|System: PS2||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Atlus||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Atlus||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: May 12, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Mature||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Using these demons in battle makes up the small turn-based component of the game. You can summon two demons at the start of the battle. When you summon these demons, they can act freely and just attack the foe you are trying to deal with using physical attacks similar to your own. However, if you want to use a demon's special abilities, you will have to bring up a sub-menu and use some of your own magical power in order to facilitate the attack. In this way, the game implements some turn-based elements, which vary the game nicely.
One good thing about the battle system is that it is quite complex and is always evolving. As you gather and recruit new demons, you will gain access to different powers that you can use strategically to incapacitate your foes. Conversely, as you yourself level up, you will gain access to special weapons and armor that unlock your own potential. The battle system is ridiculously deep, and constantly gaining new demons and abilities definitely made grinding a breeze in this title.
Visually, Devil Summoner 2 is not that great, and most of the issues with this title stem from the fact that it was released on the aging PlayStation 2 hardware. Character models are generally nice, but there are some shuddering issues as well as low levels of detail. One thing I do have to commend the visuals on, though, is the way they bring the high atmosphere of the game to life. This title takes place in both a historic era and a demonic realm, and bringing both of these elements to life using different color palettes, character models, and modifying subtle elements of the environment is an impressive feat indeed.
As far as sound is concerned, this title is a mixed bag. On one hand, you have the music. The score for this game is absolutely wonderful, and I wouldn't be surprised if there is a soundtrack released for this game eventually. It is quite varied, and each stage/character/level has its own unique theme, most of which are nice to listen to.
On the other hand, however, you have the voiceover, which actually doesn't exist. Not having any kind of voiceover for a game released in today's modern gaming landscape just doesn't feel right. While there have been plenty of MegaTen games released without voiced dialogue, the series really upped the ante with the Persona sub-series, which did have voiceover, and I can't imagine why they would want to go backwards with this title. Although I don't mind the scrolling dialogue in regular conversation scenes, it makes animated cutscenes feel a little stiff, particularly in the opening montages.
Overall, I have to say that Devil Summoner 2 is a surprising title. Though I was expecting a more modern-feeling title, complete with voiceovers and plenty of action, in the end, the subtle and moody elements of this title won me over. Though its not the fastest-paced or action-infused title you've ever seen, Devil Summoner 2 is a great RPG with an engaging story and a superb battle system that is a credit to the MegaTen series.
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Staff Contributor