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(May 11, 2009)
While virtually identical to its predecessor, the total revamp of the battle system makes Devil Summoner 2 more than "more of the same." And the story, while lacking in voiced dialogue, is still filled with twists and turns; Raidou once again ends up battling another enemy that seems too big for his britches. It's still a unique way to present an RPG, and still comes highly recommended.
(Mar 10, 2009)
Devil Summoner 4 is one of the best entries in the illustrious Shin Megami Tensei series and rivals Persona 4 as one of the PS2's best RPG's. The game manages to blend a number of classic SMT elements into a supped-up action RPG that could give any Star Ocean game a run for its money. The challenge, complexity, and replay value are all there, plus a bangin' soundtrack and an original story. While the unchanged graphics, lack of voice acting, and minor gameplay snags leave room for improvement, King Abaddon still generally excels all around. It is everything that the last game could and should have been, and is bound to bring a lot more folks into the SMT fandom.
Raidou Kuzunoha ne se contente pas de revenir sur PS2, il revient en force dans une aventure plus longue avec un nouveau gameplay, de nouvelles capacités, de nouveaux lieux à visiter et de nouveaux personnages charismatiques. Dommage que notre détective préféré ait oublié de prendre de nouvelles musiques au passage, sinon le retour aurait été parfait.
While the system it runs on might be outdated, everything about Devil Summoner 2 feels fresh and unique. It’s got style and charm to spare, enough depth to keep RPG fans playing for weeks, and an engaging story that hooks you from the opening cinematic. In a genre known for cookie-cutter plots and minor variations on the same old turn-based combat system, Devil Summoner 2 is a breath of fresh air well worth dusting off the old PS2 for.
(May 06, 2009)
Sequels typically either make only slight improvements or worsen the series, but Atlus went the extra mile to make a major overhaul, and ultimately succeeded on improving the series. It may lack technical advancements and overall challenge, but it does deliver on having a good story and just being plain fun. Those who never played the first game can easily enjoy this installment, and those who played Soulless Army should play this and see just how superior King Abaddon is.
It’s hard to deny Devil Summoner 2’s charms. While I would have liked for the detective work to feel more like a true investigation, it’s also a great vehicle to have someone run around Japan and encounter clans, demons, and eccentric townsfolk. Some of the portions would have benefited from being reined in a bit and the pace more balanced, but most players will still have a great time.
And so, Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner 2 most certainly doesn’t fail. It falls a little short when it comes to pacing, character development, the implementation of a detective/investigating gameplay mechanic, and the overall personality. But it excels – as most Atlus games typically do – in the battle department, as the combination of depth and accessibility is excellent. The graphics are nice, there are some great highlights in the storyline, and the collection and control of Demons is endlessly entertaining. Not surprisingly, it’s a solid option for any RPG fan, but it’s not quite as polished or accomplished as Persona 4, which remains the best PS2 RPG we’ve played in quite a long time. But if you’re done with that one and need another long and involved Atlus fix, Devil Summoner 2 has you covered. Just remember, we’ve got some real-time stuff here, so don’t think it’s like Nocturne…
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.
Atlus seem to be masters of creating brilliant sequels without changing more than a few textures and a new script. Persona 4 was an example of this, and Devil Summoner 2 seems to continue that tradition. The changes that did make it into the game are universally excellent, improving the playability and tightening the controls. There are a few other perks: Raidou moves faster, the game is longer, and there are more sidequests. Raidou vs. King Abbadon feels like the product of a company that listens to its customers - as if Atlus had been there when every person had said “Man, this game is great, but…” and taken careful notes. In typical Atlus fashion, the game comes at a reduced price point with a collectible goody - in this case, a plush Jack Frost mascot wearing Raidou’s iconic outfit. If a better game, a low price, and an adorable doll aren’t enough to sway you, it might be time to find a therapist.
Though it suffers some missteps from the lackluster investigation sequences and poor camera, Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner 2: Raidou Kuzunoha vs. King Abaddon is an engaging and suspenseful adventure through an atmospheric world filled with supernatural intrigue. Fusing devils or recruiting new ones is addictive, defeating powerful fiends is rewarding, and unraveling the story is entertaining. If you're looking for a quirky and fun game to slake your thirst for an RPG, Devil Summoner 2 may be just what you're looking for.
(May 19, 2009)
If you don't mind the repetitious text and the somewhat bland demon mechanics, Devil Summoner 2 can actually be a lot of fun and has the potential for some serious level-grinding, which is always a strangely rewarding element in the RPG landscape. Also, the game comes with an adorable plushie of Raidou (for the time being) and the whole package is only 40 bucks. I'd say that's a pretty reasonable deal for a game that lasts for more than 35 to 40 hours.
All in all, Shin Megami Tensei games aren't everyone's cup of tea. Repetitive battles, quirky dialogue and complex fusion charts make some gamers squeal in delight while simultaneously sending others in search of a brick wall for some good ole head-bashing. But if you are the type to become obsessive-compulsive about filling your collection to perfection, Devil Summoner adds a dark twist to “catching them all.” Plus you get a cute li'l Jack Frost plush doll in Raidou attire with a new copy.