Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2

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Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2
Devil survivor 2 esrb.jpg
"Have a nice wheeeee!" - Tico
Genre: Tactical Role-Playing
Platforms: Nintendo DS
Nintendo 3DS
Release Date: Nintendo DS
JP: July 28, 2011
NA: February 28, 2012
EU: October 18, 2013

Nintendo 3DS
JP: January 29, 2015
NA: May 5, 2015
EU: October 30, 2015
AU: November 5, 2015
Developer: Career Soft (DS)
Atlus (3DS)
Publisher: JP: Atlus
NA: Atlus USA
EU: Ghostlight (DS)
EU: NIS America (3DS)
Made in: Japan
Franchise: Shin Megami Tensei
Previous Game: Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor


Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2[1] is a tactical role-playing video game developed by Career Soft and published by Atlus in Japan, Atlus USA in North America, and Ghostlight in Europe for the Nintendo DS. Like its prequel, an enhanced version, titled Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2: Record Breaker[2] was released in 2015 for the Nintendo 3DS.

Plot

A group of otherworldly beings called the Septentriones arrives on Earth just as the protagonist and fellow students Daichi Shijima and Io Nitta return home from a mock exam. They introduce the protagonist to Nicaea: A Dead Face Delivery Site, a website that is rumored to show clips of how the people close to a user will die. They receive a video from the site that shows them their own death by a train crash. This happens a few moments later, but they are saved by a demon that pushes away the train. Tico, the desktop assistant of Nicaea, explains that a "Demon Summoning App" has been installed on the protagonist and his friend's phones, allowing them to defend themselves from the demons. Shortly after, demons invade Tokyo, prompting the JP organization to act and bring people to safety. After defeating the demon Dubhe, one of the Septentriones, the three are accepted into the JP to try and drive the demons away. But how did the Septentriones arrive? Why did they arrive? How is their arrival connected to the demon invasion? What is Nicaea's role in all this?

Why It Rocks

  1. Gameplay is similar to the first Devil Survivor, with a few enhancements and new elements added in.
  2. Characters that are very well written, thanks also to the introduction of the Fate system, the equivalent of Social Links/Confidants in the Persona series, which adds more depth and personality to the characters.
  3. Like Social Links in the Persona series, the Fate system increases the level of the demons you fuse, making it easier to grind for extra levels and allowing weaker demons to remain a viable option to use later in the game, as well as unlocking several bonuses for both the protagonist and the other characters. Such as extra resistance, more demons, and more chances to use skill crack.
    • Getting a Fate rank high enough with characters allows you to set up a Dual Skill Crack, where if one of the two characters defeat an enemy with a skill set to crack for the other, it will be shared between the two.
    • At Fate rank 1, the character becomes resistant to a certain element, determined by the character.
    • At rank 2, the player and the character can set up a Dual Skill Crack, sharing the cracked skill between the two.
    • At rank 4, the player and the character can share demons.
      • If the player has reached Fate rank 4 with Io, she will survive the Lugh channeling session on day 5 and will become available to use in all routes.
      • If the player has reached Fate rank 4 with the Anguished One, a new scene will play out at the end of day 6 after Tico informs the protagonist that Nicaea's death clip service has closed. This is to inform the player that the Anguished One's route has been unlocked.
      • If the player has reached Fate rank 4 with any other character, the protagonist will be able to convince them to join the opposing faction (except for Ronaldo and Yamato in the opposing and the Anguished One's routes, and the Anguished One himself on the final day).
    • At ranks 3 and 5, two new demons become available for fusion. Which demon becomes available depends on the character.
  4. The game addresses many flaws from the first game, such as the lack of a Demon Compendium or the original's translation errors. There are also many new demons of several races, which addresses the first game's problem of lack of options for several races early in the game. This would be carried over to Devil Survivor Overclocked later.
  5. Very good story with an atmosphere that creates a feeling of tension for whatever is lurking behind the corner. The setting also isn't as limited as the first game, which overall creates a sense of distraught for the great scale disasters that occur, which in turn creates the feeling of higher things at stake.
  6. The battle system has been polished from the first game, there are new abilities that influence your Extra Turns in battle, and you aren't limited to only one Extra Turn per battle while receiving more options to use Extra Turns in battle, allowing for more experimentation. Likewise, cracked skills have only one stat requirement instead of two like in the first game, and the Magnetite system has been replaced with the Add-On system, which allows not only to change demons'skills, instead of allowing for a series of bonuses both in and out of battle. The attributes governed by the stats have also been reviewed.
  7. Devil Survivor 2: Record Breaker adds new demons, voice acting, the possibility to choose Tico's gender, an improved text font, and difficulty selection, along with a whole new story called the Triangulum Arc, set after the main story (although it's accessible from the start of the game). The game also makes use of the Nintendo 3DS's online feature to receive announcements from Atlus, interact with other players or download new content for the game. These latter features are fully optional in case the player doesn't want to use them.
  8. In Devil Survivor 2: Record Breaker the player can change difficulty at any time, which makes the game more accessible to newcomers, while also making it easier to grind for experience and money. But it still just as challenging as the first game.
  9. Time management is as important as its predecessor.
  10. Many new areas to visit and the player can now freely move between three different cities. It's also possible to revisit several areas returning from the first game, albeit much larger and many new things to see.
  11. Leveling is far easier than in the first game, as every character earns experience even if they haven't been used in battle, encouraging the player to keep rotating characters instead of using only the same few characters. The available characters also are unlocked as you go through the game, instead of joining all at the same point, which also helps.
  12. The game has an achievement system, which would be later carried over to Devil Survivor Overclocked and allows the player to earn achievements for completing certain tasks. Obtaining achievements also earns you points that you can use to unlock special bonuses in New Game Plus.
  13. There are five different routes, each of which assigned to specific characters and their own ending.
  14. Great soundtrack and in Record Breaker more songs were added in.
  15. The graphics and background are incredible.
  16. The art style is just as good as the first game and the character sprites are nicely animated. The Shadowstar manga artist did the Sephritones art design.
  17. Great dialogue and it's been improved translation in Record Breaker.
  18. Much more side content than the previous game, with the Fate system and a whole lot of new bonus bosses to fight. Bonus bosses are also more challenging than the first game.
  19. The Devil Auction system is improved from the previous game, and it now shows you the faith of the competitors in their bid, requiring the player to analyze their feelings and act accordingly, instead of just having to blindly bid higher and higher amounts of money to gain access to the demon.
  20. Getting all the endings is easier to figure out than in the first game, where you had no clear directions as to whether a certain character's death or missing a certain event would influence your ability to get a certain ending or not. Also, you get chances to convince characters to rejoin your party even in other routes if your Fate rank with them is high enough (Ronaldo and Yamato cannot be convinced to rejoin if you are in the opposing route or the Anguished One's route).
  21. The final battle is much more challenging than in Devil Survivor 1.
  22. The AI is improved from the first game, and while escort missions are still present, they aren't as tedious and annoying due to the characters not running head-on against enemies with no ways to defend themselves.
  23. The game has many more sidequests as its predecessor (Dera-Deka's subplot, the hidden demons, and all bonus bosses in the original, as well as the Frost Five and the Tico fight in Record Breaker)

Bad Qualities

  1. The characters aren't as memorable or as unique as the previous game. This is also seen in the anime as well. Keisuke and Ronaldo were both highly similar to one another for instance.
  2. The original version's text font in battle was very blurry and hard to read at times. This was however improved in Record Breaker.

Tips

  1. While Daichi's stats and stat growth pale in comparison to other characters, it's wise to give him the Multi-Strike spell to exploit his good Agility, given that the damage dealt by the spell is calculated based on the user's Agility stat.
  2. When Fumi asks you to find the memory card to power up the computer, you need to head to the electronic store before 12.30, in order to find the memory and return it to Fumi so that she can determine Daichi and Jungo's position. If you arrive too late, the memory will be stolen and, while you will be able to find Daichi, Jungo will be killed.
  3. In Record Breaker, even if the Triangulum arc is unlocked from the start, it's wiser to play it only after finishing the Septentrione arc, the main story. In this way, the game will go into New Game + and it will allow you to carry over your demons, skills, and money to the Triangulum arc, as well as clarifying some plot threads that are shared between the two stories.
  4. At the end of Day 1, you obtain the Skill Crack feature. Here are some occasions where it's useful:
    • At the end of Day 1, during the Dubhe boss battle, it's wise to crack the Anti-Fire skill and set it to any character, in order to resist its Binary Flame move immediately after.
    • During the battle against the tamers in the shrine on Day 2, the tamers have the Hustle skill, and you won't be able to find Auto-Skills for some time.
    • The battle against Botis on Day 3, where he has the Ziodyne spell, which is extremely powerful at that point.
    • During the battle at the planetarium to rescue Daichi and Jungo, the bandits have the Blitzkrieg skill, which is extremely useful to have.
  5. Here are the ways to get the endings in the game:
    • All endings (except the Anguished One's) will require the player to fight and defeat Alcor, the Dragon Stream Head, and the leader of the opposing faction (though it's possible to recruit them in Daichi's route)
      • Yamato (Meritorious): Obtained by supporting Yamato's faction on day 7. Fumi, Makoto, and Keita will join your faction. If the player has reached Fate Rank 4 with members of the other factions (except Ronaldo and the Anguished One), they will return to the party.
      • Ronaldo (Egalitarian): Obtained by supporting Ronaldo's faction on day 7. Airi, Joe, and Otome will join your faction. If the player has reached Fate Rank 4 with members of the other factions (except Yamato and the Anguished One), they will return to the party.
      • Daichi (Liberator/Restorer): Obtained by supporting Daichi's faction on day 7. Io, Hinako, and Jungo will join your faction. This is the only faction where Ronaldo and Yamato will return to the party if your Fate rank with them is high enough.
        • Restorer ending: Obtaining by maxing out Daichi and the members of his faction's Fate ranks. The final day will play out normally, however the resolution will change.
      • Anguished One (Kingmaker): Obtained by reaching Fate Rank 4 with the Anguished One. Doing so will unlock a bonus scene with Tico at the end of day 6, then this ending will become available. This is the only ending where the player will not fight Alcor and some party members won't be available anymore.

Trivia

  • In Record Breaker, when the player first boots up Nicaea, the overview states "Nicaea: Version 2.0", referencing the overview of the original game, which stated "Nicaea: Beta Version" , just like Record Breaker is a remake of the original.
  • The bonus boss Belial is fought at the concert hall in Bugeikan, the same place where the player fights him in Devil Survivor 1.
  • Obtaining the various endings will fill the night sky in the title screen. Obtaining Ronaldo, Yamato and Daichi's endings will show three radio towers on the screen corresponding to the three cities that the player can explore (Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya). Obtaining the Anguished One's ending will unlock the stars forming the Big Dipper constellation (whom the Septentriones are based upon) and obtaining Daichi's second ending will unlock the North Star (whom Polaris is based upon)
  • MIyakako was added into record breaker because of the new story being included and that she didn't fit in originally in the vanilla version.
  • Some characters are references to other games in the franchise:
    • Io's last name is a reference to Isamu Nitta, the best friend of the main character in Shin Megami Tensei 3: Nocturne, where he is the founder of the Reason of Musubi.
    • Likewise, Daichi's last name is a reference to Hikawa's Reason in Shin Megami Tensei 3. Daichi's Restorer ending is also very similar to Nocturne's ending if the player sides with Yuko Takao.
    • Both Male and Female Tico are based on the Velvet Room attendants from the Persona series (specifically, Margaret and Elizabeth respectively).

References

  1. In Japan known as Devil Survivor 2 (デビルサバイバー2, Debiru Sabaibā Tsū)
  2. In Japan known 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)

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