Japan Review Check: Devil Summoner, Spec Ops, Dirt

A recap of the most interesting games coming out next week in Japan, courtesy of the reviews section in the latest issue of Famitsu magazine.

A recap of the most interesting games coming out next week in Japan, courtesy of the reviews section in the latest issue of Famitsu magazine:

Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers (8/9/7/8, 32/40 points): Atlus' 3DS remake of the classic 3D dungeon-crawling RPG they first released for the Sega Saturn in 1997 was pretty well received, although everyone agreed it was more of a port than a major upgrade. "I can't deny that this game is looking old-fashioned by this point," said one reviewer, "but the story, which has you flitting between reality and virtuality, is still stimulating to play through. You can change the difficulty and map settings freely, so people who aren't used to 3D dungeon games can get involved with it pretty easily. "

"This is a 15-year-old game at this point," another added, "so the world setting is more likely to evoke nostalgia than seem like really believable sci-fi. But there's still something here that reminds you of how really ahead of its time it was. The hard but rewarding gameplay is still there, with the somewhat modernized mechanics fitting in well with it."

Dirt: Showdown (8/8/8/7, 31/40 points): The latest in Codemasters' racing series got pretty decent praise from Famitsu, with a lot of the reviewers enjoying some of the more casual aspects of it that caused folks over here to dock it points. "Being a sort of spinoff of the Dirt series, it focuses less on really punishing racing and more on fun crashes and such," one said. "There's been a lot of severely hard racers as of late, but his one allows you to play more instinctively without needing a great deal of practice."

Not that Famitsu was completely amazed by the results: "Singleplayer isn't about much more than running courses and improving your ride, which gets old. It feels like there have been more to it than that."

Spec Ops: The Line (8/8/7/8, 31/40 points): Like a lot of critics elsewhere in the world, Famitsu really dug the sand system that's proven to be the most unique aspect of this shooter. "The gameplay's pretty orthodox in style," one editor said, "but I like how the game takes advantage of the desert setting, having you knock away sand barricades and such to damage foes. Sand-based tricks are present in multiplayer, too, which gives a really unique strategic element to the proceedings."

"Campaign mode is a really serious, adult-oriented story with a lot of shocking events," another editor added. "It's very deep and compelling, but to some extent, the tension drops a fair bit by the occasionally iffy enemy AI."

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