|Release: August 31, 2011|
|Screen Resolution: N/A||Fantasy Violence, Language, Mild Blood, Partial Nudity|
by Amanda L. Kondolojy
I'm all for handheld game remakes. Though you get the occasional cash-in, games like Chrono Trigger and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time have found new life on handheld ports. However, when you remake a game from two years ago that was already on a handheld platform, add almost no new features, and port it to a 3D system while forgetting to add 3D, the effort feels cheap and lazy. Is Devil Survivor Overclocked still an awesome game at its core? Yes. But if you've already played it, this 3DS port is probably not worth the extra investment.
If you haven't played Devil Survivor on the DS, you don't need to worry about missing anything here, as the experience includes all the content of the original. You lead a team of up to four characters as you navigate your way through what seems to be the end of the world. Rolling blackouts grip the metropolitan areas of Japan, demons patrol the streets, and an evil of biblical proportions is silently growing in the background, getting ready to destroy modern life as we know it.
Though the story is a little reminiscent of The World Ends With You at first, it quickly grows into its own and becomes quite the epic adventure. The gameplay takes the form of an old school grid-based RPG that allows you to catch and breed demons. The demon creation system in particular is fairly deep, and maximizing stats while preserving certain elemental strengths takes a fair amount of time and practice. Battles aren't exactly fast, but the game is absolutely true to its form as a tactics-based RPG. Fans of this genre will be sure to love its depth and format.
I was definitely hooked when I first picked up the game two years ago, and even though only a small amount of time has passed, I was ready to launch headlong into it once again. But looking forward to playing though the same story again wasn't what excited me most about Devil Survivor Overclocked. I wanted to check out all the new features. Unfortunately, that's exactly where this game lost me completely.
Let's start with the basics. There is no 3D. At all. There is an opening cinematic that shows 3D panels of character faces, but after that, it's all the standard 2D of the original. What you are left with is an experience you could just as easily get from popping the 2009 version into your 3DS. I can imagine those with little to no knowledge of the original DS game looking for a good RPG for the 3DS and being completely disappointed by the game's complete lack of a 3D option. I have to wonder why this game was re-released on the 3DS platform at all. Why not re-release it on the DS? The game doesn't have any 3D, and it doesn't use StreetPass or SpotPass.
Unfortunately, the port doesn't get any better. I suppose a big selling point might be that the game now features fully-voiced dialog. And when you've got a game that can easily play 20 hours or more, that does sound like it would be impressive. But the sad fact is that the voice acting just isn't that good. The performances sound wooden at best, and I couldn't really listen to the voice acting for any long period of time without turning the sound back down. This is actually pretty sad, as the game does have a pretty cool soundtrack. But if you're like me and can't deal with the voice acting, you'll have to miss out on all the great music.