Shin Megami Tensei – PS2 review
Wait! Before you scroll semi-interestedly to the conclusion, check the score and alt-tab away (leaving us feeling yet more numerically exploited), hear this: Devil Summoner is best described as Phoenix Wright meets Pokémon meets The Exorcist. You might just like it.
Reviewing the latest game in the Shin Megami Tensei series poses an immediate problem. The off-putting, impenetrable Japanese title, the off-putting paranormal-based scenario and the off-putting kind of fans who surround and obsess over such grimy, otaku-ish RPGs, mean most readers are unlikely to stay past the first sentence in any critical rub-down. They’ll need some introductory comforting videogamey point of reference to pique interest – preferably one beloved for its inherent and enduring merit rather than any LOL Japanese-ness.
Conversely, any such cheap referencing will likely irritate those few long-standing fans who’ll claim it’s misleading and ill-representative of their beloved series. Such geekier-than-thou readers, to be honest, probably don’t really want you near the game anyway as the niche is all the charm.
But that’s all a bit silly as Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner Raidou Kuzunoha vs. The Soulless Army, Atlus’ most tortuously-titled spy-detective-ghost-collector RPG, is neither off-putting nor cliquey in its enjoyable execution. It shares similarities with both orthodox RPGs and videogames’ more avant-garde interactive thrillers while, in its unique mixing of genre and premise, managing to create a mostly inimitable atmosphere and experience.
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