(3DS)

Game Review

Shin Megami Tensei IV Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Morgan Sleeper

Good Goddess

Atlus has given 3DS-owning RPG fans plenty to be excited about recently, with Etrian Odyssey IV and Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers both released this year alone. Now the latest entry in the mainline Shin Megami Tensei series has arrived to complete the dungeon-crawling hat-trick, bringing its unique brand of demon summoning and dark, multilinear storytelling to Nintendo's dual-screened darling. This is a sequel fans have been waiting nearly a decade for, and we can't imagine anyone will be disappointed; Shin Megami Tensei IV is deep, stylish, and incredibly fun.

Shin Megami Tensei IV casts you in the role of a young, newly minted samurai serving the Eastern Kingdom of Mikado. Mikado samurai have the unenviable task of keeping demons from encroaching into the human world, so with the help of your sentient gauntlet (and its sultry AI component, Burroughs) and three fellow 'prentices', you'll set about your training. Things get weird very quickly, however, and it's not long before your group finds itself in the strange land of Tokyo, desolate and overrun with demons, on a very different mission.

We don't want to spoil a thing - the less you know going in, the better - but the story's quite a ride, and while it evokes common themes of class conflict, morality, friendship, and death, this is far from the usual save-the-world scenario. It's also occasionally disturbing; the game earns its M rating from the plot as much as from its nearly-nude demons.

It won't be the same story twice through, either; branching storylines are a hallmark of the Megami Tensei series, and each of your three companions rather transparently represents a different path - Law, Chaos, and Neutrality. The choices you make throughout the game will directly affect the outcome, which lends an exciting gravitas to every selection box.

The writing is excellent, and what at first seems like extremely stilted translation (as when the badass Chaos character uses the words "fop", "galling", and "demur" in the same sentence) actually helps to characterize this alternate reality where no one's heard of guns, France, or "literature". Voice acting for nearly every line brings the world and its inhabitants to life, and though the NPCs' delivery can be a bit hammy, the main characters are very believable.

Just under the surface of this well-realized world is a third-person dungeon-crawling RPG, featuring turn-based combat and a quest system that puts a premium on exploration and forward momentum. You'll take on Main Quests - large and small - to advance the storyline, as well as a huge number of optional Challenge Quests, picked up at bars and hunting associations throughout Mikado and Tokyo. Ostensibly side-quests, the Challenge Quests are often just as absorbing as the main missions, and offer up a wide variety of tasks, from demon slaying and deliveries to escort missions and item collection - some even have a direct effect on the outcome of the story.

The branching story and its human protagonists are interesting enough, but the real stars of the show are the demons you'll meet, fight against, and command in battle: a huge cast of characters made up of figures from religion, lore, and mythology the world over - Native American, Japanese, European, Polynesian, Chinese, you name it. They run the gamut from gallant to grotesque and everything in-between, and they're universally enchanting. Wonderful portraits, quirky dialogue, and individual voice acting give them an enormous amount of personality, and a Profile tab gives you the lowdown on each demon's cultural context, which makes having them by your side in battle that much cooler.

Getting the bewitching beasts on your side means engaging in a staple of the Shin Megami Tensei series: demon negotiation. Instead of simply capturing them or wearing them down in battle, you'll have to talk them into joining you, and it can be an interesting process. Every demon has its own quirks, which you'll need to learn and take into account in your chats: some demons are proud, and want to feel superior, others want to be impressed by your strength, some will flirt with you and expect you to flirt right back, and others just want to make some quick Macca - the demonic currency of choice.

Once you've assembled a respectable collection of demons, you can fuse them together to create new, higher-level allies with the help of Mido, a voxel-rendered old man with a long beard and a Max Headroom glitch. Demons can pass on their skills in fusion, and performing multi-step fusions to craft the perfect set can be surprisingly addictive.

The demons are interesting enough that simply collecting them could carry a game on its own, but you'll spend most of your time directing them in combat. There aren't any random encounters here; instead, enemies appear as ghostly, pixelated figures roaming dungeons and the streets of Tokyo, and it's up to you to initiate a battle with a satisfying slash of your samurai sword. Enemy demons can do the same, however, so you'll need to keep on your toes to avoid being ambushed from behind.

The battle system is based around eight elemental strengths and weaknesses, with physical, gun, ice, fire, force, electric, light, and dark attacks all coming into play. These elements are at the heart of the 'Press Turn' system, which rewards combatants with extra turns for exploiting enemy weaknesses or scoring critical hits, and takes away turns for whiffed or reflected attacks. After a particularly powerful hit, you might even see a "smirk", a special status condition that raises defensive and offensive power on the next turn.

Mastering the Press Turn system is the single best way to come out ahead in battles, and it's hugely fun to take advantage of; with the right party for the job, it's possible to get eight attacks in on an opponent before they can even move. The focus on exploiting weaknesses also makes this significantly less grind-heavy than most dungeon crawlers - combat is much more about strategy and elemental advantage than it is about levels and raw power, and that makes for lots of satisfying David vs. Goliath fights.

Of course, the flip side of the system is that if an enemy catches you off-guard and manages to exploit your weaknesses, your entire party can easily be taken down in a turn or two. It's not all over if that happens, however, and dying doesn't even necessarily mean a Game Over screen. As it turns out, Charon - the man responsible for rowing dead souls across the River Styx - is a pretty soft touch, and can be bribed with either Macca or Play Coins to look the other way as you scamper back to the land of the living.

After you've been to Hades and back twice (which, for us, happened in the game's second tutorial mission), you'll unlock the option of playing on Easy Mode. While you'll still live and die by the Press Turn system and finding enemy weaknesses, this mode tips the damage scales subtly in your favour. It makes the game much more accessible for beginners, without taking away any of the depth of the combat system.

Whichever difficulty you chose to play on, you'll be able to tailor the game system to your liking with Burroughs' 'Apps'. You'll earn 10 "App Points" with each level gained, and you can spend these however you like - upgrades include space for more demons or skills, negotiating tools, experience boosters, and hacks to lower MP costs, raise the level ceiling for demon fusion, or even regenerate HP or MP as you walk.

It isn't just demons that can use magical attacks, either, and you can choose which skills your character learns via "Demon Whisper": as your demons level up and learn new skills, they'll offer to teach them to you. It's a totally charming replacement for a skill tree - the demons are very proud of their Whispering, and will try to talk you into taking more - that fits the game perfectly, and a constant reminder that you're only as strong as your demons.

Graphically, Shin Megami Tensei IV is characterized by a smorgasbord of different presentation styles. There's the 3D third-person exploration of dungeons and smaller areas of Tokyo, the first-person combat with two-dimensional sprites on 3D backgrounds, the menu-based towns, shops, and bars, and the larger overworld of Tokyo, traversed from overhead as you move a stylized marker around a map. NPCs can either be sprites, 3D models, or invisible until spoken to - but once you engage them in conversation, they're nearly always represented by small, static sprites with indistinct faces. More important exchanges - particularly those with your teammates, or demons - use beautiful, screen-filling character portraits, enlivened by a Ken Burns effect.

The 3D environments are stunning, especially with the in-game augmented-reality system that points out signs, doors, and items of interest, sending neon circles of light zeroing in on your character as you approach them. And though we're not crazy about the menu-based town navigation in Mikado - it's efficient, but immersion-breaking - we love the symbolism of the switch to a 3D overworld coinciding with the samurai's arrival in Tokyo's uncharted territory. The NPC sprites with blurred faces, on the other hand, are very similar to those found in Soul Hackers (originally a Saturn game), and while they have their charm, they feel distinctly 32-bit. Taken as a whole, however, these different approaches come together very well. It reminds us of the three representations of the characters in Fire Emblem: Awakening - rather than creating a hodgepodge, it gives the game a great sense of stylistic variety.

The stereoscopic 3D effect adds a lot to the presentation, but it has a few issues; some of the larger demon sprites tear across layers very easily, and menu elements are jumpy enough that it's often hard to tell where they're supposed to sit in terms of depth. Then there's the fact that certain 3D sequences - like the demon fusion animation - take place on a single, flat plane, missing the stereoscopic effect entirely. These are mostly minor quibbles though, and it's definitely worth playing with the 3D effect on, even if it means adjusting the slider every once in a while.

Shin Megami Tensei IV excels in atmosphere, thanks in large part to the soundtrack. The martial pipe-and-drums theme of Mikado Castle will linger in your head long after you've left its familiar confines, the slightly sinister demon fusion theme lends an appropriately occult air to your alchemy, and once you hit Tokyo, there's a steady stream of slick, futuristic tunes that call to mind the best melodic moments of Soul Hackers. The audio quality is excellent too, and this is a game best experienced with headphones - the music, sound effects, and ambient noises come together to craft a truly enthralling aural environment. As a small example of the level of detail on offer, we were blown away when we realized the sound of our character's run changed depending on the armour he was wearing.

Finally, a StreetPass feature dubbed the "Digital Demon Service" lets you share a profile card and an attached demon with your fellow samurai. This demon can grow, return with gifts, and even fuse into new forms as you StreetPass, but as long as it's attached to your DDS card, you won't be able to summon it into battle. That makes sense, as it's potentially growing and changing on its DDS travels, but it would be nice if the attached demon didn't continue to take up valuable space in your stock. Still, we expect this will be a fun addition for players who can take advantage of it.

Conclusion

Shin Megami Tensei IV has it all: an exciting story with multiple paths and memorable characters, the most captivating cast of monsters this side of Kanto, fun, engaging combat, and a whole heap of style. Any RPG fan up for a dark adventure will have a blast here; you don't need any background in the MegaTen series to enjoy it, and the well-balanced Easy mode means anyone can get in on the action. If you're looking for a 3DS game to sink your teeth, claws, and time into, this is as good as it gets.

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User Comments (112)

Pokefanmum82

#6

Pokefanmum82 said:

I'm getting it. I'm just not sure I will like it. Actually I probably enjoy it but I'm afraid it will be too hard for me to grasp. Never played one of those games before. Plus that club Nintendo offer is too good for me to pass up.

Ralizah

#7

Ralizah said:

This will be my first real main series SMT game, so I'm definitely excited.

DrKarl

#9

DrKarl said:

Two questions for the reviewer: How many hours was your playthrough? Was it on Easy mode?

HAL9000

#10

HAL9000 said:

I just pre-ordered the game on Amazon for the limited edition bundle. Great job Nintendo with the Fire Emblem 30 dollar credit. Awesome way to support 3rd parties and build up hype for FE x SMT coming to Wii U later.

AceSpadeS

#12

AceSpadeS said:

The menu based navigation has been a Shin Megami Tensei staple for a long time, even after 3D environs and such became the norm. I'd be sad if they got rid of them.

Prof_Elvin_Gadd

#14

Prof_Elvin_Gadd said:

lol at the people who will now get this game solely because it received a 9. Have some faith in yourself and your own tastes would you! shakes head in disgust

Having said that; good review Morgan!

SchamMan89

#17

SchamMan89 said:

I was barely interested in this before, but this review has caught my interest. Plus, with the Club Nintendo credit, it'd basically be like paying 20 dollars for the game. Might be worth it.

Marks

#18

Marks said:

From the review, it sounds like it should be 10 stars. lol
Doesn't matter though, I pre-ordered the game a long time before. I know I'm going to love it.

CanisWolfred

#19

CanisWolfred said:

@mumof3kids82 According to the reviewer, the easy mode doesn't really take anything away from the game. If you really find it too hard, just go with that.

@Marks I was literally just about to say the same thing, man. Seriously, @Zipmon, it doesn't sound like there's a single flaw to be had by your own assessment. What's missing that's holding it back from a ten?

Peach64

#21

Peach64 said:

@Prof_Elvin_Gadd I never get criticising people from listening to reviews. We can't all afford to buy every game that comes out, and you cannot properly judge a game from screen shots or trailers. There's nothing wrong with finding a few websites or magazines that you feel review to your tastes and then basing your purchases on them.

I love Nintendo Life for their news, as I know they're pretty much posting every Nintendo related story out there, but personally I don't put too much emphasis in the reviews here. Stuff gets over-rated here in my opinion (and yet the comments sections are always full of people asking for an even higher score), but there is one magazine and one website that I put a very high trust into it, and I also watch Gametrailers video reviews, although I don't really listen to their scores, I just find it's the best place for video footage.

Lucem_Sora

#23

Lucem_Sora said:

I already preorder it, so I'm all set...planning on getting it, the moment the store opens

NMH-TRI

#25

NMH-TRI said:

I've had this pre-ordered for awhile, just eagerly awaiting my chance to dive in. Grrr and the promotion will probably have me buying Fire Emblem (sorry Pikmin 3...I have to skip you until much later).

Prof_Elvin_Gadd

#26

Prof_Elvin_Gadd said:

@Peach64 I wasn't criticizing at all, just laughing. Furthermore, I never said there is anything wrong with using reviews, especially websites like metacritic. However, people should have an idea before they see a "9" and all of a sudden want the game. To go from not interested to "omg I'm getting this game now!" based off of one review is ridiculous, and anyone with half a brain can see that. You have your opinion, I have mine. We can agree to disagree.

When I use reviews, I am on the fence about the game. I've never gone from "nope" to "YES!" solely based on one review. That's what I'm getting at. What is wrong with having faith in yourself and knowing your tastes? I have no problem with reviews and I love this website as well, but the total 180 degree turns made me laugh. Why so serious?

One-Winged-Pit

#29

One-Winged-Pit said:

Seemed like half this review could be said about any Shin Megami Tensei game. Still I already preordered this on Amazon months ago. Also, finally a main character in these games that can use magic so they are useful!

zipmonStaff

#31

zipmon said:

@Prof_Elvin_Gadd Thanks!! :)

@Canis_Wolfred It's an amazing game! But there are a few things that hold it back; the fact that one of the two worlds is reduced to one big menu really cuts down the immersion for a while. The game felt much more "alive" to me once I got to the second area (with a 3D world map, shops you can actually walk to, NPCs you can see, etc.), and revisiting Mikado after that always feels a little like a downgrade. And I'm not sure why they went with that jaggy NPC sprite style from Soul Hackers - I liked them there, but they feel out of place in this game, the rest of it looks too good! :)

For @mumof3kids82 and anyone wondering if this'll be too tough, the Easy mode really does make a big difference, and it's really well done! I bounced back and forth between both modes in separate save files, and battles are still plenty exciting on Easy, and there's still lots of strategy, but it's almost never frustrating - and for me that makes for a much better experience! :) You might die more often than in say, the PS Final Fantasy games, but it's much easier (and more user-friendly) than something like Etrian Odyssey. (For my personal file I went with Easy mode and have no regrets!)

Another thing that helps make this easier to get into is that the quest system is really good at keeping you from getting lost / forgetting what you're supposed to be doing. You'll have all the info you need right in the menu, instead of having to glean it from NPCs.

@DrKarl I switched back and forth over a few different save files, but I'd say regardless of difficulty you're looking at 50-60 hours of game, easy! Plus, the three paths make it more replayable than most big RPGs!

One more thing I forgot to mention in the review: there's full support for touch control, and you can do pretty much anything in the game with the stylus. It might not sound like a big deal, but once you've done demon fusion with the stylus you won't want to go back! :)

King47

#32

King47 said:

I already have the game preordered. And now I can get 30 bucks from the promotion that I didn't know about. This is awesome.

ricklongo

#33

ricklongo said:

I was very excited reading the review, until I came upon "menu-based towns". Bummer.

Would this game be suited for someone who loves JRPGs like Dragon Quest or Chrono Trigger, but could never stand stuff like Etrian Odyssey?

ktribal

#34

ktribal said:

Holy sh. Great review. Really stoked for this game now.
This'll be my first SMT game, very very very VERY excited.

zipmonStaff

#35

zipmon said:

@ricklongo I think so - if you can stick it through the first 5 hours or so, you'll get a proper overworld :) The main similarity between this and EO is first-person combat, other than that they're pretty different styles of game; this one's much more about story, snappy combat, and collecting cool demons, rather than grinding and just-a-little-further exploration.

Melkaticox

#36

Melkaticox said:

@Aquilalex No, no "Maybe", you WILL buy it. Go, go to your local store and buy this masterpiece.

Also...
"the most captivating cast of monsters this side of kanto"
"cast of monster this side of kanto"
"side of kanto"
"kanto"

: OOOOOOOOOOO

bezerker99

#37

bezerker99 said:

"Wishest thou to make me thine ally?"

Is the rest of the text filled with King James speak??? :(

Absol07

#38

Absol07 said:

How much is the price for de digital download!? I only played the devil survivor 1 and two, hope this one is good!

ivanmata

#39

ivanmata said:

Sounds great, I'll get it.
NL, have you ever considered adding short videos to your reviews? even though you do a great job at describing it in words, it would be awesome to see the actual gameplay, or are you not allowed to do so?

KongFu

#40

KongFu said:

I played Persona 4 and enjoyed it alot. Is SMT IV comparable or as good as P4?

Whopper744

#41

Whopper744 said:

I have never heard of this series but if it's similar to Fire Emblem, I may have to consider this, especially if I can get it with a 30 dollar credit since I already have Fire Emblem.

sinalefa

#42

sinalefa said:

Sounds great. I have never played one of these games, but I know they have a pretty high reputation, as does the Fire Emblem series.

I will then get the preorder to have the book and the CD, and then get the $30 code. With this, FE Awakening and New Leaf, my 3DS is gonna be really overworked.

Kudos to Morgan on a really in depth review.

Dpishere

#43

Dpishere said:

With an easier difficulty, I am alot more interested in this game. This could be a great way to try out this series!

Melkaticox

#44

Melkaticox said:

@KongFu The SMT games are much better than persona, unless your favorite thing about Persona was the high school setting...

Icefreak45

#46

Icefreak45 said:

I love the Persona series and while I know its not too similar I still love the atmosphere these game bring, will definitely pick this up as my first entry into the main series ^^.

AJWolfTill

#47

AJWolfTill said:

I guess this is as good a place to sample the series as any right? Oh man, if I take to this game that Fire Emblem crossover is going to blow my mind.

RevolverLink

#48

RevolverLink said:

I've already spent most of my limited monthly gaming budget on Soul Hackers and downloading the NES Mega Man games, but SMT4 is at the top of my priority list for August.

snoox

#50

snoox said:

Having Fire Emblem already & with the $30 eShop credit bonus for having both, N has made this a no-brainer! But, I'm confused on the pricing... at GameStop (here in the States) the Limited Edition is $50, & there doesn't seem to be a different price for the regular version. Also it says only the ppl that get the 1st printing will get the pre-order bonuses. So you can pre-order at $50 & still not get any bonuses? Also, it's listed at $50 at the eShop. I thought $40 was like the max price for premium games? I just called a GameStop & the employee was pretty confused also about whether or not I'd be able to get pre-order bonuses & if there's a cheaper non-bonus price.

SCAR392

#52

SCAR392 said:

I'm pretty interested in this game TBH, and I'll be getting Fire Emblem if I get it, as well.
I still want Castlevania for 3DS, too. That game seemed cool from the demo.

tabris95

#53

tabris95 said:

Lol Why are there so many people here surprised that it received a 9? Nearly all SMT games are extremely well made, this isn't really an exception. However, I'm glad to see that this is a more accessible entry in the series with its inclusion of Easy Mode. SMT can always use more followers lol

Klinny

#55

Klinny said:

Glad to see such a good review! I just pre-ordered this yesterday from Amazon, (couldn't resist that cardboard box themed armor..) so I'm very happy to see the high rating. Not that I'm particularly surprised, of course lol.

Spoony_Tech

#56

Spoony_Tech said:

@Joshers744 This is nothing like Fire Emblem just to let you know! Unless you really like jrpgs stay clear of this. However if you do want something similar to Fire Emblen then try Devil Survior Overclocked. Its really a good game and a side game to the SMT series.

Whopper744

#57

Whopper744 said:

@OldMan-Tech
hmm...yeah I'm usually not into these sort of games at all, but I really enjoyed Fire Emblem.
Looking at it more, I'm not real sure if I even really like the theme/story aspects of this one...maybe I should just be satisfied with the games I got, and with Pikmin 3 coming out (if only I had time to finish my current playthrough of Majora's Mask again..)

WYLD-WOO

#59

WYLD-WOO said:

Thanks for the amazing review Mr Sleeper. Wish Atlus would hurry up and bring this to Europe. Anyone got any idea when we may get a release????

Funbunz

#60

Funbunz said:

Wow! I wanted this game before, now with good reviews and the $30 promo, I can't wait. I still can't figure out why the download would cost the same as a limited edition bundle, though.

Doma

#61

Doma said:

Wish i could pre-order this... Too bad my region is on Atlus' sh*t list. I have a wallet full of cash ready to give them, but they just don't want it.

Time to ignore every piece of news on this for a long while, in fear of spoilers.

@Drop-Dead-Fred Nope, not even the publisher is known i think.

SetupDisk

#62

SetupDisk said:

@XXIV
Cool, thanks. I know I have enough room for that but if it was about the size of RE:R it might be a tight fit.

Spoony_Tech

#64

Spoony_Tech said:

@Joshers744 Yeah I'm sure you wouldn't like the story parts at all. Lots of demons and angel stuff here. Even though overclocked has some of those same elements I thought it was a good story of good vs evil!

Relias

#66

Relias said:

Sorry but your talking about Shin Megami Tensei.. hands down the best JRPG period at this point.. 9 is not good enough.. LOL... But honestly.. if you like JRPG's with some strategy and planning.. no matter what.. this game is for you.. and it is a 10 out of 10 thank you very much..

Doma

#68

Doma said:

@CanisWolfred I don't think it will, tbh. Only an actual date from the pub would confirm anything and Soul Hackers already has that.

I won't continue to complain though. I really will just ignore the game's media, for now. I'll look forward to playing it whenever.

bizcuthammer

#70

bizcuthammer said:

Thinking abiut picking this up. Sounds good plus i get $30 eshop credit if i buy it... But its $50 and i have sooo many other games i'm already saving for this year. I dunno. Its really a toss up.

VincentV

#73

VincentV said:

Sounds like a good deal to me.
Edit: Glad I preordered. Does the $30 eShop credit go to a select system, because my family shares a Club Nintendo account?

otatious

#74

otatious said:

Looks great to me! I'm totally getting it. Especially since it is basically only 10$ because I already have Fire Emblem Awakening!

SheldonRandoms

#77

SheldonRandoms said:

preoreded on amazon (the first game I have ever preordered on amazon)

............now all I got 2 do is wait.......

allav866

#78

allav866 said:

@lutzowen21 $20. SMT4 is a $50 game, and Club Nintendo is offering $30 in the Fire Emblem vs. Shin Megami Tensei promotion. Still a sweet deal.

thanos316

#81

thanos316 said:

looks like the 3ds has another hit on their hands.. the 3ds is on a roll. now only if devs could push out this same effort and quality on the wii u, maybe things would be much different. i might have to pick this up. still playing fire emblem right now. another good game

Pixel-Perfect

#83

Pixel-Perfect said:

It sounds so bizarre that one of the two towns is menu driven and the other is open world... but obviously that's hardly a deal breaker.

WYLD-WOO

#84

WYLD-WOO said:

@CanisWolfred @CanisWolfred

We only have about 2 weeks of summer in the UK and we are right in the middle of it... Don`t know what part of the year the fall is in? However, I do really feel like one for not getting a US 3DS... Will someone in the US trade my 3DS XL with Mario & Luigi: Dream Team for their 3DS XL with Shin Megami Tensei IV?

RR529

#86

RR529 said:

Glad to hear the game delivered :)

Though I just bought FE:A not too long ago, so I don't have the money for it, and the elements seem a tad too dark for my personal tastes.

Hope everyone that gets it enjoys it, though.

heathenmagic

#87

heathenmagic said:

Oh no, too many good games on the 3DS still to get including this one. Need more time and money haha

laxking97

#88

laxking97 said:

@Zipmon how frequent are the 'nearly-nude demons.' Is it often, or is it just once in a while? And what applies as 'nearly nude'? Basically how serious are the 'adult' themes in this game?

KongFu

#93

KongFu said:

Does anyone know if they included a Japanese dub? Or is it only in English?

pariah164

#95

pariah164 said:

9 :D

Thank you, NL! I always love your reviews. I'd get it anyway, but the fact you feel so highly of it is a bonus.

WiiLovePeace

#96

WiiLovePeace said:

@zipmon how 'dark' does this game get? Is it blood & guts filled, or just full of grotesque demons, or are the environments dark? I'm a pretty straight-laced gamer if I do say so myself, I don't play any horror games nor the like. But I'm quite interested in the game mechanics. Still recommend?

zipmonStaff

#99

zipmon said:

@laxking97 Quite a few of the human-like demons (both male and female) are wearing very little clothing and/or sexualized in their portrayal, and there are a couple of demons that could charitably be described as "phallic". I'd say they're a minority though; there are lots of demons based on birds, mammals, sea creatures, dragons, devils, angels, etc. that are just as you'd expect, plus plenty of human-like demons wearing battle-appropriate and/or more modest attire! If you want to get an idea, here's a list of the demons in SMTIV with pictures:

http://megamitensei.wikia.com/wiki/Category:Shin_Megami_Tensei_IV_Demons

(For an example of the type of "nearly-nude" demons I'm talking about, check out Gu Huo Niao, Narcissus, or Vouivre.)

@WiiLovePeace I hear ya, I'm the same way! I'd never be able to play The Last of Us, Resident Evil, or any horror games, but I didn't have any trouble with this one. There's some blood, but mostly just in the 2D combat sequences (and then only when you KO an enemy with a gun skill; each element has its own animation and the rest are totally innocuous), and the graphics are lo-fi enough that it's more a suggestion than a graphic depiction. (Certain claw attacks will "cut enemies in half", for instance, but it's just the sprite shifting apart in the middle, definitely nothing gory.) The environments are pretty dark, in that they're post-apocalyptic and also literally dark, but the interface & AR-elements are super bright & colourful and I think that helps balance it out; it certainly never felt oppressive. The dark tone mostly comes from the story, and you'll have to make some uncomfortable choices, but I'd put it more in line with dystopian sci-fi than horror.

Since I don't normally like "dark" games at all myself and I've totally loved this one, my inkling would be to say that if the game mechanics appeal to you I think you'll really enjoy it! :)

zipmonStaff

#101

zipmon said:

@laxking97 Yup! Gu Huo Niao is the most demon-butt I recall seeing, and there's definitely nothing graphically sexual. I think the SMT games get the M rating for Nudity every time just bc of the "Mara" demon (one of the phallus phantoms)!

WiiLovePeace

#103

WiiLovePeace said:

@zipmon Thanks heaps man! :D I'm glad to hear that it wasn't too dark nor bloody :) & any signs of violence are limited by the graphics / art direction. I'll certainly be picking this up when it's available in my region. Thanks again :D

Melkaticox

#105

Melkaticox said:

@KongFu The story of the SMT games is much better, as it deals with more serious stuff. Considering both series are pretty much the same, that's all I can tell you.

AndyBurner

#107

AndyBurner said:

man i dunno... I conside chrono trigger an rpg... this doesn't interest me at all man... Fire emblem demo was boring as hell.... Just thinking.. I still have nes and snes games I can't beat and i've beaten all the games i buy on new nintendo systems.. Who's Nintendo's demographic; I dont know anymore.. Just give me Majoras Mask 3D....

One-Winged-Pit

#109

One-Winged-Pit said:

Got it from Amazon today, with free shipping that was pretty fast but the box is bent at the top and cannot stand without falling over, will not buy from them again and that stupid costume is crap after level 5! As for the game it is just great, I am loving all these changes.

Millenia

#110

Millenia said:

To anyone who does not know, SMT 1 and SMT 2 were on the Super Nintendo, released only in Japan. Translation patches do exist, and I love those games dearly. The third entry is SMT 3: Nocturne. (The 3 in the title was dropped for the international release.) Nocturne came out for PS2 in 2004, and it was a profound experience for me.

I see many of you are asking if it is anything like Persona. Yes, and no. The game features the same demons for the most part, and does feature demon fusion, much like Persona fusion. Your party members are recruitable demons instead of your character's friends from high school. I can't speak for SMT4, but the other 3 are not nearly as character driven as the Persona series, as it does not feature social links or even half as much dialogue for that matter. These games are much more serious and dark in tone. Also the difficulty in Persona is a cakewalk compared to SMT.

Ailingforale

#112

Ailingforale said:

I enjoyed this game for the first few hours. I hope all of you that said they have it preordered enjoy the heck out of it. I found SMT4 to be repetitive and grindy. The endings are also not my cup of tea. To work that long for what they gave made me sad...

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