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56 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love Letter From Atlus To DS Owners
Following the success of the original 2009 release Shin Megami Tensei Devil Survivor, Atlus released the sequel for the DS. Even though it has the "2" on its name, there are no direct relation between the two titles in term of the storyline. The same but improved battle system and demon collection make a return, and I'm happy to say that it is as addictive as ever...
Published on March 3, 2012 by Zafree Zaharidan

versus
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Another summoning demons game
Basically, SMT: DS 2 is another game where you summon demons to help you fight other demons. There's a point system for you and them to level up. If you like SMT: IV, then you'll love this game too.
Published 10 months ago by Usagi Uchiha


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56 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love Letter From Atlus To DS Owners, March 3, 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 - Nintendo DS (Video Game)
Following the success of the original 2009 release Shin Megami Tensei Devil Survivor, Atlus released the sequel for the DS. Even though it has the "2" on its name, there are no direct relation between the two titles in term of the storyline. The same but improved battle system and demon collection make a return, and I'm happy to say that it is as addictive as ever.

**About The Game**

Without giving any spoilers, this is the gist of the story: You, the protagonist, are just a normal high school student just finished with the mock exam. Everything starts when you, the protagonist, and your friends cheated death, with the help of demons, after looking at a site that showed how you will die. Earthquake hits Japan, every building falls down, radios and phones do not work, and deaths are everywhere. Now you need to find out the cause of the disaster, and in the same time, struggle to survive and save humanity.

There are a total of 14 playable characters, including the protagonist (who you name him yourself). You can only choose three of the thirteen (must include the main protagonist) during a battle, but more characters mean more choices. All characters differ in their personality, and you can't help but to really care to most of them.

The other main part of this game is its battle sequences. Think of it as a strategy RPG, where you deploy your characters in a grid, and you need to move next to your opponent's grid if you want to attack them. When you attack them (or vice versa), it turns into a traditional JRPG battle sequence, where you have a 3 vs 3 battle skirmish. Your human characters will be the party leader, accompanied by two other demons. If the leader dies, then the whole party dies too, and the same goes with the enemy. But the leader will take less damage if they still have the partners in the party.

A battle sequence usually ends after each party member attack once, but they may have the opportunity to attack once more if they exploit the enemy's weaknesses. The closest example would be Pokemon. If the opponent if weak against ice, you attack them with ice: this will give you a multiplied damage and a chance to get an Extra Turn.

There are hundreds of demons that you can collect, and they are the most important part in the battle. You can buy them from the Demon Auction site, using Macca (the currency in this game) that you earned from your battles. This saves you more time to collect more demons as you don't have to use any difficult method to obtain them. Some demons are not available at the auction site, and you need to use the Demon Fusion to obtain higher-level demons.

Each demon belong to a race, and each race has their own Racial Skill. For example, Dragons allow you to attack foes two grids away from you, Jaki can limit you opponent movement to only one grid away, and more high level races like Tyranny will restore you Magic Points at the end of every skirmish.

***Minor Improvements Over The Prequel***

--FATE system--
Atlus is making the sequel ten times better with this borrowed feature from other Shin Megami Tensei series, namely the Persona series. The FATE system to Devil Survivor 2 is what the Social Links are to Persona 3 & 4, but in simpler form. You can listen to other character's problems and backstories. When you give them the best respond, their rank on the FATE system increases. The maximum level for each character is 5, and you will get rewards for each rank up. This makes listening to other characters more interesting and meaningful, in addition to their already interesting backgrounds.

--More Demons and Race--
In addition to the demons that were in the originals, they added more into the amount and gives you more choice of demons to choose from (just like Pokemon, the duds are inevitable). New races also available, such as Ghost and Omega, thus opening up more possibilities for battle strategy.

--New Racial Skills For Higher Level Demons--
This is what I least expected when I played the game, and it is the improvement about the battle that I appreciate the most. This keeps the game fresh, especially if you played the recent Devil Survivor Overclocked (an enhanced version of the first one) on 3DS. Like I said before, Dragon race can attack foes at two grids away from you. If your demon of Dragon race level up higher, it will gain a new racial skill in addition to the old one, which is to be able to attack opponent at six grids away from you, but in cost of more MP.

***What I Like***

--An Engaging Story and Multiple Paths to Ending--
The story keeps me engaged until the credit rolls. I assure you that it is really good. First you just want to know what caused the disaster to struck Japan. Then when you find the cause, you need to decide on what you are going to do with the cause. There are total six endings to the game, and the choices that you have are very well-implemented. The choices are not black and white, as what you choose depends on what is your belief in certain matter. It was hard for me to choose because there are no wrong answers: just what do you feel is the right thing to do. Multiple paths and endings also make the game less linear, and somewhat provide a reason to replay the game, especially if you want to see what happen if you choose another path.

--Gotta Catch 'Em All!--
The Demon Fusion is a very deep system, as your resulting demon can inherit the stats and the skills from the fused demons. So you can create your own super demon that no one else can if you are willing to spend searching for the best demon and the best material demons. The resulting demon can learn any skills that the material demons have, so choosing the material demons is also important.

--Interesting Characters and Their Backstories--
For me, this is the point that stands out more than the rest. The feeling of wanting to know the characters better is the main force for driving me to play the game until the end. Each character has their own personality and backstory that make you really care about the character. Some people will choose their party members according to their battle stats, but I choose mine according to my emotional attachment to them.

You don't have to listen to their backstories, and you can choose who you want to listen to. Each character has their own agenda/problem/opinion that are interesting to listen to, and they all give more colors to the game. For example, Io has problems with sounding off her opinions, and Joe has been avoiding his girlfriend who is sick. You listen to them, and you give back your responds. If your responds are good, your relationship with that person will be deeper, and you will be rewarded with some things. The rewards are very, very beneficial, and that is for you to discover.

I'll be honest here: I like Airi very much.

--Lighter Mood--
This is just a minor point, but somehow the color blue is making this game more delightful to look at, rather than the original's red. It gives a different tone and mood to the game when I am playing it. It doesn't burn my eye like the original did. This game is also lighter on its mood, and there are plenty of funny dialogues and cheerful scenes. It is not as tense as the original, and that is a good one.

--Music--
Playing this game, I realized why I kind of hated the original. It's the MUSIC. The music in this one is so much better, and it fits the scenario and atmosphere perfectly. I particularly love the Anguished One theme.

--Battle Full of Tension and Strategy--
Just like most strategy RPG (like Final Fantasy Tactics), everything that you can do, the enemies can do too. So you have to plan your party and placements really well before going out to battle. But this also means problems because unlike other games, you rarely feel like you are the superior being in this game. Just as the enemies can die easily, you too can die in one turn if you are very unlucky or commit a grave mistake. See the "Brutal Difficulty" section below.

***What I Think You May Not Like***

--Brutal Difficulty--
You thought the original was difficult? Be thankful, because this game is harder. Much, much harder. Some battles seem like designed to make you lose. No kidding here. Some are just strategy-specific, and you need to be very lucky in this game. It can be overcome though, only if you are willing to study your enemies first, spend like 15 minutes setting up your skills and your demons, and grind. Grinding is a necessity if you want to win this game, so be prepared to spend some of your time leveling up and earn Macca to buy new demons.

Some battles can also take 30-45 minutes, longer if you die and need to retry. There is no way to skip the conversations and scenes, so you need to suck it up and deal with it. The bosses especially are no pushover. They will do everything in their power to kill you, and enough to make you rage so hard that you want to break the DS into two.

The final battle took me three tries before I finally defeated the boss, and not only it is hard, it is also LOOOOONNGG. The boss has three forms, and if you die when fighting the third form, you need to restart from the FIRST FORM. I think the total time just to defeat the last boss took me more than one hour. I don't really mind, but I know most casual gamers do.

The boss battles are hard, but it is not totally impossible (I finished the game~). Yes, the bosses are really intimidating, and somehow they are made to make you feel that you are not going to win. But the satisfaction you got from defeating them is priceless.

You can save a suspend data during battles, and only one suspend data can be made. So choose carefully when you want to save in a battle, and it might save you your time and your feelings.

--Any Character Can Die Forever Without Reminder--
In this game, you will receive a video that shows when a character will die. You can prevent this, or you can just let it slip and let the character die (forever!). This means that you will never see the character again, unless you start a new game. Sometimes you just don't know that the character can die at that moment, and it is easy for you do to other things first. My advise to you is to save often, and make use of the three save slots.

***What I Dislike***

--When The Game Ends--
Because it was a very wonderful experience, and now I demand for more games like this to be developed and released (last year's Radiant Historia was totally awesome too). Atlus you rock!

Final Words
This game is the true swansong for the Nintendo DS. If you love strategy RPG, the Shin Megami Tensei series, or even if you just love Atlus, you need to play this game. It has a lot more to offer than the original. But if you don't think you can handle the difficulty of the game, you should probably avoid this game.

If you still have your DS, don't throw it away just yet. Take it out, wipe off the dust, and play this. You can also play this on the 3DS if you want.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The last great RPG of our beloved DS, March 2, 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 - Nintendo DS (Video Game)
Ah yes Atlus has been good to the DS and this one is one of the best examples why. This game is also an example of what an amazing sequel done right looks like. Why? They improved what was done on the first installment and made it better and fresh so new players and players of the first Devil Survivor feel like your playing a totally different game from the first.

Now I am not saying it's totally different from the first, there's the magic. Combat-wise and graphically it's generally the same thing, but the story, the atmosphere, the maps and the new attacks and demons are what separates this game from the original.

Now boss fights are harder, there's tons more characters to add to your teams, you get to improve the characters if you talk to them and motivate them, and of course more than 1 area not just Tokyo.

If you're an RPG player I totally recommend this game. I myself am a fan of Atlus and Shin Megami Tensei and this game doesn't dissapoint. Not better than Radiant Historia or Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey (Try those out also, highly recommended). But definitely comes close.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars atlus does it again, June 26, 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 - Nintendo DS (Video Game)
Finally the sequel to one of atlus's greatest games. there's not a whole lot to say as if you liked the first game you will like this one too as it has added features. the only thing to note is it's still got the big boob characters that are so obviously fan service that other classic smt games do not bother with and i find annoying. so if you liked persona 2 or strange journey this game may seem a little light hearted and fan service filled but it's fun and easy next to other smt games so i recommend it. i certainly wouldn't play a modern poke'mon game over this so try it or try the first one.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet game!, April 20, 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 - Nintendo DS (Video Game)
This game was awesome!
I really appreciated the story's pacing (I'm so used to a much quicker, everything on the table at the start kind of story), and the game's features and play were really fun too.
Admittedly a little difficult, and at times unnecessarily so, but I think in the end it was totally worth it!

Definitely a must-have in my opinion!! (Coming from a Shin Megami Tensei fan)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another reason why handhelds are the JRPG kings of this generation, April 17, 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
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This review is from: Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 - Nintendo DS (Video Game)
Outside of some obligatory grinding, for money mind you, an all around excellent game. Decent story. I liked the cast of characters. Multiple endings, depending on your decisions. Battle is a combination of SRPG and turn-based RPG. Highly recommended for anyone that enjoys JRPGs. 4.5/5. Atlus, I am looking forward to DS 3.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Huge Focus on Surviving in this Great Devil Survivor Sequel, July 7, 2013
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 - Nintendo DS (Video Game)
With the hype for the anime originally (and I'll probably never say anything about it until the boxset comes out) and the updated release in Japan, I had to get this game. And I did not regret this one bit. It's still a Devil Survivor game but decided to add the Persona 3/4 system to make it more enjoyable.

The plot ironically comes off as a Neon Genesis ripoff (given how every character in Neon Genesis has a character in this game that acts like them with the exception being Rei. Let's see how the remake does though given Miyako's personality isn't touched on) set in a different Japan universe. The protagonist Hiro (or Hibiki in the anime) and his best friend Daichi just finished their exams to get into college (they're 18) on a Sunday. Daichi talks about a website that shows a person close to them's death called Nicaea in high quality. You sign up for the website thinking it's a joke. As you head toward the subway, they come across another student that Daichi crushes on Io. Just then, they all get a Death Clip showing each other's death by the train crashing. A few minutes later, what happens in the clip happen and all three are killed by the train that falls on them. Hiro is then asked if he wants to live (which he does). As the 3 miraculously survive the crash, demons suddenly come out and attack them. They make the pact with the demons by simply defeating them. Scared and confused, they rush out of the broken train station to see Tokyo already in ruin and people in panic. Cell phone connection lost and no way to get home, the trio try to find somewhere to go. Later in the day when running from this mysterious alien Dubhe, Hiro and Io get another death clip of Daichi getting killed. You rush over to save him from instant death and are saved by a mysterious woman named Makoto who takes you to see her chief after saving you. The chief is named Yamato, the leader of JPs and he has been prepared for this attack for a long time. At first he intends to lock you up but after you flee, join up with a playful man named Joe and then defeat Dubhe by nightfall, Yamato recruits you into his ranks as you set out to defeat the Septerions on each day.

The game is very fast pace in terms of story. You have 8 days in game time and there's so much to do. With upgrading your demons with the Nicaea website, buying and fusing them you have more demons than the previous game in terms of selections. The gameplay is very much the same as the last game although I felt like this game is easier (maybe because of the new system added). The most minor change that isn't so obvious is the magic stat. Vitality in the game now applies to both physical and magical defense while the magic just increases the stat. This is different from the first game where magic applied to magic attack and defense (which means that you can still have a high magic in this game and have a bad defense to not last long in battle...-cough- Yamato). The newest feature in this game is the FATE system which allows you to bond with your party members. Similar to a Social Link from Persona 3/4 you must max out the link from 1-5. With each level, you are able to power up that ally and merge new demons. For example leveling up Yamato's social link to 1 would get him to resist physical attacks (the only character in the game with a default setting of resisting physical attacks), link 2 would allow you to share a cracked skill (meaning unlock a skill in battle where either Yamato or Hiro can kill the demon and learn the skill), link 3 unlocks the first powerful demon Mithra, link 4 would allow you to send demons to the protagonist and link 5 gives you another powerful demon (for Yamato it's Baal). The game advises you to speak to everyone and get it to at least 4 as it's crucial to form bonds given a certain event near the end of the game forces you to have a powerful bond or risk losing that character (this is also a plot point for Io. If you don't get her to a certain number by a certain day, she will die.) The FATE system allows you to learn more about the character, their motives and how they are handling the end of the world setting. In other words, this system gives the characters more depth allowing you to bond and care for them more...and it hurts when you realize that this is Devil Survivor.

Like in the previous game, character can die and be lost for the rest of the game if you do not save them when their Death Clip shows up. To get the perfect ending EVERYONE must survive (with the sole exception of one character). Every day, you get a Death Clip showing that person's death. You must get to that area as soon as possible or risk seeing them die (or in Io's case the requirements of having a high FATE route with her and consoling her when everyone tells you to) in rather gruesome manners. The maximum amount of character that can die in this game out of the 13 playable characters is 5 (and 1 is the maximum in the perfect ending). For some strange reason though, everyone loves killing off Keita on Monday despite the game warning you multiple times to find him before this time limit AND they give you the time limit (then again, Keita is pretty unlikable even if you go through his FATE route and understand why he's such a jerk). Compared to Jungo on Tuesday who is the hardest character to save because you don't know where he is and the game doesn't give you a time limit on when he has to be saved requiring you to run around and getting certain tasks done before hand.

Back to the characters though, they really are developed compared to the original cast. They aren't just stereotypes thrown into a completely different genre. These characters feel like real people with problems that they have to face. Cowardly Daichi has to deal with the changes around him so fast like Yuzu and wondering whether to run away or fight with his friends. Io never speaks up for herself and agrees with the last person who speaks before her. She has to find a way to change herself because when this is all over she might have never developed as a person. Makoto has to choose between her duty as a JP (who she owes her life to) and the will to help others in need. Even cold hearted Yamato reveals his issue with the world around him and his FATE route revolves you getting him out of that shell. You will probably end up appreciating all the characters for their character development (except Rolando...at least for me who felt like his FATE route did nothing for his character but intensify my hate for him).

The game has multiple endings just like the first but instead of focusing on how to handle the demons, the endings revolve around how the world will be shaped. There are 4 characters you can follow but only one character can give you the worst and best ending depending on your actions and the number of party members you have. No matter what route you choose, someone dies unlike the first game where while you cannot have everyone in your party, you can prevent everyone from dying.

Overall, I felt the game has a sliding scale of optimism and cynicism. The first game just seemed to have an overall helpless situation given the choices you have of either becoming the messiah for humanity of the Overlord can be a major theme compared to the themes of this game. The game flourishes in the colors of white and blue instead of red and black (and I see this as symbolism of trying to remain positive in the darkest time). Which reminds me, Hiro has some of the funniest dialogue options in the entire Shin Megami Tensei franchise. With Kazuya's dialogue ranging between serious and obfuscating stupidity (where Naoya calls him out on his stupid dialogue being an act), Hiro is outright hilarious with his dialogue options ranging from serious to comedian. The comedian options tend to get you the funniest responses from the characters around Hiro (and given how fandom likes to make Hiro the bunny ears lawyer type of protagonist it might as well be the canon responses). Some of the more memorable dialogue options include Hiro sneaking up on either Io and Daichi and instead of asking if they're okay (which will surprise them) you can just shout "BOO!" and make them more scared than needed to be. Another is the option of constantly calling Makoto a pervert after she walks in on you on a particular day and calling her that the next day just to make her more flustered. Another funny option for a particular character is Hibiki telling Io this character is Nicaea Man (a parody of Super Man) to get a funny reaction. My last personal favorite is the option to make fun of Yamato on a certain day where you will be making fun of him given all the dialogue options are in Spanish (but one of them is rather insulting) which Yamato brings up and is obviously confused.

Personally I would wait for the remake given the added content and an additional story but since we don't have a release date, I highly recommend this game. I give this a 95/100 because of a gripe about how no matter what ending you get, two characters that have an obvious backstory (and is shown in the anime) cannot survive together.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic SRPG, March 11, 2013
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This review is from: Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 - Nintendo DS (Video Game)
Holy cow, there's nothing to dislike about this game. Great story, good gameplay, and above all else: Collar poppin scopin' and dropin pizza eatin skateboard flippin psi rockin Jungo
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great game for Shin Megami Tensei fans, January 27, 2013
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This review is from: Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 - Nintendo DS (Video Game)
This game was purchased as a Christmas gift for my daughter, who loves Shin Megami Tensei games. She was thrilled to receive it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This game, I just keep playing it!, August 30, 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 - Nintendo DS (Video Game)
This is the first time I've actually beaten an Atlus game, and I have to say, I REALLY liked being able to do more here, or at least it felt like I was doing more here rather than the first game, which frustrated me to no end and I quit. I read another reviewer here who warned about needing to grind for levels and money, and they really weren't kidding, especially since I was trying to fill out my fusion list. (I'm at 95% currently oh god) I don't know how or why I managed to get through this game not once but three times, but I am considering a fourth run. There's one ending in particular I like waaaay above the others, and seeing one of the other endings reminds me of why I do.

I spent... about 65 hours on my first run through because I was grinding up so much, then add about ten hours for the second, and only about 3-5 hours for the third run through (going for a different ending and a no dying/no free battles run, which was successful!). You get to continue to a new game + and that's usually where you can relax a little depending on how you spend the end game points, which I found really interesting. Getting the Fates of your friends up unlocks fusions and points for the end, and you get points as well for the various endings and doing special things during the playthroughs.

I absolutely love the music of this game. It was so much more enjoyable than the first. My favorite score in the music is towards the end, where you only hear it once. Its just a few chords, but its some of the prettiest music I have heard in a game.

The big thing to keep in mind is that this game IS DIFFICULT. Holy crap. Others have said it but it is tough as heck. That said though, I took care in designing my teams of demons for me and my friends, and when I fused sometimes I would use one demon over another because of skills that I could pass on, even if it wasn't for those demons, but for one I would fuse in the future. The bosses do require a ton of luck and there's a bonus fight that I couldn't get win at my second time through and I avoided it my third time as I was avoiding free battles. I might try the fourth time though because I won't let him get the better at me. He's tougher than the end boss by a lot.

Overall though, you really really really really want to play this. Its worth it. I enjoyed it so much, and have put so much time into it. It definitely makes the DS shine out right now amidst the 3DS. I thoroughly enjoyed this game. Oh god did I enjoy it. Time to go get more points so I can stop grinding for macca!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Sequel, June 17, 2012
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 - Nintendo DS (Video Game)
as someone who played and enjoyed the first devil survivor, I can say that I am 100% happy with the second, it's truly one of the last good DS rpg's and certainly one of the last good DS games, Thnx Atlus!

Goodies
1.Fantastic and colorful story, even though the first's plot was fun, I thought this was better by a mile.
2.Brighter settings, in contrast to the first's dark and red settings.
3.Great soundtrack.
4.Tons of collectible demons.
5.Great characters, whom I enjoyed more than the first's characters.
6.No connection to the first, so new comers don't need catching up, and players of the first get a whole new experience.
7.More challenging bosses.
8.Smart and difficult gameplay that really makes you think.
9.More options in terms of demons customization and skills.
10.Less of those annoying rescue missions from the first.
11.Overall satisfying experience and an excellent Strategy/Tactical/RPG addition to any DS catalogue.

Baddies
1.Could get tedious after half-way.
2.Extreme difficulty could turn off some.
3.Fate system is somewhat unnecessary and not interesting.

I haven't played any Shin Megami Tensei game other than the Devil Survivor series, as I thought it stood out the most, anywho I very much recommend this game to anyone!

-Liza.H
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Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 - Nintendo DS
Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 - Nintendo DS by Atlus Video Games (Nintendo DS)
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