By Jonathan Higgins / March 22nd, 2012
When the 2011 Game of the Year nominees started pouring in from magazines and websites alike, I paid particularly close attention to the portable & handheld sections. Yes, I expected Super Mario 3D Land and Ocarina of Time 3D to claim some of the top spots, but I was hoping the two games I credit for saving my 2011 gaming would get the love and recognition they deserve. But alas, neither Radiant Historia nor Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked were given proper respect in the mainstream media.Copies of both games sold well enough. Each respective title developed its own cult following, and wherever they went, critical acclaim was soon to follow.
During the first half of 2011, Nintendo offered Dragon Quest VI to RPG fans that longed for a more traditional experience on the go. Atlus offered the much more intuitive Radiant Historia around the same time. Where Dragon Quest stayed traditional, Radiant Historia took the same turn-based formula and offered a much more evolved battle system, as well as a much more engaging story. If a tale of time-travel and re-writing history, as well as a battle system that takes everything you love about the 16bit era RPG and improves upon it, aren’t enough to reel you in, consider the game’s absolutely beautiful artistic style. And the music! Radiant Historia’s soundtrack was composed by Yoko Shimomura of Kingdom Hearts fame—the same woman who arranged the Main Theme of Xenoblade Chronicles.
Devil Survivor: Overclocked is a 3DS re-release of Devil Survivor for DS (2009). The game offered enough of an overhaul and additional content to lure in long-time fans that played the original. But the reason it caught the eyes of many newcomers was due to the fact that it was the first RPG to be released on the 3DS, even if it borrowed a lot of elements from the Strategy genre as well. The story of Devil Survivor is insightful and spiritual. As someone who put over 200 hours into the game throughout the year—I can honestly say it surpassed my expectations, and it remains one of the only retail games I consider worth owning on the 3DS.
Despite their quality, both of these games were considered “hidden gems” of 2011, insofar as copies were somewhat hard to find, or overpriced otherwise. I am eager to spread the news:
Atlus has recently announced the re-release of both Radiant Historia and Devil Survivor: Overclocked. Because they were well received, because the pleas of Atlus fans did not go unnoticed by the company, both of these wonderful games are once again widely available through Amazon, and will soon spread to other retailers. As readers and supporters of Operation Rainfall, as seekers of challenging, insightful JRPGs, I feel as though these games would appeal to many of you.
Radiant Historia asks players what they would do if they could take history into their own hands. The high impact, utter chaos of Devil Survivor: Overclocked demands much of the same. Atlus has given its fans, as well as players who may have overlooked these titles when they were first released, a second chance. Hardcore JRPG fans have been given a second chance to discover these gems, so that they might not become “hidden” once more.
For more information about the games, check out the official Atlus pages below. You can order both games directly from Amazon.
3DSAtlusDevil SurvivordsNintendoRadiant HistoriaRPG