Devil Survivor: Official Material Collection is an 176 page book from Udon Entertainment that gives fans of Devil Survivor a behind the scenes look into the creation of the game. For those that aren’t familiar with Devil Survivor, it’s the story of a teenager called the Protagonist (surprising, I know) who unlocks demons through a computer. As a result, Tokyo goes into lock-down leaving the protagonist and his friends trapped inside.
First Official Material Collection contains the anime game sketches of all the characters. Although most of the sketches are black and white, there are some color sketches. This is where the book really shines; they are well drawn and full of color (it is an art book after all). Official Material Collection also provides character information such as back stories, creator commentary and character bios. However, some might gloss over the information section because it isn’t essential to understanding Devil Survivor. Regardless, the character information isn’t a big part of the character section.
Additionally, the extras section has some unique ideas. For example, it shows storyboard sketches of some of the characters. As a result, one can see the characters evolve from the storyboard to the game. Additionally the extras section includes plot storyboards that detail some of the in game events. Although these sections are interesting, it’s worth noting that they are only 4 pages long. Finally, there’s a development team interview and character designer interview. In particular, these sections detail the origin of the Tokyo lock-down idea, characters/plots that were left on the cutting room floor, and challenges facing the development team. All of these are sure to give fans of Devil Survivor a lot of insight into the creation of the game.
The book also includes a demon compendium with details of all the enemies, and a list of game environments. The demon compendium was a bit of a disappointment. It does include a lot game information on the demons, but i would’ve liked to see some sketches of the demons. I was also a little disappointed by location section because it is primarily game screenshots. While these two sections are primarily game-related, they could have included more sketches. As a result, these two sections seem like missed opportunities.
Overall, material collection is a game companion first and an art book second. People who buy the Devil Survivor game are going to get the most out of this book because there’s a lot of game related information in it. The character sketches are also very well done. The interviews and character info also give fans more insight into the Devil Survivor universe. However, the demon compendium and environment list could have been better. Additionally, the storyboard section, while unique, could have included more storyboard and character sketches.