Shin Megami Tensei IV Review

My first Shin Megami Tensei game is pretty good. Here’s what I think of it. 

I’ve always been highly curious of the Shin Megami Tensei series, but I never bothered trying any of them out until this year. I kind of regret that decision.

The Great:

Story:

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It’s not everyday that I come across a 3DS game that has a great story. Shin Megami Tensei IV tells the story of a group of newly trained samurai chasing after a mysterious black samurai that has the ability to turn people into demons. Shin Megami Tensei IV is a unique spin on heaven vs hell. Think of it like a more mature version of Pokemon, but instead of catching cute little creatures you’re convincing demons to fight for you in battle.

As I chased after the black samurai I discovered some really neat things about the lore of Shin Megami Tensei and made some pretty tough decisions too. The choices I made in this game were tough at times and I even sat my 3DS down some times so I could think about if I wanted to make certain decisions or not.

Sounds:

The voice acting in this game is great. There are a few bad sounding npcs, but the main cast of characters all sounded really good. Intense moments felt like they should because the actors did a great job at delivering their lines. The soundtrack is fantastic, especially the tune that plays while I talked to demons.

The Good:

Gameplay:

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If you like turn based games you’ll love this. Walking around dungeons is done in third person, but battling demons is done in first person. I wish the battles were in third person too, but I really enjoyed the first person combat. It reminded me of Etrian Odyssey. This game actually has quite a bit in common with Etrian Odyssey in my opinion. The way the central hub works is identical to that game, but it has a more mature tone than any Etrian Odyssey game and there’ s no map drawing feature.

Navigating the game world is a pain in the ass. I got lost many times as I played because of how confusing it was for me to navigate Tokyo. There are no markers or any kind or even names for me to figure out where things are. It made the game last a lot longer than it should have and I ended up with a overpowered party because of the constant demon battles I would get into.

My favorite feature in this game is demon fusion. Demon fusion lets me fuse two or more demons together to form a more powerful demon. It’s a great way to experiment with each demon because some traits/skills are carried over to the fused demon. I had a ridiculously powerful angel on my team after I let him evolve a few times.

Graphics:

Shin Megami Tensei IV is a mixed bag when it comes to graphics. The main hub looked great. I loved the way all of the npcs that I talked looked during conversations, but I’m not a big fan of how ugly everything is when I’m running around a dungeon or one of Tokyo’s many areas. The demons, except for a few, are well designed and I loved reading the lore about each one that I encountered and added to my team.

Some areas are pretty while some are ugly and that’s why the graphics are this in this section of my review.

The Bad:

Navigation:

You’re most likely going to get lost in this game. It does a bad job at telling you where to go and just expects you to know the map. There are no map markers or named locations. I got lost more than a few times during my 80 hour playthrough. I would say at least 20 of those hours were spent trying to find out where to go next because I would end up revisiting areas that I had before.

The Verdict:

Shin megami Tensei IV is a really great game that’s brought down by it’s horrible navigation. I love demon fusion, the first person combat, and story so much, but I don’t think I’m going to bother going back to try and get a different ending any time soon. I know I’m late to party here, but you can consider me a official fan of this series. I can’t wait to play the next game in the series.

80

 

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4 thoughts on “Shin Megami Tensei IV Review”

  1. Great review! Demon fusion is one of my favorite parts of this game too! I like the monster mechanic in general, and I know that it’s been around since the early days of this series. This is just my first time experiencing it. I admittedly have yet to beat this game. It’s quite hard. But I will one day, and I hope to play SMTIV: Apocalypse as well!

    1. Apocalypse is next on my list. After I complete Dragon Quest VII, and Monster Hunter Generations I’ll be moving on to Pokemon Sun/Moon. After that I hope I can get into Apocalypse :).

      1. Thanks.

        Dragon Quest VII is really long. I’m in no rush to complete Monster Hunter, but I really want to complete Dragon Quest before Pokemon releases because I know when I get that game all of my other games will collect dust for quite a while.

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