Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner: Raidou Kuzunoha vs. The Soulless Army (2) – “Finished”

Where “Finished” means I got to the last dungeon and quit to read ending spoilers. What happened was, I reached a point where I had to re-fight the most annoying boss in the game (Mishaguji) but didn’t have a demon with Bufudyne to take him on. I tried with Ouyatsumi and Mabufudyne, but he’s just too slow when the boss hits 50%.

So I backtracked to Victor’s Goumaden with my demons in tow, all ready and happy to fuse something nice. Oh, Orochi looks like a good fit and I have the right set of demons. Let’s do thi… “You cannot handle this demon as you are now.” What? Why? It turns out Orochi is level 63 and Raidou is only level 61. In other words, Atlus wants me to grind. Ha. When Xenoblade 2 is waiting for me. Ha. *click* Off with the PS2.

But I did want to find out what the Raidou Kuzunoha vs. The Soulless Army story was ultimately about, so I read up on the final confrontation and ending from a detailed Let’s Play. Huh…? From the future…? Ambassador who…? Based on the events of SMT II? But I haven’t played SMT II, I don’t know any of this stuff. What does all that have to do with Kaya’s bloodline? I just wanted to fuse demons and kill things. Why must everything be so complicated? Well apparently everything ended happily ever after so that’s good enough.

Final thoughts on Raidou Kuzunoha: I was a bit worried because it was an ARPG but wasn’t too hard. Just that camera doesn’t move so it’s easy to move Raidou somewhere where you can’t see what he’s doing. Small flying enemies can also be hard to target for that reason. But it’s not a difficult game to play otherwise.

The story was… meh. I’d heard that it was lighter in tone than the other SMT games. Certainly it has a lower body count for named NPCs, but otherwise I don’t see it. The mood is very gloomy and the “jokes” are very juvenile. Actually I haven’t played most of the mainline SMT games, so I’m not in a position to compare. You know what? I’ve gotta stop pretending to care and get on with playing Xenoblade 2.

Raidou Kuzunoha vs. The Soulless Army is not a bad game. It’s just dry and bland with an unexciting payoff. If that sounds like your kind of thing, be my guest. I’m moving on to better things.

6 thoughts on “Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner: Raidou Kuzunoha vs. The Soulless Army (2) – “Finished”

  1. Davzz says:

    The time travel thing’s not that complicated – I would say it’s honestly more related to SMT 1 than 2. It just boils down to

    1) SMT 2 is a dystopian hellhole
    2) This is due to the events of SMT 1
    3) Since Japan is central to all of that happening, our villain thinks he can prevent this by destroying Japan before that happens.
    4) Our hero defeats him because wiping out an entire country just for a chance that the future might turn out better isn’t really morally justifiable.

    Anyway Anyway, objectively it’s not great but I think the most interesting thing about this game is probably that it uses the Taisho era, I honestly don’t know of any game outside of this and Sakura Wars that do.

    • Kina says:

      The Taisho era’s mix of modern and traditional makes it a fairly popular setting for otome games (HanaIchi, the HanaIchi rip-off coming out soon, Harutoki 6, the otome parts of Kamiyo Gakuen) but it’s not that common for RPGs, true. And both of the ones you mention take place in an “alternate” Taisho, not the real one.

      What I’d really like to see is a JRPG set during the 1941-1945 war period. It doesn’t have to be about the war necessarily, just set in that time. If you know any good ones, please let me know so I can try it, thanks. Plucky medieval fantasy hero JRPGs start to run into each other after a while.

      • Davzz says:

        Yeah, I was actually thinking Taisho might get a decent amount of usage in other genres but I was too lazy to actually double check.

        1941-1945… World War 2? I don’t really think any JRPGs in that time period actually exist because it seems like a political minefield for a story-heavy genre unless you change it so much that it’s basically fantasy with WW2 imagery. (FPS and Strategy Games really distance themselves from anything outside of the aesthetics, I think)

        Uh, I guess there’s the SRPG Operation Darkness, which does the whole “is so removed from the time period” thing, on a dead console that can’t be emulated and apparently terrible so I guess that doesn’t fit the criteria at all.

        • Kina says:

          It’s exactly that political minefield that I want to see developers step into. The bigger companies like Squeenix and NIS have too much to lose if something goes wrong, but with the increasing popularity of indie development I’m hoping to see something interesting and well-written set in that era and addressing the issues and problems of the day with both candor and sensitivity. It doesn’t necessarily have to involve fighting in WWII itself. Obviously I’m asking for too much from a video game, but if one existed I would want to try it.

          Operation Darkness doesn’t sound that bad at all… If it were on a more accessible system I would find a way to play it.

          • K says:

            There’s also Valkyria Chronicles, which is set in a fantasy version of WWII’s Europe.

          • Kina says:

            Ah yeah, that game. It’s a bit too much on the fantasy side for me. Also there’s far too much shooting people in the head in it. Yeah it’s about war but the combat is a little too… visceral, I think the word is.

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