Author Topic: The DEEPEST. STRANGEST. TENSEST. (Official Shin Megami Tensei Thread)  (Read 11933 times)

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Offline Evan_B

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As I'm sure some of you are already aware, Shin Megami Tensei IV Final was announced this week and is quite different from what happens traditionally with the "Final" entries in the series. Rather than being a definitive version of the original SMTIV with added content, Atlus has decided to make a completely new story set within- or should I say, close to- the timeline and events of SMTIV. Judging by how they have been talking about this narrative, it's a little unclear whether or not Flynn's actions from the original game have occurred. There's much talk about factions rising up led by demons during the wars under Tokyo Dome, but also that those events have ended and a new faction never discussed in the original narrative is making an appearance.

The character design of the game looks a bit less reserved than that of IV, which I see as a welcome change. There are also characters returning from IV's narrative (see the green ghost from the initial reveal [warning: spoilers are big if you have not played the original!]). Gameplay tweaks seem to be important in this title as well, such as a refinement of the ally system from the original game, where the player can choose one member from a party of non-demons to assist them in battle, with each member acting as a specific role (one focuses on healing, another on using purchaseable items in battle), and a skill learning system for those characters, too.

If you have nothing to look forward to over the next few months until Atlus announces a localization, you might want to check out the original SMTIV, which is a massive RPG for the 3DS and one of the handheld's best titles. While it has a few flaws (none of which are fatal), it's a long and very impressive game with great scope and scale. Whether you enjoy the narrative of the game or not, you will certainly get your money's worth (even more now that the game is being discounted on the eShop!). I made his thread, of course, to talk about the Final version but I thought it might be a good way to spark up some conversation on the original title as well, which I feel I missed out on a bit after it released.

I'll post some of my impressions of the game shortly.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2017, 04:36:12 PM by Evan_B »
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Offline DONKHATANT123 Kong

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Re: The FINAL Shin Megami Tensei IV thread! (SMTIV/SMTIVF Discussion)
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2015, 02:09:54 PM »

SMT 4 Spoliers Played through 4 and got the law ending, ideally I would have wanted to get the neutral ending (I'm so sorry Isabeau :'( ) but the way you get the neutral ending is so mindbogglingly stupid I didn't bother. I suspect Final takes place very close to the end of the events of SMT 4 but has a slower place, such that on the timeline both games end at around the same place, which would make sense since time moves slower in Tokyo than it does in Mikado. I remember very close to the end there is a quest you can do for some Mikado citizens where you escort a Navarre gone mad from the Kiccigiorgi Forest through Naraku to Cafe Florida where he can live in peace. I assume he died shortly thereafter and became a spooky scary ghost. From the artwork I recognize Noizumi, she was in a few quests and I quite liked her personality, she was practically the only person in the story I felt comfortable being around that wouldn't betray me at earliest possible opportunity. At the last quest in the quest line you save some fairies from a demon and encourage Noizumi to join the fairies and become the Queen of the fairies, I'm not sure if this will feed into the new game, maybe her ability will have something to do with fairies like healing or somethin', or it could be set before this happens.

Despite the neutrality BS I really liked the moral choices in the game, and that unlike Mass Effect where you are either a good guy or just a heartless bastard, in SMT 4 there was a bit more moral ambiguity with God's dictatorship or the freedom of Lucifer's chaos where anyone can become a God if they are strong enough, I tend to lean towards God if there is no neutral option but I know some people swear by chaos. The passage of ethics was an refreshing replacement for a dungeon boss. I went with allowing the abnormally tall person to compete in the competition, accepting the technology into the village and stay with my loved one for the rest of my life in the hope of their recovery.



I didn't get any of the dlc for the game because it didn't seem like a good value proposition but I would be willing to go back to it if someone could argue otherwise. If Final was just a compilation I may have still got it but what we have now is literally the best case scenario. Thing I'm most looking forward to is the music though, 4's soundtrack is phenomenal, far too many good tracks to list all of them but my favourite is the Underground Ikebukuro theme.

Offline Mop it up

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Re: The FINAL Shin Megami Tensei IV thread! (SMTIV/SMTIVF Discussion)
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2015, 03:51:19 PM »
I haven't bought this game yet. Should I wait for this version instead?

Offline DONKHATANT123 Kong

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Re: The FINAL Shin Megami Tensei IV thread! (SMTIV/SMTIVF Discussion)
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2015, 04:21:47 PM »
This is a completely different game than the first one, like say if the first game was Ocarina of Time this new game is like Majora's Mask. Shin Megami Tensei 4 is definitely worth playing and I think is on sale pretty much everywhere at the moment.

Offline Evan_B

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Re: The FINAL Shin Megami Tensei IV thread! (SMTIV/SMTIVF Discussion)
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2015, 04:41:01 PM »
Having played through the game myself, I have little to say about the side quests, which is unfortunate, since they're a nice bulk of the game. However, I became a bit drained by SMTIV as I played through it- the atmosphere and lack of character in the close party of characters made the surprisingly awesome story a bit difficult to trek through. I also took a bit of a break in the middle of the game which was a harsh blow to the momentum.

The opening moments of SMTIV are captivating, in my opinion. The fight through Mikado and revelation of the Overworld were so unlike anything I've seen from an RPG (apologies, I must admit I've never played 1-3) and the bleak tone of the world was very interesting to me. I also thought the story twists and turns were quite good, though the humor mostly fell flat in a majority of the localization. The main group of characters you interact with aren't very fascinating, they exist to serve as extremes to help you make your ultimate decision. It's the extended cast, really that of the entire Overworld, who are really full of character, and that's where the majority of the story takes place, so that's good.

The gameplay was wonderful, though I wish the game didn't assume players are familiar with all the possible demon fusions, because you can miss out on some awesome ones if you don't understand why certain demons are useful despite their pointlessness in battle. The press turn system is delightfully exploitable and punishing, and though it makes the game a bit cheap at times (I struggle to use the term difficulty because most of the hard parts are more trial and error, even with an excellent Flynn build), it also ensures that you are always on your toes, which is a good feeling.

Like TOP said, the soundtrack in this game is out of this world and really adds to the atmosphere, and I would argue the game has some of the best presentation you can find on the system, with glorious art and environmental design. The harshest flaw I can give the game is that, as soon as it opens up, it also becomes extremely ambiguous, and some of it's directions make sense for someone who knows what the Overworld is based off of, but for others might be a bit brutal. Even so, I enjoyed the game enough to lump praise on it and be really excited for this next installment.

I also got a Law ending and I'm looking to do a Neutral ending in my New Game+, which I really believe is exactly how Atlus wanted the game to be played.
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Offline DONKHATANT123 Kong

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Re: The FINAL Shin Megami Tensei IV thread! (SMTIV/SMTIVF Discussion)
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2015, 06:11:26 AM »
Just finished watching the livestream, it started with a little trailer...
It appears moon phases are back for this game, where a full moon will make demons more aggressive and less negotiable. There seems to be a bit where Navarre is following you with a green bar on the left side of the screen, not sure what this is, and at least some of it is set in Mikado since you can see the barracks place at 0:55.

After that they went on to show off some gameplay, they fight Medusa and show off some of the new mechanics like the partner system and how demons can get +1,+2,+3 ect skills. Light attacks aren't one hit kill moves anymore just doing regular damage, and smirk has been changed somewhat although to what extent I am unsure.
http://www.siliconera.com/2015/10/11/shin-megami-tensei-iv-final-will-follow-a-neutral-route-with-multiple-endings/
Also Siliconera has translated some of the details of the livestream, such as Isabeau will return in final and to stay tuned for news about Flynn.

Offline Evan_B

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Re: The FINAL Shin Megami Tensei IV thread! (SMTIV/SMTIVF Discussion)
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2015, 07:01:54 AM »
Ooooh, moon phases. Nice.

Demons were pretty easy to coerce in IV so I look forward to having to change my strategy.
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Offline DONKHATANT123 Kong

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Re: The FINAL Shin Megami Tensei IV thread! (SMTIV/SMTIVF Discussion)
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2015, 03:34:06 AM »
Two tracks uploaded for the new game. Mostly inline with what was in the first game, not that that's a bad thing.



Offline DONKHATANT123 Kong

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Re: The FINAL Shin Megami Tensei IV thread! (SMTIV/SMTIVF Discussion)
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2015, 03:32:01 PM »
New trailer from the Japanese Direct 27:05
It's SMT 4 with a new story, new demons, new locations and rebalanced gameplay. Which is exactly what I wanted, can't wait.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2015, 03:34:54 PM by TOPHATANT123 »

Offline DONKHATANT123 Kong

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Re: The FINAL Shin Megami Tensei IV thread! (SMTIV/SMTIVF Discussion)
« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2015, 08:44:57 AM »
http://www.famitsu.com/news/201511/17092881.html
Isabeau will return as a main character in SMT 4 Final. Flynn, Jonathan and Walter will also be featured but to what extent is unknown.

Offline Evan_B

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Re: The FINAL Shin Megami Tensei IV thread! (SMTIV/SMTIVF Discussion)
« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2015, 10:16:00 AM »
I think we're the only people that really care enough to post about this game anymore, but this announcement has me hella pumped.
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Offline DONKHATANT123 Kong

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Re: The FINAL Shin Megami Tensei IV thread! (SMTIV/SMTIVF Discussion)
« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2015, 11:35:43 AM »
My favourite bit about the first one is how it deceives you into thinking the game is more limited than it actually is. It gives you the standard set up of a dungeon to explore, shops to buy items and a place to get quests. The ball starts rolling when you find a handgun in one of the rooms, then one thing leads to another and you find your self standing on that bridge looking over the city. The music is sombre and gives off an air of dispair, but it's also eerily calm. The training wheels come off and the game stops telling you where to go, you want to know how to cross the bridge? Well work it out yourself bitch. The way it conceals it's hand until a fair way into the game then springs on all this atmosphere at once, from that point onwards I was completely engrossed and immersed in this world until the very end.

I doubt Final will be able to pull this off as effectively since I not going to fall for the same trick twice now, but I'm very interested to see what they pull off.

Offline Evan_B

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Re: The FINAL Shin Megami Tensei IV thread! (SMTIV/SMTIVF Discussion)
« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2015, 10:37:21 AM »
I enjoyed that part of the first game as well, despite having known about the early game plot twist. The atmosphere was enough to sell me on the whole package, and I actually enjoyed the later plot twists that I was not expecting. However, I'm looking forward to going into this one completely green (pardon the pun), and I'm also excited  to see how the characters of this game interact with those of the first title, and I'm really hope the game has a bit more personality in the dialogue, which was the weakest aspect of the order game, in my opinion.
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Offline DONKHATANT123 Kong

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Re: The FINAL Shin Megami Tensei IV thread! (SMTIV/SMTIVF Discussion)
« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2015, 10:27:05 AM »
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6xWuJe9YKB8
16 mins of footage showing off some of the new additions, although I don't think a game like SMT comes across well in a video, if you want to understand what's so great about it you really need to play it for yourself.

Offline DONKHATANT123 Kong

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Re: The FINAL Shin Megami Tensei IV thread! (SMTIV/SMTIVF Discussion)
« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2015, 02:00:10 PM »

Offline Evan_B

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Re: The FINAL Shin Megami Tensei IV thread! (SMTIV/SMTIVF Discussion)
« Reply #15 on: December 08, 2015, 10:23:36 AM »
I'm hoping we get a Mt. Silver going and have to face Flynn in the end.
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Offline DONKHATANT123 Kong

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Re: The FINAL Shin Megami Tensei IV thread! (SMTIV/SMTIVF Discussion)
« Reply #16 on: December 12, 2015, 06:20:01 AM »
Opening Cutscene
I recall 4 did actually have cutscenes but they were just still images and voice acting, like the gauntlet scene. For Final it looks like there will be much more animation.

Offline Evan_B

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Re: The FINAL Shin Megami Tensei IV thread! (SMTIV/SMTIVF Discussion)
« Reply #17 on: December 13, 2015, 11:39:11 AM »
Looks like it's trying to be just as bleak as the first, although the original had this feeling of "looking in from the outside," if you know what I mean.
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Offline DONKHATANT123 Kong

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Re: The FINAL Shin Megami Tensei IV thread! (SMTIV/SMTIVF Discussion)
« Reply #18 on: December 13, 2015, 04:40:40 PM »
Yes, at the start of your journey in the black samurai arc it reinforces the idea that it isn't your problem, that you have a mission to do and when you've completed it return to Mikado as fast as possible. It positions you as a clean man in the kingdom of filth. Then later in the game particularly in the reverse hills section as well as the blazing/ blasted sections, I sort of started to feel a responsibility for the city.

I got up to the RFN episode in my backlog where Guilllaume talks about SMT 4 and his annoyance with the river quest where you have to talk to the random guy in the bar to trigger the next story event, I had completely forgotten about that but yeah that was total bullshit and easily the worst part of the whole game. A dude asks a group dressed in samurai attire what they are up to, and so the obvious response as an outsider on a secret mission would be to lie and not tell him. But if you do that the demon you need to cross the river won't spawn and you have to go back and agree to tell him your story. That's just bad game design.



Offline DONKHATANT123 Kong

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Re: The FINAL Shin Megami Tensei IV thread! (SMTIV/SMTIVF Discussion)
« Reply #19 on: December 28, 2015, 08:49:12 AM »
This epic is NOT sweet!


Offline DONKHATANT123 Kong

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Re: The FINAL Shin Megami Tensei IV thread! (SMTIV/SMTIVF Discussion)
« Reply #20 on: December 28, 2015, 08:21:40 PM »
I found out Devil Survivor: Overclocked would be going on sale and...





Anyway... I realised I needed a palette cleaner for the monolithic beast that is Xenoblade Chronicles X or else I would go out of my mind, actually thinking I was on A WHOLE DIFFERENT PLANET. So I got Devil Survivor (aka DS haha very funny), I've put about 5 hours into it and have thoroughly enjoyed it thus far. It's a megaten strategy RPG that works surprisingly well with lots of depth. It doesn't have the quite the addictive simplistic brilliance of SMT 4 but I would say from what I've seen so far it has deeper more engaging combat than all of the megaten games I've played so far, you have to worry about spacing and how you want to divide up exp as well as lots of risk/reward stuff that encourage you to think more strategicly instead of going straight for the kill. The story has me hooked and has a really unique setup but I think saying anymore would spoil the experience for anyone who hasn't played yet. It's almost entirely voice acted which is a real treat for such an RPG especially on the 3DS. My only complaint is that the music seems mixed a bit too low and there isn't a way to change it, maybe it would sound better with headphones.

Offline Oedo

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Re: The FINAL Shin Megami Tensei IV thread! (SMTIV/SMTIVF Discussion)
« Reply #21 on: December 30, 2015, 05:02:19 PM »
I actually got Devil Survivor from the sale and started a few days ago too. I just got into the MegaTen series this year with Strange Journey and IV, and DS isn't hitting me the same way. Those games had me hooked instantly and wanting to go back for both the story and the gameplay, but the only reason I wanna play DS is to see how the story unfolds. The combat feels unsatisfying for some reason and I can't really figure out why. I'm still only on day 2 and maybe it'll become more satisfying once they ratchet up the difficulty (and using all the mechanics as effectively as possible becomes more important), but I think this style of MegaTen game just isn't for me. If nothing else it's made me realize how much I enjoy the dungeon crawling and combat of the other two games and has me more excited for IV Final.

Offline DONKHATANT123 Kong

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Re: The FINAL Shin Megami Tensei IV thread! (SMTIV/SMTIVF Discussion)
« Reply #22 on: December 30, 2015, 08:58:12 PM »
I'm up to day 3 so far and there does seem to be a gentler difficulty curve than IV, since there isn't an immediate push back from the difficulty it doesn't give you as much drive as IV would. My favourite part was the very beginning in Naraku where you had to fight tooth and nail to get a foothold, but that's not quite there at the start of DS:O. I have found that later in the game you do have to think more strategically though, I build a team that looks really powerful then I get out on the field and get torn to shreds, then scrape by with reinforcements.

It's important to consider the cracks, you want a good moveset for your characters for the long term but in the short term you could fail the mission because you were faffing about trying to get one guy in one place so that he could do a thing and not get killed doing it. You can destroy an enemy unit by going straight for the middle one, but if you do that you won't receive macca, exp or magnetite for the other two. You could always grind it out in free battle but you only fill up the magnetite bar in story missions, this resource allows you to put any skill you have previously cracked onto a demon.

I have found the racial skills like devil speed, bind, evil wave ect to be real tide turners especially when there are extra objectives. But when fusing demons the new demon will always be of a different race with a new racial skill so there is no straight linear progression where you get a demon and keep making it stronger, rather you have to bounce around different paths keeping your group balanced.

It also feels more stat orientated then other MegaTen games, like the difference between strength 5 and 10 feels larger. In SMT 4 if a demon had an elemental magic the demon would be universally useful since it could give you extra turns on the press turn bar, but in Overclocked you have to keep fusing until you get something with good stats and good abilities that complement the rest of your team.

Offline DONKHATANT123 Kong

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Re: The FINAL Shin Megami Tensei IV thread! (SMTIV/SMTIVF Discussion)
« Reply #23 on: January 16, 2016, 02:38:15 PM »
I've been just plowing away at Devil Survivor: Overclocked and Xenoblade X over the past few weeks and I feel like I am at the very end of Devil Survivor assuming there isn't some big twist or post game content.

I have found it to be the most challenging Megaten I have played so far out of SMT 4, Persona 1 and Persona 2: Innocent Sin. The moment to moment battles are perhaps less punishing than the other games but there is a massive time commitment to each strategic battle so ideally you want to get it right first time, in SMT 4 you could save after every battle and any battle wouldn't last more than a few minutes.

Another thing is just the number of moving parts there are in the design of the game that you as the player can influence to get past the trials presented to you, say in SMT 4 you had your own build that you had to manage with weapons and armour, and also had to manage a handful of demons that have a nice distribution of strengths and weaknesses so you could handle anything the game throws at you. In Devil Survivor you have like a minimum of 3 customisable leaders, at least 6 demons deployed at any one time with ideally plenty of backup if one gets knocked out, each has a racial skill which is incredibly valuable making letting go of demons for fusion really painful, MP gets really important later in the game and there isn't really a solution to getting it back, you have to micromanage the development of skills through the cracking system and plenty of different objectives it can throw at you. It's complicated and maybe loses the addictiveness of your typical dungeon crawler for this reason, but as I said in my opinion it is more challenging than it is hard, which is a good thing. I'd say Persona 1 is hard but not necessarily very challenging, Persona 2 Innocent Sin is too easy to be fun, and SMT 4 has a backwards difficulty curve.

I'm currently kinda stuck so if anyone who has beaten the game could help me out...

I'm at the battle with Belberith on the "server" route, In my party I have Atsuro, Yuzu and Amane, all around level 54ish. The dude just one shots almost everyone before I even get to him with his infinite range, the followers have difficult to deal with combinations of demons with lots of reflects and absorb abilities and just annoying racial skills that make progress slow all the while Belberith is one shotting fools left right and centre. I don't get what I'm even supposed to do,  he altleast has a weakness unlike some of the bosses so if I get to him I should be alright, but I can't even do that.

Edit: OK forget that I finished that battle quite easily using Phantasm and flight but now I'm stuck on the very last battle which is just a living hell. I don't know what to say this is just impossible Jesus Christ.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2016, 05:36:12 AM by TOPHATANT123 »

Offline DONKHATANT123 Kong

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Re: The FINAL Shin Megami Tensei IV thread! (SMTIV/SMTIVF Discussion)
« Reply #24 on: January 22, 2016, 03:47:08 PM »
OK forget about ALL that, the final boss is actually really easy if you know what you're doing. It had nothing to do with levels and was purely about strategy, if I could go back and tell myself how exactly to balance out offense and defence I would have finished it first try. Got 23% achievement-wise on my initial run and I'm considering replaying it, all in all a great game.

Offline DONKHATANT123 Kong

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Re: The FINAL Shin Megami Tensei IV thread! (SMTIV/SMTIVF Discussion)
« Reply #25 on: January 27, 2016, 06:02:55 PM »
Following on from Devil Survivor I got Digital Devil Saga at a disgustingly low price to satiate my SMT fever. First impressions are that it's super weird, orders of magnitude more strange than the others. The game just throws you in at the deep end with no explanation of the setting or story and you have to work it out as you go along, like one of the main themes of the game is eating people, yes the consumption of human flesh in order to become more powerful.

It's a third person RPG with a press turn battle system making it quite similar to SMT 4. The main difference being instead of fusing demons together, you have one main demon per character then a big skill tree where you choose how you want to spec out that demon. Combo spells make a return and usually involve having to revert one of your characters to human form, this takes a turn and makes them vulnerable but allows them to use guns and work together with a demon to do massive damage.



Offline DONKHATANT123 Kong

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Re: The FINAL Shin Megami Tensei IV thread! (SMTIV/SMTIVF Discussion)
« Reply #26 on: February 19, 2016, 07:16:44 PM »
Status Report!

Shin Megami Tensei 4 Final is out in Japan, as for the western release Atlus's community manager has indicated it will come over so it's just a matter of when. SMT 4 had a very short lag time of only two months from Japan to America (although Europe is a different story). Going with my gut I'd say SMT 4 Final will release in the US late May, and in Europe late October.


I also finished Digital Devil Saga for the PS2. The battle system feels like Persona 2 and SMT 4 in that it's press turn and has combo skills. The story feels closest to Persona 1 in that it's difficult to grow attached to the characters as the story is so abstract, there is no pay off at the end of the game and leaves you with more questions than answers, but I assume this will be resolved in the sequel which I will be playing next. The game is on the short side for an SMT game, the back of the box boasts over 30 hours of gameplay. I managed to finish it in about 40 although I could see 35 being doable if you don't mess around.

As always the music is excellent.


Battle System
1. Shin Megami Tensei 4
2. Digital Devil Saga 1
3. Devil Survivor 1 Overclocked
4. Persona 1
5. Persona 2 Innocent Sin

Story
1. Devil Survivor 1 Overclocked
2. Shin Megami Tensei 4
3. Persona 2 Innocent Sin
4. Persona 1
5. Digital Devil Saga 1

Music
1. Shin Megami Tensei 4
2. Digital Devil Saga 1
3. Persona 1
4. Persona 2 Innocent Sin
5. Devil Survivor 1 Overclocked

Smoothest Difficulty Curve
1. Devil Survivor 1 Overclocked
2. Digital Devil Saga 1
3. Shin Megami Tensei 4
4. Persona 1
5. Persona 2 Innocent Sin


Offline Evan_B

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Re: The FINAL Shin Megami Tensei IV thread! (SMTIV/SMTIVF Discussion)
« Reply #27 on: February 20, 2016, 08:31:12 AM »
Oh, I sure hope it comes around May. That would give me something to do... all summer.

I've been interested in playing more of the SMT series myself, just wondering where to start. If you would be interested in trying out Strange Journey for the DS, I'd love to play along with you.
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Offline DONKHATANT123 Kong

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Re: The FINAL Shin Megami Tensei IV thread! (SMTIV/SMTIVF Discussion)
« Reply #28 on: February 20, 2016, 09:53:13 AM »
Strange Journey wasn't released in Europe but thank the Lord the DS is region free. If I can find a good deal on it I'd love to play along together.



Offline DONKHATANT123 Kong

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Re: The FINAL Shin Megami Tensei IV thread! (SMTIV/SMTIVF Discussion)
« Reply #29 on: April 14, 2016, 08:48:14 AM »
Shin Megami Tensei IV: Final is now Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse and will be coming to the US in the summer! The name change was made to make it clearer what the game involves and not mistaken for a remake. You can read more about it here.
http://atlus.com/whats-in-a-name-smtiv-final-and-localizing-a-name/


« Last Edit: April 14, 2016, 09:20:11 AM by TOPHATANT123 »

Offline Evan_B

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Re: The FINAL Shin Megami Tensei IV thread! (SMTIV/SMTIVF Discussion)
« Reply #30 on: April 14, 2016, 09:19:26 AM »
THE YEAR OF THE 3DS RPG CONTINUES!

Hell yes, so pumped for this game, especially after hearing Syrenne talk about it.
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Re: The FINAL Shin Megami Tensei IV thread! (SMTIV/SMTIVF Discussion)
« Reply #31 on: April 28, 2016, 07:46:39 PM »
As someone completely uninitiated with this game (and series), I'm not quite sure I know exactly what this is in comparison to vanilla SMT IV. Is this an expanded version in the vein of Pokemon's third edition, in that it contains mostly the same content with some extras and balance fixes? Is this a retelling of the game, with things like the same world but a different story and progression? Is this just a tougher version of SMT IV intended for hardcore fans?

Though I guess the bottom line would be, is there anyone reason for someone to buy vanilla SMT IV over /before this version?

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Re: The FINAL Shin Megami Tensei IV thread! (SMTIV/SMTIVF Discussion)
« Reply #32 on: April 28, 2016, 08:44:45 PM »
Yes.

Apocalypse will have gameplay improvements and will be set in the same world, but the dungeons and demon progression will be very different (the progression of finding certain demons, especially if you're into fusion, is crucial in the SMT series), and the story is completely unique. In fact, while I'm fairly certain you could play Apocalypse without the first SMTIV, there are recurring characters that will make more sense, contextually, especially Flynn. Also, SMTIV is an incredible handheld RPG, lasting well-around 70 hours with little repetitive content.
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Offline Evan_B

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Re: The FINAL Shin Megami Tensei IV thread! (SMTIV/SMTIVF Discussion)
« Reply #33 on: May 04, 2016, 12:55:59 PM »
I'm saddened by the thought that my top games this year are going to be Atlus RPGs.

On the other hand, they're Atlus RPGs, so I'm not really complaining. I wonder if this game will have the extensive voice acting that the original SMTIV did, including recurring characters? It would be great to hear Nolan North and that guy who played Navarre again.
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Kind of upset I never be SMT4.  I was really liking it, until I got stuck and couldn't figure out where to go.  Eventually, moving through the over world to try to figure it out got too annoying, so I stopped playing. :( I tried using GameFAQs, but it was like "Go back to place" and I just couldn't remember how for the life of me.
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Offline DONKHATANT123 Kong

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I have now played and finished the Persona 2 duology of Innocent Sin and Eternal Punishment. The second part follows a mostly different cast of characters in an alternate reality take of events from the first game. I was initially annoyed at how this seemed like an excuse to literally copy and paste some of the dungeons with very little changes, but the game comes into it's own as it goes along.


The fundamental difference between Innocent Sin and Eternal Punishment is that Eternal Punishment added difficulty to the game, since Innocent Sin is probably one of the easiest unbalanced RPGs I've ever played with bosses doing 1-5 damage to your 200 HP party. You'd think an easy RPG would allow you to blow through it quickly and just see the story, but really being so easy made it tedious and it still felt as slow as ever. I expected coming into Eternal Punishment that is one would be way too hard in order to counter Innocent Sin being way too easy, but I actually found the difficulty in this one was just about right. The game encourages you to upgrade your equipment and Personas often whereas in Innocent Sin you could use the stuff they give you at the very start of the game to make it 90% to the end making the entire tarot system, money and materials useless. Although I never felt that what the game asked of me was unreasonable and got through the main story with minimal grinding.



The way I played this game was on PSP via PS1 classics. Back in the day on PS1 the release of Innocent Sin was cancelled in the West (blame Hitler) and they skipped straight to Eternal Punishment, which must have been very confusing for players since it was essentially part 2. Later down the line Innocent Sin was remade for the PSP and released in the West, a remake of Eternal Punishment was also later made for PSP but by that time piracy had killed the PSP in the West and the Western release of Eternal Punishment on PSP was also cancelled. Going in I expected the difference to be jarring going from PSP to PS1 and I wasn't sure if I'd enjoy it, sure the UI is worse, music is worse and there are some strange localisation choices, but all in all it's not too different and still totally playable.


What sets these games apart from other spin offs is the amount of dialogue between your party and the amount of dialogue NPC have. The game takes place in a single city and instead of going on a journey from point A to point B like a typical RPG, you explore different areas in the city often returning to places you have already been. After every story event practically all of the NPCs have their dialogue reset to reflect what is happening within the story which really gives the impression of a living world instead of a static one.



The cast of this game is mostly made up of adults compared to the first part where they are mostly teenagers, it provides a nice contrast and two of the new characters namely Katsuya and especially Baofu have interesting backstories.The other characters though are already established from Innocent Sin or the first Persona game , and the same can be said for the game's plot which follows vaguely the same story beats as part one instead of being a continuation. It feels as though Innocent Sin was the story they set out to tell, and Eternal Punishment is another story that conveniently takes place in the same environments.



The battle system is mostly the same as Innocent Sin, it's functional with cool combo attacks for massive damage, and still kinda broken with the ability to cancel moves mid battle and reorder them so you can have the same person go over and over again, and every move costs the exact same amount of SP regardless of it's function making some skills entirely obsolete. It also lacks a big risk reward weakness system like in modern Shin Megami Tensei games such as the press turn system. The added difficulty and need for experimentation though makes it way more fun than Innocent Sin.

The music is mostly reused from Innocent Sin, while this isn't necessarily bad, some of my favourite music from Innocent Sin like the character themes aren't reused and none of the original music for this game stands out to me, so it's hard to see this soundtrack as anything other than worse than Innocent Sin's. One track that I felt held it's own against the remixes in the remake is the Kuzunoha Detective Agency.




Speaking of strange localisation choices, what is this? Some of the strong language in the game is (beeped) out, then sometimes they just sort of forgot and left it in. All of the pictures I took have mistakes in them but that's not really representative of the whole game, there are probably less spelling errors than your typical Phoenix Wright game so I'd give it a pass.






All in all a decent RPG, perhaps a little too slow but it feels faster and better paced than Innocent Sin, but if you want the whole story you'd have to play both.


Battle System
1. Shin Megami Tensei 4
2. Digital Devil Saga 1
3. Devil Survivor 1 Overclocked
4. Persona 2 Eternal Punishment
5. Persona 1
6. Persona 2 Innocent Sin

Story
1. Devil Survivor 1 Overclocked
2. Shin Megami Tensei 4
3. Persona 2 Innocent Sin
4. Persona 2 Eternal Punishment
5. Persona 1
6. Digital Devil Saga 1

Music
1. Shin Megami Tensei 4
2. Digital Devil Saga 1
3. Persona 1
4. Persona 2 Innocent Sin
5. Devil Survivor 1 Overclocked
6. Persona 2 Eternal Punishment

Smoothest Difficulty Curve
1. Devil Survivor 1 Overclocked
2. Persona 2 Eternal Punishment
3. Digital Devil Saga 1
4. Shin Megami Tensei 4
5. Persona 1
6. Persona 2 Innocent Sin
« Last Edit: May 14, 2016, 11:28:12 AM by TOPHATANT123 »



Offline DONKHATANT123 Kong

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Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse Story Trailer


See the game in English with voice acting for the first time! Now rated M for Blood, Language, Partial Nudity and Violence. Out Summer 2016 in the US.

Ever wanted to hear what Flynn sounds like beyond grunts? Well now you can as he isn't the protagonist anymore, he's also specifically called Flynn, retconning whatever you named him in the first game.

I'm really happy with the direction this game took in terms of refining SMT 4 and returning to it's super atmospheric setting. As RPGs go I think SMT 4 is almost perfect, and if Apocalypse exceeds the original? So hyped!
« Last Edit: May 27, 2016, 03:30:39 PM by TOPHATANT123 »

Offline Evan_B

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I can't say I agree with SMTIV being a perfect RPG- it had some pretty glaring user interface issues and was quite tedious after about 50 hours- but I also really enjoyed it, so I'm very excited about Apocalypse.

One thing I noted from the official website was that the story of SMTIV technically overlaps with that of Apocalypse, so we'll be entering into the story at a very interesting point.
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Offline Oedo

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It sounds like the September NA release window for SMT IV:A is real and we should get a firm release date next week (according to John Hardin). Hopefully they manage to release it in the very beginning of September, considering there are already two other 3DS JRPGs set to release that month in Dragon Quest VII (16th) and Yo-Kai Watch 2 (30th), not to mention the biggest one of them in all in Final Fantasy XV (30th).

Offline DONKHATANT123 Kong

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Shin Megami Tensei IV Apocalypse (along with Persona 5 and 7th Dragon III Code VDF) will be published in PAL territories by Deep Silver. They plan to release physical and digital copies of each, which would be a welcome change from Shin Megami Tensei IV which is digital only.

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Re: "It's Navarre Time!" (Official Shin Megami Tensei Thread)
« Reply #40 on: September 24, 2016, 03:38:02 PM »
After having spent the summer playing through Tokyo Mirage Sessions and witnessing that lovely storyline come to a close, I experienced a bit of an awkward period of gaming in which I wasn't quite sure what to play. I delved a bit deeper into Assassin's Creed IV (incredibly boring, despite a pretty smooth progression), completed Captain Toad (amazing and charming "platformer"), and got my Ares 70 in Xenoblade Chronicles X (I'm now more comfortable with flying around Mira). But, I realized I was missing something- an element of punishment, of oppression, and dulled horror.

Then I remembered Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse was coming out, so like any sensible JRPG fan (more importantly, a JRPG fan with a distaste for Dragon Quest), I went out and bought it. And after playing about 12 hours, I have to say...

This game is friggin' awesome.

There's the subtle changes, such as the demon-specific boosts to certain skills, the enhanced partnering system, and the added negotiation elements (demons recognizing you after several discussions, more involved choices, and moon phases), and then there's the more noticeable ones- improved dungeon design with many more interactive elements, a much more easily navigated overworld, enhanced visual design, and a WHOLE LOTTA FLYNN WORSHIP. But man, this definitely feels like Atlus pushed themselves to make "the best RPG on the 3DS" as they previously claimed. Don't get me wrong, this is definitely largely based upon the design of SMTIV- many locales reappear, as do characters and demons- but it also has a distinctly fresh feel.

As I mentioned earlier in the thread, SMTIV had this perspective of looking "from the outside, in"- Playing as Flynn, you were led through a series of vignettes where your three best friends shared their opinions of what transpired. As inhabitants of Mikado, however, you were honorable and devout people being sucked into a literal pit of despair- warring factions, individuals with questionable motives, and an utterly bizarre third act in which you experienced alternate timelines, which would ultimately point you towards your alignment. It was as if you were being introduced to the strange universe that was Tokyo, whereas Apocalypse submerges you in it from the very start. The characters feel more vivid and likable- the most extreme personality in the first game, Navarre, reappears in Apocalypse, and he fits in comfortably with the rest of the personalities. The new Demon designs also represent a drastic shift in tone- the Divine Powers add a nice splash of green to the black and white nature of Lucifer and Merkabah. The plot itself is also more fun, with a number of twists and turns right off the bat that, while benefitted from knowledge of the events in the original Shin Megami Tensei IV, are just as interesting without it. Those that have experienced the first game will recognize locales, characters, and more, but again, the feeling of being completely immersed in the atmosphere of Tokyo as a fledgling hunter smooths out some of the speed bumps that would otherwise occur.

Is this the best JRPG on the 3DS? Well, I haven't beaten it yet. But I'm right in the thick of things, and its proving to be just as impressive as its predecessor, which I firmly believed WAS the best JRPG on the 3DS, in terms of production and content. However, the ambiguity of the plot, coupled with the more tiresome aspects of combat made the original SMTIV a hard sell unless you really wanted to experience an "oppressive" JRPG. With Apocalypse, this is quickly addressed and surmounted, giving the player interesting characters, improved combat and skill-crafting, and an even wackier story.

Stay tuned for more impressions.
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Offline DONKHATANT123 Kong

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Re: "No one FIGHTS like Gaston..." (Official Shin Megami Tensei Thread)
« Reply #41 on: January 14, 2017, 07:09:54 AM »
http://shin-megamitensei.jp

Shin Megami Tensei HD Project(V?) is coming to Switch and perhaps other consoles as well. What hasn't been well documented is that the 25th anniversary page has been updated to show another 3DS Mega Ten project "coming soon". Since V looks a way off I get the impression that the 3DS project will release this year to coincide with the anniversary. The only thing I can think of is it's Devil Survivor 3 or it's a remake of one of the older games.


I got SMT IV 'Pocalypse and have been steadily playing through it. I'm already level 30 and it doesn't feel like much has happened in the story yet. It's the refined Shin Megami Tensei experience I know and love, just JRPG bliss. The game seems far less punishing than IV with the way dying works and the game seems more balanced overall with the new hama/mudo and the partner system.

I also grabbed Soul Hackers and Devil Survivor 2 while they were on sale so I'm going to be kept busy in the mean time.

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Re: "No one FIGHTS like Gaston..." (Official Shin Megami Tensei Thread)
« Reply #42 on: January 18, 2017, 07:10:23 PM »
Whatever the 3DS project is, I hope it makes its way to the West this year as well (assuming Japan does get it in 2017). There was only a two month gap between SMT IV coming out in Japan and North America, so it doesn't seem totally out of the question.

Offline Evan_B

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Re: "No one FIGHTS like Gaston..." (Official Shin Megami Tensei Thread)
« Reply #43 on: January 18, 2017, 07:29:32 PM »
Apocalypse took a bit longer to come out in the US, however, but I am assuming that Atlus will be utilizing one of the two engine builds they have on 3DS (Etrian Odyssey or SMTIV) in order to make the new 3DS release. I'm crossing my fingers for the SMTIV engine because I'm quite fond of its presentation, plus Etrian Odyssey V just recently released. However, one of the most acclaimed of the DS Atlus RPGs is Strange Journey, an SMT game built on the Etrian Odyssey DS engine, so I'd be interested in that, myself.

I understand the desire for a Devil Survivor game, but I'm not in love with the systems on display, there. Honestly, whatever they end up releasing for the 25th anniversary on 3DS will likely be mine- I love Atlus' brands and I'm excited to see what they have planned.

I am teetering around 90 hours in SMTIVA, right at the absolutely absurd final boss. I won't spoil it for anyone, but the encounter requires some VERY well-rounded demons in order to win, and my team, despite having knocked out the second-to-last boss with a bit of effort, was not prepared for how ludicrous the final boss is. As soon as I finish off my last Wii U game, I'm going to grind for about 10 hours in order to prep my team for efficient slaughter.
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Offline DONKHATANT123 Kong

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Re: "No one FIGHTS like Gaston..." (Official Shin Megami Tensei Thread)
« Reply #44 on: March 26, 2017, 10:02:39 AM »
I too am pretty much at the end of Apocalypse, I enjoyed it although it was perhaps a little too same-y to SMT 4 and the story didn't click with me as well as the original did. All in all features wise it makes lots of refinements on the base game, the map is much easier to navigate, e-mails add more personality to the characters, smirks are improved and light/dark moves are better implemented.

The 3DS 25th anniversary game is ... A remake of Strange Journey! Haven't played it before but I'd be interested in getting it if it comes to the west. I'm drowning in RPGs
« Last Edit: March 26, 2017, 05:26:27 PM by TOPHATANT123 »

Offline Evan_B

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Re: "No one FIGHTS like Gaston..." (Official Shin Megami Tensei Thread)
« Reply #45 on: March 26, 2017, 04:31:52 PM »
Stop posting the stuff I was going to post, TOP. You're making me look bad.

Since the original Strange Journey is considered to be one of the better SMT games in general (and is also keeping a consistently high price) I might just pick up this version instead. I've been itching to play this installment for a long time.

Atlus also made a point to show that SMT Project for Switch has barely any work put into it. Which is... great, I guess?
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