Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers

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Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers
SoulHackersUS.jpg
North American cover art of the updated port for the Nintendo 3DS
Developer(s) Atlus
Publisher(s) Atlus
Artist(s) Kazuma Kaneko
Shigenori Soejima
Masayuki Doi (3DS only)
Composer(s) Shōji Meguro
Toshiko Tasaki
Tsukasa Masuko
Series Megami Tensei
Platform(s) Sega Saturn, PlayStation, Nintendo 3DS
Release date(s) Saturn
  • JP November 13, 1997
PlayStation
  • JP April 8, 1999
Nintendo 3DS
  • EU September 20, 2013[4]
Genre(s) Role-playing
Mode(s) Single-player

Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers, known in Japan as Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers (Japanese: デビルサマナー ソウル ハッカーズ Hepburn: Debiru Samanā Sōru Hakkāzu?) is a Japanese role-playing video game and the second game in the Devil Summoner franchise, which is part of the larger Megami Tensei series of video games.

The game was originally released for the Sega Saturn in 1997, later released in a slightly enhanced version for the PlayStation in 1999. Although no previous versions of Soul Hackers had ever received an official localization in North America or Europe, a localized 3DS version was released on April 16, 2013.[5]

Gameplay[edit]

Soul Hackers is a role-playing video game. Players navigate dungeons in a first person view, in which they solve puzzles and fight enemy demons in turn-based battles.[6][7] The player always has one or two human characters in their party, and also has the ability to summon up to four demons who fight on the player's side.[6] Players get access to demons by choosing to speak to enemy demons, and negotiating with them; negotiations can involve answering questions, intimidating the demons, or giving them items they want. Players are able to fuse several of their allied demons into one single demon; the resulting demon inherits abilities from the demons that were used to produce it.[7]

In battles, players have to manage allied demons differently depending on their personalities, their alignments, and their abilities: for instance, friendly demons prefer to use healing or defensive magic, while sly demons prefer to attack enemies on their own.[6] If players give a demon an order to use an ability it does not want to use, there is a risk that it will refuse and do something else instead, or that it does not do anything at all.[7] Demons with differing alignments can refuse to co-operate with each other.[6] In order to prevent this, players can build up the loyalty of their allied demons;[7] this is done by giving them gifts or letting them choose their actions in battle on their own. By participating in battles,[6] or by trading for it at a special market place,[8] players are able to get magnetite, which is used as fuel for demons; if players run out of magnetite, any currently summoned allied demons start to take damage.[6]

Plot[edit]

Setting and characters[edit]

The game takes place in the small fictitious harbour town Amami City in Japan. The company Algon Soft has made Amami its headquarters, which has led to the technology in the city quickly being upgraded; Algon Soft has connected every home and business in the city to its new network in order to demonstrate how a "city of tomorrow" could work. The Japanese government is impressed, and grants Algon Soft permission to expand the network across the rest of Japan in the coming years.[9] It also takes place in the virtual world Paradigm X on Algon Soft's servers,[10] where the citizens of Amami can visit virtual attractions.[6][7][11]

The player character is a young man who is a member of the hacking group Spookies, which was founded by a man who calls himself Spooky. In addition to the player character and Spooky, the group consists of Six, Lunch, Yu-Ichi, and the player character's friend Hitomi Tono (遠野瞳 Touno Hitomi?).[7][9][12] The group mainly hacks the city's network for fun or to play harmless pranks, but Spooky holds a grudge against Algon Soft.[9] Among other important characters are the demon Nemissa (ネミッサ?), who possesses Hitomi;[13] Kinap (レッドマン Reddoman?), who teaches the player character to enter the souls of people who have recently died;[11] and the demon summoners Urabe Kouichirou (卜部広一朗 Kouichirou Urabe?), Judah Singh (ユダ・シング Yuda Shingu?), and Naomi (ナオミ?).[13]

Development[edit]

Both the original Saturn version and PlayStation port were never officially released in English. When the PlayStation version was released, Atlus USA was considering bringing Soul Hackers to North America, but they were denied by Sony Computer Entertainment America.[14]

3DS version[edit]

On April 24, 2012, Famitsu confirmed that an updated 3DS port of Soul Hackers would be released in Japan on August 30, 2012. Various enhancements include improved loading times, additional battle animations, 30 all new demons, new characters, full voice acting, and a new opening video (although the original opening is included).[2][15]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Review scores
Publication Score
3DS PS
Destructoid 8.5/40[19]
EGM 8.5/10[20]
Famitsu 32/40[22] 35/40[21]
Game Informer 8.75/10[24]
Game Revolution 4/5 stars[23]
GameSpot 7/10[25]
IGN 7.8/10 (English)[26]
8.5/10 (Italian)[27]
NintendoLife 9/10 stars[28]
Nintendo World Report 9/10[29]
Polygon 7.5/10[30]
RPGFan 89%[32] 90%[31]
Anime News Network B-[33]
Pelit 85%[34]
Aggregate scores
GameRankings 76%
(30 reviews)[17]
90%
(1 review)[16]
Metacritic 74/100
(46 reviews)[18]

The PlayStation version was critically acclaimed. Famitsu magazine scored the PlayStation version of the game a 35 out of 40.[21] RPGFan scored it 90%, describing it as an "excellent RPG" that "is on par with and, possibly, deeper than Persona".[31] It has received a 90% rating from GameRankings based on one review.[16]

The 3DS version has been generally well received by critics. The 3DS version received 76% ranking based on 30 reviews at GameRankings,[35] and a 74/100 average out of 46 reviews on Metacritic.[36] Nintendo Life rated it 9 out of 10 stars, noting that it is a "deep, dark, story-driven dungeon crawler" mixing a "Matrix-esque" cyberpunk setting with "dark, mythologically-based" demons, and concluding that it is "a fantastic entry in the series".[28] The 3DS version was rated 7.8 out of 10 by IGN reviewer Jeremy Parish, who called the visuals "dated" and the interface "clunky", but summarized it as "a solid RPG by any measure, with a cool story and challenging dungeon-diving adventures to keep players on their toes."[37] Dave Riley from Anime News Network gave it B's in all categories, characterizing its plot and visual style as "obviously 90s" and calling the game "sometimes cool... sometimes exasperating... sometimes hilarious".[33]

In other media[edit]

"Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers Demon Compendium Vol. 2" was released for the Sega Saturn on December 23, 1997. A version of the compendium was sold with "Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner", but this version contains the full Soul Hackers compendium. Information about each demon is relayed in both audio and visual format, like a "sound novel", in a CG library. Some of the game's soundtrack is also included. There is no PlayStation version in existence.

"Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers Intruder" was a mobile phone application released in 2007. It was released as supplementary material of the 1997 Sega RPG. Six months after the events of "Soul Hackers", the Spookies members are reunited after a new enemy appears.

Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers: A comic version of the game, released in shōjo manga magazine "Mystery DX" (ceased publication in 2003). It was converted into a book in March 1999. There were originally scheduled to be three volumes, but due to publication issues only two were ever released. The main character is Arata Tsukamoto (塚本 新 Tsukamoto Arata?), a cousin of Hitomi. He lost his family in an accident when he was a child.

Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers - Decent on the City of Death: A novelization of the game, by author Osamu Makino. It was published in January 1998 by Aspect.

Devil Summoners: Nightmare of the Butterfly: A novelization of the game, by author Shinya Kasai. It was published in paperback in January 1999 by Famitsu.

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.siliconera.com/2013/04/25/nis-america-to-publish-devil-summoner-soul-hackers-in-europe/
  2. ^ a b "Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers Remake Coming To 3DS With Full Voice Acting". Siliconera. 24 April 2012. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  3. ^ Atlus USA (16 April 2013). "Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers: Launch Trailer - YouTube". YouTube. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  4. ^ http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2013-05-25-shin-megami-tensei-devil-summoner-soul-hackers-dated-for-europe-this-september
  5. ^ Atlus USA (19 March 2013). "Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers: Gameplay Trailer - YouTube". YouTube. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Riendeau, Danielle (April 16, 2013). "Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers Review: Dream of the 90s". Polygon. Archived from the original on April 25, 2015. Retrieved June 20, 2015. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f Czop, Joe (April 16, 2013). "Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers". RPGFan. Archived from the original on July 24, 2014. Retrieved June 20, 2015. 
  8. ^ Charter, Chris (April 16, 2013). "Review: Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers". Destructoid. Archived from the original on March 24, 2015. Retrieved June 21, 2015. 
  9. ^ a b c Ishaan (April 10, 2013). "Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers Interview On The Missing MegaTen Game". Siliconera. Archived from the original on August 17, 2014. Retrieved June 20, 2015. 
  10. ^ Atlus (April 16, 2013). "Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers". Nintendo 3DS. Atlus. 
  11. ^ a b Laura (April 16, 2013). "Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers – Money Can Buy Friends After All". Siliconera. Archived from the original on September 3, 2014. Retrieved June 20, 2015. 
  12. ^ Funk, John (March 19, 2013). "Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers trailer summons demons on 3DS". Polygon. Archived from the original on July 27, 2013. Retrieved June 21, 2015. 
  13. ^ a b Kalata, Kurt; Snelgrove, Cristopher J. (August 8, 2010). "Devil Summoner / Soul Hackers". Hardcore Gaming 101. Archived from the original on December 14, 2014. Retrieved June 20, 2015. 
  14. ^ "Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers - Sega Saturn/Sony Playstation (1997)". Retrieved February 4, 2010. 
  15. ^ "Scenes From Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers' New Opening Movie". Siliconera. 25 April 2012. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  16. ^ a b http://www.gamerankings.com/ps/575251-devil-summoner-soul-hackers/index.html
  17. ^ "Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner - Soul Hackers for 3DS". GameRankings. Retrieved March 8, 2015. 
  18. ^ "Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner - Soul Hackers for 3DS Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved March 8, 2015. 
  19. ^ Chris Carter (April 16, 2013). "Review: Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers". Destructoid. Retrieved March 8, 2015. 
  20. ^ http://www.egmnow.com/articles/reviews/egm-review-shin-megami-tensei-devil-summoner-soul-hackers/
  21. ^ a b プレイステーション - デビルサマナーソウルハッカーズ. Weekly Famitsu. No.915 Pt.2. Pg.8. 30 June 2006.
  22. ^ Anoop Gantayat (August 22, 2012). "Famitsu Reviews Gundam Age, Hatsune Miku, Devil Summoner and More!". Andriasang. Retrieved March 8, 2015. 
  23. ^ http://www.gamerevolution.com/review/shin-megami-tensei-devil-summoner-soul-hackers
  24. ^ Kimberley Wallace (April 16, 2013). "A Lost Classic Still Makes A Strong Impression - Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers - 3DS". GameInformer. Retrieved March 8, 2015. 
  25. ^ Heidi Kemps (April 19, 2013). "Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner - Soul Hackers Review". GameSpot. Retrieved March 8, 2015. 
  26. ^ Jeremy Parish (April 16, 2013). "Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers Review". IGN. Retrieved March 8, 2015. 
  27. ^ http://it.ign.com/shin-megami-tensei-devil-summoner-soul-hackers-nintendo-3ds/68155/review/il-japan-rpg-ritorna-a-casa-felice-con-devil-summo?p=2
  28. ^ a b http://www.nintendolife.com/reviews/3ds/shin_megami_tensei_devil_summoner_soul_hackers
  29. ^ http://www.nintendoworldreport.com/review/33870/shin-megami-tensei-devil-summoner-soul-hackers-nintendo-3ds
  30. ^ Danielle Riendeau (April 16, 2013). "Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers Review: Dream of the 90s". Polygon. Retrieved March 8, 2015. 
  31. ^ a b http://www.rpgfan.com/reviews/soulhackers/Soul_Hackers.html
  32. ^ Joe Czop (April 16, 2013). "RPGFan Review - Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers". RPGFan. Retrieved March 8, 2015. 
  33. ^ a b Riley, Dave (16 April 2013). "Shin Megami Tensei: Soul Hackers - Game Review - Anime News Network". Anime News Network. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  34. ^ Pelit, October 2013
  35. ^ "Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner - Soul Hackers for 3DS - GameRankings". GameRankings. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  36. ^ "Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner - Soul Hackers for 3DS Reviews - Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  37. ^ Parish, Jeremy (16 April 2013). "Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers Review - IGN". IGN. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 

External links[edit]