Game Review — Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor

Here at DSR, we play games. Lots of of games. But right now most of the staff that could do a review on some of the new games so you have to deal with me. But don’t take it the wrong way, I play games when ever I can get some money and mostly my games are ones that no one really knows about. Again, not saying that I play things many of people don’t know about. That’s what we do here at DSR, tell you the things you don’t know and I figure I tell you about a Nintendo DS game that got some good reviews but like I said many people don’t know about.

Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor is another game in the Shin Megami Tensei (or SMT for short) series developed by Atlas, so if you know about SMT you know that their is one thing that will be in it: Demons. Lots of demons. But you may want to know about the story a little before we move on. The story very interestingly different from other RPG’s.: You and your friends — Music loving girl Yuzu and hacker Atsuro — are waiting for your cousin Naoya to show up after receiving a message from him. When Yuzu arrives, she informs you and Astruo that Naoya won’t be able to show up, giving them items called COMPs (which look like Nintendo DS). These are no regular COMPs as these can summon demons and tell you the future through an email. The entire city circle you are in is in danger and you only have 7 days to figure out everything.

There are many ways this games does some different changes that some games don’t do. For example, when traveling around the different parts on the Yamato Circle, you go through a menu. Combat is also an odd horse. The thing about SMT: DS is that it’s a cross between Tactical and Traditional RPG’s. While in most games when mixing genres suck very, very, very much, Devil Survivor blends it very well. When in battle, your team — which consist of one human character and two demons — is placed on a grid. You can only move so many moves and if close enough can engage in battle with the demons on the map. That’s when the traditional RPG takes place. From a 1st person view, you pick out your attacks and you just repeat the process until the mission requrements are completed.

Getting Demons for your team is also something different. Instead of finding them, you buy them from a Demon Auction. You can also gain more stronger Demons from fusing one with another demon. Each demon you do by adds to the mix of their racial skills —- skills that only that race of demon can have. Some have a skill that allows you to attack from farther away while others allow you to regain magic and health after each round. With no items to collect or the fact that health is regained after each mission, it’s good to have some demons around that can do that.

Difficulty is a bitch, first and foremost and you will be level grinding to get past some of the parts. Even with level grinding, most battles will be won by pure luck of the draw. It’s challenging but expect a few moments when you want to break your DS.

And in grand RPG fashion, everything you do gives you a different ending and in some points, different demons to control. Their are two ways that they handle the emails. One way is allowing you to save one person or another by tell you who dies on that day The Emails that tell you the future of each day are not set in stone. You can bend the way a future is to your will with each day, leave you a choice to what happens. Example of this is a friend of Atsuro is listed to die by the hands of another person. Do you tell the other person to go to another location to distract him or do let Atsuro’s friend die? The story also shapes to what you say to each person you meet. If you want to be a dick, go ahead, but be for warn you might lose an ally for being a dick. Each of the seven different endings also deal with how you want to get rid of the lock down. Do you just save yourself and friends or do you step up and become the Ruler of the Demons or do you just delete the demons all together. Each ending has it’s own end game that will make you want to reply the game again to see what else would happen.

While the game has many good things going about it, it does sufferer from a few flaws that while they are not game breaking but I wish they could have included. One of them being the music. You will get tired of the music very much. The only time it changes up is toward the end. Another small thing is how  difficult it is. The game does not shy away from making it hard. When you start off, it will be easy but the further you go the harder the fights are. A simple easy, hard, extreme would be awesome. Oddly enough, Atlas is remaking this game for the 3DS and it will have this along with other stuff.

Other than that, with the 3DS coming out, their will a lot of talk of the new games but people would want to get some games to play at least if you are new to the DS family.  Go pick it up before the remake comes out.

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