Let’s travel back in time. About a year ago, a crazy hurricane named Irene tore through the eastern side of the United States, doing insane damage and just being overall terrible and freaky. Let’s hope she never returns. It also forced Tara and I out of the house we had just begun renting, pushing us to stay with her parents until power was restored in the Pennsylvania area. Before all of this happened, as a handheld gamer is wont to do knowing that a lockdown is imminent, I bought a new game for the Nintendo 3DS to help…ahem weather the storm. That’s the second time I’ve used that joke, and no, I’m not apologizing for it.
Anyways, that game was Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner Overclocked, and it seemed like something I’d like at first glance, but proved a little too difficult early on to overcome. Which is a shame, as the story was very promising and had all its hooks in me. And so I set it aside, disappointed in my second retail purchase for that nifty videogame system that displays things in three dimensions with no use of special glasses, only to pick it up nearly a year later to try again and knock down the wall blocking any and all progress. The main reason behind this? Well, I have finally begun watching the lengthy and amusing Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 Endurance Run at Giant Bomb, and all the talk of fusing different Personas and casting of spells like Bufu and Zio and growing relationships amid chaos and disaster reminded me that I had a game quite similar to that. Just a SRPG instead of a JRPG, that’s all.
And so, I hopped back into the thick of things. If you’ll recall, I put Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner Overclocked down at what I assumed was a boss-like battle early on during Day One of the lockdown in Tokyo, but was really just a traditional battle that stood in the way of the story progressing. My problem with it is that monsters would encircle a character and his or her team of Personas, and then they would KO super fast, then causing the other teams to follow just as speedily. This time around, I strategized and planned to move my trio of teens directly at the toughest enemy on the screen, killing it as fast as possible while keeping everybody close to each other. Also, I learned how to better use certain spells like Aggravate and Dia, as well as exploiting certain weaknesses for specific enemies, which then grant extra turns vital to staying alive. And lo and behold, I was victorious.
As Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner Overclocked continues on, I’ve entered a few more battles like the one that stopped me in my tracks before. It can be a little frustrating, but I’m beginning to see my mistakes and how I can handle things better. The opening few turns really do foretell how things will go, and one can grind on free battles if they need to level up their teams and Personas. In short, I’m definitely getting the hang of battles more, and I hate–with the deepest and darkest passion you can hold in the blackest spot of your heart–the demon Moh Shuvuu. One thing I still haven’t learned is to not attack her unless you can kill her in a single fight, because she will just Dia (heal) herself immediately after.
Last night, I completed Day One of the lockdown, and am now waking up to Day Two, with the counter on our collective deathclocks reading…one. Aww, boo. The story’s still fantastic, and Yuzu says some hilarious things, especially when nonchalantly talking about summoning demons from handheld COMPs and that one time they all took down a snowman. The voice-acting has really helped keep me engaged as the battles are most stressful than enjoyable, though I have only just gotten into them at this point. Learning to steal skills from enemies gives me a good goal towards perfectly the Personas currently in my party.
But yeah, I’m pretty stoked to have broken down that wall and gotten to continue on in the game. Don’t quote me on this, but it’s looking like I won’t be getting a new game until late September 2012 when Borderlands 2 drops, and so re-visiting a number of games from my backlog and continuing on with them is a good thing. Saves me money and makes me feel better about some of these purchases. Well, maybe not Game of Thrones: The Game; maybe not ever.