Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Review

One of the most popular RPG series out there is the Shin Megami Tensei series. Persona 3 and Persona 4 are two of the highest rated console RPGs to date,  so it comes at no surprise that Atlus has decided to  rerelease the very first Shin Megami Tensei title for the Nintendo DS entitled, Devil Survivor.

Like any other Shin Megami Tensei game, Devil Survivor follows the story of three teenagers, Hero (you), Yuzu aka Yoohoo, and Atsuro, who are trying to survive the plague of horrible demons who are infesting Tokyo. With the help of a DS-like device called COMPs, they are able to summon demons to fight off other demons. Not only do the COMPs summon demons, but they also have a lot of features that will help the heroes of the game survive. With COMPs, our heroes are able to fuse demons, buy them off, and even predict future events.

As the heroes battle thier way through the demon-infested city they  meet characters whom aid them. Some are pretty mysterious, and their intentions are not always known. The kids are also able to see how long a person has left to live using a device known as the death clock. With the help of the death clock, the kids work hard to stay alive and even cheat death if they have to.

Let’s take a look on what’s hot and what’s not in Atlus’ Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor:


Great Storyline… Very intriguing and Interesting
One of the things that makes the Shin Megami Tensei titles so popular is the awesome storylines.  Of course, Devil Summoner is no different and has a great horror/mystery plot full of twists and turns that keep the tension high. Players will often find themselves asking a lot of questions, and just when you think you have it figured out, the game throws you for a loop. With multiple endings and tons of choices, anything can happen and it is in your hands to change their destiny.

It’s Your time… Your Fate… Your Choice.

Familiar Demons… Fusion Demons…
The ability to use demons and fuse is the standard in this series. Familiar demons like the Pixies are back in this game. Through the character’s COMPs, you are able to fuse demons and buy them off through an auction. Up to two demons can be used in each character and  24 demons are the max amount you’re able to have at any given moment. With the feature called, Skill Crack, you are able to acquire the demon’s abilities as you defeat them in battle.

Shin Megami Tensei wouldn’t be complete without demons, and with fusion monsters and such, Devil Survivor lives up to the Shin Megami Tensei series.

Character backgrounds are amazing!
Just like in all the other Shin Megami Tensai game, the characters have very distinct personalities. Each of them has interesting background story that draws us more into their psyche and makes the player care that much more about them. With characters like Yuzu and Atsuro just to name a few, they have satisfied me and the rest of Shin Megami Tensei fans.

Tactical, Turned Based Battle System
The battle system of Devil Survivor is quite unique. In past Shin Megami Tensei games, battles were typically done with a more traditional turned based system. In Devil Survivor, the classic battle system remains, but now has a nice bit of strategy thrown into the mix. Just like in any tactics game, battles take place on a grid field . The characters move around the grid like any other tactics game, it feels similar to Final Fantasy Tactics. Once you approach an enemy, the more traditional turn based gameplay takes over. This blend of tactics and turn based adds a nice bit of depth to the battles and makes you think before you act.

The hybrid battle system in Devil Survivor is pretty interesting. It is not boring like the traditional one because it has the mix feeling into it. Fighting demons in turn based battle system reminds me of Dragon Quest games as the pictures of the demons are only showing.

Decent Length.. Multiple Endings
Devil Survivor can be finished in about 24-30 hours depending on your skills as a gamer. There are multiple endings in this game so the replay value is also high.

Challenging Game…
It’s not much of a secret that RPGs on the DS tend to be on the easy side(except of course for the painfully unforviging Final Fantasy III.) Devil Survivor however is a nice challenge and will test the skills of even the most experienced RPG gamer. That isn’t to say however that an RPG newcomer couldn’t enjoy it too.  There are some pretty challenging boss fights that require a good bit of planning and strategic moves, meaning just mindlessly spamming your strongest attacks with every character won’t get you very far. Trust me, that’s a GOOD thing.


There is no way of walking around,  Just still images

Knowing Devil Survivor is another Shin Megami Tensei title, I was expecting the game to similar to past games, even when it came to moving around the map,. However, there is no map that you can move a sprite on, not even to talk to other people. Instead, all the movements and conversations are done automatically, mainly by pressing a move button. Conversations are done in a comic book style, so anyone who enjoys exploration will be dissapointed. 

Long conversations might bore you…
Expect to do a lot of reading. The conversations can drag on, and with no voices all you will get is the sound of text scrolling. There are parts in the game where I fell asleep because the conversation was so long, and sometimes they don’t even advance the plot. As an experienced RPG gamer, I can say that newcomers might be turned off by the long and sometimes very boring conversations.


Editor's Choice AwardOverall, Devil Survivor is a great strategy-RPG. There’s a lot of  depth and the game has a deep and engaging storyline. Multiple endings, great longevity and high replay value keep you busy for quite some time. If you are a fan of Persona 3, Persona 4, or Devil Summoner, then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t check this game out.