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The NWR E3 2013 Awards

Shin Megami Tensei IV

by Neal Ronaghan - June 17, 2013, 12:13 pm EDT

After a great RPG start in 2013 on 3DS, the next Shin Megami Tensei game continues the trend.

The demo for Shin Megami Tensei IV at E3 2013 was something that took a little while to get into, but it showed fantastic promise for an epic adventure that is coming to North America in less than a month. Our general consensus was that of "well damn, I need to square away a month or so to get into this game."

Shin Megami Tensei IV is a game that, as Guillaume put it, is usually believed to be "impenetrable and probably not for you," but don't worry. This Atlus-made game coming to 3DS on July 16 looks to just be a damn fine Japanese RPG.

Check out a bit from Guillaume Veillette's E3 2013 impressions:

I wouldn't hold it against you if you believed that the Shin Megami Tensei universe is impenetrable and probably not for you. Between the Japanese name, the concept of bargaining with and fusing demons, the dozens of spin-offs and a history dating back to the Super Famicom days, the revered series does not exactly scream "approachable." Despite having played some games in the Persona sub-series, even I walked towards the Shin Megami Tensei IV demo with some trepidation. My familiarity with some key combat mechanics helped, but clear menus make the game accessible to any RPG fan.

The first area of the demo consisted of a dungeon. A helpful map is revealed while exploring and marks automatically the main points of interest on the bottom screen. On the top screen, you control your character from a third person perspective and can swing the camera around with the shoulder buttons. The enemies show up as blue mist-like forms, and charge at you when they notice you. If you time it correctly, you can swing your sword at it to cause damage before the battle has even started.

The battles themselves are a turned-based affair, but go by very quickly if you know what you're doing. In classic SMT fashion, you can discover an enemy's weakness through either trial-and-error or scanning it. Hit it with an attack of the appropriate element (fire, electricity, light, etc.) or type (slashing, piercing) and you stun it, allowing you to attack again immediately. As long as you are careful that the enemies don't do the same to you, the fights are over very quickly.


Professor ClaytonClay Johnson, Associate EditorJune 17, 2013

The 3DS Batman game is the only thing on this list that I'd count as something of a pleasant surprise... I didn't have high hopes for it until hearing the away team's impressions. Now it's something I'll be keeping a really close eye on. If they can make a strong offshoot of the console series for 3DS, I'll be quite pleased. Of course, if not... I'll have to blame you guys for getting my hopes up. ;)

Leo13June 18, 2013

What i want to know is if the exclusion of Donkey Kong from this list had more to do with disappointment about what you were hoping Retro was making or was the game legitimately not that fun?

CericJune 18, 2013

Quote from: Leo13

What i want to know is if the exclusion of Donkey Kong from this list had more to do with disappointment about what you were hoping Retro was making or was the game legitimately not that fun?

I played the Demo at the Best Buy event.  Its Donkey Kong.  Its Donkey Kong.  Not much more to say.  Going against Super Mario World I can easily see why it wouldn't make the list.

Donkey Kong was one of the last ones out. Our conclusion was that it didn't really wow us because it was so similar to DKCR. Although, remember, DKCR kicked ass, so that doesn't mean we all think DKC Tropical Freeze was bad. It just wasn't one of the best games we saw at E3.

jarodeaJune 18, 2013

I don't really disagree much with the games on the list being there but it's still a pretty disappointing list to me.  Like Professor Clayton only Batman for the 3DS was a pleasant surprise.  Even more shocking that my favorite game from a Nintendo E3 was a 3rd party game, and even more shocking than that it was on a handheld.

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