Alright the hiatus is over!! I’m still spending time with the family however I felt the need for a review so let’s get started. Today is all about Shin Megami Tensei Devil Survivor 2 Record Breaker (3DS) a mouthful I know so I’ll just refer to it as Devil Survivor 2 Record Breaker (not much better I know but level with me). I went on a little spree upon returning to my home country and in that spree found this game (and a few others). Now let me tell you about what I found when I picked up this game. However at this time I have only played the battle against the Septentriones and will possibly do a second review pending play of the battle against the Triangulum. So two reviews for the price of one? Well looks like I’ll have to find out as well :)!
Storyline: In the beginning it starts simple enough and even when the chaos starts up everything is very light hearted. Something I like about the game is that as it progresses everything gets deeper and more difficult to deal with even your place in that universe as a young man wearing a bunny hoodie in a world gone crazy. You make smaller decisions whether to peek into the girl’s locker room all the way to talking to your friends about undertakings that could possibly end their lives.
Character Development: I’m going to take the tie in from the previous section as you find more people and get to know them you can strengthen your relationship with various individuals and thusly work on their abilities in battle. However as you learn very early in the game you can lose these people important to you. The ‘death videos’ instead of being some fad are a boon to you predicting when your friends and possibly you may die which give you a chance to evade death or save said other person. As expected not everyone can be saved. Through these trials and tribulations your characters no doubt change and develop which in my eyes rounds up to a great story.
Battle System: The battle system is very much something I like to refer to as a chess system moving the leader units around (a team of no less than 1 unit and no more than 3 units per team) Throughout the game you will fight full demon teams and teams of humans that also utilize the ‘Summoning App’ like you and your friends. The skills are set up prior to the battle and also up skill cracking (defeating a preset enemy with a preset attack determined before battle to obtain said skill/ability). All in all with the stats able to be observed while deciding who in your party is doing what/moving where, etc… This I commonly use to make sure I don’t use a skill that the enemy can gain from (DR- Drain) or send back at me ( RF – Reflect). Although using something that the enemy is WK-weak against also of course helps immensely. Figuring out what the acronyms all meant like St- Strong and NU- Neutralize to finish out the list made running the other demons into the ground easy.
Learning Curve: As mentioned previously knowing acronyms helped but also knowing what each of your characters specializes in like Daichi as much of a whiner as he is the kid is actually pretty brave and even pretty hefty in the strength department. Another thing to figure out was how to determine how to get close to each person to increase their ‘bond’ levels. Endearing the other characters to yours so they follow yours and thusly gain bond level benefits such as becoming stronger in certain elements (depending on the character), joint skill cracking, sending demons to different members of the team in times of need, the ability to gain certain demons from fusing ( also depending on character, and one more thing I will admit…I don’t even know yet but will amend this post when I find out! All in all I found it an enjoyable game to learn especially when the transport system kicks in allowing you to go to more places quickly. Another thing I tend to like about this game is the system in which one gains demons The Dark Cathedral (fusion) and/or Demon Auction App. You purchase demons and sure they get greedy sometimes and ask for a little more but I like it a lot more than trying to negotiate with a demon while in a fight as I’ve seen in other Shin Megami Tensei games and the demon just turning on you when you don’t agree. You’re less likely to pointlessly lose your money. The Auction has a few ways to help you offering memberships as you get stronger to get you stronger/different demons, specials to get you those demons cheaper during certain times, and rankings so you skip the lower ranks of demons you’ve simply grown out of. The hardest thing for me t initially get used to was moving the characters which in a way I wish they would have let you use the stylus to pick a place to move your character other than that and the previously mentioned things its smooth sailing.
Graphics: The graphics are in the battle map a tinge rough but still very very detailed from the characters to the ground they battle on which switches to an extremely detailed outlook anywhere but the map showing the different demons, allies, etc… Using an anime style for basic conversations nothing out of the ordinary there even adding in different emotions during those conversations. All and all I very much enjoyed them and found the art work interesting granted there were demons I did and didn’t care for all were done masterfully as expected from the Shin Megami Tensei line with the chess type battle system I favor over the dungeon crawler set up I’ve previously seen from this franchise even with creatures seen from previous games. Some I even noticed from another game I owned not even knowing they were linked! Persona Q Shadow of the Labyrinth. Some of the demons utilized as personas also show up in this game such as Savasti and even the ghoul! Now before I gush…..Especially upon finding out…. Persona is going to have a …dancing game? Persona 4 Dancing All Night! At this point I don’t know whether to be excited or confused. Thanks to my husband for stumbling upon this discovery….
Playtime/Replayability: 27:52:20 That is my timer right now because I honestly can’t get enough of this game. I admit I spent so much time on this for two reasons the first is GRINDING! This game is very grindy right now I stand at level 51 but not finding anything save the boss that can give me a big enough of a push to get past said boss…. (Said boss right now is a giant balloon popping fest from hell). The second reason I can’t get enough of this game is The Dark Cathedral. Demon fusion from the quirky little messages demons give you before fusion to showing you just what they become. Brings a smile to my face before I kick my enemies teeth in! I’ll even level with you and give you a 3rd which is playing with the abilities which as I see has only one draw back. That the leaders draw from a pool of abilities versus being able to each being able to have their own. Sure Joint skill cracking helps obtain the abilities but only allowing them to each have the ability one at a time……is annoying. Which can make it very easy to load up certain characters and leave other barren of abilities, this is where I find myself taking abilities off of everyone not in party to apply them to everyone going to fight or starting from fresh with the roster and trying to make the team as cohesive as possible.
Now to finish up this review. This game is Hatter approved and one I immensely enjoy this game and if you love all the above and a kick ass personal assistant in your phone to guide you and even recount your awesomeness of the day this game is for you!!! (of note you are allowed to choose between a male and female personal assistant I tried both and personally prefer the male who is less energetic/more reserved sounds cool and …less annoying than the female assistant). Now this Hatter wishes you good evening….or in my case morning, happy gaming, and further more this Hatter is indeed….ahem…OUT!