The highlight of Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor is its clever strategy RPG meets press turn battle system. Characters joined with two demons move on a grid and battle other monsters. When a fight begins, players pick commands as if they were playing a turn based RPG. In typical Shin Megami Tensei style, you want to exploit weaknesses (break out your dancing skills) to gain extra turns. Another element of strategy is you don’t have to defeat all three enemies, eliminate the leader and the entire unit disappears.
Devil Survivor follows computer whiz Atsuro and Yuzu who is desperate to return to her regular life in Tokyo during a lockdown where demons suddenly appear. Using Nintendo DS-like COMPs, given to you by a sinister looking cousin, you gain the ability to summon demons and survive. A handy (macabre?) death clock seen only by the protagonist let’s you know how long each character has to live and the story changes depending on who you save.
If you missed Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor and providing you already have a Nintendo 3DS Overclocked is the version you want to get. Atlus added new demons from Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey, a demon compendium, and although it’s never a personal requirement voice acting is a nice addition. It’s what you would expect from an Atlus production, except Yuzu sounds kind of like a valley girl to me. The game has been rebalanced a bit too, physical attackers are more useful. However, the same dance and drain strategy applies for most of the game. While Devil Survivor Overclocked doesn’t make use of 3D effects (most of the action is on the bottom screen), there are a few graphic touchups like higher resolution character busts and an easier to read font.
The defining feature for fans of the original is the 8th day. This playable epilogue is a brand new episode made for the Nintendo 3DS and it changes depending on a key decision you make. Spoiler alert – not all routes have an 8th day. I learned that the hard way! Fortunately, since Devil Survivor Overclocked has multiple saves I restarted and saw a devilish end to the game. In the 8th Day following Naoya’s route, the lockdown was not lifted. I could either attack only the angels or kill the humans too. In one route alienated characters rejoin. Otherwise chaos can go wild, if that’s what you want. Running around Tokyo as a callous overlord was a neat idea, but there wasn’t too much extra to see in Devil Survivor Overclocked.
Seeing one epilogue piqued my curiosity to go back and find the other 8th days. However, I’m not sure if that’s enough to convince fans that poured hours into into Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor to pay and replay the 3DS version. The core game still the main dish, the 8th day episode is like a proverbial dessert.