fffuck self imposed exile. BRPG can wait. I'll limit myself to one post a day, so this'll be long.
First, a question.
Is it possible to get Jiminez to die instead of Gore? It's vaguely implied that you can stop Gore from going into that battle, but I'm not sure if that dialogue choice makes a difference in the story or just affects your alignment.
Second, the music. While I can't really imagine listening to the bulk of it *outside* of the game, the dark, percussion-driven ambiance of it sets the mood perfectly *in* game. It's atonal, dissonant, and paranoid, which doesn't make it good for casual listening the same way you could do with P3's music, but it does fit the whole "going into the unknown" theme. The ones on the CD are definitely more melody driven and listenable on their own, so the selection makes sense. The dungeon themes seem like they're more variations on a single leitmotif (so far). The audio quality is wonderful. The drums actually have punch to them. I mean, not that I doubt the DS's audio capabilities. I have Korg DS-10. But still.
Anyway, gameplay. It's cool they used the EO engine. It moves a lot faster than EO, though. Battles are quicker, there's more savepoints, and there's a more directed sense of progression.
Dungeon layouts -- the two floors I've seen so far of Antlia in any case -- I like more than in EO. Both floors have used a hub-and-spoke design, which is more manageable than EO's somewhat meandering layouts. I doubt there's going to be anything as awesome as Nocturn's Diet Building though, but you can't really do something like that in the kind of 2.5D SJ uses. Oh, I do like how the ice parts of Antlia remind me of Dezo in phantasy star 1.
Not sure how I feel about press turn getting removed. The ganging up system is great, though. I like how alignment's really important again, since it was really de-emphasized in Nocturne and didn't have much of a gameplay affect in DS2. Also, the ganging up stuff makes it more interesting than just LOL U R LAW CAN'T RECRUIT ME~~ which just sort of got annoying in SMT1 and 2. Also really liked how you could use your demons to help in conversations in DS2. I'd like to see that in another game, though its omission here doesn't bug me.
The way analyze works is cool in that it's sort of this weird mix of what Persona 3 did with DS2's loyalty system. Actually, I like the suit in general. It gives it a nice metroidvania aspect. I thought the devilyzer addons in the Devil Children games was a neat idea and I'm glad they revived that in the form of Sub Apps.
And I think they got the scientist/soldier exploration mood down reeaal fine.
I named my dude Alden Gray, after Neil Alden Armstrong and Zane Grey. The first man on the moon and a Wild West novelist. Seems appropriate.