It’s a great time to be a JRPG fan, with publishers like Atlus, Aksys and NISA localizing the most wanted games from Japan. If you own a 3DS it’s even better, because we are getting not one but three new Shin Megami Tensei games. This time we are going to test Devil Survivor Overclocked, an updated port of the 2009′ DS release, which was released by Ghostlight in Europe in March and recently has been added to the eShop store.
Like most Shin Megami Tensei games, Devil Survivor follows a group of teenagers you’ll be leading. One day the group finds a weird portable computer, called COMP, which has a mysterious software on it that tells you what part of the city is about to get hit and who’s going to die today. Naturally, no one would believe such thing exists… until Tokyo starts to blow into pieces. With no choice, you decide to save the world by preventing those events from happening.
That’s not all. Both your friends, Atsuro Kihara and Yuzu Tanikawa, seem to have only one day to live, and you are the only one who can help to change their destiny.
Devil Survivor’s plot is a great example for how JRPG games should tell a story, uncovering the situation step-by-step but leaving a mystery behind before an unseen twist pops up, in a way that resembles the spin-off Persona titles. Moreover, the main cast is always in danger, which makes missions feel less of a chore and more like and adventure once you start knowing them.
ATLUS also added full voice acting to the game (20,000 words to be specific), so even if you’ve played it before it’s a completely different experience the second time around.
As for gameplay, Devil Survivor mechanics are similar to those of most turn based TJRPG. When a battle starts you’ll need to place your characters in given spots. After doing so you can start moving toward enemies and attack, use skills or summon a demon.
So far it sounds like the typical JRPG game, but as you’d expect, the COPMs are what make the gameplay unique and interesting. Thanks to those little devices you can collect demons you’ve faced before and put them on your side of the battle, buy new ones through auctions and fuse them to create stronger allies. There are around 150 different demons to unlock, surely enough to keep you entertained for a long time.
As most games from Japan, Devil Survivor isn’t the game that we would recommend to every 3DS owner. The whole system would likely be confusing for people who have never played a JRPG before due to large amount of information and options that are thrown at you from the start. It’s not outdated as Soul Hacker (link), and Shin Megami Tensei fan would still love it, but it won’t be the Christmas present I would buy for my friends.
On the bright side, if you are in for a challenging JRPG, Devil Survivor will keep you entertained for at least 60 hours.
If you already bought the game on DS, you should know that Atlus included a new episode which follows the events of the original campaign. Other than that everything is the same:
The graphics haven’t changed that much, the game is still being played through the lower screen, and aside from the intro there are no special 3D effects at all.
– Solid SRPG mechanism
– Interesting story
– A long adventure
– English voice overs
– Not enough new contents
– Lack of 3D effects
– I give Devil Survivor Overclocked 8 out of 10