Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2
|Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2|
North American cover art, featuring Io Nitta, the protagonist and Daichi Shijima
|Release date(s)||Nintendo DS|
Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2, known in Japan as Devil Survivor 2 (デビルサバイバー2?), is a role-playing game in the Megami Tensei series developed by Atlus for the Nintendo DS. It is a sequel to the 2009 Nintendo DS role-playing game Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor. It was released in Japan on 28 July 2011, North America on February 28, 2012 and in Europe on October 18, 2013. A port for the Nintendo 3DS is to be released in 2014 as Devil Survivor 2: Break Record (デビルサバイバー2 ブレイクレコード Debiru Sabaibā Tsū Bureiku Rekōdo?).
The setting of Devil Survivor 2 spans the whole country of Japan. It tells the story of Japanese high school students who enter a pact, enabling them to summon demons and fight mysterious creatures invading and destroying the country. The plot may unfold differently depending on the player's actions who controls a silent young demon tamer involved in this incident. The game is a tactical role-playing which takes after its predecessor as it involves controlling several demon tamers in their fights against different enemies and gaining new skills in the process. It has new additions such as the Fate System where the player can relate with other cast as well as the upgradeable racial skills.
The game was designed to bring several improvements to the original Devil Survivor. It received positive critical reception by video game publications which praised the story and improvements over its predecessor but criticized the game's high difficulty and lack of innovation. It has sold a total of 106,000 units. The game also received two manga series while a television anime adaptation by Studio Bridge, Devil Survivor 2: The Animation, aired in Japan between April and June 2013.
Devil Survivor 2 is a tactical role-playing game. Like in the previous Devil Survivor game, in combat situations, the player is free of interacting with other characters at the cost of time going by or going through free battles that do not make time continue. In fights with the computer opponent to defeat enemies and satisfy certain objectives such as helping other characters, while avoiding conditions that will end the mission in failure. In three versus three battle phase, the battle is presented in first-person and traditional turn-based battles, player controls one human and two demons, 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. Players can get their "Extra Turn" or "Double Extra" in the battle if the player has attacked the enemy's weaknesses or launched critical attacks, and when a leader's health become zero, the battle ends. Also, the player can crack enemy skills. 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.
Outside battle, the player can explore the country or save their game. Devil Survivor 2 has a new feature called the "Fate System". The player can develop relationships with other characters, starting at Rank 0. The stronger the relationship, the more that character becomes effective in battle and can share the same skillcracks. In the sixth day of the game, the player must choose an available ending, which the player can unlock by answering some questions from the other characters or help them during battle.
Setting and characters
The game takes place in several parts of Japan that are facing destruction at the hands of the demons. The cast features a young silent character whose thoughts and actions are decided by the player. He is initially accompanied by his best friend Daichi Shijima, and the apologetic Io Nitta. The three are found by a woman named Makoto Sako who takes them to JP's which is led by the young Yamato Hotsuin. There, they meet Fumi Kanno, a scientist who leads JP’s Nagoya branch, Hinako Kujou, a carefree dancer, Keita Wakui, a young boxer who is obsessed with getting stronger, Jungo Torii, a quiet chef, Airi Ban, a lively girl, and Otome Yanagiya, physician in charge of JP's Osaka Branch, Yuzuru 'Joe' Akie, a salary man, and Ronaldo Kuriki, a detective who opposes JP's. Throughout the story the protagonist also meets the mysterious young boy simply known as the Anguished One.
Devil Survivor 2 begins with the Protagonist and his friend, Daichi, returning from a mock exam, along with their friend Io. The three of them receive an email on their cellphones from Nicaea, a website that forewarns its users of the death of a friend. The email contains a video showing them dying from a freak subway accident. Immediately after, the scene is enacted, but the students survived after being contacted by an avatar from Nicaea. As soon as they enable the applications on their cellphone, more demons appeared, apparently wanting to kill them. The Protagonist, along with Daichi and Io, defeat the demons and become Devil Summoners, allowing them to summon demons to use to fight along them after fulfilling a contract with them.
After escaping the subway, they come in contact with a non-demon creature labeled as Dubhe which kills humans. As they manage to defeat it with their demons, the group meets secret organization called JP's led by the 17 years-old Yamato Hotsuin, who reveals to them that Japan, and maybe the entire world, is being ravaged by a group of creatures called the Septentriones, their collective being named after the stars in the Big Dipper constellation with Dubhe being one of them. The Protagonist's team then join JP's effort to defeat the Septentriones and prevent them from destroying the defense system designed by JP's to protect the few remaining Japanese cities that was not completely destroyed by that time, including Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and their neighboring prefectures. While confronting the Septentriones and gathering allies, the Protagonist is frequently forewarned with videos of his companions' imminnent deaths, and must find ways to prevent them in time, with the risk of losing them permanently if he fails. Another hindrance comes in the figure of Ronaldo Kuriki, who leads a faction of rebel Summoners who oppose JP's methods.
The protagonist then meets an enigmatic figure introducing himself as "The Anguished One", who created of the Devil Summoning program to help them fight their fated deaths. The Protagonist then learns that the Septentriones are trying to destroy Japan's barriers, resulting in the appearance of the Void, an unknown black substance that is swallowing the cities. According to the Yamato, the Septentriones are actually trials sent by its leader Polaris who plans to destroy the mankind. The Anguished One further reveals Polaris is a divine entity that controls the fate of multiple parallel worlds and that rather than deleting the world it can recreate it. Once all Septentriones are defeated, Polaris will appear to mankind and listen to their will.
Following the defeat of the sixth Septentrione, the Protagonist's companions are divided between three factions, one led by Yamato who dreams of using Polaris to create a hierarchical society, with each individual's worth based on his/her achievements; one led by Ronaldo who envisions an egalitarian society with no distinctions between individuals; and one envisioning Daichi's ideal of a third option with everyone cooperating for the sake of a brighter future. The Protagonist must choose between supporting one of the factions or no faction at all, convincing the Anguished One to help him destroy Polaris and ensure mankind would freely choose its own future without external interference, or gathering all the factions to unite and restore the world. After making his decision, the Protagonist must defeat the other factions in battle or convince them to join his cause.
In the meantime they fight the last Septentrione revealed as the Anguished One, Alcor. After defeating the other branches, the protagonist's group fights Polaris and following their victory, the world changes depending on the path chosen. While defeating Polaris can lead to Yamato and Ronaldo's worlds if their paths were chosen, through Daichi's path, the world turns back to the time before the story began. Through Alcor's path, mankind remains the same as Alcor replaces Polaris after his death.
Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 was published and developed by Atlus who first announced it in the magazine Famitsu in March 2011. Its director Shinjiro Takada said all of its predecessor's gameplay features were upgraded so that players would notice the improvements. He also expected players to clear the game several times. The human characters were handled by Suzuhito Yasuda, while the demons were designed by Kazuma Kaneko and the Septentrions monsters were created by manga artist Mohiro Kitoh.
Devil Survivor 2 was released in North America on February 28, 2012 by Atlus. For the European release, Ghostlights announced in April 2012 they would handle it. However, it was delayed with the company claiming "the market for DS games is quite difficult at the moment." In February 2012, Ghostlights revealed they were intending to do a limited run printing of Devil Survivor 2. The company had now set a target of 1,800 pre-orders before August 30, 2013. If the target was reached by then, the game should have been released by the end of September 2013 and the game was released in October from the same year. By September 2013, the target was reached.
Following the popularity of the game, just like its predecessor, the art book of the game is released in June 2011 named Devil Survivor 2 Official Design Works. The art book contains account of how the story unfolds, concept art and profiles of the characters, designs of the Septentriones, environment art, all of the endings with miniature screenshots, and other game specific information. 
The music of Devil Survivor 2 was composed by Kenji Ito, who is known for the SaGa series, and the Atlus sound team (Kenichi Tsuchiya, Atsushi Kitajoh, Ryota Koduka, and Toshiki Konishi). An original soundtrack composed of thirty-five themes was released on August 24, 2011. Another "Special Soundtrack" was released on March 23, 2014. The game's opening theme is "World of Illusions" by Kinuco Saga.
An enhanced port of the game, Devil Survivor 2: Break Record (デビルサバイバー2 ブレイクレコード Debiru Sabaibā Tsū Bureiku Rekōdo?), was announced in March 2013. It is set for the Nintendo 3DS and it will add new characters and story elements. Its scenario is set after the ending and will be accessible from the beginning. It will take place after the events of Devil Survivor 2 and will follow a new demon invasion as well as a new character associated with JP's. Famitsu reports this scenario will match the length of a full RPG title by itself. Citing quality issues, the game's release date was delayed from Fall 2013 to 2014.
Following the game's popularity, Devil Survivor 2 -Show Your Free Will- was given a manga adaptation. It is written by Nagako Sakaki, the artist for Devil Survivor 2's manga, and started serialization in Comic Earth Star magazine in September 12, 2011. Another manga is also in serialization but as part of the animated adaptation media. A light novel focused on Yamato Hotsuin was also published.
|1||December 12, 2012||ISBN 978-4803003963|
An anime television series based on the game aired on MBS between April 5, 2013 and June 28, 2013 and was simulcast by Crunchyroll. It was produced by Studio Bridge and directed by Seiji Kishi who also directed the anime adaptation of Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4. Makoto Uezu is in charge of the scripts, with Kotaro Nakagawa responsible for the soundtrack., The series began release on DVD and Blu-ray volumes beginning June 19, 2013, with the first volume including the first episode as well a bonus CD containing the series' original soundtrack volume 1. Following volumes will each contain two episodes and as yet unknown bonus CD offerings. The anime has been licensed in North America by Sentai Filmworks.
The game was generally well-received, garnering an aggregate score of 79/100 on Metacritic, based on twenty-one reviews, as well as an 80.53% in GameRankings. Although the depth and quality of the battle system and story were praised, the game was criticized for being unfairly difficult at times. Heidi Kemps from GameSpot praised the consequences of the player's actions and commented that "Devil Survivor 2 is a great game. Combat is strategy-laden and engaging; amassing and preparing your demon companions is loads of fun; and the story is filled with memorable characters and set pieces that keep your eyes glued to the dual screens." RPGamer's Mike Moehnke the stated that "Devil Survivor 2 remains an addictive experience for a large chunk of its length." Gaming Age writer Dustin Chadwell praised the story as he viewed the Devil Survivor 2 cast more likeable than the ones from the first game which had a great influence in liking the game due to the story's impact in enjoying it but he would have preferred if Atlus had given the gameplay more additions to make the game more innovative.
The Fate System was well received for helping in the characterizing the cast members by RPGamer although RPGFan found it often "almost devolves into a quasi-dating-sim" due to the choices the player has to make in order to increase the points. Dale North from Destructoid noted how the Fate System appeared to be influenced by the latest Shin Megami Tensei: Persona games and praised it for its effect on the story and gameplay. The final part of the game was criticized for the increased difficulty with the reviewer from Gaming Age not recommending it to player who are not tolerable to these challenging fights.
The game was often compared with its prequel. Despite noting multiple similarities between Devil Survivor 2 and its prequel, Jeremy Parish from 1UP.com noted that "Perhaps the most pleasant surprise about Devil Survivor 2 is that it doesn't feel like a massive backward step despite its predecessor's having been ported to 3DS." Amanda L. Kondolojy from Cheat Code Central mentioned "Though the structure is almost the same, there are some key differences in the story this time around" and complained about several similarities between the two games. Dale North noticed several improvements in the game claiming "I'm pleased to report that Devil Survivor 2 is more of the same, this time bringing an even better story, better characters, more demons to collect and a bunch of gameplay improvements." Bob Richardson from RPGFan criticized there was "nothing new" despite citing "Tremendous variety, lots of dialogue choices and paths, challenging gameplay."
Devil Survivor 2 sold 63,000 copies during its first week of release. By the end of the year it had sold 99,748 units in Japan. In October 2011, Atlus announced that the game reached a total of 106,000 units sold.
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- Atlus. Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2. Atlus. "Anguished One's Fate: A man who doesn't seem like a man at all. Everything about him is mysterious. He is the maintainer of Nicaea and creator of the summoning app."
- Atlus. Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2. Atlus. "Daichi: Remember the guy who died in a car wreck last week? I forget his name... Well, his friend who signed up for this site saw it happen! Guess it's more like a "cause of death" site than an "images of death" one, heh. Give it a try! You just need to enter your name to get started."
- Atlus. Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2. Atlus. "Tico: Heeeey, Tico here! You awake? Soooo, [Protagonist's name], this is how you're gonna die. Buuuuuuuut... If you still wanna life, that "demon summoning app" is gonna be a big help! So, what'cha gonna do? Are you giving up on life?"
- Atlus. Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2. Atlus. "Mail: This text has been sent to members who have already formed a contract with demons. Although the Demon Summoning App allows members to summon contracted demons as allies whenever they like, please be aware that demons you defeat that were summoned through other terminals will not automatically be contracted to you, as they were when you first started the app. This app contains a few tutorial functions to help you along. Make the most of them! / Io: Demons and contracts... This is what those monsters from the subway were talking about! / Protagonist: We can use demons."
- Atlus. Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2. Atlus. "Makoto: Very perceptive. Yes, I belong to an organization which answers to the government. Not much further to go. Let's move a little faster. / Daichi: Are you kidding me...? This is what's under the Diet Building!? This can't be real! Hey... Did you see that "JP's" logo there a moment ago?"
- Atlus. Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2. Atlus. "Yamato: ...You were helpless. That excuse would have sufficed in any other situation. But this is no ordinary disaster. No one will resolve it for you while you wait. Cast aside any such hopes you were harboring. Nothing about your life is guaranteed now. / Io: But...! / Yamato: If you want to survive... You must think and act for yourselves. Because if the reason for this disaster is not addressed, there's no tomorrow for us. By going to Osaka, we can actively gather new intel rather than standing idly by. There may even be a clue there that can lead us closer to the truth behind this calamity. / Joe: Alright... So that's why you wanna go to Osaka. But why us? / Yamato: You four defeated Dubhe. I want to reward talented personnel like you with opportunities."
- Atlus. Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2. Atlus. "Daichi: Dude... No way! You're kidding me! That was that Keita guy! He's gonna die!? / Protagonist: It was just like yours. / Daichi: Urhg... So that's how it looked with me? Man... / 'Io: But... you survived. Maybe we can help Keita out of this, too... / Daichi: Oh yeah! You think maybe it's not too late for him...?"
- Atlus. Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2. Atlus. "Airi: Oh, yeah. Well, you know how there's a shortage of food and medicine already? Well, this guy named Ronaldo Kuriki started accusing JP's of hoarding it... He put together a mob and attacked us. Since then, the whole group's been scattered.."
- Atlus. Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2. Atlus. "Anguished One: Indeed... I created Nicaea to grant a chance at awareness of your fated deaths... And I gave you the summoning app as a means to evade them. But then... the possibilities they awakened within you far exceeded my expectations. I hadn't expected that the power I gave you would allow you to defeat even them..."
- Atlus. Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2. Atlus. "Yamato: The towers are strategically vital. We must defend them at any cost. I said to you once that JP's has the burden of protecting Japan from the supernatural. We of the Hotsuin learned of the Dragon Stream long ago. With the ancient incantations... We created a spell that draws on its power to be used in any shape or form we desire. After the war, it was applied to build these towers to defend against all foreign invasion. The tower focuses the Dragon Stream into a barrier. It creates a barrier. One that cannot be seen or touched... or penetrated. Do you understand now? This is why they target towers, and why we defend them. / Protagonist: What if one's destroyed? / Yamato: The barrier will disperse. Cities that lose their towers are doomed to destruction. / Protagonist: What if the barrier breaks? / Yamato: The city will lose its only defense. It's certain to crumble and perish afterward."
- Atlus. Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2. Atlus. "Yamato: The chief culprit behind the fall of this world is known as Polaris. / Hinako: Polaris...!? Wh-Who the heck is that!? What's this Polaris got against us that we have to be annihilated!? / Yamato: It thinks that humanity goes against the order it envisions. So it is attempting to destroy mankind. Those Septentriones are only its pawns!"
- Atlus. Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2. Atlus. "Anguished One: Polaris is... a supernatural entity that humans like you cannot begin to comprehend. Unbeknownst to mankind, there are multiple worlds in existence besides this one. Polaris' power affects all those worlds, not just the one in which you live. An entity who manages and administrates these countless parallel worlds flawlessly... The decree of Polaris from Heaven's Throne decides the fates of all these worlds. It would be nothing to him. He has absolute authority to intervene in any world. / Daichi: I-Intervene...? Absolute authority? There's seriously a guy like that!? Then this stuff about reviving the world... How exactly is Yamato going to do that? / Anguished One: Well, just as Polaris is about to delete your world... He can instead delete a world unsuited to his wishes, alter it, and produce a new world."
- Atlus. Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2. Atlus. "Anguished One: ...I will tell you this. You have already defeated five of the Septentriones. When the last is no more... the way to Polaris will open."
- Atlus. Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2. Atlus. "Anguished One: Polaris will ask for mankind's will as a whole. He will not grant one man's desire."
- Atlus. Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2. Atlus. "Yamato: [Protagonist's name], you know that man has never known equality from the moment of his birth. It's as plain as day. There are countless people in the world, each one of them unique. But one's success should not be granted by lineage or family ties, as it is now. Individuality must be preserved by a truly skillful man leading the foolish masses! Until now, that was not possible. Preposterous logic and bizarre mores prevented it. Those were merely foolish ideals of the powerless who fear their own downfall...! As long as such fools remain in power, do you think these wrongs will ever be righted? But with a truly powerful man leading the way, humanity will grow strong and fear nothing!"
- Atlus. Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2. Atlus. "Ronaldo: I've said it before, but I want to bring world peace through true equality. This world is unfair. Money and power rule, while the weak are oppressed. Man has abandoned kindness in pursuit of his own gains. It's not normal... And Hotsuin's merit system will be one where those lacking in ability are tossed aside. I... That's not just. It isn't right. That world can't be allowed to be made real. [Protagonist's name]... Humans are all supposed to be equal. Wouldn't it be wonderful if people were more considerate? If they helped each other out? Yamato Hotsuin is powerful... And to tell the truth, I don't think I can beat him alone. But... That doesn't matter. I want a world with no poverty or war, where there's a smile on everyone's face!"
- Atlus. Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2. Atlus. "Daichi: We've done so much together... And we've come too far to fight each other like this. With the whole world in ruins, this is what we're spending our time doing!? Now's not the time, man! It's just too... sad! I mean, maybe to things like Polaris, we're just peons... But even peons have a right to choose! Not to be bossed around like pawns on a chessboard! That's why I want to find a different path, instead of fighting over our beliefs... There's not much time, but there is some! And I can't give up now...! Please, [Protagonist's name]! I can't do this on my own! Stand by me, please!"
- Atlus. Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2. Atlus. "Anguished One: Hello, Shining One... have you made up your mind? If you wish to create a new world by restoring this world to its unsullied state... If that is the course you have chosen, I will lend you my strength."
- Atlus. Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2. Atlus. "Joe: ...Straight up, [Protagonist's name], will you let me join you? I've been self-centered until now, but you guys knocked some sense into me. Please..."
- Atlus. Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2. Atlus. "Anguished One:...Shining One, my name is Alcor. The companion star to Mizar, known as the Lifespan Star... last of the Septentriones."
- Atlus. Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2. Atlus. "'Anguished One: If you ask Polaris to restore the world, your past and present data will conflict. If you are too weak to retain your memories, the world will fall to the same mistakes. You understand the risk, correct? / ... / Daichi: Yeah. We just have to hang onto our memories, right? We won't let this happen again!"
- Atlus. Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2. Atlus. "Polaris: To think your childish delusions could truly defeat me... You fools... / Anguished One: Sleep, master of memories. The world will have a new administrator. Begone... / Polaris: Faint One... Alcor... you will take up the Heavenly Throne and weave man's history? This is not man's world... Much will be lost if you go down man's path...! / Anguished One:' Perhaps... but I wish to see where their path leads. I am different... not like you."
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- Devil Survivor 2 official North American website
- Devil Survivor 2 official Japanese website (Japanese)
- Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 (anime) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia