It’s finally out, the second Devil Summonor 2, and on the (old) DS! Of course I got it the instant I could, and since then I’ve been playing it as much as time would allow. So, without too much ado, here’s the review!
Let’s dig in, itadakimasu~
I’ll start off first with the premise, which is pretty run-of-the-mill for MegaTen: you are stuck in an apocalyptical situation, more or less caused by the wrath of a higher power who has decided to punish mankind for its overall badness by throwing demons upon them. Nothing special, and like in the first game, you and your group of friends manage to avoid your own deaths because you are in possession of a device (this time it’s your cellphone) that can predict the future. Furthermore, after defeating your first demon (with your bare fists, like a Viking), you forge a contract with it and are able to summon stronger demons as you level up. Thereafter, you have a week to fight off special enemies called Septentriones, and save the world.
First, I’ll comment on the differences between the first and second game. There isn’t really anything different in the gameplay/controls, though there are some differences in plot, obviously. In this game, the creator of the Demon Summoning App (Nicaea) isn’t your crazy cousin but an equally shady character who will first introduce himself as “The Anguished One.” Also, I feel like this game is much more linear compared to its predecessor. In Devil Survivor 1, there were 5 routes to take, with some obviously harder (or more like, more demanding) to complete than others. In comparison, in DS 2 there seem to be
ultimately only three routes (only 3 were obvious to me) four routes and it’s not very hard to attain any of them. These routes represent the factions your friends end up splitting into, and for whichever faction you decide to join, you will have to battle the others. However, I think no matter what route you choose, you will have to battle “God,” in the end, whose name is Polaris.
A feature that I would’ve liked for the game to have added is an auto-attack option like the one in Persona 4 (the one you could toggle with the triangle button during battles). Just a slight annoyance when I’m lazy and my characters are buff enough to kill everything with normal attacks. What the second game did have that was similar to P4 was a “Fate” system, which was basically a Social Link systems. Everyone’s Fate levels max out at 5, and after you decide on your route and beat the other factions, you will be able to convert the friends who you’ve defeated if their Fate level was 4 or more before the fighting. This game also has different features for the second playthrough that make it a little harder than the second playthrough of the first game: the bonus features you get in the second playthrough depends on your completion percentage of your first playthrough, and not all of your monsters/macca carry over. The Mitama buffs also need to be unlocked through the second playthrough; instead of them, you get add-on sets that let you give your demons more skills.
And that is pretty much it in terms of the major logistic differences I noticed. Onwards!
The game graphics are more or less like that of the first game; the character designs were even by the same artist. As I will mention in the Characters section, the Protagonist has ridiculous curly hair, and most of the girls who have big boobs also have something weird about their boobs. I’ll let you look at the pictures rather than explaining.
Lastly before we go on to that long spoiler’d section called ‘Characters’ we have the music. DS 2 has a full OP sequence for its title screen, with actual singing! However, the song is only mildly catchy, but I’ll give them points for actually having a song at all. The actual game OST is pretty mediocre in my opinion, and sometimes it gets pretty annoying to hear the same battle music every single time (it’s just not as good as the Pokemon battle theme). The music does signify special events, and a different theme plays when you’re facing a boss or in the last boss stage. Overall though, nothing particularly impressive here.
Finally, Characters: (which ARE safe-for-work, but IS a long section and has some spoilers)
NSFW (Not Safe For Work): Show
One thing I didn’t like about this game was that it rarely mentions the impossibility and very very possible downside of trying to achieve equality; that is, I only remember one instance in which someone realizes that there will be slackers in the world leeching off of try-hards in a world of equality. Yes, in a system of equality, there will be people who take advantage of everyone’s kindness, which is why I should mention everyone tries to avoid communism (and why it never really worked). I didn’t get to talk to Ronaldo enough to see if the game gave him a stance when it came to that, but I really doubt it did. Furthermore, if Ronaldo asked Polaris to create an ideal equal world, somewhere along the lines people’s personalities would have to be altered for that to work, and something about that really shouldn’t sit right with everyone.
It also doesn’t really delve into what a merit-system would consist of either; the game’s definition of “weak” counts as anyone who needs protection, but in actuality that would mean Yamato wants militarism, which is not the case. What Yamato seems to actually despise is the people the game fails to address in an equal world: the slackers who leech off of others’ hard work. He does not despise the weak who have potential to become strong (like the Protagonist); however, his harshness and lack of sympathy makes it hard to predict whether or not he’ll try to cultivate a “stronger” people and give people chances to become worthy of his respect. Consistency aside, I could get into how “strong” someone has to be relative to someone else in order to be considered “strong,” but that’d really be like beating a dead horse.
Finally, Daichi’s route is just a whole mess of hypocrisy. You want to talk things out peacefully, but when the opposing team refuses, you fight them (there goes talking things out!). I suppose that’s the only option, unless Daichi’s route becomes the “nonviolent protest” route, which wouldn’t be helpful at all on a doomsday. After that, your only options are to ask Polaris to revert the events of the Apocalypse (which would mean 99.999999% your memories of dooms-week would also be erased) and everything would happen all over again, or you kill Polaris (my route). You’d think killing God would make things worse or have some dire consequences, but miraculously that means humans gain freedom.
All in all, any route you take seems to have very half-baked ideals and/or solutions, so I really wish the game accounted for that. But it probably would’ve become too political and too boring/complicated if the plot actually delved into explaining that, so I guess there’s not that much salvation on that front. Then again, they did just tack on the Akashic Records towards the end, which was explained badly and was everything but simple…
And now the final breakdown!
Over and out, gochisousama deshita!