Survivor 2 contains some small value in classroom facts without ever
focusing on them outright. There’s plenty of dialogue in the scenes between
battles, which means that there’s plenty of reading to be done. Mathematics are
an integral part of many of the game’s mechanics. They’re limited to addition
and subtraction, but there’s a lot of it.
Some of the names used in the game are from the name of stars from the
Big Dipper constellation. In addition,
the game contains a little geography using the names of real Japanese cities.
Creativity & Imagination
By the Player:
and fusing demons is a large part of the game, and it allows players to
experiment and form their own teams from early on. Demons are categorized into
different types and levels, and any two can be fused to create a new demon of a
specific type. In addition fused monsters can pass on a portion of their stats,
as well as any abilities they possess. The window for passing skills is tight,
though, as any given demon can only hold a handful of skills, and many come
with their own mandatory skills taking up space. This means that getting any
given combinations of skills can require a complex series of fusions planned
from an early stage.
skills are often just ways to do more damage when attacking, but many offer
more strategic options - different ways to move around on the battlefield, or
heal members of another party when they’re in trouble. Players eventually
control four party members - each of which can be outfitted with skills stolen
from enemies during battle - and each of those moves and fights with a pair of
demons from the player’s collection. This gives players a wide range of options
and, unlike in many other games, almost all of these options can have a
significant effect on battle. The range and complexity of options when it comes
to team-building can make the process highly satisfying, and as the game
continues players are given access to a wider and wider pallet of options to
work creatively with.
By the Developer:
Survivor 2 does fit into certain molds, though it also has a way of sort of
stretching them into one another. Its turn-based battles offer terrific depth,
and they are tucked into strategy-RPG that is just as solidly designed. The
game also embraces the inspired mish-mash of lore found in the Shin Megami
Tensei series, and offers a compelling story that starts with high school
students in an apocalyptic Japan and quickly proceeds to directly visit themes
ranging from friendship to class warfare.
collect money - as usual - for defeating enemies, as well as larger bonuses for
winning battles. Devil Survivor 2 doesn’t include any kind of items or
equipment; players spend it exclusively to purchase and fuse new demons. Most
demons are sold through auctions, and auctions conclude with the player making
a blind bid against estimates of their competitors.
game springs other costs on players seemingly at random; sometimes a purchased
demon will demand more money at the last second, and fusing one specific
variety of demon requires a thousand dollar bonus. Players actually need to
start planning on possibly encountering these costs, as money can be extremely
tight for players that want to experiment with their teams.
Survivor 2 is a single-player game, though the relationships between its
characters are integrated significantly. The game takes place over the course
of a week, and players advance half-hours at a time by choosing which characters
to interact with. Each party member has his or her own plot that players can
uncover piece by piece over the course of the game, though they’ll have to pick
and choose which characters to meet with as the days go on. As the player gets
closer to each character they also unlock bonuses in combat, like elemental
strengths or the option to pass demons between characters. The specific plots
eventually unlock specific demons that can’t be accessed otherwise.
players need to incorporate a varied selection of attacks into their team. Each
demon has strengths and weaknesses; while having a team dedicated solely to
physical attacks can be extremely effective, there will occasionally be a
challenge against which physical attacks are completely useless. This applies
to magic attacks and even specific elements just as well, meaning players will
benefit most from building their teams as diversely as possible.
largely involves tinkering around with buying and fusing demons between battles,
but players also need to understand how to use their groups in battle. Many
missions use the game’s rules pretty creatively, adding bosses that attack in
wide areas or points that players need to defend from attack.
fact there’s almost always some new twist or enemy with a particularly powerful
skill being introduced. Many of these are sprung in the middle of a mission,
requiring players to think on their feet and persevere over longer periods of
are also constantly multitasking on multiple levels; figuring out how to deal
damage while defending is always a concern, but most missions add specific
areas of maps or AI-controlled characters that need to be defended. These ideas
as well as the increasingly wide range of skills and demons available continue
to twist the game’s already complex battle mechanics further over the course of
Devil Survivor 2
is not a simulation game.
game was largely praised, both for its mechanics and its story. At most,
reviews criticized the game for feeling too much like its predecessor.
Controls & Options
are a few standard audio/visual options, and players can control parts of the
game - menus, mostly - using either the touchscreen or the DS’ buttons.
Survivor 2 was rated Teen by the ESRB with descriptors for Alcohol
Reference, Blood, Language, Suggestive Themes, Use of Tobacco, and Violence.