Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked (Nintendo 3DS) Preview

By Az Elias 12.09.2011 15

Review for Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked on Nintendo 3DS

The original Devil Survivor on the Nintendo DS never made it to Europe, however, the game was very well received and regarded as one of the best RPGs of its year. Atlus has now seen fit to port the game to the 3DS as Devil Survivor Overclocked with brand new features and added plot. It was released in North America last month, and although there are currently no plans to release it in Europe at the moment, it might not be completely out of the question, so here is a look at what we can hope to get our hands on in the future.

For those unfamiliar with the original Devil Survivor, it is a tactical role-playing game set in Tokyo, Japan. After demons invade and attack the city, it is locked down, and innocent lives are lost and helpless. The protagonist and his friends learn that, with their modified electronic devices called COMPs, they can summon helpful demons to help fight the destructive ones wreaking havoc across Tokyo. Even more disturbing is that the hero finds out he has the ability to see how long a person has left to live, including his own and his friends’ death clocks. Upon learning that everyone stuck in the quarantine will die in seven days, the group attempt to change their and the city’s fates.

Anyone familiar with Fire Emblem or Final Fantasy Tactics will immediately be right at home with the basis of how Devil Survivor works, with you moving characters a certain number of squares over battlefields, then choosing attacks against enemies they get close to. What sets this one apart from other SRPGs, though, is the way combat is played through 3 vs. 3 battles, with one main character being the leader, and having two demon supporting characters fighting beside him or her. The same applies for your opponents. The tactical judgment comes in deciding whether you should wipe out the enemy’s supporting characters first, or go straight for the heart of the threat and attack the leader, which will automatically defeat the opposing party. You control up to four squads on the battlefield, with the main characters of the game making up each squad as its leader.

Screenshot for Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked on Nintendo 3DS

Units have up to seven abilities, which include attacking options, passive actions that affect strengths and weaknesses of opponents, as well as special race-specific behaviours for demons and buffs for humans. Experience points are gained through defeating enemies, which level-up the characters and demons, in turn learning new abilities. Humans learn new abilities through a process called skill cracking. At the start of a battle the player chooses a skill of an enemy that they would like to learn for each character unit, and then defeat that opponent with the required squad. After cracking an ability, it is free to be used for all human units. Demons mostly learn new moves from the unique fusion system in the game. By fusing two demons together a new one is created, inheriting or learning new skills, and generally being more powerful. Demon fusion is a key element of the game that is very much an experimental feature for the player; by mixing different demons you can view the outcome and decide whether it will be beneficial or not. A demon auction of sorts is an alternative way of gaining new demons, with the player spending ‘macca,’ the currency of the game, in an attempt to win new allies.

Screenshot for Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked on Nintendo 3DS

Devil Survivor is quite non-linear, with the choices the player makes at the beginning and throughout the game reflecting the outcomes later on. Advancing the plot comes in the form of speaking to specific characters, and story-based missions will push the game’s clock forward a set amount of time, resulting in certain activities becoming unavailable or new ones opening up. Free battles are not story driven, but can be taken part in to gain experience and money, as well as improve the party’s skills.

What has been added in the 3DS port then? Devil Survivor Overclocked is now set at a much higher resolution, with redrawn character portraits and clearer graphics and text. Somewhat surprisingly, however, is that there is hardly any use of 3D. The action and battle scenes take place on the touch-screen, with character information displayed on the top. About the only part of the game that uses 3D is the opening cinematic. A demon compendium has been added, which allows the player to re-summon or duplicate demons at a cost, making it a very useful feature that saves a lot of time fusing and auctioning. New demons, skills and missions are introduced, as well as a much-needed ‘Easy’ mode. As most Shin Megami Tensei fans know, these games can get very challenging, to the point where grinding is needed to deal with tougher opponents. ‘Easy’ mode rewards the player with more experience and money, removing the need to grind so much. An achievement-based system has also been implemented, with titles and points being received to spend at the start of a New Game +, allowing for the bringing over of demons, abilities and other data. A couple of other additions include faster gameplay in battles and extra save files.

Screenshot for Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked on Nintendo 3DS

As mentioned earlier, the game’s plot revolves around Tokyo collapsing after seven days. However, in Devil Survivor Overclocked, an eighth day has been added, which is probably the biggest extension to the original game. The story itself allows for multiple endings, but with the eighth day branching off from some of these endings, this potentially allows for multiple different eighth days. Add to this that the first seven days supposedly contained approximately 15,000 words of recorded voice dialogue, with the eighth day taking up 5,000 words on its own, and you can understand just how big this extra plot scenario is. Furthermore, the whole of the game is now fully voiced, with what has been regarded by fans as high quality English acting.

Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked has been referred to as one of the best and lengthiest role-playing games on the Nintendo 3DS by the media. The strategic gameplay allows for lots of customisation and the engrossing story provides multiple player choices and end results, earning high praise from journalists and gamers alike and definitely deserves a release in Europe and Australia.

Screenshot for Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked on Nintendo 3DS

Final Thoughts

The first Devil Survivor on DS did not receive a European release, and there is still no official confirmation of Overclocked coming here, either. However, it would seem there is a better chance that this could make its way over, especially if fans do their best to make their voices heard. Devil Survivor Overclocked is every RPG fan’s dream, mixing strategy with customisation, all in a modern Tokyo setting. With the 3DS’ region locking ruling out importing, we have to rely on a localised release. It will be very disappointing if European players do not get the chance to experience one of the best RPGs to come out in recent years.

Update: Devil Survivor Overclocked has now been confirmed for a European release on April 5th, 2013!

Developer

Atlus

Publisher

Ghostlight

Genre

Turn Based RPG

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10 (1 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date None   

Comments

Since this never got a release in Europe on DS I actually never really read up on it, so this was really informative - thanks Az Smilie

Here's hoping someone picks this up for Europe in the absence of Atlus Europe Smilie Come on Rising Star Games, step up to the plate!

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

Thanks very much, I enjoyed reading up about it. I didn't know much about this one either, so the great thing about doing these previews is getting to learn about some really interesting and cool games that I might not have thought about before. It definitely looks like the type of RPG I'd be into. As a fan of FF Tactics and Fire Emblem, it's very appealing. Plus, I loved SMT: Persona 4, so I'm always curious about all SMT games now.

As for a European release, it might not be that far-fetched, as long as gamers make themselves known. Ghostlight, a company that released SMT: Persona 3 Portable, have said they haven't dismissed the idea of releasing Overclocked in Europe, and they've had many requests already. The best thing to do would be for everyone to express their interest in seeing a European release by contacting Ghostlight about it here.

Even if you're not interested in the game or from outside of Europe, perhaps you could still help by just filling that small contact page in. I'm definitely going to be doing it right now, and with any luck, we'll get it eventually.

Such a shame that fans are now having to go to these extreme efforts and hoping for the best now that importing is out of the question.

( Edited 12.09.2011 20:44 by Azuardo )

Damn, this sounds just like my type of game. I'd likely be all over it if it received an European release. An English only release, like The World Ends With You, would be perfectly fine as well seeing as the main audience for these type of games probably couldn't care less about having it in their native language, especially when it's on a region-locked system.

Thanks for the informative write-up, Azuardo! Smilie

Just sent them this link and a message about how disappointing it was that the original DS game never hit Europe and this 3DS version could soften the blow Smilie

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

Yup, just sent my message over to them, echoing your comment in that it was a shame we never got the DS version, and that it would be a bigger tragedy that Overclocked doesn't see a European release. Games like this deserve to be played by as many people as possible.

Sent them a message as well. Smilie Hopefully we'll get an European release at some point. My 3DS really needs some lengthy (J)RPGs! Smilie

( Edited 12.09.2011 21:42 by SirLink )

Good stuff! Would be great if we could get a few more people reading this sending them a request to publish Overclocked here too. All you guests reading, get to it! ;p

Dead right though; 3DS does need some RPGs. The handheld market has been the place for RPGs over the last few years with DS and PSP.

Squidboy (guest) 13.09.2011#8

This game is amazing, I'll post a review in my blog soon.

Sent a message to Ghostlight, I'm really interested in this game, and I'm holding out on importing the DS version to see if this gets a PAL release.

Follow Me on twitter :: @Stulaw90 || My Youtube || Backloggery
NNID: Stulaw

Hi Aaron,

Thanks for your suggestion. While we currently have no plans to bring Devil Survivor out over here we are all big SMT fans so it is something we are looking at.

For more news on Ghostlight including new game announcements please keep an eye on our Blog, Facebook and Twitter.

Ross

Expected. But hopefully it's on the cards.

Got the same e-mail a while ago. Smilie

Btw, if those guys at Ghostlight do bring it out over here, is that going to be only in the UK or the rest of Europe as well? Not that it matters since I could just import it from ebay.uk, I'm just curious.

( Edited 14.09.2011 18:17 by SirLink )

Europe. To quote their Twitter info:

"Specialist in JRPGs for the European market."

I got the same email! Smilie Poor guy must have been like, "WTF is with all these messages suddenly" Smilie

Has anyone replied to him?

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

Erm, nope. Don't think we'd get much more out of him tbh.

I got the same E-mail as well, ah well, hopefully something happens.

Follow Me on twitter :: @Stulaw90 || My Youtube || Backloggery
NNID: Stulaw

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