Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 Review

Site Score
8.0
Good: Interesting Story, Same Gameplay As Devil Survivor, Fate System, More Anime-Cut Scenes and Impressive Soundtrack
Bad: Fans Will Feel Nothing Has Changed, Spike in Difficulty
User Score
9.0
(1 votes)
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Atlus once showed you that death is something you can escape from with the release of Devil Survivor. Following the successful release of the original Devil Survivor; the sequel is finally here, which will once again show us a new twist on the “death” plot. With new improvements and a more engaging story, can Devil Survivor 2 manage to top what everyone loved about the first title?

Let’s take a look at what’s HOT and what’s NOT in our review of Devil Survivor 2.

HOT

Interesting Story
Between the first and second game, the plot is basically the same. However, there’s a new twist in Devil Survivor 2 that fans of the Final Destination films will probably enjoy. This time in Devil Survivor 2, the three high school students in Japan find a website that pretty much tells them when a person will die and shows them a picture of exactly what happens. On their way through the train station after school, the three students receive an email showing that they’ll die next. Fortunately, these three students (which includes your named character) have cheated death by avoiding a train crash and now form a pact with the demon that saved their very lives from death. Similar to the first Devil Survivor, you will run into various demons that will try to take your life, as death isn’t something you can run from. However, in Devil Survivor 2, you can prolong life by defeating these demons.

Same Gameplay As Devil Survivor
The core gameplay in Devil Survivor 2 is unchanged. With the plethora of demons now available for recruitment, you and your party members will be able to recruit/make a pact with demons to help aid you in battle. These demons can be bought from the in-game store or by fusing two demons together. As for the battle system, not much has changed. Before the start of battle, you will need to strategically move your player across a grid. The real fight will start based off whomever reaches the enemy first. With up to two demons that you can carry, you’ll then enter the classic turn-based battle system where you take turns attacking.

Unlike the first Devil Survivor where you had seven days to solve whatever problem the game had, inDevil Survivor 2 you’re given eight days. The story progression is similar to the first game, where you’ll have to pick whatever area you want to go through in a menu-like system. Every town or area you go into, it will consume thirty minutes to an hour. The story has some linear progression, but if you simply want to stop and grind levels, there’s a selectable Free Battle area.

Fate System
There’s one notable addition to Devil Survivor 2, which is the Fate System. Depending on the bond and friendship you create between the the characters in your party, there will be beneficial bonuses that you can use. With a plethora of characters that can be in your party, building a relationship based on the conversations you make will be very important. Also, another addition in Devil Survivor 2 is the ability to infuse an item with a demon Though this or the Demon Fusion System, you can raise stats through holding items. Since demons will by your main choice, I suggest getting to know them well and know their strengths/weaknesses in battle.

More Anime-Cut Scenes and Impressive Soundtrack
When it comes to presentation, you can expect about the same. The art and the demon designs in Devil Survivor 2 look almost unchanged. However, you can now expect more anime cutscenes and scenes with voice overs. Along with those cutscenes coupled with phenomenal gameplay, another thing that you can look forward to is the soundtrack. As with all Shin Megami Tensei games, the soundtrack is where the game shines. With tunes that you’ll be humming, especially in battle, I must say that I enjoyed listening to them.

NOT

Fans Will Feel Nothing Has Changed
Here’s the thing. As I played through Devil Survivor 2, I feel like I’m playing the same game, all over again. Everything from gameplay to visuals will make you think that this is the same game. While this is good for those who loved the first one, those who didn’t get into will have no reason to try this one out, as there will be nothing new to see that will change your mind, aside from the slight changes.

Spike in Difficulty
Just like in the first game, there’s an increased level of difficulty in Devil Survivor 2. Those who were annoyed by how hard the battles were, can expect to experience it here once again. The only solution for beating those tough bosses and enemies is to level till a point you can be successful in battle.

VERDICT

In the end, Devil Survivor 2 is more of the same with a few improvements. If you enjoyed the first game, then you will definitely enjoy Devil Survivor 2, but if you didn’t like the first one and are hoping to get into the series, the game is too similar to change your mind. Overall, Devil Survivor 2 is a decent RPG that hardcore fans should get. This is due to the engaging storyline and battle system that can get addicting, since it’s a mix of strategy and classic turn-based combat. Just don’t forget that due to the spike of difficulty in battles, you might spend a lot of time grinding.

[Editor's Note: Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 was reviewed on the Nintendo DS platform. The game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.]

Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 Review, 9.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
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