Digital Devil Saga (And Other Atlus Games)

Since I got Persona 3 FES, I've been slowly going through some of Atlus' games. It's actually quite interesting to look and see how ignorant I was coming into the system (and still am, in some respects):
 
Persona 3 FES - I've really messed up on this. I'm somewhere in November if I recall (so far 2 or 3 people have upgraded their personas) and I'm still around level 41. XD I am notorious for being badly levelled up in games, but this is ridiculous, even for me. I think it's just that the layout of Tartarus confuses me - can't go back down floors, only up, access point, or teleport. So I run between teleporters fighting battles along the way but not exploring the full floor and only sometimes go back when not bored to fight things. The net result is the world's most ridiculously low levelled characters! Okay, so I'm exaggerating, but it's pretty bad.
 
(On the bright side, I'm doing pretty good with the social links if I do say so myself, and have my charm and courage maxed out, and my academics one from maxed out.)
 
Oh, and to make things worse, I came into this not understanding the Persona system and so haven't been fusing as well as I should have. Heck, I don't think I've even done a triangle fusion. I think it was Igor's lecturing me about fusion accidents put me off a bit. :P And I totally still have Orpheus and Asparas because I rely far too much on cadenza. I have a ton of money though, so when I get back to it I can raid my compendium and fuse crazily. Perhaps I'll also figure out how to go for a bad version of an ending (though I'd need to look it up to be sure) as I really can't see myself managing to get myself into a reasonable level to take on a final bonus boss. I really, really can't. Then I can correct my blunders in a new game+. Sounds good to me! 
 
I think my current deaths count is 12. Hehe, I'm still learning.
 
Persona 4 - (WILL CONTAIN SOME SPOILERS) I learned from Persona 3 FES here and started dungeons early to give myself time to do things in case I failed horribly and needed to train up. This time I only died 6 times in the whole game - and like I said, I'm prone to be underlevelled so that's pretty good going. At my worst I was eight or nine levels below the boss I was fighting (maybe 10 on the true ending boss) so the deaths were kind of understandable. I think it worked out like this: one random battle death (how embarrassing), one death right at the end of Yukiko's shadow (she died next hit -evil eye-), 2 deaths on Kanji's shadow, 2 deaths on Mitsuo's shadow. (Shockingly I managed to get through Rise and Teddie's shadows without ever dying. I was shocked too. And I never died again after shadow Mitsuo.) 
 
Also my fusing initially was almost exclusively triangle fusion... see, I'm learning slowly. :P I did get up and make a Yoshitsune though. Trumpeter too. Also, I used Melchizedek quite a lot, though he isn't anything more than a normal or triangle fusion I think.
 
On the other hand I'd generally spend 3 or 4 days on a dungeon so I lost S Link time, I finished around 8 of them (3 being the story S Links, then Kanji, Naoto, Yukiko, Young Mother, Nurse) and I'm pretty sure that in November in P3FES I've got more done than that! On a new game plus I plan to do a lot better (I am in Kanji's dungeon on my new game+!). 
 
I did get a bit lazy in Persona 4 with attacks I'm weak to though. Part of the reason I like Shin Megami Tensei battle system is it forces me to do what no other game ever has done - actually use magic properly. I am a total MP conserver and reserve MP only for curative spells normally. That's a death warrant in some of these games. The lack of knock doswns lasting a turn made it less of a worry in Persona 4 so sometimes I'd find myself happily physically attacking (regularly) to save MP for mediarama/mediarahan. But ah well, can't have everything. 
 
Now onto the actual reason I made this blog post (lol, I don't half go on) was to write about my current and first playthrough of Digital Devil Saga. So!
 
Digital Devil Saga - (Please don't spoil me for this! I am currently at Coordinate 136, just done the first floor.)
 
The weirdest thing for me about this game is this time your character actually has a name and is a leader... but still never speaks! Serph leads silently, apparently! I'm back to actually attempting to properly utilise the weaknesses system too, even if I find it a bit weird at times (weak to force spells? what are force spells? ...) though I'm now used to it. 
 
I'm pretty sure I'm still underlevelled. On the bright side I've only died once! And it was on a huge hoard of the... uh, green horse things that cast mazionga on you, in the Maribel's base when you open one of the gates (forced battle... if I recall, three sets of three and then a final one). I did fine for the first two waves, then they went crazy with mazionga and Gale kept giving them extra turns.
 
(After I died I ran around learning void elec and extra fire spells and that strategy worked much better.)
 
Speaking of learning things I've pretty much screwed this up too, I'm sure. I'm still learning what stats correspond best to what people/skills. Also I kept up my regular thing of making everybody have to have the capability to heal at least a little. I think I'm a bit better with it now though... got Margilla focusing on magic and Gale is becoming heal guy. I have no idea what the hell Serph is, he's learning random bits and bobs. I... could really do with putting together a plan with what to do for him. Ah well, worst comes to the worst I hang out in front of the large karma terminal and train up. 
 
In any case! The plot seems quite fun, I've been enjoying watching things unfold. Even if in doing so I have grown very, very sick of traps and may never want to see huge statue heads or portraits again. :P
 
How do other people cope when they first walk into a Shin Megami Tensei game anyway? I always find the systems a little hard to adapt to, but it's also an interesting learning curve... and obviously, it's interested me enough to try other games in the franchise. :)
 
(Eventually went for putting this in the Persona 4 forum given that that's the only one I've completed. Less spoiler chances!)

30 Comments
31 Comments
Posted by Khantael

Since I got Persona 3 FES, I've been slowly going through some of Atlus' games. It's actually quite interesting to look and see how ignorant I was coming into the system (and still am, in some respects):
 
Persona 3 FES - I've really messed up on this. I'm somewhere in November if I recall (so far 2 or 3 people have upgraded their personas) and I'm still around level 41. XD I am notorious for being badly levelled up in games, but this is ridiculous, even for me. I think it's just that the layout of Tartarus confuses me - can't go back down floors, only up, access point, or teleport. So I run between teleporters fighting battles along the way but not exploring the full floor and only sometimes go back when not bored to fight things. The net result is the world's most ridiculously low levelled characters! Okay, so I'm exaggerating, but it's pretty bad.
 
(On the bright side, I'm doing pretty good with the social links if I do say so myself, and have my charm and courage maxed out, and my academics one from maxed out.)
 
Oh, and to make things worse, I came into this not understanding the Persona system and so haven't been fusing as well as I should have. Heck, I don't think I've even done a triangle fusion. I think it was Igor's lecturing me about fusion accidents put me off a bit. :P And I totally still have Orpheus and Asparas because I rely far too much on cadenza. I have a ton of money though, so when I get back to it I can raid my compendium and fuse crazily. Perhaps I'll also figure out how to go for a bad version of an ending (though I'd need to look it up to be sure) as I really can't see myself managing to get myself into a reasonable level to take on a final bonus boss. I really, really can't. Then I can correct my blunders in a new game+. Sounds good to me! 
 
I think my current deaths count is 12. Hehe, I'm still learning.
 
Persona 4 - (WILL CONTAIN SOME SPOILERS) I learned from Persona 3 FES here and started dungeons early to give myself time to do things in case I failed horribly and needed to train up. This time I only died 6 times in the whole game - and like I said, I'm prone to be underlevelled so that's pretty good going. At my worst I was eight or nine levels below the boss I was fighting (maybe 10 on the true ending boss) so the deaths were kind of understandable. I think it worked out like this: one random battle death (how embarrassing), one death right at the end of Yukiko's shadow (she died next hit -evil eye-), 2 deaths on Kanji's shadow, 2 deaths on Mitsuo's shadow. (Shockingly I managed to get through Rise and Teddie's shadows without ever dying. I was shocked too. And I never died again after shadow Mitsuo.) 
 
Also my fusing initially was almost exclusively triangle fusion... see, I'm learning slowly. :P I did get up and make a Yoshitsune though. Trumpeter too. Also, I used Melchizedek quite a lot, though he isn't anything more than a normal or triangle fusion I think.
 
On the other hand I'd generally spend 3 or 4 days on a dungeon so I lost S Link time, I finished around 8 of them (3 being the story S Links, then Kanji, Naoto, Yukiko, Young Mother, Nurse) and I'm pretty sure that in November in P3FES I've got more done than that! On a new game plus I plan to do a lot better (I am in Kanji's dungeon on my new game+!). 
 
I did get a bit lazy in Persona 4 with attacks I'm weak to though. Part of the reason I like Shin Megami Tensei battle system is it forces me to do what no other game ever has done - actually use magic properly. I am a total MP conserver and reserve MP only for curative spells normally. That's a death warrant in some of these games. The lack of knock doswns lasting a turn made it less of a worry in Persona 4 so sometimes I'd find myself happily physically attacking (regularly) to save MP for mediarama/mediarahan. But ah well, can't have everything. 
 
Now onto the actual reason I made this blog post (lol, I don't half go on) was to write about my current and first playthrough of Digital Devil Saga. So!
 
Digital Devil Saga - (Please don't spoil me for this! I am currently at Coordinate 136, just done the first floor.)
 
The weirdest thing for me about this game is this time your character actually has a name and is a leader... but still never speaks! Serph leads silently, apparently! I'm back to actually attempting to properly utilise the weaknesses system too, even if I find it a bit weird at times (weak to force spells? what are force spells? ...) though I'm now used to it. 
 
I'm pretty sure I'm still underlevelled. On the bright side I've only died once! And it was on a huge hoard of the... uh, green horse things that cast mazionga on you, in the Maribel's base when you open one of the gates (forced battle... if I recall, three sets of three and then a final one). I did fine for the first two waves, then they went crazy with mazionga and Gale kept giving them extra turns.
 
(After I died I ran around learning void elec and extra fire spells and that strategy worked much better.)
 
Speaking of learning things I've pretty much screwed this up too, I'm sure. I'm still learning what stats correspond best to what people/skills. Also I kept up my regular thing of making everybody have to have the capability to heal at least a little. I think I'm a bit better with it now though... got Margilla focusing on magic and Gale is becoming heal guy. I have no idea what the hell Serph is, he's learning random bits and bobs. I... could really do with putting together a plan with what to do for him. Ah well, worst comes to the worst I hang out in front of the large karma terminal and train up. 
 
In any case! The plot seems quite fun, I've been enjoying watching things unfold. Even if in doing so I have grown very, very sick of traps and may never want to see huge statue heads or portraits again. :P
 
How do other people cope when they first walk into a Shin Megami Tensei game anyway? I always find the systems a little hard to adapt to, but it's also an interesting learning curve... and obviously, it's interested me enough to try other games in the franchise. :)
 
(Eventually went for putting this in the Persona 4 forum given that that's the only one I've completed. Less spoiler chances!)

Posted by ryanwho

There's normally at least one super tedious element in each game that I don't mind using a faq on. For example, the map completing sidequest in Innocent Sin may be the least fun thing ever, so I looked up the rewards and for most dungeons, its totally not worth it so I didn't bother. That's how I cope, unless the game doesn't have anything like that in there, then I just play it normally (like Devil Survivor).

Edited by Radium

It's cool to see someone else on this site likes more atlus games that aren't persona games. I started on Nocturne which destroyed me every other way to Tuesday for a while till I understood the press turn system. Then I tried DDS and it was awesome till Cerberus which I found out I was somehow 30 levels underleved.. That got a spot on the shelf for a while, for both persona games which were silly easy compared but still fun. Just picked up DDS again recently and I'm in the last dungeon. On the 2nd nocturne play through on hard(ugh) pretty easy now with my  foot in the door.

Posted by FluxWaveZ

 When I began playing my first SMT game, Persona 3 FES, I didn't have much trouble getting used to things.  I usually adapt pretty fast to video games so that may be why.  I always like to grind early on because I like the feeling of over powering bosses and slaying enemies easily.  But even though I spent a significant amount of time in Tartarus, I often felt as if the boss was going to destroy me, even though I miraculously in the end.  I did not bother fusing much, also.  I only always fused when my best Persona was about 15 levels behind me.  I also always tried to buy the best gear for my team at all times, but near the end I just ignored the equipement (except for the accessories).

One thing I did in Persona 3 FES is spend a whole lot of time in a single Dark Hour grinding in Tartarus.  Even when my team got tired, I still kept them in to gain some levels.  That way, I decided I did enough for an in-game week or so and decided to spend the rest of my time S. Linking or doing other non-battle things.

In Persona 4, I found myself dying at least once against most bosses.  I have a tendency to rush things and I don't bother strategizing nearly enough until I get crushed once and I learn my lesson.  It seemed to work fine for me in Persona 3 but not in P4.

Posted by FatalError

I picked up nocturne about a week ago and I'm really enjoying it.
 
It's pretty damn hard, but my experience has been fairly smooth so far.
 
I'm currently in the  ikebukuro tunnels right now.

Edited by Eirikr
@Khantael: You seem to be doing decently in Digital Devil Saga. 
 
As far as your party goes, Argilla will get the best magic stat, so it's good to have her on offense. Gale's a bit more balanced, but as far as healing goes you'll probably be better off having more than one healer in the party. Physical skills are also good and I'd suggest you lean your Serph more towards those. Also don't forget to use the "eating" skills to gain more Atma faster.
 
Also, as long as you use the buffing and debuffing spells (Tarukaja, Sukukaja, etc. for buffs; Tarunda, Sukunda for debuffs) you shouldn't find yourself in any need to do serious leveling. You can stack each up to four times. The problem is the constant encounters which make surviving long enough in the dungeons more difficult than bosses.
Posted by Laticsfan

I got myself a copy of Digital Devil Saga 1 & 2, but I'm really struggling to find time to play them ontop of Persona 3.

Posted by PenguinDust

I have DDS 1 & 2 and Noctune but haven't started any of them since I'm currently playing Tomb Raider: Underworld.  I just needed a break from RPGs for a bit.  It will only take me a week of casual playtime to finish the game I suspect, so then I'll decide if the time is right to play another SMT game or try a different RPG.  The future is too far ahead for me to make any decisions.

Posted by Khantael
@ryanwho: That does sound annoying. Probably the best way of doing it checking on the worth of the awards anyway! :)
 
@Radium: Nocturne was actually the game I was looking at before Digital Devil Saga! I chose to go for the latter because the consensus seemed to be that Persona 4 was okay, Persona 3 FES was harder, Digital Devil Saga was still harder, and Nocturne was a game where you die to learn how not to die! Decided to try going for the easier option until I'm more used to the system. :)
 
30 levels under though? Yikes! Wouldn't be surprised if I get to that point myself, though I suppose I'll know when Cielo joins the party and is inevitably higher level than everybody else (I'm about level 23, 24, 25... somewhere around there). 
 
@FluxWaveZ: I think I should have tried something like that. I had a bad first experience with Tartarus, confused by the floors and that I couldn't go back down (and then I dug out the manual and found out about access points, which I struggled to find). It didn't help that it took me so long figuring out how to get out that everybody got exhausted and ran off as soon as I got downstairs! It doesn't help that Tartarus looks very much the same in a lot of ways until you reach a new block (the current block is so bright it hurts my eyes <<). 
 
I've never done much shopping in Persona 3 but I have tons of equipment from Tartarus. I should probably sell some of it actually, I have a ridiculous amount (but I also have quite a bit of money in Persona 3... which is good for the compendium I suppose! I was always short on money in Persona 4 due to using the shops, fox and occasionally the compendium.)
 
I guess Persona 3 and 4 have a different enough approach to battles that they don't necessarily carry over as smoothly as we'd expect though.
 
@FatalError:  Sounds good! You'd recommend it then?
 
@Eirikr: Yeah I think maybe I'll go for the physical route now I've taken Heat out of the party. I was a little cowed by how expensive it looks though! I'll also try and get some other healing stuff on him (he's currently holding a spell or two as well to save Argilla needing to work out weaknesses all by herself... bufu and zio he's got I think)/
 
@Laticsfan: I understand that! They don't half eat up your time. << It seems the Digital Devil Saga games are "only" about 30 hours though... as much as that counts as an "only"!
Posted by eclipsesis

i really enjoyed SMT Lucifer's call

Posted by endaround
@Khantael:  
A few thing that may help.  In P3:FES the best thing I found was to go up floors until you have two up and down elevators marked out and then just cycle up and down until you can get through with ease.  Also elizabeth's quests are tehre to try to make the grinding have a bit more of a goal so pay attention to new quests that open up.  
 
Now P3 is sort of designed to have you go to Tarturus 2-3 times a week where P4 is set  up to go in the TV as little as possible.  TaP sodas are you friend make sure to stock up each Monday.  Also use all you characters to get the full amount for your SP pool.
Posted by dagas

I've been trying to play through DDS, but in the middle of it I started playing P3FES instead, then I started playing some DDS again, but then I was sucked into P4. DDS just doesn't feel as interesting. It's got things that are good, but it doesn't completely suck me in like the Persona games. I've managed to play about 25h of DDS1 since I got it 1½ years ago...I'm planning on finishing it after P4, but I don't know if I will. I probably should though, I've got DDS2 laying around and I shouldn't let it go to waste. I've heard the story gets more interesting in DDS2 as well.

Posted by Khantael
@PenguinDust: Fair enough!
 
@eclipsesis: Sounds good to me. :) That's Nocturne under a different name, right? 
 
@endaround: I think I'll give that way a go. I only really realised the use of Elizabeth's requests in P3FES when taking up the quests in Persona 4. Sounds bizarre really but it's kind of true - I just feel Elizabeth's requests are held back a bit by the fact you can only have 3 at a time and there are deadlines (and you aren't always guaranteed to encounter the monster she wants equipment from!). Right now I reckon I'm gonna have to head back down - I'm on a teleporter floor and keep being beaten by the 'boss' preventing me from proceeding upwards. 
 
I think with the tiredness I really am going to have to use everyone - my regular party is the main character, Ken, Koromaru and Aigis. (Wasn't the greatest fun for that boss battle I couldn't use Ken in though!)
 
I didn't know TaPs were in Persona 3 too - is that in the machine in your dorm?
Posted by Radium
@Khantael: 
I'm not sure exactly how I got that low level since I never skip fights, but after 2 hours of grinding I killed Cerberus without anyone dieing. I understand the tarturus pain, I restarted 4 times before I found the check point on the 5th floor. If you do decide to get nocturne make sure to do labyrinth of amala even if you want to scream. Dante is one of the best things about the game.
Posted by eclipsesis
@Khantael: I just had a look, yeah it is. i don't know why they are titled differently
Posted by gakon

Digital Devil Saga is weird, because they stripped two key elements of MegaTen games: negotiation and fusion.  Wasn't a fan of DDS2 myself, in part because of how savage it could get.  Not just the combat, but the way you have to save SP and money, and the horrible placement of save points.  Although, as I understand it, part of playing an SMT game is learning to be cheap and ration everything, such as your mana pool.  Nocturne has also shown me some of that.

Posted by Eirikr
@eclipsesis: It was an issue with the name "Nocturne" being trademarked I think somewhere in the UK.
Posted by Khantael
@gakon5: Negotiation is in Nocturne, isn't it? I was wondering about that - is it as confusing as it sounds or just a matter of you get used to it when you're playing? 
 
I've also heard lots of good things about DDS2. How do you mean it's savage (don't answer if it would end up spoilering me if that's okay)? Difficulty level or storyline? 
 
The save points thing sounds a bit ominous. I was happy with save point placement in Persona 4 and so far in the original DDS, a bit more flummoxed by it in Persona 3 (though at least you can get back to them before bosses... mostly... I guess). 
 
@Radium: One of those mysteries I guess. I don't normally skip fights unless I start getting desperate and haven't been to a save point in a while. (I got hopelessly lost in the area at the bottom of the Citadel (I think) with the poison gas. I ran around under there for an hour looking for the way up (and I'm pretty sure it was the last place I found) and it got to a point where I had a tiny bit of SP left and I just started running from battles as I didn't want to waste everything I'd done by dying and being unable to reach a karma terminal. ) I try and save up my MP restoration items in case I come across an unexpected boss after a small karma terminal where there is no life terminal.) Probaly well on the path to being that underlevelled myself though!
 
I'm glad I'm not the only person experiencing the total confusion that was the first encounter with Tartarus! Ugh, I think it could have done with a better way to itnroduce you to the dungeon layout. 
 
I'll keep that in mind re: Nocturne. Thanks! :)
 
@dagas:  Fair enough. I guess it partly depends on what you like about the games too - for instance, if you prefer the S Linking parts of Persona, it's less comparable to DDS from what I've seen. I'm quite enjoying it so far myself though, and I've also heard a lot of praise for DDS2 (though I've always seen somebody say they really hated it after loving the first, but that's one person to quite a few more saying they really enjoyed it). Hopefully it'll live up to expectations! :)
Posted by Subject2Change

Played P4 and beat that, went to Devil Summoner and played through that; felt it was just okay. Bought Nocturne and played for like 6 hours got to a grinding point and was disappointed that it came to that already and stoppedp laying due to lack of time. Will restart it eventually and play through it. DDS1, DDS2, P3FES and DS2 on my shelf waiting to be played along with many many many more titles.

Posted by FluxWaveZ
@Khantael: I don't think negotiation is all that difficult, from the videos that I've seen.  You can see some of that in the Persona PSP Quick Look.  I guess you just need to fill the proper mood bar for a certain Persona by related responses (flirting, threatening...) for that Persona to become your ally or give you an item.  The only experience I've had with that actually negotiating in-game was in the MMORPG Shin Megami Tensei: Imagine where it's pretty much just a guessing game.
Posted by Khantael
@FluxWaveZ: Thanks, I need to take a closer look at the Quick Look. It got about a quarter of the way through and cut out for me (Giant Bomb doesn't show me where it's loaded up to, so it's a bit of a guess on the videos). I've been wondering whether to get PSP version of Persona too - there aren't many PSP games that interest me so more is always good!  
 
@Subject2Change: I've not considered Devil Summoner for some reason, just thought the others looked more interesting for now.
 
Grinding point? Ouch! I hate grinding though I normally have to as I get so under levelled it becomes a necessity.  There are a couple of games I don't mind-  heck, even enjoying - levelling up in but it's very few really!
Posted by Subject2Change

Played DS1 cause DS2 was coming out and wanted to know what was up; however haven't even opened my DS2 yet. I'll get back into it eventually.

Posted by Eirikr
@Khantael: The conversation systems in these games like Nocturne and Devil Summoner are a mix of guesswork and strategy. Demons each have a "personality type" and it's a matter of catering to that kind of personality type. Sometimes it can get random though, but getting a new party member is a pretty significant thing and you can try again as many times as you want as long as you encounter the demon again. 
Posted by gakon
@Khantael: What I mean by "savage" is (1) combat can be hard (2) there's no free HP/SP refills (3) the save points are erratic, and not always in rational places, like in front of or after a major boss encounter.  Here's where I stopped playing: major boss encounter, cutscene that sends you to a new area you can't leave, has an item shop and healing station, but no save point.  Enter another door and a scripted encounter kills all my characters.
Posted by Eirikr
@gakon5 said:
"  Here's where I stopped playing: major boss encounter, cutscene that sends you to a new area you can't leave, has an item shop and healing station, but no save point.  Enter another door and a scripted encounter kills all my characters. "
Which part of Nocturne is this?
Posted by Stang
@Khantael: 
 
You have good taste in games, sir. With regard to the ps2, rpg is synonymous with Atlus in my opinion. Besides Devil Summoner, I love them all.
Posted by Khantael
@Stang: Strictly speaking I'm not a sir, I'm a girl. :P 
 
I'm actuallly really enjoying the Atlus RPGs which is refreshing actually, as I've been struggling to find good PS2 games (especially in terms of RPGs). My first RPG experiences were the Final Fantasy games, which I really like but are obviously a very different sort of game... not a bad thing, however! 
 
Out of curiosity: why didn't you like Devil Summoner so much (or just haven't played it)? Bad storyline?
 
@gakon5: Yeah, that does sound pretty brutal! -wince- I always save whenever I see a save point and both before and after bosses if possible, so that might be an issue there. (I suppose at least I'd soon become a master at beating the first boss even if I kept failing horribly at the other scripted encounter though. :P)  
 
@Eirikr: Ahh, I see. I assume it won't tell you the personality type and you're left to figure it out yourself given reactions to things? If so, that might be an interesting way of approaching things. :)
Posted by Stang
@Khantael: Sorry about that! 
 
I just find the battle system dull. The stories are good enough, and having demon's fight with you in real time is a nice concept, but in my opinion was executed poorly. It just felt like a mundane button masher to me. 
 
Like you, my first real experiences with RPG's came in the form of Final Fantasy on the SNES, IV and VI are still some of my all time favorites. There is just something about Nocturne, P3, P4, and the DDS series that has the ability to suck you in...I love them.
Posted by gakon
@Eirikr: Sorry, that was DDS2.  The part in the tower.  It may have been my own fault for not bothering to backtrack to save after one encounter, but I was fed up enough to stop.
Posted by Eirikr
@gakon5: Oh, my mistake. When I played DDS2, I had all the bonuses from completing DDS1, so I was able to steamroll through the whole game pretty fast. As such, I really don't remember having trouble at any parts like that, so I can't give you any advice. :(
Edited by FatalError
@Khantael:  If you don't mind the potentiality of dying a lot, then yes I'd recommend nocturne.