Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor – Surviving Devils

June 25, 2009

DSv4

The Shin Megami Tensei games are a long running series of RPGs akin to Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest, and yesterday I took the plunge by buying my first one. Devil Survivor for the Nintendo DS is about a bunch of hip young Japanese youth trapped in Tokyo by a military quarantine during a demon invasion. When I first read that description I was sold on the story instantly. I’m a sucker for military quarantines, what can I say, and after the first hour I have not been disappointed.

Initial Impressions:

My character, Robert McKool (that’s right), and his friends have spent their time trying to find an escape out of the demon infested metropolis. It’s a nice change of pace from an amnesic youth who goes on to save the world.No world saving here. This game is all about survival and sacrifice on a personal level.

The game play also breaks conventions a bit by blending sRPG and jRPG mechanics. Battles play out on a grid, like in an sRPG, but when you attack an enemy it goes into a standard battle screen like you would expect from Dragon Quest. It spices up the formula and it’s fun. Your characters don’t do the bulk of the fighting either. Instead you rely on forging pacts with demons and making them fight for you. It’s just another cool little twist that adds a bit of that “gotta catch em all!” feeling.

So far I am enjoying Devil Survivor a lot. It manages to stand out as an RPG on a system that is positively drowning in them with a great story and fun  game play. Look for my full review in the near future.

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