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Games : Must Own
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Release Date: May 5th, 2015 Movie Release Year: 2015

Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 Record Breaker

Overview -

The original version of 'Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2' was released in February 2012 for the original Nintendo DS. But before 'Devil Survivor 2' had even been released in the U.S., fans of the massive 'Shin Megami Tensei' series caught wind of other news: an enhanced version of the original 'Devil Survivor' title, named 'Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked' had hit the Nintendo 3DS in Japan, offering a plethora of upgrades from the 2009 original, including a meaty post-game scenario.

With that, many Atlus fans expected that 'Devil Survivor 2' would get similar treatment, and with the announcement of 'Devil Survivor 2: Record Breaker' in 2013, that expectation was seemingly confirmed. And yet, though the new version had been announced, subsequent delays were followed by an extended silence from Atlus, and many feared that the game had been cancelled or, at the very least, would not receive an English release.

Those developments out of the way, 'Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 Record Breaker' is finally here. Now to see if the long-awaited and wordily titled game is worth all the fuss.

OVERALL:
Must Own
Rating Breakdown
VIDEO
AUDIO
Tech Specs & Release Details
Release Date:
May 5th, 2015

Video Review

Ranking:

The visual aspect of 'Record Breaker' is its weakest point by far. It's easy to tell that this was originally a DS title here, with small, pixelated versions of the playable characters running around the field, and fighting oft-reused drawings of 'Shin Megami Tensei' demons on the battle screens. The rather basic field visuals do make sense for the genre; even graphically impressive strategy RPGs such as 'Fire Emblem: Awakening' use rather basic field screens to prevent obscuring and detracting from the map itself. Even so, though, it does feel like more could have been done, especially when coming to the demons' in battle drawings.

Outside of battles, 'Record Breaker' fares better, but not far from expectations based on the game's platform history. Character portraits are used to portray the characters and convey their dialogue, and this representation is peppered by the occasional use of battle sprites to show a sense of movement. The portraits themselves are rather expressive, even the silent main protagonist, which helps to give a tone to the actual choices players pick throughout the game. It's no technical marvel for sure, but 'Record Breaker' isn't an ugly game to look upon.

Audio Review

Ranking:

'Record Breaker' provides a wonderful array of music and sounds to please players' ears. For starters, the music is mostly provided by Kenji Ito, best known for his work on the 'Mana' and 'SaGa' series. His high-energy, rocking tracks are absolutely perfect for 'Record Breaker', and any players playing the game with the volume turned down are doing themselves a disservice.

Also, 'Record Breaker' is packed to the brim with voiced dialogue. Almost every line in the 3DS title is voiced, and thankfully most of the voice actors play their characters well. The importance of this factor plays out regularly. Had some of the more emotional scenes been miscast in 'Record Breaker's apocalyptic setting, many of the game's scenes and the overall impact would have been injured and possibly lost. I will admit that I don't care for Ranaldo's voice actor all that much, but with so many characters to voice, the ratio of good voice actors to bad is pretty great here.

Final Thoughts

'Devil Survivor 2: Record Breaker' is an amazingly well put together package. The game isn't perfect, but most of the flaws are niggling and barely worth mentioning. (For example, how cumbersome it can be to set a bunch of skills to four playable characters.) Perhaps 'Record Breaker's' biggest flaw is that it resides in a more niche genre: Strategy RPGs aren't as popular as their various strategy counterparts, which likely means that 'Record Breaker' will not get as much exposure as compared to some of 'Shin Megami Tensei's' other spinoffs.

But letting this game's genre, perceived difficulty, art style, or anything else completely dissuade potential players would be a mistake. This is truly a wonderful game that any and all RPG fans should pick up as soon as they can.