some familiarity with the game I've been speeding through the first one (at the end of the Solids battle now) and that moment that Argilla cries over her lost "comrade" still holds some power, although not as much as I remember. I don't know if it's that I know the twist to the game, or if it's that their translators have done a better job of late delivering those moments, but it seemed to be lacking a bit comparitively to some of the turns in P3 and P4.
I still understand why people love Nocturne and to a lesser extent DDS and want a SMT4 instead of another Persona game. To those people, go back and play Nocturne or DDS and seriously take a look at how much their storytelling has advanced this generation. I fall into the camp now of not caring if it's another Persona, a mainline SMT, or another attempt at episodic gaming like DDS. I just want to see the wizards at Atlus R&D1 continue advancing their storytelling skills and continuing to tell interesting stories, and I want to see the localization team at Atlus USA continue to bring those moments through the barrier of language.
I'm pretty happy that I have more parts of the collection back in my grasp again. And even with as busy as the Gamestop was, I'm pretty happy they didn't just toss the disc in a blank case and hand it off. They were all really helpful and even sold me an Edge card that i didn't intend to get, just because the people there went the extra mile finding the case and recognizing a 5 year old PS2 game by it's disc artwork and even with the amount of people in the store, searched and found the case which was hidden in with the thousand or so used PS2 games in the center bin. Sure, their corporate philosophy might be banal, but every time I've gone to the one in the Gateway their people have been outstanding and it makes it a little easier to shop there because of the people that work there.
Now if I can just get my daughter to stop opening and closing the DS and laughing at Mario talking to her and get her to actually, ya know, play the damn game. At least it stops her from trying to play World of Goo which she thinks is a good idea for about 10 minutes until it frustrates the hell out of her, then she goes back a few days later thinking she should play World of Goo, for another 10 minutes.