The Shin Megami Tensei universe is wide and far-reaching, with spin-offs that have turned into mainline games of their own due to increasing popularity. One spin-off that hadn’t garnered much reputation amongst all this was Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers, which received only a re-release on the Nintendo DS before fading back into a niche side-game with its handful of dedicated players. However, with the announcement of Soul Hackers 2, the chance for this spin-off to turn into something greater is back on the table.
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The story of Soul Hackers 2 takes place in the middle of the 21st century, where technology has stagnated and society has followed the same path, plateauing alongside. From this endless stream of information was formed an entity known as Aion, who is able to see a future where the world ends. In turn, Aion creates two agents, Ringo and Figue, to send out and prevent said apocalypse, only to find themselves in the midst of a war between two Devil Summoner groups, the Yatagarasu and the Phantom Society.
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Along the way, they recruit the help of Yatagarasu agent Arrow, Phantom Society assassin Milady, and freelance Devil Summoner Saizo, each unique characters with their own stakes in the plot. In addition to Ringo, these four add a lovely dynamic that grows at a realistic pace through main story scenes and side scenes as well. There do seem to be equal amounts of time given to each and their problems that relate to specific story beats, with Ringo there to act as a fish out of water, figuring out what being a human is like.
And these four will make up the team throughout the entirety of the game. Soul Hackers 2 has a similar approach to the turn-based gameplay the SMT franchise is known for, with a very stylish UI. Each summoner has what’s called a COMP, a weapon that can hold a demon within it to be used in battle. Ringo has control of them all, and this gives them…