This review was originally written for One Hit Pixel, found here.
We face a lot of difficult choices in our lives. Many of you reading this are playing Pokémon X/Y andhave had to decide between Chespin, Fennekin or Froakie as your starter Pokémon. It’s something that has kept me awake long into the night, eyes bloodshot and hands trembling. However, even when life’s choices feel overwhelmingly significant on the surface, they may not be all that important beneath; you may not even have to dig that far.
The same is true of video games. A game where every choice was immense and game changing would be seriously bloated. As such, the smarter games out there deftly weave in the big choices with the little ones, complete with enough polish and obfuscation where it’s hard for the player to tell the difference.
Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked both adheres to and totally ignores this paradigm – which is risky for a game thematically based around choices.
This feature can also be found at the South West Londoner, here.
Even with my busy schedule, I still try to squeeze in some gaming time. My current vice on Nintendo 3DS right now is Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked.
It’s actually something of an old game – it was originally released as just Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor in Japan and America back in 2009, but never saw a UK release. Overclocked is a re-release for the 3DS, but due to publishing issues, it took a whole two years between the Japanese release and ours, released on the March 29.
The game details an unlikely disaster scenario – a large section of Tokyo is suddenly cordoned off by the armed forces. The government say it’s due to a poison gas leak, but the thousands trapped inside the danger zone know the truth – it’s an invasion of bloodthirsty demons. Knowing that death is constantly around the corner, they try to survive the lockdown for a week, assuming they don’t find a way of escaping. The game’s tagline says it all: “Peaceful days died. Let’s Survive.”
It’s a story that’s surprisingly easy to relate to. Not so much the demons (although the mythology nerd in me appreciates that), but in the character interaction. The main character is rather plain, but his friends and the other survivors he encounters each have their own concerns and different motivations for trying to escape… or stay.
It got me thinking: if I was in a similar disaster area, would I be able to survive? Lord knows how many fellow nerds made zombie survival plans in light of that now overplayed and overrated horror trope.