Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner: Raidou Kuzunoha vs. The Soulless Army

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Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner
Raidou Kuzunoha vs. The Soulless Army
SMTRaidou.jpg
Developer(s) Atlus
Publisher(s) Atlus, Koei
Artist(s) Kazuma Kaneko
Composer(s) Shoji Meguro
Series Megami Tensei (main)
Devil Summoner (sub-series)
Platform(s) PlayStation 2 PlayStation 3
Release date(s)
  • JP 2 March 2006
  • NA 10 October 2006
  • EU 27 April 2007[1]
  • NA 1 April 2014 (PSN)
Genre(s) Action role-playing
Mode(s) Single-player
Distribution 1 DVD-ROM

Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner: Raidou Kuzunoha vs. The Soulless Army (Japanese: デビルサマナー 葛葉ライドウ対超力兵団 Hepburn: Debiru Samanā: Kuzunoha Raidō tai Chōriki Heidan?, literally "Devil Summoner: Raidō Kuzunoha vs. The Super-Powered Army Corps") is an action role-playing game and third game in the Devil Summoner franchise, which is part of the larger Megami Tensei series of video games.

It differs from the two previous Devil Summoner titles (and most MegaTen games in general) in having real-time battles and a named protagonist and is first in the entire franchise to be set in the past – specifically the year 1931, the fictional twentieth year of the Taishō period of Japan (大正二十年), wherein it deals with historical figures such as Grigori Rasputin in addition to the MegaTen series' traditional use of real-world mythological figures. Though somewhat criticized for being the shortest of recent Shin Megami Tensei games, it generally received favorable responses from players and reviewers alike.

It was published by Atlus for the PlayStation 2 in 2006. On April 1, 2014, the game was ported to the Playstation 3 as a downloadable Playstation Store title as a PS2 Classic.[2]

On July 30, 2008, it was announced that there would be a sequel titled Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner 2: Raidou Kuzunoha vs. King Abaddon. Demon conversations make a comeback as well as Raidou being able to summon two demons simultaneously in battle. The limited edition will be packaged with a new version of Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne titled Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne Maniax Chronicle Edition in which Raidou will appear. The game was released in Japan on October 23, 2008 and in North America on May 12, 2009.

Gameplay[edit]

Combat[edit]

Unlike previous Megami Tensei titles which used turn-based battle systems, the battle system in this game is action-based. The main character can attack with either his close range sword or his long range gun (provided he has enough bullets). He can also summon one of the demons from his collection to assist him in battle. Battles themselves take place in small enclosed "arenas" similar to Namco's "Tales" series and can generally be escaped from, though this takes a random amount of time.

Fusion[edit]

Like other Megami Tensei games, Raidou Kuzunoha vs. The Soulless Army allows fusion between demons. Aside from the basic "two-for-one" fusion, a demon can also be fused into Raidou's sword, thus making the weapon more powerful.

New Game Plus[edit]

This game contains a New Game Plus feature which includes:

  • Access to a harder difficulty.
  • Shop rank being carried over.
  • Infinite normal ammunition.
  • A new side-quest becomes available.

Plot[edit]

Characters[edit]

The main cast of Raidō Kuzunoha vs The Soulless Army. From left to right: Kaya Daidōji, Gōto, Raidō Kuzunoha the XIV, Shōhei Narumi and Tae Asakura.
  • Raidou Kuzunoha the XIV: (Age: late teens (According to the official fanbook)) The player character, a high school student of Yumizuki High School turned Devil Summoner of the Kuzunoha family. He can confine demons in tubes called kuda (similar to the kanko of Japanese folklore), and use them to battle and to do detective work. Like other Shin Megami Tensei protagonists, he rarely, if ever, speaks. In Toumon Boogey's prequel novel, Devil Summoner: Kuzunoha Raidō tai Shibito Ekishi, his real first name is given as Jōhei (錠平?).
  • Gōto: (Age: Unknown) A black cat with green eyes; he is Raidō's partner and though he sounds a little smug at first, he is actually very concerned about Raidō and his mission. Apparently he has worked with every other Raidō since the second. It is revealed later on that Gōto is the first Raidō Kuzunoha, who placed his soul into a cat's body, after which he made it his duty to keep an eye on all those who inherit his name.
  • Shōhei Narumi: (Age: 32 (According to the official fanbook)) Owner of the Narumi Detective Agency and Raidō's boss. He is a little lazy and generally lets Raidō do all the hard work. For some reason, he seems to have a large connection of contacts in the Japanese military. He also seems to know Gen. Munataka well. In Japanese version of the game his first name was never revealed.
  • Tae Asakura: (Age: 22 (According to the official fanbook)) A reporter from newspaper "Capital Daily" (Tokyo is simply referred as "Capital" in the game; the name Tokyo itself translates into English as "Eastern Capital"), Tae is desperately trying to prove to everyone that women have a place in the modern society as working people. Her pen-name "Kichō" comes from Raicho Hiratsuka, a feminist crusader. She hired Narumi and Raidō's talents to investigate the bizarre events in the Capital.
  • Victor: (Age: Unknown) Researcher of "Gōma-Den" a secret lab in the Tokyo that works on demons and demon-related sciences. He is in charge of fusing and recording the demons. He seems to have been modelled after Victor Frankenstein.
  • Kaya Daidōji: (Age: 15) Sole heiress of famous and wealthy Daidōji family and a high school student of Ōran High School. She is popular among her friends and servants of her house because of her kind demeanor. She became the key of the recent bizarre incidents that occurred at the Capital after calling Narumi Detective Agency and asking them to kill her. She is kidnapped in the games opening scene by the "Red Guard".
  • Rasputin: (Age: Unknown) The famous "Mad Monk" who was assassinated in 1916 in Russia. Rasputin somehow returned to life and involved himself with the recent events in the Capital. His reasons for causing trouble to Raidō are unknown, as he seems to be only interested in his own profit. His skills in devil summoning are second only to Raidō himself, and he uses matryoshka dolls as his weapons. It is reveled that Rasputin is from the future. He is either an android or a cyborg.

Story[edit]

During a routine investigation by the Narumi Detective Agency, Shohei and his teenaged apprentice Raidou Kuzunoha respond to a call for help from a client. When the client reveals herself to be Kaya Daidōji, she requests them to kill her. The two are baffled but before they can ask why, mysterious men wearing red armored suits and capes kidnap Kaya while they attack Raido to halt his pursuit.

Raidō investigates the Daidōji manor for clues before learning he must rescue Rin, a close friend of Kaya Daidōji. Raidou traverses into the Dark Realm and battles for the return of Rin. Once Rin is rescued she in turn relinquishes information about a curse within the Daidōji family. This curse causes spiritual possession that affects only females near their sixteenth birthday. Raidō then returns to the Daidōji manor to search its secret basement which is knowingly inhabited by demons only to find Kaya’s diary detailing her abduction and imprisonment by her uncle shortly before her birthday. Raidō reports back to Shouhei Narumi with detail about his investigation thus far before returning to the manor one last time to confront Kaya's uncle Kiyoshi but Kiyoshi morphs into a demon and runs away. Afterwards, the mansion gets pulled into the dark realm and Ichimokuren appears. After the battle ends Raidō is taunted by an unnamed and unseen Devil Summoner. Upon returning to headquarters Narumi and Raidou strategize on what to do next. They decide to investigate their only lead: “The Red Caped Monster”.

Tae Asakura (a local reporter and friend of Narumi) stops by the Narumi Detective Agency to report a sighting of The Red Cape in Ginza-Cho and gives Raidō a photo as proof to help with his investigation. Raidō arrives at a café looking for witnesses when the owner recommends that he search out a carrier named Denpachi. Upon arriving in Fukagawa-Cho he is greeted by unfriendly thugs who suggest he enter the nearby bathhouse to request permission to search the village. After a nude showdown with two yakuza thugs the boss Satake authorizes the search but warns to that the Red Cape has been frequently sighted. Raidō is confronted at Denpachis’ home by four Soldiers and pulled into the Dark Realm where he meets an imprisoned man he must help escape. After helping Denpachi escape he refuses to give information about the Red Cape unless Raido finds his sister Shizu. Raido then goes to Satake who informs him that Shizu is working in the Red-Light District in order to accumulate the funds to pay for his medical expenses after being attacked by The Red Cape. Raido then travels back to Ginza for clues when he’s confronted by a demonic car who accuses Raido of being Red Cape that attacked him; after the battle the car gives him a ricksaw knob that according to Shizu belongs to her brother. Afterwards Raido travels to Dark Ginza to battle The Red Cape only to find that it’s in fact Denpachi. Denpachi's parting words are of the Daidouji Factory operated by Kaya's uncle Kiyoshi Daidouji. Tae then reports sighting allover the capitol of the Red Cape.

Raido reports back what he has learned thus far and Narumi informs him that Tae was also heading for the Daidouji Factory. Once Raido arrives he finds a cane that belongs to Kiyoshi Daidouji, then meets Tae before being greeted once more by the ominous unseen enemy from before. Six matryoshka begin to levitate in the room as the voice informs Raido that unless he can retrieve the three colored shards from the Matrix Labyrinth he will not see Daidouji. Once the Matrix Labyrinth is done the seal on the door confining Kiyoshi breaks. Kiyoshi prepares to divulge all information on the Daidouji family, only to begin morphing back into The Red Cape, but dies as the entity disconnects from his body and escapes. Out of the shadows steps a figure identifying himself as the Dark Summoner Rasputin. He then informs Raido that the entity he just saw was Hiruku, a demon that feeds on its hosts fear and anxiety and that Kaya is part of the next phase in his plan. Before leaving he summons one last demon from a matryoshka. Back at the detective agency the Herald of Yatagarasu stops in to warn Raido about Rasputin saying that he was thought to have died fifteen years prior and is somehow still alive and also that the strongest of Devil Summoners is no match for a Dark Summoner.

Audio[edit]

The soundtrack was entirely composed by Shoji Meguro and was released as a 2-disc Original Soundtrack on April 7, 2006 by Five records. However, the soundtrack is missing several tracks.

The Japanese version of the game came with a bonus CD containing all the missing tracks from the OST plus arrangements from the first two Devil Summoner games.

Reception[edit]

Reception towards the game was generally positive. GameSpot rated it 7.3 out of 10, saying that it "definitely delivers on the unique storyline front, serving up a dark narrative filled with a variety of personable and powerful demons to recruit, control, and fuse." even though it was "not as polished as previous games in the series.".[3] IGN UK rated it 7.2 out of 10, pointing out that the only flaw is with the visuals and they were "rather unappealing, and the lack of a strong plot to begin with could easily turn some people away;" however, he did praise the use of multiple demons within the historical Japanese setting.[4]

On the other hand, the game received some high praises. For instance, Netjak rated it 9.1 out of 10. It praised the use of demons with the game's battle system and a good story.[5] digital entertainment news rated it 8.5 out of 10, removing points based on the uneven tone and lack of voice acting.[6]

See also[edit]

  • Kuzunoha: The character from Japanese folklore from which Raidou's surname was derived.
  • Abe no Seimei: A famous onmyoji (sorcerer/diviner) from folklore who could also control Japanese demons (oni). In folklore he is the son of Kuzunoha.
  • Yasunori Katō: An archetypal figure from Japanese pop culture whom Raidou (especially his appearance) was also inspired from.[7] Kato is the descendant of Abe no Seimei and thus also a descendant of Kuzunoha.
  • Teito Monogatari: The bestselling novel which spawned the above character. Similar to the game's fictional Taishō period, the end of the novel takes place in the 72nd year of a fictional Shōwa period.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Purchese, Rob (2007-02-26). "SMT: Devil Summoner for Europe". Eurogamer. Retrieved 2007-05-27. 
  2. ^ 2014-05-07, More Shin Megami Tensei Games Coming As PS2 Classics, Siliconera
  3. ^ Gamespot's SMT Devil Summoner review. Retrieved on July 13, 2008.
  4. ^ Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner UK Review. Retrieved on July 13, 2008.
  5. ^ Netjak's Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner: Raidou Kuzunoha vs. the Soulless Army review. Retrieved on July 13, 2008.
  6. ^ Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner. Retrieved on July 13, 2008.
  7. ^ Harper, Jim. Flowers from Hell: The Modern Japanese Horror Film Noir Publishing. (ISBN 0953656470)
  8. ^ TEITO MONOGATARI vol. 6

External links[edit]