Review: Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 Record Breaker (Nintendo 3DS)

Review: Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 Record Breaker (Nintendo 3DS)
Review Score:

Shin Megami Tensi: Devil Survivor 2 Record Breaker for 3DS is a turn-based, JRPG that sees the player in the role of an unnamed Japanese High School student on the day of exams. The story centers around a new smartphone app named ‘Nicaea’. This app is somehow capable of showing a person’s death before it actually happens. This app plays a major role in the story, and it helps the protagonist and his friends – Diachi and LO – survive the army of demons that soon infiltrate every major city in Japan.

It should be mentioned that Devil Summoner 2 Record Breaker is an enhanced port of the Nintendo DS original, Devil Survivor 2. The game contains a myriad of features, including two different story arcs –   Septentrione and Triangulum. The Septentrione Arc is the same scenario from the original game, while the second scenario,Triangulum, continues on where the first story arc leaves off.

The game also includes ‘Beginner’s Brawl’ and Lost Demon Rescue — two of the six DLC packs currently available on Nintendo’s eShop. Beginner’s Brawl is a Free Battle mode where the player can battle weaker monsters to earn Mecca (demonic currency) to purchase new personas at the Demon Auction. Lost Demon Rescue is a battle sequence where you must protect a fleeing demon from a horde of demonic enemies. If your party survives, the demon in question will join your party.

Shin Megami Tensei - Devil Survivor 2 Record Breaker

Additional content is available for Devil Summoner 2 Record Breaker via Nintendo’s eShop, but only as individual DLC packs. While the extra DLC is priced reasonably (i.e. $.99US / CA $1.49), the content they provide is similar to the free DLC provided with this release — simple battle scenarios that provide special rewards for their completion. For example:  ‘Let the Demons Grow’ is an old-fashioned, free-for-all battle where your party can gain XP bonuses and level up. The remaining DLC – Mecca Makes an Escape, All Skills Must Go!, and Addonetatruim — all provide similar experiences.

Devil Summoner 2 Record Breaker’s gameplay is like every game in the series — exploring the city involves selecting a location from the game’s navigation menu system, and then watching a cinematic cutscene that furthers the story. The game world is divided between story-based events and combat sequences; both are labeled accordingly in the navigation menu.

Combat is seen from a top-down, isometric perspective, and begins with the preparation of party members and their demons. Using the available menu, the player can select ‘Edit Team’ and then choose which demons will accompany each party member. From there, the SkillCrack menu can be used to ‘steal’ skills from opposing demons. Any skills that can be stolen will be present in this menu and assigned to a party member. If successful, the skill will be acquired and then learned.

Shin Megami Tensei - Devil Survivor 2 Record Breaker

Party members can be moved by selecting the ‘Move’ option from the on-screen menu system. The number of blocks they can traverse are highlighted in blue. Any mistakes made during the movement phase can be cancelled early on by pressing the B button. When a party member is next to an enemy, the player can initiate combat by selecting ‘Attack’ from the combat menu system. Seen from the first-person, battle is very reminiscent of the classic RPG series Wizardry, where enemies are represented by well-drawn portraits instead of normal sprites. Attacks and skills (i.e. magic) quickly flash across the screen as the player’s party and enemies exchange blows.

Combat can be challenging and even lopsided at times. For example: It is possible to get the ‘jump’ on enemies by engaging them from behind, allowing the player to strike first. There are times, though, when the CPU negates this tactic and ends up with multiple ‘Extra Turns’. When this happens, the player’s party is completely defenseless; some monsters will strike two or three times before the player can even retaliate. While frustrating, it’s not a game breaker by any stretch of the imagination; it’s a random event that can happen at any given time.

With that gripe aside, Devil Summoner 2 Record Breaker provides a wealth of content to keep the player busy. The Main Menu – which can be accessed by pressing the Y button – is where the player can ‘Fuse’ demons using the Fusion option; evaluate the ‘Fate’ and/or bonds forged between characters; and purchase demons from the ‘Demon Auction’, to name just a few.

Shin Megami Tensei - Devil Survivor 2 Record Breaker

Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner 2: Record Breaker is proof-positive that Atlus is still the king of isometric, turn-based JRPGs. The fully voiced, English dialogue that accompanies the game – along with 100+ hours of actual gameplay — make this release a must-have for any serious 3DS gamer.

Mike Pittaro
Platform: Nintendo 3DS
Developer: Atlus
Publisher: Atlus
ESRB: T (Teen)
Price: $49.99

Shin Megami Tensei Devil Survivor 2 Record Breaker Official Website:

Review Score
Some of the best 2D graphics in a role-playing game.
Atmospheric music sets the mood for the post-apocalyptic them.
The best turn-based combat of any JRPG in recent memory.
This is one role-playing game you shouldn't miss.
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