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Shin Megami Tensei - Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers

For: 3DS
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The sum of all parts

Product: Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers | Publisher: Atlus | Format: 3DS | Genre: RPG | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers 3DS, thumbnail 1
The maker of the Japanese Shin Megami Tensei series, Atlus, is currently launching a full-scale attack. New titles in the series are on the way over here, for one, while a flurry of reworked older versions are inbound, too.

I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent with Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked a few weeks ago, so was delighted to discover that another Shin Megami Tensei classic, Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers, has been ported to Nintendo 3DS, too.

This is the first time that this 1997 Sega Saturn RPG has been translated into English, and I'm incredibly glad it's finally happened, for this is another brilliant instalment in the demon-summoning series.

Soul bearing

Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers takes place in Amami City, where a strange group is summoning demons and using them to wreak havoc. You are part of a collective of hackers, called the "Spookies", who attempt to find out what the havoc-causing group are doing and to stop them.

You're given the ability to summon your own demons, so you head off to assemble a team, go find trouble, and battle your way through to the finale. This is all done through some old skool north-south-east-west 3D exploration, and even-older skool turn-based battling.

Let's clear something up right now, though: Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers is a 16-year-old game. As such, it contains a few of the 'quirks' of late-'90s games - such as the overbearing UI and the confusing overmap - most of which have been ironed out in modern RPGs.

The game definitely seems less accessible as a result of these particularly old skool elements. However, many of the features in this enhanced port do make the game feel as modern as possible.

The full voice acting and stereoscopic 3D visuals, for example, are fantastic, while the StreetPass options - for buying demons via Play Coins - are also great additions.

Test of time

So, despite the fact that Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers can feel a little confusing at times, it's still an absolutely glorious RPG romp.

Collecting, befriending, and enhancing demons is great fun. Those you catch won't always obey you at first - as you battle them and keep them alive, though, they'll grow stronger and respect you.

Plus, the story itself is nothing short of engrossing. I found myself staying up until the early hours of the morning, for I simply couldn't tear myself away from the absorbing narrative. I just needed to know what happened next.

Yes, Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers isn't as accessible as your average modern-day RPG. But if you can manage to see past its quirks, there's a wonderful world here waiting to be explored.
Shin Megami Tensei - Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers
Reviewer photo
Mike Rose | 19 April 2013
Though Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers may be a little harder to get into than Devil Survivor Overclocked, it's just as entertaining
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