Devil Survivor Overclocked Review
Well then, it seems I have been getting way more use out of my 3DS then I thought I would within the 11 months that it has been out. Collectively, I have played it for around a week… compared to the months that I have wasted on better games. Quite a shame that there is a complete lack of 3DS games that are interesting, so a constant backtrack has to be made for the DS games to figure out which game among the 19.99 pile is going to be good enough to play. Oh wait a minute… Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked, is out? And it is a 3DS game? Holy crap, I think I might have found some use out of this 170 dollar contraption that I randomly bought on a hot Sunday.
Devil Survivor Overclocked is considered one of the few left of the dying branch known as as tactical role-playing games. The game starts off in Japan with your character finding out that his (yes a He, you don’t get to choose genders) cousin is missing, a man that looks like the creepy smiling guy from Bleach. The main character gathers his two friends and the three walk around the city in search of him. Beforehand, the cousin (named Naoya) had given the three of them electronic devices (that look like a 3DS) called COMPs, which are apparently computer systems that allow the three to summon demons which were previously defeated by them. I probably should have stated this before, but this is an Atlus game. I have no offense towards the Atlus people, but if Catherine had taught me anything, apart the fact that I hate commitment, it was that Atlus games tend to have a simple story within the beginning, until the player is basically thrown into something that has to deal with the supernatural, despite the apparent realism of the game. Devil Survivor does the same thing. The whole plot starts out as a Where’s Waldo scenario, with the main character wanting to find his cousin, until demons attack the country of Japan. This prompts a complete shut-down of the train systems, the power, food, water, and basically everything else that keeps humans from rioting. Oh and also, in this story, the government did it, which just makes complete sense.
Plot holes aside, I could spend the rest of this article explaining Devil Survivor, but before I move onto the game play I must state that a non-predictable plot is a good thing. I appreciate games that try to deviate from the norm of making a predictable plot with an ending that has a spoiler for a sequel. Devil Survivor does the complete opposite of this, along with creating an intuitive battle system that one has to think in order to win, not just continuously press the “Attack” button until the game states that you win. The battle system implemented in the Devil Survivor games is a good mix of Pokemon and Final Fantasy. The three main characters fight demons and send them back through the use of powers that the characters acquired from their COMPs. If the characters win, then they are given a currency for the win, experience, and the chance to use their currency to buy the demons that they just beat on a kind of demon auction house. If the characters lose, then they die in real life and their brain is disconnected from the real world when their COMP dies as well. This is intuitive because this allows the player themselves to fight, rather than sitting on the sidelines and having a pet of theirs slap each other across the face. Since all of the demons have their own strengths and weaknesses such as some demons being weak to dark attacks but stronger against fire attacks, demons can be paired together with the main characters for up to 4 groups of 3 fighters. The main characters each can be assigned up to 2 demons each. Another positive for the plotline and battle system is the application of the tactics in the battles. Each battle, the player is given mission objectives that must be met or else they will lose. In the first few battles of the game the objectives are simple, such as kill the demons and live, but the battles quickly become harder, requiring actual thinking in order to make sure that the mission objectives are met.
One thing that must be noted if anyone is going to try this game: there is no auto-save. This is coming from personal experience where I played for the first hour, and then saved when the game told me to. I then played for another 3 hours, beat 3 different bosses, and then died at the fourth one. I was disconnected, reloaded my save, and noticed that I was level 7, rather than the level 18 that I died at. I cannot imagine why the game can’t just have your progress saved after every win or after every verbal contact with the other characters in the game, rather than pulling a dick move and not remembering that auto-save is an amazing junction that prevents a lot of consoles from being smashed in by a sledgehammer.
In conclusion, despite the silly and “supernatural” plot that comes with Devil Survivor, I have found that the game is indeed very fun and requires the amount of thinking that many games have been lacking lately. While the characters may be forgettable, considering one is a predictable computer hacker, the other is a whiny annoyance, and the main character is a blank slate, the battles are not contrived in such a way. For those who are a fan of Final Fantasy or the Lunar Legend series, this is a strong recommendation. And plus, not like there are many other good 3DS games that are out currently.