Review by PokeLoveGuy9
This SRPG is just as good now as it was in 2009!
Warning: if a few references to Satanic rituals/other various Christianity-based things will offend you, please don't play this game! I realize religion can be a tender topic, but this game just kind of shoves it in as part of the plot, and can't be avoided.
Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked(henceforth simply "the game," for my finger's sake) is a remake of the original DS game, SMT: Devil Survivor. The game hasn't changed much in the two years since release, but what changes have happened are definitely for the better. Slightly higher-res graphics, a new day in the plot, and most importantly voice acting, are a handful of the updates it's received. Is it worth the extra $40? In the long version...
Easily my favorite part of the game. The plot seems a bit farfetched to anyone who hasn't had something to do with Christianity at some point, in my opinion, but I have and I feel the plot is very nice. I won't be descibing anything involving Christianity in this, but it is rolled into the plot nicely.
Without going into too much, you're a soon-to-be junior in high school, in the middle of the summer after sophomore year, when your cousin calls you to a location at which you meet your friends, Yuzu and Atsuro. You get handed something that looks very much like a 3DS, but is called a COMP, which functions as a smart phone with a better game experience. Through various events, you discover that there's an email on it. It describes events which have yet to happen. Soon after this, you discover that the device is able to summon monsters(which are later identified as demons). After honing this skill, you're thrusted into a plot which involves government conspiracies and things so much greater than you can imagine.
A very great draw of the game is the multiple endings: I believe the number is around 5 or 6. Most endings are different(I believe only two of them are the same), with many different outcomes. While your choice of ending isn't chosen until really close to the end, what endings you CAN do will change greatly with various things you do throughout the game, sometimes as small as simply talking to a character early in the game and then continually talking to them throughout the game. I think it's impossible to have the option for all endings in one playthrough, so multiple playthroughs are a must if you want to know all the endings' outcomes.
The graphics in this game remind me of a late SNES game or a sprite-based PS1/N64 game. They are completely sprite-based outside of character portraits(which are low-res anime/manga styled drawings) and a couple bosses, so if you don't enjoy staring at sprites constantly, you won't enjoy the graphics. But every sprite looks like what it's supposed to, with a fair amount of detail; the main character's headphones are visible in all of his sprites, Yuzu's scarf is visible in all her sprites, and Atsuro's detail is just as good.
Then why, you ask, did I give it a seven? Well, because there is no 3D in the game, as everything takes place on the bottom screen! While some might argue this isn't that big of a deal, for a 3DS game, it is to me! I feel like the game really could've taken advantage of the higher-resolution top screen. But, for the sprites and everything else that it does have, they're very pretty. Everything looks like it's supposed to, and the character portraits have a fair amount of detail in them also. Also as a side note, I am not to the point that I have seen whether or not the few of the game's models are updated for the 3DS, but I am assuming they are.
The gameplay in this game is split into three parts, and I will be reviewing them in those two parts; battles on the SRPG-like grid-based maps, the JRPG-styled battles themselves, and the extremely customizable party system. Maybe the party system shouldn't be part of this section, but it's getting grouped in there, as I find I spend a fair amount of my time just customizing, honestly.
On the map, it's a fairly basic SRPG setup, and any player of Final Fantasy Tactics or something similar will have no trouble getting around. You have the exact same set-up, with a small battle order showing bar at the top of the bottom screen and a character status screen on the top screen. You move your characters(up to four to be exact) to an enemy on the map, go through a menu that gives you further options, and, should you choose attack, you will go into a JRPG-like battle. After that, you come back to the map, and wait for the next person's move.
In battles, it's a VERY basic turn-based battle system, in a first person perspective. You choose what each character will do, and when everyone has chosen what they will do, watch them act it out. It's pretty basic, but it works so nicely it's not a problem.
In the ways of customization, there's an element-based strength and weakness system, a very expansive skill and magic system, and finally choosing just what demons you will use. They all are wound together VERY nicely, and no demon has the same strengths, stats, or abilities.
Simply customizing abilities for your humans will take a while after getting a few skills. To go a bit more into the skills system, there's three types of skills; Commands, which are moves you tell your characters to do, Passive, which usually are just status helps, and Automatic, which are mostly map skills like teleportation instead of walking.
As far as game length goes, it's somewhat of a short game at 10-15 hours. You might be thinking that doesn't give a very specific time, but it's really true: there's enough extra battles, demons to collect, and grinding to be done that it REALLY depends on your playing style. I spent about 13 hours on my first playthrough.
There's also a New Game+, with many ways to improve said New Game+ by earning specific "Titles" for doing what might be considered quests. While some are just getting a certain ending, some are things that require a game-long commitment. New Game+ is really just a way to keep your old stats while playing the game again, but there is a new boss that adds to the story a lot, so if you want to know the whole plot, fighting this boss is essential. I did do this extra boss, and by the time I had finished this boss I had around 25 or so hours into the game.
tl;dr, answer these two questions:
1. Did you play the original Devil Surivior?
2. Did you enjoy it?
If the answers are both yes, get it. If only #1 is yes, don't get it. If both are no, then I must say YES, as it's a must-play for any 3DS owner in my opinion! I give it an 8.5, which I'll round up to a wonderful 9!
Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Product Release: Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked (US, 08/23/11)
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