Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor
Jason "OrigamiPanther" Love
Atlus’ Shin Megami Tensei series has come to envelop an array of games, each with its own RPG-style and story setting, that all manage to feel part of a larger whole. The most recent game in the series, Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor on the DS, continues with this legacy by shifting to a RTS/RPG hybrid play style set in modern day Tokyo while retaining the best parts of the MegaTen series.
What stands out about Devil Survivor is its unique blend of RPG turn-based and RTS mechanics. When you engage a group of demons, you move parties (a human and two demons) one at a time across a grid until you’re within attack range of a demon. Combat then switches to a first person, turn-based style with each side getting one turn of attacks. Hitting an enemy with an attack they’re weak against means you may take away an enemy’s extra turn and gain an extra turn of your own, and vice versa. These extra turns could mean the difference between victory and defeat, and add a unique strategy element to the game.
While Devil Survivor still contains the demon recruiting/fusion of others in the series, it changes things up a bit here too. Demons are recruited through an auction house, which is constantly updated with new demons of varying types. These demons can then be leveled and fused as usual; however, there’s no Igor around to save all the demons you recruit so any you use to fuse are gone. While you can recruit the same demon via the auction house, you have to level them all over again.
Devil Survivor’s unique combat system alone would make it worth checking out, but the combat system mixed with the MegaTen flare and polish makes it a must have for the RPG fan on the go.