Today, I will be writing a review of SMT: Devil Survivor Overclocked by Atlus, an amazing company with unique JRPGs! Similar to the earlier reviewed Strange Journey, this game is also a part of the SMT (Shin Megami Tensei which literally translates to True Goddess Reincarnation) series. It is a side series and is not a part of the core series which usually features a darker tone and older characters. Similar to the immensely popular Persona series (you might have played this game before) this game features a group of teenagers who discover the existence of demons and have to use these very demons as a medium to survive!
This game as you could see on my About page, features on my favourite game list, my favourite game on the Nintendo 3DS (so far) and it might be usurped by another game of the same series, SMT IV which is expected to be released in NA in July after a large gap (for a core series title that is).
This SMT title is technically a re-released version of the game SMT: Devil Survivor, the original featuring on the DS! This re-released version has been vastly upgraded by the addition of new features, extensive voice acting (almost every single dialogue has been voiced!) and an extension of the original game’s ending!
The series features the protagonist who has to use the power of demons to save the world! In each game there is a different protagonist and also a different storyline. In this game, you find yourself in a dire situation as the city of Tokyo is locked down with you in it!
The storyline is unique and features a trio of teenagers , the main hero, Yuzu and Atsuro, who find themselves locked down with the whole population of Tokyo in the Yamanote Circle (in Japan) as situations get dire and demons are unleashed among the people. These 3 must use the demons to survive and discover the reasons for the lockdown as they are faced with predictions of the future, forecasts that must be changed or dire consequences must be faced!
The storyline is engaging as you, as the main character, try to find the reason for the lockdown and try to master the demons with COMPs, another form of the recurring computers that are often used to summon demons throughout the series! The main character and his followers explore Tokyo by an interface which lists the locations on the bottom screen (on the top screen there is a map) which have to be selected to travel to. Some locations have events or battles which consume time i.e. 30 minutes. Later on these 30 minute conversations become pretty crucial as proper time management is a must for proper outcomes. In my first play through, I missed a battle in the game which changed the storyline quite a bit! Main events that are completely necessary for the storyline cannot be missed but conversations with certain people can.
For those who have played the earlier game, you would be glad to know that the voice acting is top-notch and every person sounds as they should. Some voices might be a surprise but one learns how they are perfect for the situation. The voice acting is not over the top and sounds natural which adds to the authenticity of the atmosphere. You might be disappointed to know that the demons are not voiced but each of them have a set of voices that they make which might refer to anger, excitement, disappointment, etc. and each demon’s voice is unique.
The game is divided into 7 main days in which the 6 days lead to the choice of the final ending. There are 5 possible endings and 2 endings have their own variations. In this game, a 8th day is added for 3 of the 5 endings where the consequences of your 7th day ending is explored leading to a much more satisfactory end compared to the original unedited title SMT: Devil Survivor. Each ending is related to a certain character and is unlocked by having the right conversations and making the right choices throughout the early 6 days. If one is not careful of what they do, they might end up with only 1 choice! There are neutral choices, lawful choices and chaotic choices, typical of a SMT game!
The game brings along its amazing formula of demon summoning and fusing! There are a total of 170 demons in the game, less than the mainstream games, but this does not hamper the game anyhow (there were 150 in the original)! Instead of recruiting demons in the battlefield, one can purchase new demons in the auction for a definite price or as the name says, through an auction. The currency Macca is earned through battles! Be careful though, demons can be amazing or plainly pathetic.
The demon fusion function trademark of all SMT games also makes an appearance here. You can pick two demons and fuse them together to form a single more powerful demon or in special cases a middling demon, and even a lower level demon. This might be annoying but adds a new bit of strategic element that you have to upgrade your demons or you’re toast. This usually becomes redundant at level 60+ as you can boost those demons to 99 (will take some time). My personal favourite demon was originally a level 62 demon now level 99! I also used him to beat the hell out of the game’s superboss.
Another amazing new function to this remake is the demon compendium. Although it is unlocked in the mid-storyline (I did not say mid-game) it clearly is one of the most useful functions. You can store the data of your demons and resummon them for fusion or for usage. This costs the player but is worth it in the endgame (prices are too high to use the summoning part of the compendium till the last day). Also as a neat feature, check out all the mythology of the demons in the compendium as well.
Besides the storyline, a place where the game shines is the battles which are engaging and quite fun. Your characters are placed on a grid based map where turn based combat takes place. You walk upto an enemy and attack them starting a SMT style battle. Many skills can be obtained from the enemy demons for making you stronger. These battles usually follow a certain conditions, victory conditions and defeat conditions similar to FF Tactics (Final Fantasy). Each demon has defensive element modifiers, they can be weak/strong to an element, nullify an element or reflect elements. The elements are Physical, Ice, Fire, Wind, Lightning and Curse (mystic in predecessor)! Hitting a weakness gives extra turns which really help out against the tough bosses. You can see these during the battle giving you a huge advantage!
The game is not easy unlike other games and can be tough for newbies so there is a new easy feature! Filled with fun, a typical ending takes around 30 hours to complete. Don’t be disappointed At this point the game has only started Now you can buy rewards based on the achievements you get during the game, thus enhancing your 2nd playthrough. You can carry over demons, auction details, macca, skills, etc. You can now play the game again with an enhanced party to get another ending (it sounds less fun than it actually is :D)
The game also features multiple additional bosses after your first playthrough including one superboss. Good luck with that one Took me 6 – 10 hours grinding to beat that THING!
Overall, SMT: DeSuO is a very fun game featuring the typical SMT dose of multiple endings, demon summoning, fusion, etc! The game offers them in a different style and also has a unique storyline. The voice acting is top notch and the gameplay is excellent! For returning players, the game still holds a charm and is great buy! (I have played the game over 8 times :D) The additions are great and make the game more fun while adding more juice to the storyline giving you a more satisfactory ending in 3 routes (too bad not in all routes)!
I hope you all love this game
Graphics: 9 (not in 3D although I don’t think that’s much of a disadvantage, I usually leave it off for other games as well)
Story : 10
Value for Money: 10 (I have plugged in more than 150 hours!)
I give this game a ranking of Xtreme Entertainment or an X!
(All pictures from the official SMT: Devil Survivor Overclocked website)
Next review: Golden Sun – A classic that needs another chance!