Forums

Topic: The Megami Tensei Thread

Posts 61 to 80 of 645

Ralizah

@JaxonH Absolutely.

I've played:
SMT I, SMT II, SMT: Nocturne, SMT IV, SMT IV: Apocalypse
Digital Devil Saga (haven't played DDS2 yet, but will soon)
Devil Survivor: Overclocked and Devil Survivor 2: Record Breaker
Persona 1, Persona 2: Innocent Sin, Persona 4, Persona 4 Golden, Persona 5
Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers
Catherine: Full Body (a controversial inclusion, maybe, but it shares enough themes with the MegaTen universe that I'm going to include it)
Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE

I've beaten:
SMT IV, SMT IV: Apocalypse
Digital Devil Saga
Devil Survivor: Overclocked
Persona 4 Golden and Persona 5
Catherine: Full Body

The various MegaTen properties can be pretty radically different. There's no single gameplay element that connects all of them. IN GENERAL, though, certain elements keep cropping up throughout the franchise: a focus on mythology and/or mythological creatures, supernatural forces imposing themselves on the modern world and/or the manipulation of magicks and supernatural forces through the use of technology, chaos <-----> order alignment systems, a focus on the interplay between psychology, ideology, and supernatural forces, dungeon crawling, the idea of negotiating with, working together alongside, and fusing these entities into new, more powerful allies, and, most significantly, press turn combat.

Almost every MegaTen game post-Nocturne, where the system was introduced, uses some variation of the press turn combat system. It is, in my opinion, the 'secret sauce' of the franchise, what has turned it from a curious RPG property into arguably the best RPG franchise on the planet. Press turn combat turns turn-based combat from a tedious affair into something tense and fundamentally strategic at its core, insofar as the player is rewarded with more turns when they play intelligently and punished with fewer turns when they screw up. This is more or less simplistic, depending on the series: Persona combat devolves into 'hit the enemy weakness' tedium fairly quickly, whereas mainline SMT, as well as more hardcore spinoffs like the DDS games, DEMAND the effective use of buffs and debuffs and (back to mainline SMT) will often require the player to completely rebuild their primary team of demons in order to effectively face the challenges in front of them.

Mainline SMT games (particularly Nocturne) are renowned for how atmospheric they are, with a significant focus on mysticism, ethics, broad philosophical ideals about the nature of human life, and the interplay of human life with the supernatural. They essentially perfect the Pokemon formula with their engaging monster collection and fusion system. The fusion and skill inheritance systems factor into the deep, highly customizable RPG mechanics, which further feed into the sense of difficulty that these games possess.

I remember you saying you were glad that Nocturne has an easy mode, and if you need it to enjoy the game, that's fine, but I'd urge you to at least consider playing on normal. These are difficult games, but the difficulty is part of the experience. The player is lost in a world of demons and forces that defy human comprehension, and it is only by their wits and will to survive at any cost that they can persist into the games. Unlike every other classic RPG series I've played, where random encounters are merely a nuisance or an opportunity to grind, encounters in an SMT game (on normal difficulty and above, anyway) are ALWAYS dangerous, to some degree. They're meant to be. The satisfaction of playing an SMT game is the satisfaction of mastering an elaborate but also deeply intuitive combat system that rewards planning, strategy, and patience. SMT III and up are challenging, but I contend that they are not unfair.

I love how the games post-Nocturne de-emphasize the menial task of level grinding. Leveling up will help a bit, but it's far less important than possessing a proper spread of skills as well as the understanding of how to defeat a powerful enemy. You can go into battle way overleveled, but if you haven't learned how to properly prepare for a boss encounter, you WILL get stomped.

My experience with each game is...

SMT I and SMT II (these games are recognizably SMT, but the inferior battle system and generally archaic presentation really brings them down for me; also, they're not legally available outside of Japan, aside from a random iphone port of the first game)

SMT: Nocturne (one of the best JRPGs ever made, and the game that pioneered press turn combat; this one is very, very dark, but, like all games in the series, there's a weird but pronounced underlying sense of humor to it; my run years back was ruined by a malfunctioning memory card, but it's a masterpiece, and we're lucky to be getting it on Switch)

SMT IV (very cool, although a bit basic, and with some QoL and balancing issues; this was meant to be reminiscent of SMT I in certain respects. It's still a fine way to be introduced to the series)

SMT IV: Apocalypse (feels like a Persona spinoff with SMT mechanics; it's extremely light-hearted compared to Nocturne and IV, but also arguably the most polished and fun game in the series gameplay-wise. If the presence of anime tropes and the lack of a spooky atmosphere doesn't turn you off, it's an essential game in the series)

Digital Devil Saga (very interesting spinoff. There's no demon negotiations or fusions, and you have an established set of characters through the entire game. Characters have a sort of grid system for gaining access to magic and skills in lieu of being able to build a team of demons. The setting is a bleak, post-apocalyptic landscape with heavy Hindu influences, and your characters are forced to terrify and cannibalize other people while in their demon forms in order to survive. The dungeon crawling, difficulty, combat, and philosophical themes are all pure SMT, though. There's a direct story sequel to this, DDS2, which I'm planning on playing later in the year)

Devil Survivor: Overclocked and Devil Survivor 2: Record Breaker (a fusion of tactical RPG and turn-based elements. Your characters move around a grid-based map, akin to FF Tactics or Fire Emblem, but things go turn-based when combat is initiated. The characters in these games are teenagers, and the games in general feel more stylish than most other SMT games. As I recall, you buy demons in online auctions in this game. The first one is purer SMT in terms of its themes and plot, and is, IMO, the better game. Think FF Tactics x SMT x TWEWY)

Persona 1 (basically nothing like modern Persona games. You wander around labyrinthine maps in a first-person viewpoint, and battles take place on a VERY tedious grid-based map. I... can't recommend this. It didn't age well)

Persona 2: Innocent Sin (a lot of people love this for the plot and insist it's the best game in the series, but, like with the original Persona, I found it archaic and tedious. The first-person dungeon crawling has transitioned to an isometric third-person viewpoint, which is an improvement, at least. There's a follow-up game, Persona 2: Eternal Punishment, that I've never bothered trying to play)

Persona 4 and Persona 4 Golden (you know Persona 4. Persona 4 is fun and filled with interesting personalities, but it's far too easy, and the randomly generated dungeons are terrible. Also, no demon negotiations, no guns, watered down RPG elements and battle system... it's a good game, but a far cry from SMT. The Golden remake adds a ton of stuff and makes it easier to acquire)

Persona 5 (suffers from some of Persona 4's problems, but this was a HUGE step for the series, IMO; demon negotiations are back; guns are back; palaces are actual, interesting dungeons; the combat is ultimately still far too watered down for my liking, but it's a fantastic game overall)

Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers (quite archaic, but the cool cyberpunk setting makes this one a lot easier to enjoy; this is as good as old-school SMT gets, although it can't hold a candle to more recent games)

Catherine: Full Body (SMT themes within a puzzle game and relationship-themed VN! I love this game)

Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE (how "Fire Emblem x SMT" became this I'll never understand, but as a sort of Persona spinoff I still enjoy it; interesting combat and surprisingly fun dungeons, although it doesn't hit the highs of a number of other spinoffs)

There are a few games I still need to play, like Strange Journey on the DS/3DS, the Raidou Kuzunoha games on the PS2, and a number of weird old spinoffs on the Gameboy like DemiKids and Last Bible. On the Persona front, I still very little experience with Persona 3, and haven't played it for more than a few hours.

I'd say Nocturne, Digital Devil Saga, Devil Survivor: Overclocked, SMT IV, SMT IV: Apocalypse, Persona 4 Golden, Persona 5, Catherine, and TMS, of the games I've played, are fully worth experiencing today. I'd wait for a remake of Persona 3, considering every version of it has some sort of irritating issue that detracts from the experience. I hear good things about Strange Journey, but can't recommend it given my lack of experience with the title.

Of the mainline games, Nocturne is an absolute must, and both SMT IV games are fantastic as well.

If you do play Devil Survivor: Overclocked, I'd recommend doing so on an easy difficulty. Even for me, someone who craves challenge in these games, I was lucky to finish it. The difficulty spikes are BRUTAL.

Oh, and any discussion of the appeal of the series is incomplete without mentioning the exceptional work of composer Shoji Meguro, whose contributions to Nocturne, Persona 3/4/5, and the DDS games are legendary, and illustrator/character designer Kazuma Kaneko, whose gorgeous art direction, iconic designs, and spooky style have done a lot to inform the tone and aesthetic feel of the series over time.

Untitled

I don't believe Meguro contributed to IV/IV: Apocalypse, and Kaneko merely contributed demon designs, but I'd love to see both become more involved with SMT V, which is a huge project for Atlus.

ACTIVELY PLAYING
Persona 5 Royal (PS4)
Monster Hunter Rise (Switch)
Switch FC: SW-2726-5961-1794

JaxonH

@Ralizah
Wow, that was quite the reply. Thank you. I gotta say, I didn’t know how hardcore you were with the series. I knew you were into it but... wow.

I never got into Tokyo Mirage Sessions enough to stick with it. It was a fun game. Combat was good. Decent presentation. I think what it was missing though was a good story. I don’t need story for every game but JRPGs are one genre where you really want a good, engrossing story. And from a crossover between two games that typically have a decent story focus too. What a let down. Seemed so “Persona 4 Dancing-esque” with its story. And don’t get me wrong, I adore P4D, but the story is as generic as it gets. I also really like Catherine (on Easy mode at least- that game punished me HARD). But I haven’t had time to get back to it with Paper Mario and Trails of Cold Steel (which, btw, I can 100% safely recommend as a franchise you will love- after everything you just wrote and knowing your tastes, I’ve got a feeling that series is going to rank among your favorites of all time).

I know about the press-turn combat, which is a great battle system, but I also hear it’s much more tactical in SMT, like you said. Don’t ignore buffs/debuffs, fuse teams for specific bosses, etc. If there’s a difficulty between merciful and normal I’ll choose that, but, at least for Nocturne, I’m not sure I’ll stick with it if it’s too hard. And I’d really like to stick with a play one of these games through to completion. SMTIV wrecked me hard, and that instilled a fear of these games’ difficulty in me that’s never went away.

I agree Persona 5 was a huge step forward in a lot of ways (probably going to see a similar leap for SMT with SMTV) but I just love the characters of P4G so much. The characters in 5 are great too, but they just didn’t resonate with me quite as much. Surprised to hear you say the combat isn’t hardcore enough for you though. Sounds like SMT is serious business if even Persona feels like it has training wheels by comparison. My brother said SMT IV was the best game he played on 3DS. I hear such high praise from everyone who’s into it. So I definitely plan to play SMT 3 when it drops in preparation of SMT V.

I do want to mention though, as a Christian who has read the Bible cover to cover (just finished the Old Testament a few weeks ago- I’d read the New Testament at least 3 times before, and read various parts of the Old numerous times, But this time I just wanted to read it start to finish in canonical order), I’m well versed in what the series borrows. I’m not thrilled they use God’s holy name in the game for two reasons- the first being it’s so holy not even I dare utter it out of fear of irreverence, but the second is, it makes it feel kinda personal, like they’re taking my God and making him into something he’s not. It would go over a little easier with me if they just used a generic “god” title but, with that said, I can separate the fiction from the truth and understand it’s just a video game borrowing ideas to tell a story. I’m secure enough in my own faith to separate what’s biblical and what’s not.

I do find it interesting for that reason though. A game that explores spiritual warfare. I’ve also read up on the sides of law, neutral and chaos, and in a video I watched they spoiled the ending of SMT IV, which is fine because I’m not sure if I’d ever get around to playing it anyways. And I’m glad it at least gives me an idea of what to expect from the series. I’ve got a feeling SMT V is related to SMT 3 somehow. Or maybe it’s just design wise, as each newly numbered game is typically a self-contained story. I do think it’s good they’re releasing Nocturne first though, which can get the hype train rolling for SMTV before it drops. Releasing on PS4 is doubly good too because it’ll catch the interest of more fans, who will then be likely to buy SMTV when it drops on Switch. And judging by the trailers it seems to be a reasonably high budget game. Like, close to Persona 5 level if the cutscenes are any indication. Which means the game will need to sell more. SMTIV did 600k but other entries have done half that or worse. I say SMTV needs to shoot for 1m copies sold and be the first in the series to hit than milestone. It’s a lofty goal for such a hard-core, niche franchise (SMT isn’t nearly as marketable as Persona) but I think the audience is there.

One other question I had- is the story typically as much of a focus as it is in Persona? Or less so, or more so?

PLAYING
NS: Monster Hunter Rise
PC:
PS5:
MOST EXCITED FOR
NS: Monster Hunter Stories 2, Zelda Skyward Sword HD, Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1/2

Jesus is Lord.

kkslider5552000

I'm wondering if I should bother going back to SMT4. I bought it I wanna say a few months after it came out, played about 3 hours or so, never went back to it. Nothing about it excited me enough to keep playing it, and its most interesting elements I found a bit...annoying. Between befriending demons seeming to be too random (regardless of if it actually is or not), the backtracking out of the dungeon I did multiple times (also a huge problem I had with TMS) and my kinda disinterest in turn based RPGs being too difficult, it was easy for me to stop playing. But I do wonder how much I'm missing out because I gave up so early. Especially since...I'm pretty sure its the most I spent on a 3DS game. Kind of a waste to put such little time into it, and unlike most people, I do still play my 3DS semi-regularly.

I feel like its just not for me, but there are also games equally "not for me"...until I play them and end up loving them. So I dunno.

Unless you count TMS (which I played more than half of), this is my entire experience with the series btw.

Non-binary, demiguy, making LPs, still alive

Bioshock Infinite Let's Play!:
LeT's PlAy BIOSHOCK < Link to LP

Losermagnet

@kkslider5552000 Something I always struggle with about video games is the obligation to put time into them. I've wasted so much time on stuff I just don't like. Point I'm getting at is don't force it. RPGs are a tough nut to crack, and usually require hours of investment before they pick up. Maybe try SMT IV again, but don't hesitate to move on to something else if it's not clicking for ya.

Megten games are like survival RPGS. You spend so much of the game getting lost and getting your ass kicked. I feel like most of the games have this oppressive atmosphere where things want you dead. It's really different from the sense of adventure I usually get from contemporary games.

Switch friend code: SW-2223-7827-8798
Give me a heads-up if you're going to send a request please.

Ralizah

JaxonH wrote:

Wow, that was quite the reply. Thank you. I gotta say, I didn’t know how hardcore you were with the series. I knew you were into it but... wow.

I'm kind of a recent fan, but I've been extremely wowed by this franchise. Its history, variety, depth, etc. is far richer than any comparable JRPG series I can think of.

Combine that with my longstanding love of Atlus' Etrian Odyssey series, and it's fair to say that the company is probably my single favorite developer at this point.

JaxonH wrote:

I never got into Tokyo Mirage Sessions enough to stick with it. It was a fun game. Combat was good. Decent presentation. I think what it was missing though was a good story. I don’t need story for every game but JRPGs are one genre where you really want a good, engrossing story. And from a crossover between two games that typically have a decent story focus too. What a let down. Seemed so “Persona 4 Dancing-esque” with its story. And don’t get me wrong, I adore P4D, but the story is as generic as it gets. I also really like Catherine (on Easy mode at least- that game punished me HARD). But I haven’t had time to get back to it with Paper Mario and Trails of Cold Steel (which, btw, I can 100% safely recommend as a franchise you will love- after everything you just wrote and knowing your tastes, I’ve got a feeling that series is going to rank among your favorites of all time).

Yeah, once I get over my irritation with how slapdash Falcom has been about localizing this series, I'll probably continue with it. Although I hope Trails of Cold Steel is better than Trails in the Sky, which is like a PS1 JRPG, but without any of the things I loved in games like Lunar: Silver Star Story Complete, Final Fantasy VII, or Xenogears.

I like TMS. The narrative elements are a bit forgettable, but it's a unique little JRPG. Definitely not top-tier Atlus, but something I'm glad exists.

JaxonH wrote:

I know about the press-turn combat, which is a great battle system, but I also hear it’s much more tactical in SMT, like you said. Don’t ignore buffs/debuffs, fuse teams for specific bosses, etc. If there’s a difficulty between merciful and normal I’ll choose that, but, at least for Nocturne, I’m not sure I’ll stick with it if it’s too hard. And I’d really like to stick with a play one of these games through to completion. SMTIV wrecked me hard, and that instilled a fear of these games’ difficulty in me that’s never went away.

How far did you get into SMT IV? It gets quite a bit easier after completing that initial dungeon. It's a big obstacle for new fans, though. I wish SMT IV: Apocalypse was its own separate game, because otherwise it's the perfect introductory SMT game: story-driven, with a very reasonable difficulty curve and much more user-friendly overall.

JaxonH wrote:

I agree Persona 5 was a huge step forward in a lot of ways (probably going to see a similar leap for SMT with SMTV) but I just love the characters of P4G so much. The characters in 5 are great too, but they just didn’t resonate with me quite as much. Surprised to hear you say the combat isn’t hardcore enough for you though. Sounds like SMT is serious business if even Persona feels like it has training wheels by comparison. My brother said SMT IV was the best game he played on 3DS. I hear such high praise from everyone who’s into it. So I definitely plan to play SMT 3 when it drops in preparation of SMT V.

Yeah, I hear that a lot RE: Persona 4 vs. 5. A lot of people seem to prefer 4's cast. And... I like Persona 4, and its fun little small town scooby gang mystery. But, as a game, Persona 5 was a huge step up. And I still like the cast in that game, too.

The combat is Persona's biggest weakness. Particularly in Persona 5, where it becomes utterly mindless once you get a decent spread of skills. Every battle goes the same way: target weaknesses --> attack weaknesses --> all-out attack. Over and over and over. Bosses are still fun, but it's far too exploitable. I kind of wish they'd remove the all-out attacks completely and go back to a more traditional press-turn combat system.

But yeah, the biggest thing you'll need to adjust to in Nocturne is learning not to get attached to your demons. You need to be continually fusing them and making them stronger, or the game will stomp you.

JaxonH wrote:

I do want to mention though, as a Christian who has read the Bible cover to cover (just finished the Old Testament a few weeks ago- I’d read the New Testament at least 3 times before, and read various parts of the Old numerous times, But this time I just wanted to read it start to finish in canonical order), I’m well versed in what the series borrows. I’m not thrilled they use God’s holy name in the game for two reasons- the first being it’s so holy not even I dare utter it out of fear of irreverence, but the second is, it makes it feel kinda personal, like they’re taking my God and making him into something he’s not. It would go over a little easier with me if they just used a generic “god” title but, with that said, I can separate the fiction from the truth and understand it’s just a video game borrowing ideas to tell a story. I’m secure enough in my own faith to separate what’s biblical and what’s not.

I've tried doing a cover-to-cover reading of the scriptures, although I usually duck out early on once I get to Leviticus and its incessant begetting. I've read all of the NT books at one point or another, though. I'm not religious at all, but I retain a life-long fascination with spirituality more broadly. You can't really disentangle humanity's moral or societal evolution from changing attitudes about the supernatural.

I recall some orthodox hindu people getting upset about SMT IV: Apocalypse portraying Krishna as a smarmy fedoralord, lol. Yeah, that's going to happen when you turn real gods and whatnot into Pokemon. I'm actually shocked the series hasn't attracted more outrage than it has, considering you can join forces with Satan (if you're going the chaos route), fight YHWH, summon demons, etc.

Like you point out, though, nothing in these games ultimately has a biblical basis. They're constructing dark fantasy narratives using figures and themes from world mythology, but there's never any attempt to actually commentate on any actual, real-world religions.

SMT III: Nocturne might be more comfortable for you, in this regard. Unlike SMT IV, IV: Apocalypse, and probably V, there's not a big emphasis on judeo-christian mythology.

Also, it becomes clear when you play these games that, despite how ostensibly sacrilegious they are (as are most JRPGs, which often have the player kill, if not God, then Gods, or God-like stand-ins), there's a deep appreciation for mythology overall, and the folklore and history behind various supernatural entities informs their designs, dialogue, etc.

JaxonH wrote:

I do find it interesting for that reason though. A game that explores spiritual warfare. I’ve also read up on the sides of law, neutral and chaos, and in a video I watched they spoiled the ending of SMT IV, which is fine because I’m not sure if I’d ever get around to playing it anyways. And I’m glad it at least gives me an idea of what to expect from the series. I’ve got a feeling SMT V is related to SMT 3 somehow. Or maybe it’s just design wise, as each newly numbered game is typically a self-contained story. I do think it’s good they’re releasing Nocturne first though, which can get the hype train rolling for SMTV before it drops. Releasing on PS4 is doubly good too because it’ll catch the interest of more fans, who will then be likely to buy SMTV when it drops on Switch. And judging by the trailers it seems to be a reasonably high budget game. Like, close to Persona 5 level if the cutscenes are any indication. Which means the game will need to sell more. SMTIV did 600k but other entries have done half that or worse. I say SMTV needs to shoot for 1m copies sold and be the first in the series to hit than milestone. It’s a lofty goal for such a hard-core, niche franchise (SMT isn’t nearly as marketable as Persona) but I think the audience is there.

Yeah, I'm not sure if SMT V is actually related to Nocturne's plot, or if they're just going for a similar vibe. But it definitely feels much more like Nocturne than other SMTs based on the trailer footage.

I think it'll help that SMT V looks like SUCH a prettier and more ambitious game. I love SMT IV and its follow-up, and they're gorgeous on 3DS, but they're still very clearly reigned in experiences, given the platform they're on. SMT V is clearly being designed as a home console game primarily, and it shows: the CGs may not be AAA quality, but it's beyond even Persona 5 in terms of visual scale and ambition. I fully believe Atlus is going all out to make the best looking game on Switch that they can.

And yeah, I'm excited to play Nocturne again. I've secretly hoped we could get a portable release of Nocturne for a LONG time, so this is very cool. It also means that every single mainline SMT game will now have been released on Nintendo hardware. Nocturne was the one hold out, and that mistake is being rectified now.

JaxonH wrote:

One other question I had- is the story typically as much of a focus as it is in Persona? Or less so, or more so?

Oh god no. SMT games have stories, but they're not story-driven experiences at all. They're far more about the challenging gameplay and atmosphere. There's also a complete de-emphasis on characters: individual characters matter less than the ideologies or philosophies that they represent.

The games tend to have many different endings, based on what choices you make while playing them. Which aids replayability, although they're extremely long, so you probably won't be tempted to replay them any time soon.

Edited on by Ralizah

ACTIVELY PLAYING
Persona 5 Royal (PS4)
Monster Hunter Rise (Switch)
Switch FC: SW-2726-5961-1794

BruceCM

Well, the 1st Cold Steel game seems like quite a step up, in overall gameplay, to me, now on the last Sky one, @Ralizah .... But I'm glad I've played those, to meet more characters & get more background! If P5R comes to Steam, I'll be sure to try that & I'm definitely looking forward to Nocturne & V next year

SW-4357-9287-0699
Steam: Bruce_CM

jump

@Ralizah I’m not sure I agree on the dungeons being fun in Tokyo Mirage, I found some of the puzzles tedious especially when I had to get my phone out to take screen shots of things in the later ones.

And yeah, I’m not sure how that is FE meets SMT, I was expecting something like the Devil Survivor games but FE dressing.

Nicolai wrote:

Alright, I gotta stop getting into arguments with jump. Someone remind me next time.

Switch Friend Code: SW-8051-9575-2812 | 3DS Friend Code: 1762-3772-0251

JoeDiddley

The recent announcements have reignited my SMT binge, they were my most wanted announced and unannounced games on the platform. It was like a dream!

I only discovered the games last year but it’s now my favourite series. I keep trying other series for variety but they don’t grip me like these games all do (e.g. Trails Of Cold Steel 1 recently)

I’m currently playing Persona 5 when I have access to the TV (just passed the 4th palace) and I started Soul Hackers yesterday on 3DS.

Being a recent convert to the series and having more time for handheld play I’ve probably not really played them in a conventional order.

My first game was SMT IV Apocalypse and as my first I love it, although many series vets do not. I own but hadn’t got around to Nocturne on PS2, yet I’ve played a lot of the spin offs. I’ll look then post what I’ve played soon, but currently at work.

Edited on by JoeDiddley

Switch: SW-2923-8106-2126
PSN: joediddley
https://myanimelist.net/profile/JoeDiddley

Ralizah

@JoeDiddley IV: Apocalypse is great. Not atmospheric at all, but INCREDIBLY fun to play. It's also a perfect starter SMT game. I just wish it hadn't been a kindasorta sequel to SMT IV. Makes it much harder to recommend to new players.

ACTIVELY PLAYING
Persona 5 Royal (PS4)
Monster Hunter Rise (Switch)
Switch FC: SW-2726-5961-1794

TheFrenchiestFry

@JaxonH Devil Survivor will feel incredibly familiar if you've played stuff like Fire Emblem, Advance Wars, Into the Breach or FF Tactics. Soul Hackers is the second game in the classic Devil Summoner series and doesn't particularly differ in terms of gameplay from mainline, with stuff like the first person view, summoning demons to fight enemies and managing them based on their alignments. It differs from mainline mostly in the story as it takes place in a more cyberpunk-esque setting reminscent of something like the film TRON, rather than the traditionally Japanese or sci-fi influenced settings of mainline or Persona.

Strange Journey is a mainline title and carries all the gameplay and story tropes of classic SMT, down to bringing back the first person view from the classic games and being imo, considerably harder than games like Nocturne or Digital Devil Saga. It's part of the main canon and isn't a spinoff like the other two. The sci-fi setting and orchestral space opera-esque OST is definitely refreshing for the series.

TheFrenchiestFry

Switch Friend Code: SW-4512-3820-2140 | My Nintendo: French Fry

TheFrenchiestFry

@JoeDiddley As a series vet I can say while I didn't really enjoy SMT IV Apocalypse's story or characters, the gameplay saved it hard for me because it essentially just took the already great system from SMT IV and added a crap ton of QoL improvements to it, such as adding the Smirk mechanic to the Press Turn system during battles. The story was unfortunately really bland and almost deemphasized, and the characters felt like cookie-cutter stereotypes. It's essentially the game that made a lot of people loathe how the Persona series' success influenced mainline.

TheFrenchiestFry

Switch Friend Code: SW-4512-3820-2140 | My Nintendo: French Fry

JaxonH

@TheFrenchiestFry
Thanks for the explanation. Theres alot to take in to understand the series properly.

I'm glad I have all these games, but I think Switch is really going to help me get into them. Not only being hybrid and HD handheld but having more difficulty accessibility as well, and nicer graphics.

I always think it's best to get into a series and then go back and play the more rigid, older entries. For example, I often recommend MH World to new players because it is so good at drawing people into the series, then after they're into it, tell them to try out MH Generations Ultimate.

PLAYING
NS: Monster Hunter Rise
PC:
PS5:
MOST EXCITED FOR
NS: Monster Hunter Stories 2, Zelda Skyward Sword HD, Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1/2

Jesus is Lord.

TheFrenchiestFry

@JaxonH I'm really glad that Atlus is loosening up in regards to making the series more accessible. Earlier in the decade keeping up with the series became a rather expensive endeavor since I had to own a Vita and PS4 for Persona, a 3DS for mainline, certain spinoffs and Persona Q, a PS3 for the PS2 SMT games and the P4 Arena titles and then eventually SMT V made me get a Switch within the launch window of the system. If Nocturne does well I can definitely see SMT rising up in the ranks of recognition in regards to big name RPG franchises next to Final Fantasy and Pokemon

TheFrenchiestFry

Switch Friend Code: SW-4512-3820-2140 | My Nintendo: French Fry

JaxonH

@Ralizah
It’s gotta be deep if it accomplishes all that with minimal focus on characters or story. Normally I’d be skeptical of such a claim about a game that could do so much with so little but, that seems to be the consensus across the board and, other games like Metroid Prime do the same, so it’s not unheard of. It’s exciting to finally get a proper 3rd party game built ground up for Switch. We can finally see how much better 3rd party games can look when not just being scaled down or ported from other systems.

I’m pretty impressed to hear you say you’ve read the NT just to expand your knowledge and understanding. That’s commendable. So few people do that, even actual Christians! I bet 9 out of 10 self professing believers couldn’t even say the same, which is kind of sad but that’s another discussion. But given your sizable thirst for knowledge, I do have a recommendation for you: Evidence For the Bible - Mike Winger It’s a decent sized playlist from Mike Winger on the topic of evidence for the Bible and covers prophecy, established canon, supposed contradictions, translations, common objections, archaeology, scientific foreknowledge and homogeneity of message, It’s a lot of content, and thorough, as he is extremely knowledgeable and articulates points well. He isn’t one of those “blind faith” peddlers, he hates that phrase and says faith should never be taken blindly- there are facts and evidence and that is what should drive our beliefs, and that’s what the series focuses on- showcasing evidence. Obviously 20 videos is a huge undertaking (extremely worth it though!) but I’d just say check out the first 5-10 min of the first video and see what you think- maybe it’ll interest you to keep watching or check out a few specific videos in the series that you’re curious about (though I’d really recommend the entirety of the first video if possible- it ends on a clutch point that I think will pique your interest to where you’ll naturally want to hear more).

Btw, I’m gonna be asking a ton of questions when Nocturne releases about fusing demons. That was never my strong suit in Persona so I’m sure I’ll need some guidance, especially when it comes to boss fights and what I should be going for.

@TheFrenchiestFry
Wow, you’re the real deal. Bought a Switch just for SMT- that’s some serious love for the series there. I’m the same way with Monster Hunter. Played on Wii U, 3DS, Switch, PS4 and PC. Thankfully it seems the series will be consolidated on either PC or Switch moving forward though.

Accessibility is key. 3DS was a successful system but, I think Switch is going to bring in an audience 3DS could never achieve. Nearly 60 mil consoles sold in 3 years. By the time the game releases it’ll be 80-100 million. And a very active, attentive fanbase that buys games far more than the 3DS fanbase ever did.

Edited on by JaxonH

PLAYING
NS: Monster Hunter Rise
PC:
PS5:
MOST EXCITED FOR
NS: Monster Hunter Stories 2, Zelda Skyward Sword HD, Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1/2

Jesus is Lord.

TheFrenchiestFry

@JaxonH I guess you could call me a dedicated fan. I was always set on buying a Switch because of Zelda and especially after seeing Odyssey at the January event, but SMT was a big part of my formative gaming years since I was gifted Strange Journey for my 6th birthday and then P3P as one of my first PSP games, so obviously I've followed the series significantly since then. It just gives me that drive to keep playing and experimenting that a series like Pokemon or even certain Final Fantasies couldn't exactly hit

TheFrenchiestFry

Switch Friend Code: SW-4512-3820-2140 | My Nintendo: French Fry

TheFrenchiestFry

I genuinely hope if you get and select that Merciful difficulty setting on Nocturne HD, the game's demons mock you for using it in a fourth wall breaking way considering how synonymous the harder difficulty is with that game

TheFrenchiestFry

Switch Friend Code: SW-4512-3820-2140 | My Nintendo: French Fry

JoeDiddley

@TheFrenchiestFry @Ralizah SMT IV Apocalypse was definitely a good entry point for me because of the gameplay. The characters and story didn’t seem bad, especially as I didn’t have the rest of the series to compare it to.

I ended up appreciating both mainline SMT and Persona, as many do, and maybe it being on the lighter side for SMT was a good starting point there too.

It didn’t feel like I was missing too much story from not having played SMT IV. It being my first SMT game I felt the atmosphere and world were fantastic.

And another reflection is I enjoyed SMT IV all the more playing it later. Whereas I can see how Apocalypse could be disappointing playing them the ‘right way around’. This bad habit is continuing as I’ve beaten Record Breaker but not Overclocked yet. And last month I finished Persona Q2 before now playing Persona 5.

Edited on by JoeDiddley

Switch: SW-2923-8106-2126
PSN: joediddley
https://myanimelist.net/profile/JoeDiddley

JaxonH

@TheFrenchiestFry
I hope not! I don’t mind a jab here and there, but doing it throughout the game would get tiresome.

I still remember how Wolfenstein did it, which I approve of

Untitled

PLAYING
NS: Monster Hunter Rise
PC:
PS5:
MOST EXCITED FOR
NS: Monster Hunter Stories 2, Zelda Skyward Sword HD, Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1/2

Jesus is Lord.

JoeDiddley

So far on my SMT journey...

CURRENTLY PLAYING:

  • Persona 5
  • SMT Soul Hackers

FINISHED:

  • SMT IV (Chaos)
  • SMT IV Apocalypse (Law)
  • SMT Strange Journey Redux (Neutral, Sector E was really hard)
  • SMT DS Record Breaker (Chaos but it felt like Law)
  • Persona 3 Portable (Male protagonist)
  • Persona 4 Golden
  • Persona Q2
  • Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore

DOES THIS COUNT:

  • Persona 4 Dancing (finished story mode, unlocked all tracks)
  • Persona 4 Arena (played most people's stories, and cleared most players Arcade mode)

IN PROGRESS:

  • SMT DS Overclocked (I got stuck when new to the series and will come back to it)
  • Persona 3 Dancing (played through once so not unlocked much)
  • Persona 5 Dancing (played through once so not unlocked much)
  • Persona 4 Arena (not touched the story mode)

BACKLOG:

  • SMT III Nocturne (I'll await the Switch remaster now)
  • SMT Digital Devil Saga
  • Persona 2 Original Sin
  • Persona Q
  • Catherine Full Body

Edited on by JoeDiddley

Switch: SW-2923-8106-2126
PSN: joediddley
https://myanimelist.net/profile/JoeDiddley

JoeDiddley

@TheFrenchiestFry maybe merciful difficulty is a separate download option so that it changes your home icon!
I’m happy the option is there.

@Ralizah I just caught up on your summary post and really enjoyed it.

Edited on by JoeDiddley

Switch: SW-2923-8106-2126
PSN: joediddley
https://myanimelist.net/profile/JoeDiddley

Top

Please login or sign up to reply to this topic