If one day you gained the ability to see how someone close to you would die, would you choose to save them or do nothing? In Devil Survivor 2 Record Breaker, players are given the choice while trying to save the world. Unexpected twists do occur along the way.
Similar to Devil Survivor Overclocked, Devil Survivor 2 Record Breaker uses a grid-based battlefield with the much needed visual improvements. Players can move their characters and engage in first-person turn-based battles with demons or demon tamers to complete missions. Free battles aren’t going to bore you with the same old ‘defeat the demon’ scenario since the ability to save the civilians has also been implemented, even though it’s rarely seen. Not that it matters much since the level of required grinding compared to Devil Survivor Overclocked has been dramatically reduced – as in you’re not going to have to die of boredom leveling up your characters/demons when no more skills are available to crack, just to stand a chance against a powerful near-endgame boss. If you happen to find yourself still in a pinch, there is always the ability to lower the difficulty during the game (there are two difficulty levels).
Some strategic thinking is required to overcome certain tasks in the game, otherwise you may take the leveling-up path to increase your strength to use brute force to live another day. It’s not all about the battling though, as you can aim to complete your demon collection and other minor tasks in the game even though there are no ‘character given’ quests to complete on the side (not normally seen in Devil Survivor games).
Not only will you find yourself duking it out with demons, you will also have interesting discussions with other characters. Yes, very interesting discussions, some that may even seem to be with a mature atmosphere. That’s as far as the game goes with such things though, and you’re going to be disappointed if you were expecting to build romantic in-game relationships with some of the characters. All of the characters and demons that have been seen while playing the game for this review were seen as censored, but that is to be expected of a 3DS game.
The story may not pull you in at the beginning of the first arc of the game (The Septentrion), however, it begins to after understanding the events that are taking place and whatnot. If you have already played the original Devil Survivor 2 game on the Nintendo DS, you can skip directly to the new extended storyline in Record Breaker after starting a new game which is a convenient feature to have at your disposal. Some of the choices that you make affect the direction of how the game goes. With multiple routes and something special that takes place after beating the game, Record Breaker has replay value.
When conversations between characters pile up, it may bore you a bit when reading through them, especially if you’re not fond of one of the characters and you have no choice but to go through with reading it. Of course, you do have the ability to fast-forward dialogue so it is not a major issue. The absent of a direct skip feature will be noticeable when constantly failing missions that have long conversations before the battle begins.
The list of demons available to use in the game is large. A larger list of exclusive demons for the new arc or new game would have been an excellent addition, however, it isn’t a major concern as you’re most likely not going to summon every single demon on your first playthrough. Encountering a lot of familiar faces on your second playthrough (either it be the new arc or a new game after beating the game) is not something that will go unnoticed, but the additional arc is designed in a way to relieve you of meeting the weaklings again. The variety of symbols that represent demons on the battlefield are sufficient enough to keep you pleased. To top things off, they move according to the properties of the demon, for example, one might hop while another might levitate. You may not encounter some of the powerful endgame demons in the game unless you purchase DLC which is a shame.
Record Breaker retains characters with captivating personalities although they are not as dark as seen in Devil Survivor Overclocked. As the story moves along, the enemy bosses that you will encounter are far from what should make you lose interest.
How is the voice acting and soundtrack?
The English voices aren’t painful to the ears and they match each character’s personality great. Voice volume is low by default, therefore some adjusting via settings should be made to enjoy listening to them to the fullest, unless of course, you have headphones. The songs that play during the game are sufficient to keep you entertained and the text speed is just right, although it’s also something that can be adjusted via settings.
Is the game worth its $50 price tag?
This is probably the question you have been asking yourself after hearing about the game’s new scenario which takes place after the events of the original story and was said to be considered long enough to be its own game. Does it live up to this expectation? Yes, it does have a good enough length to be considered close to its own RPG game, however, if you have played Devil Survivor 2 recently, you may be better off waiting on a discount unless you want to support the developer/publisher (which is a good thing because more games will be available in the future).
Devil Survivor 2 Record Breaker does not fail to deliver characters with good personalities, tough bosses, two stories that keep you engaged (a lot of content) and a large list of demons to summon. With multiple routes and a special feature that activates after beating the game, there is replay value. Those who have played Devil Survivor 2 (DS) and do not wish to relive the moment may feel more comfortable waiting for a discount.
Devil Survivor 2 Record Breaker gets an 8.5 of out 10.