Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked

Over the last year and a half, I have been slowly introduced to the Shin Megami Tensei series. Last year I played Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne for the first time. Earlier on this year, Paul, gave an outstanding score whilst reviewing Persona 4 Golden, which I simply had to play and coincidentally, loved. I decided to have a go at Persona 3 FES, when Dan slid this across my desk and told me to have a go.

I was bursting with excitement, especially as this was on my seemingly never ending list of games to play, so I immediately dug out my 3DS (somehow managing to remove Fire Emblem: Awakening) to put in Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked. I was eager to see just what was contained in this cartridge and having never played the original Devil Survivor, I was excited to see what it was about.

And when I was playing it the first time… I really didn’t like what I was playing. It took almost an hour and a half worth of game play for me to begin to enjoy it.

Once the stunning opening sequence had finished and I hit new game, I was asked to enter my first, last and nickname for the protagonist. Then I noticed that I was thrust head first into the story, something not unusual for the series, but this one felt particularly rushed, there was no fluffiness. It was, chat chat chat, oh look at these DS-looking devices called “COMPS.” Oh dear, demons have come out of them! Fight them (I’m assuming they fought barehanded as there was no mention of weapons), demon submission, progression of the story. That’s a lot to happen in the first half hour of a game.

After that though, the game does develop a much slower pace, which enabled me to actually start to enjoy the game.

The game follows the protagonist, of a name of your choosing, and his friends who are trapped in a quarantined area in Tokyo, Japan. Upon activating the “Laplace Mail,” which describes a person of unknown origins’ death at a certain time, place and how, before it happens, it states;

At around 16:00, a man will be killed in a Shibuya-ku Aoyama apartment. The wounds on the corpse are consistent with an attack by a large carnivorous beast.

Once this event has taken place, the team spurs into action, attempting to thwart the mysterious emails. The protagonist also gains the ability to see a “Death Clock,” which ranges from zero to ten, which indicates how many days left the person has left to live. If the Death Clock has an arrow pointing upwards, then this indicates that the person has more than ten days to live.

By preventing events stated in the “Laplace Email” it is possible to extend the “Death Clock” of your comrades or people dotted about Tokyo. However, as the email appears to be automatically generated, it becomes glitchy almost, losing its accurate predictions, due to the constant interference of the protagonist.

To progress with the story, your team has to battle opponents, using a combination of the demons that they have caught, or bought at auction. Before going into battle, you need to set two support demons per human character. The easiest way to describe the battles are Tactics Ogre, meets early Dragon Quest. By this, I mean that the battles take place on a grid, and you need to manoeuvre your human characters, and then get them into attacking position. When you select to attack an opponent, the screen switches from the grid, to a first person turn based combat with your human and two supporting demons. Each member of yours and your opponent’s team gets one turn per attacking round, however, should you exploit an enemy’s weakness or score a critical hit, you gain an additional turn to inflict damage or lick your wounds. Be warned, the reverse is also true!

The battles are, in a word? Difficult.

They consist of a great amount of forward planning, examining an enemy’s statistics and weakness before deploying your teams, setting appropriate skills and finally their positions on the field to maximise the damage inflicted, whilst minimising the damage incurred.

With six possible different endings, depending on the actions and choices your make… which one will you get?

I am normally balanced between defensive and offensive whilst playing games like this, but trying to progress through the battles like this is difficult. Even on normal. The easiest way to progress is with 100% offensive and a great deal of luck! No option to quick save in battle, just adds to the ridiculously high difficulty setting anyway.

The one thing that I have noticed however, is that aside from the introduction and the menu screen… there is no 3D whatsoever. Seems kinda silly to make a remake of a game for a console that has a unique selling point, just not to use it. Or the touch screen.

With six possible different endings, depending on the actions and choices your make… which one will you get?







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