It's been over half a year since I've had the chance to write about a PlayStation 2 Classic, but Atlus proves to us this week that there is still a lot of untapped gems waiting to be uncovered. Its long-windedly named Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner: Raidou Kuzunoha vs The Soulless Army releases this week on the PlayStation Network.
This third entry in one of the many side-series of the Shin Megami Tensei RPG series takes a huge departure from all the others in both setting and gameplay. Atlus drags the series back in time to the early days of Japanese Imperialism in 1931 and puts players in the shoes of Raidou Kuzunoha, a demon wielding high school student. He and his cohorts play detective in uncovering a sinister plot to bring a power demon into the real world.
The gameplay also shakes up the formula by scrapping the turn based battle system from the other Shin Megami Tensei games in exchange for quick bursts of action. Raidou's battles unfold in a small arena, and he can attack at both close range and long range. In line with the mythos of the series, he can also forge pacts with demons and summon them to his aid in battle.
Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner: Raidou Kuzunoha vs The Soulless Army was a late hit for the PlayStation 2 releasing deep into 2006 in America after it proved to be a surprise success in Japan. In fact, Atlus even capitalized on it and released Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner 2: Raidou Kuzunoha vs. King Abaddon in 2009, making it one of the last PlayStation 2 games worth checking out.
Much like its original release, Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner: Raidou Kuzunoha vs The Soulless Army could be one of the last good PlayStation 2 classics before Sony pulls the plug on the line-up. We'll have to wait and see what other obscure gems it digs up before streaming takes over.
Any hopefuls? I'm clinging to hope that Suikoden V has a chance, even if it's a small one.