Review by AnalyticalGamer

"Dated, but definitely worth playing"

First of all, it's important to understand that this is NOT a new game. It's an updated port of a game originally released for the Sega Saturn in Japan. While the addition of voice acting and new gameplay mechanics is welcome, not much has changed compared to the original. As a result, the game clearly shows its age.

Story:
The game takes place in the "future", or rather, Atlus's version of the present as depicted in 1997. The way the setting and society is portrayed is quite interesting, as humans grow increasingly reliant on technology (Much like they are now). Atlus is known for incredibly strong storytelling, and this holds true even back in 1997. The voice acting definitely helps bring the story to life, and the translation is quite decent. The character development is fairly strong, with every main character getting some kind of backstory. The plot is certainly one aspect that stood up well to the test of time.

Score: 8.7/10
* Plot complexity: 10/10
* Emotional Impact: 8.5/10
* Character Development: 8/10
- Plot Holes: N/A

Gameplay:
While the story is great, the same can't be said for the gameplay. Hardcore JRPG players will have no problem getting into the game, but there is no doubt that the battle system feels dated. Atlus added new gameplay features such as difficulty options, which can help beginners get through the game. However, the core mechanics remain the same, so it becomes apparent early on that Soul Hackers is a game released two generations ago. I still enjoyed the game overall, just not as much as I could have.

Score: 5.8/10
* Mechanics: 6.5/10
* Entertainment Value: 5.5/10
* Controls: 7/10

Sound:
The soundtrack is great, but there are not as many tracks compared to more recent JRPGs, so some themes can get repetitive rather quickly. Voice acting is probably the best addition to the remake, as the characters are surprisingly well represented.

Score: 7.8/10
* Soundtrack: 7.5/10
* Voice Acting: 9.5/10
* Sound Effects: 6/10

Graphics:
The graphics don't look much different compared to the original, which is truly unfortunate for a current generation game. The cutscenes look like they're ripped out of the Sega Saturn version.
Score: 4.2/10
* In-game Graphics: 4/10
* Cinematics: N/A
* FMV: 1/10
* Frame Rate: 10/10

Replay Value:
While there are several bonus dungeons to do and bosses to fight as well as a New Game Plus option, this game doesn't have much replay value compared to other games in the genre. It's a good experience the first time, and replaying the game is certainly an option, but there's little incentive to do so.
Score: 5.5/10

Overall: 7.4/10


Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 06/26/13

Game Release: Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner - Soul Hackers (US, 04/16/13)


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