- Besides the new features paragraph of this review, it can also apply to the original version of the game
I can’t say that I had the fortune to play Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor when it originally came out in 2009 for the Nintendo DS, but I have played the series’ most recent main title: Shin Megami Tensei IV. Like almost every game in the franchise, it was generally well received as its gameplay was similar if not analogous to another game that was then in development by the company, ATLUS: Fire Emblem: Awakening. In 2011, the remake SMT: Devil Survivor Overclocked released, featuring brand new features as well as an extra dose of story, which were some marketing points that they used. As a port of a spin off game in one of the early years for the Nintendo 3DS, it is obvious that ATLUS was trying to raise funds for SMT IV in an efficient way, while also practicing the Fire Emblem-esque style that the game would utilize.
In similar fashion to all of ATLUS’ games, this one comes loaded with philosophical questions that are waiting to be thought about and subsequently answered as the game. The plot centers around three young protagonists who find themselves wrapped up in a war between Human and Demon, with mankind’s only weapon being mysteriously altered COMP’s, which roughly look like the Nintendo DS console. And the equally enigmatic death clocks above each person’s head, which are only visible to the main character and select others and shows the amount of days that each character has left to live. Without getting too far into the lore, the death clock works using predictions that come from an unknown source, that details events and disasters that will occur in the districts of Tokyo. By stopping these events, the main characters can alter the time on their death clocks in either the forward or the reverse direction.
Like I mentioned before, this game has a combat system that is unlike that of the main entry games in the SMT franchise. Where those games flow in an area based dungeon RPG that focuses on quests and combat, this game focuses on movement and map control, just like every entry in the FE series. To start, each character can be placed in a team of three, with the middle unit acting as the leader. The two to its side absorb damage and give the leader stats. By defeating the leader, the entire team is defeated, although the game rewards the player with more experience and currency if they do choose to defeat every member of a team. Also like FE, the characters have a certain amount of spaces that they can possibly move during their turn, and are allowed to attack one enemy unit. Like previous SMT games, weaknesses are the way to victory, giving the attacker an extra attack turn which can be a huge advantage in boss fights and even normal combat; with the right combination of Demons and skills, battles in this game can become an offensive cakewalk with the only difficulty coming in positioning or extra objectives.
Unlike most ports, which merely port the game, Devil Survivor overclocked features an extended story, brand new voice acting and new demons to recruit. Unfortunately, it still retains that Nintendo DS feel where playability is restricted to the touch-screen with the health and team status on the top. Aside from this, the game plays well and offers many different options for play style (although to be honest, all effective play styles include some magic) and offers the SMT experience that you would expect. 90/100