Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner 2: Raidou Kuzunoha vs King Abaddon
Jason "OrigamiPanther" Love
PS2 - Atlus
Atlus’ Shin Megami Tensei series of RPGs are well known for the unique feature that allows the protagonist to recruit a variety of demons from a great many cultures’ mythoi. While several variations and spin-offs of the series have surfaced over the years, they typically fall in the traditional RPG or tactical RPG realm. The Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner series, however, represents Atlus’ (successful) outing into the action RPG genre.
SMT: Devil Summoner 2 places you in the shoes of Raidou Kuzunoha, 14th in a long line of prestigious demon summoners. Raidou lives in 1930s Japan and fills his days by working for a detective agency doing all of the typical things a typical detective does: take on cases, look for clues, use demons to read peoples’ minds… . Unlike the other SMT games where demons are typically used in combat situations only, Raidou must enlist the aid of the demons to help him solve cases by performing such actions as changing Raidou’s appearance, reading the minds of townsfolk, or inspecting an area for clues. In combat, the demons provide Raidou with all of the abilities that are typical in an RPG (i.e., elemental spells, status ailments, and special attacks) and can be issued specific commands or set to auto-attack his foes. Raidou, then, is left to run about the field shooting and hacking the enemies into submission. Of course, fighting isn’t always the answer and Raidou can opt to negotiate with the demons to try and bring them over to his side.
While the graphics aren’t quite up to par with Persona’s, gamers seeking a good action RPG should find Devil Summoner 2 quite enjoyable and longtime fans of SMT games will not be disappointed.