Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner
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|Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner|
Cover art to Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner
|Release date(s)||Sega Saturn
Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner (Japanese: 真・女神転生 デビルサマナー Hepburn: Shin Megami Tensei Debiru Samanā?) is a Japanese role-playing video game originally released for the Sega Saturn in 1995, and was the first Megami Tensei title for the Sega Saturn. The game was later re-released in a slightly enhanced port for the PlayStation Portable in 2005 in Japan.
The Sega Saturn version was planned to be released in North America in June, 1996.
Devil Summoner is a spinoff of the Megami Tensei series of games and the first game in the Devil Summoner franchise. A sequel, titled Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers was released in 1997. A third game in the series (and a prequel), titled Devil Summoner: Raidou Kuzunoha vs. The Soulless Army was released in 2006. A fourth game in the series, and a sequel to the previous game, titled Devil Summoner 2: Raidou Kuzunoha vs. King Abaddon was released in 2008.
Abandoning the post-apocalyptic themes of the original series, the story takes place in modern Japan. The player character is an unnamed college student who is attacked by demons along with his girlfriend; they are saved by the timely appearance of a suave demon-hunter named Kyouji. Shortly thereafter, Kyouji is found dead under suspicious circumstances. The protagonist is then trapped inside of a warehouse and murdered by a deranged killer named Sid. Rather than stay dead, the player finds himself in the reanimated body of the slain Kyouji, and escapes from the morgue. With the help of Kyouji's voice, which guides the player from inside his head, the main character joins up with Kyouji's female partner Rei in order to save the life of his girlfriend, who is still in danger.
Writers for the Japanese video game magazine Famitsu gave the PlayStation Portable version a score of 30/40 in their cross review, consisting of the sub-scores 8, 7, 8, and 7. They appreciated the scope of the game, the battle system, and the demon fusion system; one of the writers called the gameplay a masterpiece, while another said that the demon fusion is fun enough that one can lose track of time. Kurt Kalata and Christopher J. Snelgrove at Hardcore Gaming 101 wrote that the game is decent, but feels unpolished and slow-paced. They questioned the demon loyalty system, which they said was more aggravating than fun.
Famitsu 's writers expressed disappointment over how the PlayStation Portable version's graphics and screen size had not been changed in comparison to the Sega Saturn version. Kalata and Snelgrove appreciated the graphics used in the game's dungeons, which they found to be detailed and better-looking than ones in previous games in the series; they also appreciated the battle transitions. On the other hand, they found the graphics for the game's maps to be "not particularly impressive looking", and the graphics for the enemies to be lacking and "barely animated".
Pattrick Gann wrote for RPGFan that he liked the game's music. He found the soundtrack to be very consistent; the first piece that stuck out for him was "Kitayama University"; he liked its piano solos, and wished they had lasted longer. He called the music that is played during regular boss battles "amazing", while he thought the one that is played during the final boss battle "wasn't too impressive". Charles at Square Enix Music Online thought the game's music was good, but that it lacked some of the power and depth of its sequel Soul Hackers. He did however think that Devil Summoner 's music handles faster pieces better than Soul Hackers does; he pointed out the boss battle music in particular as an "adrenaline pumper". He found some pieces to be repetitive, including organic pieces such as "Afro Tea House" and "The River Styx".
A live-action adaptation of the game, titled Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner, was produced and aired in Japan. Originally only scheduled for one thirteen episode season in 1997, popular demand prompted the production of a second season, which broadcast in 1998. The first series follows the plot of Devil Summoner, while the second season follows an original story. For their VHS release, the subtitle Bright Demon Advent was added.
- "Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner". GameFan (Shinno Media) (39). March 1996.
- 真・女神転生 デビルサマナー [Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner]. Famitsu (in Japanese) (Enterbrain) (889). 2005-12-30.
- Kalata, Kurt; Snelgrove, Christopher J. "Devil Summoner / Soul Hackers". Hardcore Gaming 101. Archived from the original on 2014-12-14. Retrieved 2015-09-09.
- Gann, Patrick. "Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner Sound File". RPGFan. Archived from the original on 2015-09-05. Retrieved 2015-09-06.
- Charles. "Shin Megami Tensei Devil Summoner Sound File :: Review by Charles". Square Enix Music Online. Archived from the original on 2010-12-26. Retrieved 2015-09-06.
- 宇宙船 Year Book 1999 [Uchūsen Year Book 1999] (in Japanese). Asahi Sonorama. 1999-05-01. p. 101. ASIN B00J8NE588.
- Official website at the Wayback Machine (archived October 25, 2013) (Japanese)
- Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner at MobyGames