DemiKids Light and Dark are alright, and I definitely liked them (Dark was the better of the two afaik), but Red/Black and White were a LOT better.
(Red/Black were two versions of the same game ala pokemon. White was a sequel).
The gameplay isn't too different, but the narrative content is a lot better, and so are the worlds. Never got too far in White, but Black goes into some pretty dark territory. Thematically it's not that different from a normal SMT game, only everyone's ten, so it backs into some deliriously f'd territory.
I don't think Dark and Light ever get as apocalyptic as RBW get. Dark gets closer than Light does, though, iirc.
I have scripts for Black and White lying around if anyone wants them. They're text files but they're formatted well enough. Wouldn't be hard to figure out the menu commands if you're familiar with how SMT games play, though the elemental system is weird. Gun attachments might be trickier to figure out. Demon convos are pretty random like in SMT1 so just do whatever.
(I think these were the first SMT games I ever imported. I bought 1, 2, and Innocent Sin after Nocturne came out).
Okay so my big problem with Dark and Light:
- Two of the important characters get killed off at the end, without much lead up, but they get revived after you beat the end boss for no real reason.
- The time holes aren't a major threat at any point in Light, and they never are explained or make a lot of sense.
- The partner demons get like no character development, but they were developed characters with backstories and everything in RBW.
- Actually Jin and Akira don't get much characterization either, whereas Black had... fuck, Setsuna? finding out that his dad was Satan and trying to save his brother and the character was just more personally invested in the plot.
- Demons have combo attacks except they're never really useful at any point because it's impractical to get the demons necessary for them.
- The game kind of looked /bad/ on the original GBA screen. Looks fine on the DS, though. Though that's true for most GBA games, really.
- There's no real unifying theme to the story, like there is in pretty much every SMT game.
- They're also both really easy. BRW weren't HARD but they weren't quite THAT easy. Then again I only finished Light, and Dark's supposed to be considerably harder.
They do have some really nice music though, and a lot of the settings are really neat. Also sudden nostalgia bomb feels.
I mean honestly I do think they were good games on their own, it's just that after playing the originals a lot of shortcomings that didn't bug me started bugging me.
(I also liked Revelations: TDS, because it /felt/ like FFL2. BRW felt a lot like FFL2, too, I guess, which is maybe why I liked them more).