Continuing our Shin Megami Tensei interview from Friday, here’s what the team at Atlus USA had to say about Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor.
Let’s switch and talk about the other Shin Megami Tensei game, Devil Survivor. What can you tell us about the story?
Yu Namba, Project Lead: You play as a high school student, just like all other SMT games. [laughs] You’re basically meeting up with your friends to see your cousin. All of the sudden the entire Tokyo area is locked down, completely shut off to the rest of the world by the JSDF (Japan Self Defense Force). You’re trapped in there and suddenly people get attacked by all of these weird creatures. You’re just there trying to stay alive really.
Some people may feel that Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor was inspired by The World Ends With You.
Nich Maragos, Editor: It does have some similarities like it’s set in modern day Japan, there’s a seven day time limit, but a lot of the similarities with The World Ends With You are things that have been part of the Shin Megami Tensei series since the beginning. So, if anything, I kinda feel like The World Ends With You is inspired by us.
Are there going to be any changes to the US version?
NM: Nothing really.
How many endings are there?
NM: There are several.
YN: There are things that happen throughout the story where you make all these little decisions that can potentially alter the outcome of certain events.
NM: A lot of the endings are focused on single characters. To really get to them you have to make sure that character stays alive and you develop a relationship with them throughout the game.
So is Devil Survivor going to be a new branch of the SMT series? Do you envision future Devil Survivor games?
NM: We’re not really the creators of the game. Even if we envision them I can’t say for sure they’re going to happen.
YN: However, I think the game system itself, the merge of the strategy RPG and the traditional RPG, I think they did a good job. I wouldn’t be surprised if they brought another one in.
NM: I was really surprised at how well they did because I’m someone who doesn’t play strategy RPGs. I’ve been playing this game recently and they did a really good job making this genre accessible to someone that already knows and loves MegaTen even if they’re not necessarily a strategy RPG fan.
Can you elaborate more? Did the development team simply the strategy RPG formula?
NM: It’s not so much simplifying strategy RPGs as it is adding things into the mix that fans of the Shin Megami Tensei series will be familiar with. For example, the battles rely heavily on exploiting the enemies weaknesses and protecting your own.
Then there’s the extra turn system. You can gain extra turns each time you finish by making sure you’re taking advantage of these weaknesses. People who played the Persona games, Nocturne, and the Digital Devil Saga games they’ll have a part they will be familiar with.
Speaking of the other SMT games… what new demons will we see in Devil Survivor that have not been shown in any other SMT game prior?
YN: Let’s start from Nocturne on. There have been a lot of demon reuses I’d say. There were a lot of demons in the past games like Devil Summoner. Not the Raidou one, the original Devil Summoner, that we haven’t seen so far. Those will be introduced in this game.
NM: There are also brand new demons that Kazuma Kaneko drew specifically for this game such as Balder.
Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor brings Kazuma Kaneko drawn demons and strategy RPGs together on June 23 in North America.