Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 is a tactical role-playing game. You play as a teenager in the middle of a dangerous outbreak of demons in Tokyo, where you must save each of your friends' lives after witnessing clairvoyant scenes of their deaths.
Pro Tense and strategic turn-based battles in an isometric view
Just like the first game, Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 is full of challenging battles that really make you think. You have your standard human party members who make up units of teams along the square grids of the battlefield, with each human character taking along two demons to act as their party members. Moving across the grids in an isometric view, you engage tough enemy demons in turn-based battles where you work to exploit their elemental weaknesses or land critical hits, both of which reward you with an extra turn. And there's always the danger that you may get surrounded and overwhelmed by the enemies, most of whom hit pretty hard and can easily give you a tough time if you're not careful.
Pro You get to collect and control many types of demons and angels to fight in battle
Demons and angels act as your party members in battle. Quite early into the game, you get access to a demon auction system where you buy new demons to join your party. You can then fuse them together to create stronger allies with better abilities, mixing and matching demons as you need to take on any challenge that the game throws at you. And there are hundreds of different types of demons and angels with their own fitting designs and relevant mythological lore, ranging from familiar names like Shiva, Lilith, Valkyrie, Phoenix, Raphael, and many many more.
Pro Suspenseful story about saving your friends' lives during an apocalypse in Tokyo
This time around, Devil Survivor 2 focuses more on the bonds you share with your party members, keeping the stakes high throughout your journey. You start off by getting a mysterious message on your phone, showing you exactly how someone will die in the future unless you manage to save them. The toughest part is that it's possible for you to fail and lose party members entirely, making you lose out on one less person to use in battle. All of this happens during a sudden appearance of demons in Tokyo, where you obtain the power to summon and control them as you will. Using your demons in fights to help save your friends is at the core of the game's story.
Con The art style doesn't quite look right
The anime art style for the characters has a few weird hang-ups. The sharp, colorful aesthetic would have been nicer if most characters didn't look cross-eyed most of the time. Some of the female characters, like Io, one of the core cast members, have such strange, gravity-defying breasts that don't look natural at all. And because the story plays out like a visual novel, you have to see the character's 2D art up close each time they speak, you can't really ignore how the art looks.
Con The main screen is the smaller, bottom one instead of the top one
For some reason, the main screen where all of the gameplay happens is the bottom one, which is smaller than the top screen on the Nintendo DS. You only use the top screen to look at the map or the enemy demons' stats and weaknesses. It's an odd design decision that can take some getting used to.