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If you are a fan of the first game or any other game in the series, I would highly recommend getting this game. It has improved story and combat system over the first game and you can put in a lot of game hours before finishing it.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Seamless experience after the adjustment peroidJuly 23 2009
Benjamin S. Sprague
- Published on Amazon.com
Many of you may ask me in my opinion what justifies giving a game 5 stars. As a reviewer I care about a few key factors. Originality, good game play, decent atmosphere/plot, and a seamless non broken experience rate the highest on my list. Things such as "glitches or bugs" can knock down a grade on my end.
Let me state right off the bat any title with "Shin Megami Tensei" stamped on it somewhere will be a Japanese rpg but not a "stereotypical" J-rpg. Devil Summoner 2 continues this proud tradition in style.
As someone living through a new recession the story line hit home. Devil Summoner 2 has a mystery novel vibe to it. You are Raidou, a young man who can negotiate with demons so they will join you but you are a detective during the 1920's in Japan as well that is struggling to hold onto traditions as it enters the modern era.
The Capital's people are hauntingly enough a reflection of us. For some unknown reason "luck" has become imbalanced in the universe. Those that are poor and unlucky are EXTREMLY destitute while the wealthy with good life circumstances go about charmed oblivious existences often not caring or even knowing about the suffering around them. The back drop of this "past Japan" is much akin to "Modern America". There are unemployed workers that are completely without hope. Those fortunate enough to have jobs are forced to labor in harsh conditions thus resort to alcohol and other vices to dull the pain. There are nice girls who turn tricks at the red-light district because they cannot make ends meet any other way. The only glimmer of optimism is as Raidou you can accept cases and help many of these people thus turning back the tides of misfortune.
SMT games are good for addressing issues that effect normal people. The Persona series is most renowned for that and Devil Summoner 2 is no exception to that rule. Sure, things may eventually lead up to an epic confrontation with a mad-man trying to plunge the world into Armageddon but the bigger focus is always "monsters" created by our own society more so than denizens rising from the depths of hell.
The game-play in Devil Summoner 2 is "improved" over the first game in many ways. Raidou can roll and cartwheel with the dodge button to avoid attacks and he no longer has limited ammunition. However after 6 shots he still must reload. In close quarters the hero brandishes a sword to dish out the justice. Normal attacks focus powerful slashes on one foe whereas "special attacks" can hit multiple foes but normally do less overall damage to each adversary.
Now comes the real treat for you traditional SMT fans. Demon negotiation is back. Any person who loved Persona 1-2 or Nocturne knows what demon negotiation is. At any time during combat you can talk to most demons. They all have quirky traits. Like real people demons will judge you based on a first impression and they all have likes and dislikes. Have a stimulating enough conversation and various cute, scary, and sexy beasties will ally with you, allowing you to have them as friends in combat and even during investigations. Negotiating has many layers. For example your friends can better your chances of impressing another demon and may add their voices to the peace-talk. If you have a certain demon type already in your party other demons from that species will almost always be friendly to you if you choose to interact with them kindly instead of slaying them outright. Demons have as much "personality" and "heart" as your back up class-mates in the Persona games so you will get attached even to the weakest ones. (As you raise in level you get more "tubes" which store more demons.)
Speaking of Persona you can fuse demons in much the same way. Instead of dropping by the velvet room you talk to Victor, a mad scientist who loves making new creations from meshing demons together. As with the velvet room you can make more powerful buddies and even call back demons in their separate forms by paying a fee. The more powerful a demon was, the more it costs to recruit them anew. A good thing to also remember is registering your demons often. As they increase in level and rank you'll want to be sure Victor records their improving stats.
By itself the system of "negotiating" and "fusing" is fun enough as it is. However what is really innovative is you can summon one demon from your list to help you in non-combat situations. Inugami can read minds when you question someone showing you their true thoughts. Petra is good at diving down wells to retrieve items for you. A skill caste demon such as Pixie can even let you take on the appearance of your suspects and enemies in order to get past guards or other obstacles. All this accumulates into an engrossing and entertaining romp whether you are fighting creatures or merely gathering clues.
However there are a few minor gripes. First and foremost if this is your first SMT game you may not know the weaknesses of every demon type. I suggest using the analyze skill whenever you can and attempting different things in battle. You can switch out demons in combat so never be hesitant to trade someone out if they don't seem to be doing well in the present situation. If a creature can do insane melee damage try distancing yourself and using your gun. Sometimes bullets can temporarily stun foes. Lastly remember you can "hide" your demons by pressing one of the left shoulder buttons. This reduces the punishment your party has to take.
Beyond battles occasionally spiking in difficulty level my only other qualm is a mild one. There is no voice acting. The main characters are so deep, artistically rendered, and expressive the lack of speech did not phase me much but if you got spoiled by the great localizations and voice talent from the digital devil and persona games this maybe a red mark on your scoring sheet.
Overall Devil Summoner 2 is a great rpg. I liked its' strategic yet live action battles as well as the various ways demons can offer their aid both on and off the combat field. I'd go so far to say I haven't seen as much charm and creativity woven into many next gen titles. Give Atlus a stone wheel and a crank and they'll make you a reliable yet flashy all terrain automobile! Atlus does so much with last gen hardware and software I cannot wait to see what heights they will soar to once they catch up with the pack!
+I could relate to the desperate gritty semi industrial setting of 1920's Japan.
+Interesting and lovable antagonists and protagonists
+Combat physics improved upon since the first game
+Don't have to play DS 1 to appreciate DS 2.
+ Demons are valuable friends both during investigation and in the thick of battle.
+Touches on issues experienced by real people. Sure there is epic cheese too, but not too much of it.
+Talking black cat familiars are awesome.
+If you love pokemon (Aka collecting creatures, fusing them to make more powerful variants, and interacting with your adorable entourage of misfits) you will love Devil Summoner 2!
+No longer run out of ammo though you still must "reload" after 6 shots.
-Those new to SMT are not going to know the weaknesses of all the demons
-Battles can easily go from "reasonable" to "OMFG....it shanked me with one hit!"
- Status ailments which "mind-frag" your allies really suck. Stock up on appropriate items to keep your demons mentally and physically sound.
-The very term "demon". It encompasses all creatures you interact with even those whom are not truly classified as demons by mythology. For example "pixies" are fey. However modern religion does "demonize" all things of the old faiths so it makes sense if you look at it from a certain perspective. Aka "demon" is the term humans give to any creatures they fear and don't understand.
-If you enjoyed the turn based battles in Digital Devil saga, Nocturne, and Persona 3-4 the new "live action elements" may take awhile to get used to.
-No voice acting
-It's a shame certain gamers may get the wrong idea by the title "Devil Summoner". While there are adult themes it also is about doing the right thing, using negotiation instead of violence to make new friends, and impacting the lives of other people in a positive way. Kind of a chuckle-fest to consider how many yokels are going to assume this game encourages satanic worship and deflowering virgins to bring ol Horny back into the world.
Pro or con? +/-: Raidou is yet another silent protagonist. He's cool, chill, and fashionably verb but doesn't express much emotion. Compared to say Yuri from Shadow-Hearts he is a stick in the mud. However Raidou is supposed to represent the player and if he was given an opinionated and wacky personality would we be able to relate to him any better? That is debatable. Gouto, Raidou's familiar luckily has plenty of pazaaz as does the lovable cast which offer support. Perhaps even a quiet hero is a bit more impressionable with a black cat side kick pouncing around at his side. Either you like "silent protagonists" or you don't which is why I bring this up as a big neutral point.
Overall: Despite its' flaws DS 2 gets 5 stars from me. There are no game halting glitches, lag, or other nuisances which actually seem to pop up more in next gen titles. The 1920's era is portrayed perfectly, I love the artistic direction, and as with Persona it touches on the struggle and triumph of the human spirit. For the price you cannot beat this bargain. Also though it shames me to admit it I love my Raidou plushie. Apparently I'm not as macho as I thought. Oh well, back to playing!
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
An enjoyable and more than solid RPGMay 19 2009
- Published on Amazon.com
Yes, the PS2's days appear to finally be dwindling down (I feel like I've been saying that for two years plus now), but Atlus continues to release some solid games for the aging system regardless. Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner 2: Raidou Kuzunoha VS King Abaddon (I am not typing that whole thing again) is an enjoyable and solid RPG that delivers the goods in terms of moments of fun combat and atmosphere, all wrapped up in a detective narrative. Playing as the devil summoning Raidou Kuzunoha, you're up to your neck in a missing person's case and end up taking on a whole bunch of otherworldly baddies in the process. Like nearly every other game that bears the Shin Megami Tensei brand on it, Devil Summoner 2 has quite the immersive world to explore, and the real-time combat makes the game that much more fun to enjoy. The detective elements don't always work too well, but the game's story ends up being one well told given the elements of the narrative. The only drawbacks to Devil Summoner 2 end up being the just plain bad camera angles that can impede exploring, and the fully rendered 3-D graphics definitely show the age of the PS2. Flaws aside though, Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner 2 is an enjoyable and more than solid RPG that is definitely worth playing, and here's hoping that Atlus keeps the RPG train on the PS2 coming for some time yet.
Disappointing SequelJuly 19 2014
- Published on Amazon.com
During the Taisho Era, the people of Japan’s Capital take obsession in various fads, among them being luck, with the people finding a great disparity between those with infinite good fortune and those with no luck whatsoever. Meanwhile, a young woman files a missing persons case with the Narumi Detective Agency, with the Devil Summoner Raidou Kuzunoha finding himself on a mysterious trail leading to the mysterious King Abaddon. Atlus’s Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner 2: Raidou Kuzunoha vs. King Abaddon picks up where its predecessor left off and builds upon its prequel’s action-driven gameplay, although the sequel’s various changes aren’t always for the better.
Like its predecessor and Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne, Devil Summoner 2 uses an indicator in enemy-infested areas that changes from yellow to red to indicate how close the player is to encountering enemies; this time, many areas like the streets of the Capital are encounter-free. Most notable throughout the game is the twenty-second-long intervention between encountering an enemy and actually being able to select commands for Raidou’s two active monsters to execute, up from one monster in the previous game. Players can choose to have Raidou’s monsters automatically execute commands repeatedly, requiring Magnetite, or simply have them execute commands once before normally attacking the enemy.
After selecting initial commands for Raidou’s demons, real-time combat begins, with the player able to move Raidou across the battlefield and have him perform various actions. These actions include hacking away at enemies with his sword, executing a special Magnetite-consuming attack, firing his gun at foes, blocking, and even bringing his demons by his side, in which case they become invulnerable to enemies’ attacks until Raidou releases them. Additionally, the player can bring up the command menu anytime during battle (unless certain status ailments are affecting Raidou) to do things such as changing demon commands, using items, changing active demons, attempting to escape, and negotiating with the enemy.
Demon negotiation akin to Nocturne replaces the system from the original Devil Summoner, where the player ran up to an enemy and attempted to capture it in one of Raidou’s tubes. His active demons can participate in negotiation for better or worse results, and if successful, the player can ask the demon to join Raidou, give an item, or simply leave, with items, money, HP, and Magnetite being necessary for successful negotiation. Once a battle ends, the player gains experience for Raidou and his two active demons, money, and occasional items.
During battle, moreover, for Raidou’s demons to exploit the enemy’s elemental weaknesses will temporarily stun them, during which time his attacks will recover Magnetite, and which is sometimes necessary for long boss battles since Magnetite can easily run out at times. Outside battle, the player can fuse monsters at the Gouma-Den, where it is also possible to empower Raidou’s weapon with special materials occasionally gained from winning fights. During exploration, moreover, Raidou can send his demons on solo investigations, with some having field abilities that are sometimes necessary to advance the game.
Luck eventually plays a role in battle, with Raidou able to capture Luck Locusts that occasionally appear in combat using Birdlimes and Insect Cages, consequentially increasing his luck stat. The greater Raidou’s luck stat is, the greater chance he has of avoiding encounters with Fiends every New Moon, which can easily decimate him, although it is possible to ward them off by negotiating with them and offering various sacrifices such as the lives of his demons. Enemies can lower Raidou’s luck stat occasionally if they gain preemptive strikes against him, with the player able to “purify” him at the Shinoda Shrine to restore his luck to normal.
Overall, the battle system has many things going for it, such as the fun of demon negotiation and fusion, although the shortcomings, such as the somewhat-high encounter rate and the long wait between encountering enemies and actually starting a battle, can really add up over time and bog down the game’s already-sluggish pacing. The uncontrollable camera in battle can also blind-sight the player at times, and towards the end of the game there are a few nasty spikes in difficulty that might leave players begging for help on how to advance. Ultimately, combat is fun at first, but can often lose its appeal as the game drags on.
Interaction doesn’t fare any better: the controls and menus are decent, although Devil Summoner 2 does an utterly terrible job telling players how to advance the main storyline, and left this reviewer often begging for help on how to advance; that is not something anyone should ever have to do when playing a game. Many parts of the game also require specific types of demons to proceed, and it can certainly be annoying to run around recruiting and fusing demons until players acquire those that are necessary to advance. Overall, this is hardly how interaction should be in an RPG.
Devil Summoner 2 recycles heavily from its predecessor, reusing its action-based battle system with plenty of changes, while featuring the same setting, graphics, and in some cases music, with a few tracks from the first game remixed for the sequel. Still, the sequel is more or less the epitome of derivative.
As with its predecessor, Devil Summoner 2’s story is chapter-based, with the theme of luck often playing part. The plot twists and turns throughout the game, although it suffers from the typical convolution of most Japanese RPGs, and the terrible direction on how to advance is an easy mark off the plot. Overall, the plot has some things going for it, although it could have used better direction and focus at times.
The sequel features a jazzy soundtrack similar to its predecessor, fitting the setting and period of the game, and consisting of many remixes of tracks from the first game; however, the music is somewhat repetitive and at times unmemorable. The sound effects are nice, especially the sounds many demons make, and overall, the aurals serve their purpose, if nothing more.
Devil Summoner 2 largely reuses its predecessor’s graphics engine, consisting of pre-rendered scenery with three-dimensional character models, although the battle graphics this time are fully 3-D. The character and monster designs look nice, even if they come directly from the previous game, but considering that the game is one of the last on the Playstation 2, it could have certainly looked better, instead looking more like one of the system’s first games.
Finally, the game can be somewhat lengthy, about forty to sixty hours, although sidequests such as completing all the Case Files for special rewards can easily boost playing time beyond that range. In the end, Devil Summoner 2 is a somewhat disappointing sequel that starts out strongly at first, although it takes a dive in quality towards the end. The battle system is fun at first, but things such as long loading times before fights can easily bog the game down, along with other negative qualities such as a terrible direction on where to go next and a heavy amount of recycling. Ultimately, this swan song for the Playstation 2 proves to be somewhat off-key.
The Good: +Combat can be fun…
The Bad: -…but battles take too long to load… -…and there’s a huge spike in difficulty towards the end. -Terrible direction on how to advance. -Recycles heavily from the first game.
Brand New and still factory sealed. Ahhh, smells like ATLUS.May 6 2014
- Published on Amazon.com
This game makes so many more improvements from the previous game it's hard to call this a sequel. But it is and let me tell you it's a sequel done RIGHT. It might take you some time to get used to the controls because they're totally different (in combat) than in the first game. This isn't a big deal though since once you get used to it you realize it's much better.
Raidou moves a lot quicker and more fluidly, making running around less of a boring chore. Gunshots are fired at the rate you press the button instead of pressing the button once and having 3 rounds shot. The battle damage numbers that show up on screen are a lot more easy on the eyes, and for a PS2 game the graphics are wonderful and the soundtrack; as all of Shoji Meguro's work, is outstanding and catchy.
Some game elements that have been added are annoying, such as demon skills consuming MAG, but like I said, not a big deal.
The negotiation element as of most SMT games is back, so now you don't have to jam the O button, you just gotta deal with what the demon wants, and say one wrong thing and they'll either fight you or leave you to weep. BUT, with a demon on your side negotiation becomes easier, as long as you know what you're doing.
If you're new to the series this game is a slightly more easy title in the franchise but don't let that fool you; it might not be as difficult or as long as other SMT games but it's still a heck of a ride and can be quite challenging.
The game was 100% new, factory sealed, and when you open that baby, you smell that sweet ATLUS smell. ..I know, I'm weird, but once you become a fan of the series it does stuff to ya man.
I'd 100% recommend this game to any RPG fans, or anyone looking for a reason to play their PS2 again, as long as they don't mind the challenge.
Total score: 9.5/10
GiftMarch 1 2014
- Published on Amazon.com
This Christmas gift was a hit for my nephew! Though he knew what he was getting as he was the one who asked for it!