Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor
|Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor|
North American cover art featuring, (from left to right) Haru, Yuzu, Gin, Protagonist, Naoya, Atsuro, and Amane.
|Release date(s)||Devil Survivor|
Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor (女神異聞録:デビルサバイバー Megami Ibunroku Debiru Sabaibā ), is a role-playing game in the Megami Tensei series developed by Atlus for the Nintendo DS. It was released in Japan on January 15, 2009, and in North America on June 23, 2009. The game was commercially and critically successful. A sequel, Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 was released in Japan on July 28, 2011.
Devil Survivor is a tactical role-playing game. In combat situations, the player takes turns with the computer opponents to defeat enemies and satisfy certain mission objects such as helping innocent characters to escape the field safely, while avoiding conditions that will end the mission in failure. Both the player and computer control a number of squads composed of one leader and two supporting characters. In each turn, a squad can move and attack an enemy, and its individual members can perform one additional action such as healing the squad, buffing their attack, disabling an opposing squad, or for human characters, summoning a new demon to replace an unconscious one. When attacking an enemy, the game presents a more traditional role-playing game-style menu, allowing the player to select one action for each squad member, and the computer doing the same for its squad; combat is then resolved after this selection. Certain actions in combat can gain a specific squad member the ability to perform one additional combat round action after combat resolution, such as striking at an opponent's weakness. While any three members of the opposing squad can be targeted by combat actions, the leader remains strong while either of the two supporting units still retain health. However, if the leader is taken down to zero health, the entire squad becomes disabled even if the two supporting units remain healthy. For the player, they can earn more experience by first removing the supporting squad members before attacking the leader, but can also extend the length of battle and present more of a risk for surviving it. Defeating individual foes in battle gains experience points for the player and their units, and "macca", a form of currency used for the game. Completing a battle can earn additional experience and macca for all of the player's units, and completely revives any fallen units.
The player controls up to four squads, each led by one of the major human characters in the game with summoned demons as their supporting units; most of the enemies faced in the game are either squads of demons or a demon tamer with their own summoned demons. Each unit has up to seven abilities—three active ones that lead to combat actions, three passive ones that affect unit statistics, strengths, and weaknesses, and a final slot for a race-specific behaviors for demons, or for the human characters a means of buffing their squad at the start of a combat round. For demons, new abilities are learned either through leveling up, being trained a new ability by the player after defeating a certain number of enemies, or as a result of "fusion", inheriting the ability from one of the two demons used in the fusion. The player's human characters gain these by "skill cracking" abilities from the demons or other opponents they face; to crack a skill, the player must target a specific skill from a specific unit on the field for each human character before battle, and then defeat that unit with that character's squad. Once cracked, the player can assign these skills across all of their parties' human characters. In addition to demon fusion, the player can acquire new demons, up to 24 in total, by attempting to win demon auctions using the macca collected in battle.
Between combat, the player can explore several districts in Tokyo to either advance the plot by speaking to specific characters, discover new information, or take part in "free battles" that are not story-driven but can be used to improve the party's skills and experience. Certain story-based activities will advance the game's clock by a set amount of time, and may lead to other activities becoming no longer available or creating a new activity. The game's overall story is non-linear, and choices made earlier in the game may affect which characters and battles are available in the latter part of the game.
The enhanced version of Devil Survivor for the 3DS features an eighth day, which continues on from four of the six endings.
Devil Survivor is set in modern-day Tokyo. One day, the Protagonist, a 17 year-old student, finds that he and his two friends, Atsuro Kihara, a computer hacker, and Yuzu Tanikawa, a spirited fighter, have been given modified electronic device called COMPs by his older cousin, Naoya. As they are exploring their purpose, an outbreak of demons occurs within Tokyo, and a large area of the city is quarantined by the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Forces, denying power, communications, and food to those trapped within. The chaotic situation gives rise to vigilantes who take it upon themselves to fight the demons or even prey on weaker humans. The Protagonist and his friends discover their COMPs allow them to summon helpful demons to fight the aggressive ones, allowing them to survive the attacks. The Protagonist also finds he has the ability to see a person's "death clock", representing how many days a person will have left to live. While he uses it to help himself and his friends to change their own fate, the protagonist realizes that everyone within the quarantine will die within seven days.
As they try to learn the mystery of the lockdown, they encounter several playable character allies: Keisuke Takagi, Atsuro's school friend who has a strong sense of justice; Midori Komaki, a cosplay idol, personifying her role in protecting the innocent from demons; Eiji Kamiya, or "Gin", the manager of a local live music bar; Tadashi Nikaido, or "Kaido", the charismatic leader of the street gang, the "Shibuya Daemons"; Mari Mochizuki, an elementary school tutor seeking the demon that killed her lover; Misaki Izuna, a military officer overseeing the quarantine; Amane Kuzuryu, the daughter of the leader of the Shomonkai, a religious cult that seems to be behind the demon outbreak; and Black Frost, a demon that helps other weaker demons from ruthless human attacks after being saved by Midori. Other allies include: Yoshino Harusawa, or Haru, a singer who believes her song was responsible for the demon outbreak; Yasuyuki Honda, a company man trapped in the quarantine while his son, outside it, is undergoing a serious operation; and Shoji, a female journalist that had been investigating the events leading to the quarantine before it started.
Through their investigation, the Protagonist and his allies find that the demon outbreak is a result of a planned battle between angels and demons, as a measure to judge the worthiness of mankind. If, after seven days, the demons are not stopped, the angels will destroy mankind. The Japanese government had been aware of this event for years, and had enacted the PSE Law as a safeguard, which embedded remote-controlled electromagnetic devices in every consumer electronics; if the demons outbreak cannot be stopped, the government can use these devices at the last moment to destroy all living things within the quarantine, human and demon alike. As the plot goes on, the Protagonist unintentionally involves himself in the battle for the Throne of Bel, making him a target for all other Demons that are in competition with him.
Depending on the path players take, the Protagonist comes to learn that Naoya and himself are the reincarnations of the biblical Cain and Abel, respectively. Naoya worked with the Shomonkai to create the programs to summon demons as to bring about this event, initially through the keyboard used by Aya, one of Haru's band members. The Shomonkai sought to bring the king of demons Belberith to the world in order for the demons to win the battle, and Naoya required the Protagonist and his friends to survive long enough for this event to happen.
Numerous choices made by the player will affect his friends and allies, and there are several endings to the game, which include whether the player's goal is to simply escape the quarantine or to prevent the demon uprising. The latter can be accomplished several ways, including controlling demons as the Messiah, controlling demons as the Lord of Bel, controlling demons for humanity's sake, or erasing demons from Earth altogether.
Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor was published and developed by Atlus, namely by members of the recently acquired developer Career Soft. Its music was composed by Takami Asano (of the band Godiego), and its designs were illustrated by Suzuhito Yasuda. Atlus opened a teaser site for Devil Survivor, which revealed both the composer and the illustrator for the game. When asked whether Devil Survivor was inspired by The World Ends with You, Atlus stated that, while it had similarities with The World Ends with You's seven day limit and being set in modern day Japan, a lot of elements found in The World Ends with You have been seen in previous Shin Megami Tensei games. The game's main theme song is "Reset" performed by Aya Ishihara and the 3DS version's main theme song is "Soul Survive" performed by Junko Minagawa, who also voiced Haru in the Japanese version of Devil Survivor Overclocked and in the Drama CD.
|Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Original Soundtrack|
|Released||August 26, 2009|
|Genre||video game soundtrack|
A drama CD for the game was released on August 26, 2009.
Suzuhito Yasuda announced that Devil Survivor manga is set to begin serialized in Monthly Shonen Sirius magazine in 26 May 2012. While the artist is Satoru Matsuba instead of Yasuda.
Devil Survivor Overclocked
An enhanced port of the game for the Nintendo 3DS was released in North America on August 23 2011. Prior to its release, it was announced by Atlus at E3 2010. It was later fully revealed as Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked. New features include added plot (there is an 8th day as opposed to 7 in the original release), improved (higher-resolution) visuals, full voice acting, the ability to choose different difficulty settings, and more than 150 demons (an increase from the original game, which featured 130 demons). Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked was released in North America on August 23, 2011. The remake was received positive review for improved graphics, voice acting and the 8th Day, but criticized for the lack of 3D scenes. Ghostlight released the game in Europe on March 29, 2013.
A sequel for the Nintendo DS, Devil Survivor 2, was announced by Famitsu in March 2011. It was released in Japan in July 28, 2011, with a North American release on 28 February 2012. Once again, character designs are handled by Suzuhito Yasuda with monsters designed by Mohiro Kitoh.
Release and Reception
In the initial European release of Devil Survivor Overclocked, some bugs were prevalent; among these were various game crashes such as after the player summoned a demon during a battle and another crash occurring during the devil auction. Ghostlight, the publisher, made an announcement regarding this on March 31, 2013, and said that they are doing everything they can to fix the problems as soon as possible. On April 24, 2013, Ghostlight announced that a bug-fix patch had passed testing, and was to be submitted to Nintendo for distribution.  It was released on May 28, 2013.
Considered a "welcome addition" to the Shin Megami Tensei series by reviewers, Devil Survivor was praised for its unique battle system, storyline, and general art style compared to other games in the general RPG genre and the tactical RPG genre. The overall art style was generally praised, mostly for the monsters and demons "polished and full of subtle style". Also widely praised was the storyline and its six alternate endings, which allow for replayability. Although having innumerable biblical and mythological references and an abnormally large amount of text, it has a solid storyline that is able to keep players engaged. The music was a "hit or miss, depending on your tastes." Reviews, like IGN, noted that the game has a "whole lot of depth, all of which fuse together to create one of the best RPGs of the year thus far."
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