Has anybody here had a chance to play either of the two games?
I've seen that there is a translation guide online for the first of the two (Devil Summoner), but haven't spotted anything for the other one. Is it playable for people who can't speak the language?
I've never played an SMT game before, but I've heard many people loosely describe it as Pokemon with demons, which sounds like my bag. If the guide can help enough to get to grips with all the different demons and how to capture / battle then I think I would enjoy it. Following the story would be nice, but to be honest I'd be satisfied with just grasping the general idea.
Honestly there are so many translated SMT games that you'd be better off playing an english language one first. Then when you get to the JP saturn ones you'll pretty much understand everything already.
SMT (and the spinoff Persona games) strongest points are the artstyle. IMO most of the atlus game are way more enjoyable than Pokemon games, but that is just a matter of perspective.
If you're interested in the series I'd start with the PS2 titles, They're a bit less dated, you don't need translation guides and will feel less of chore. SMT nocturne , Digital Devil Saga are good places to start. Perhaps Persona 3 FES too, PErsona games are more mainstream and easy to get into. If you own a 3DS , there are some real good smt games on that platform too. There are thousands of hours spread over so many decent titles. Try those first, afterwards if you still want to try Devil summoner with a guide , all the better.
Haven't played Devil summoner, but most SMT mechanics are the same. You can negotiate with demons, they can give you items, etc. Under certain conditions the demon can be recruited.
In general this happens when: 1. The demon is pleased with answers you provided. 2. The demon (or its party) is almost defeated. 3. You're overpowered for the particular demon and it joins upon an encounter. (underlevelled demons can still be of use, as you can fuse them to get stronger demons) 4. You already convinced the demon during an earlier encounter, but your demon stack was full.
Also note that with all smt games you have a limit to how many demons you can carry. This number can grow if you level up your character. Another thing that will require some thoughts: Demon negotiations are not hard, but often very random. In many of the smt games I've played you can succeed in a demon recruit with a particular line, but when you use the same line with the same demon it might not work. Example, you recruited pixie by saying you think the demon is beautiful. You Fuse pixie to get a higher level demon, encounter pixie again and try saying "you're beautiful , but that line will not work anymore.
As such a translationguide alone won't help you , as the line you need to use on a demon changes, depending on mood, time, etc.