Shin Megami Tensei – Devil Survivor 2 Record Breaker (3DS) Review

Jae Lee

A great game made even better.

The Devil Survivor series is a spinoff of the coveted Shin Megami Tensei franchise, and while it never took off quite as well as its brethren, “Persona”, they were still excellent games in their own right, with a roster of memorable characters and unique game mechanics.

However, given the re-release heavy nature of the gaming industry in the last few years, I wasn’t particularly interested in playing through a game I’d already completed years ago.

Fortunately, when I began my adventure anew in the doomed world, I was happy to learn that this was much more than just a port of the original.

The second scenario introduces a brand new character, Miyako Hotsuin.

The second scenario introduces a brand new character, Miyako Hotsuin.

MSRP: $49.99
Platforms: 3DS
Voice Acting: ENG only
Multiplayer: N/A
Demo Availability: N/A
Length: 70-100+ hours

Devil Survivor 2 plays like a mix of a standard SRPG with grid based movements with a strong emphasis on exploiting weaknesses and demon fusion, which is a hallmark of the SMT series.

Each human character can be paired with two demons to further increase their strength, and buying demons off the auction house and fusing increasingly more powerful demons felt just a addictive as it did years ago.

While the story and plot isn’t anything particularly inspired with its whole “the world is going to end in X days” trope, it is executed quite well through the use of a limited time management system.

Each location I visited would take a certain amount of time, and one wrong move often meant that a potential party member would meet their untimely end.

There is also the “Fate” system which is something similar to Persona’s “Social Link” to a much simpler degree, where conversing with other characters grants them new skills and unlocks the ability to fuse unique and powerful demons.

But all this is besides the fact, as Devil Survivor 2 was and is still a great game – it’s more important to note the addition to the 3DS version dubbed, “Record Breaker”.

Contrary to the DS version, Record Breaker is fully voiced.

Contrary to the DS version, Record Breaker is fully voiced.

The first big addition is the inclusion of full voice acting.

Given the massive 70+ hour length of this adventure, this is quite an achievement on the 3DS of all platforms, and it’s a wonder they were able to fit all that data into that small cart.

The second is the inclusion of an entirely new scenario that takes place immediately after the conclusion of the main storyline.

It follows the true ending route and it’s up to the player to figure out just exactly where everything went wrong just when they thought they had won the day.

It features a new character and a handful of menacing bosses not seen in the original campaign. Spanning well over 30+ hours to complete, it’s much more than a simple epilogue, including three endings of its own.

While the compelling new content and added voice over easily makes this the definitive experience, I couldn’t help but feel that the DS graphics have not aged particularly well. The small sprites and simple attack animations were unimpressive to say the least.

I suppose it would be too much to ask for a complete overhaul of the graphics to match the new hardware but new, higher resolution sprites would’ve done wonders for the presentation.

The graphics seem more or less identical to the DS version.

The graphics seem more or less identical to the DS version.

At the end of the day, Devil Survivor 2 is a great game made better with the inclusion of the new scenario and full voice acting.

It’s a no brainer for anyone who missed this gem of an SRPG when it first released and a worthwhile purchase even to those who have already experienced the original just to play through the new content.

Fun Tidbit: You can choose to start on the second scenario from the very beginning without finishing the main storyline first but this is not recommended for those who have never played Devil Survivor 2 before!

Review copy of game provided by publisher.

Good

  • Tons of content with a lengthy brand new scenario added.
  • Still the same solid SRPG combat and demon fusion mechanics.
  • Fully voiced!

Bad

  • The DS graphics have not aged well.
9

Excellent

Jae Lee
Jae has been a gamer ever since he got a Nintendo when he was just a child. He has a passion for games and enjoys writing. While he worries about the direction gaming as a medium might be headed, he's too busy playing games to do anything about it.
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