I Played And Survived The Beginning Of Shin Megami Tensei IV

By Spencer . May 7, 2013 . 9:30am

Shin Megami Tensei IV won’t come out until May 23 in Japan and July 16 in North America, but we got an early glimpse of the game. Atlus showed Siliconera an English build and I got to play Shin Megami Tensei IV from the very beginning, where the protagonist is floating in vortex.

 

If you have the 3D slider on, the hero hovers above the swirling blue background, but doesn’t pop out of the screen. That said, Atlus poured on the 3D effects with a flying logo, and even the health & safety warning pops out of the screen (it’s written on a scroll). A booming voice tells you the choices you make will effect not just you and asks for your name. By default, the protagonist’s name is Flynn so I went with that.

 

The vortex sucks Flynn, and he awakens in a city covered in flames. The scene is reminiscent of other Shin Megami Tensei titles and another voice instructs Flynn to run over. You can explore the city, but there isn’t anything to see other than burning cars and a glowing white presence ahead. The figure talks about fighting and then says that, now that Flynn has arrived, he can take form.

 

The presence turned out to be Walter, one of the samurai in Shin Megami Tensei IV. After conversing with Walter, Flynn is whisked away to a desert-like area. A stone head and another glowing entity lie ahead. A gentle voice says, “Good, now I can take shape, too. I prayed and waited longing for the day you would come.” This character is Jonathan, who has the opposite vibe of Walter. “The two of us are going to make a world where the peace we know today lasts forever.”

 

As indicated by the game’s box art, the contrast between black and white is a prominent theme in Shin Megami Tensei IV. Good and evil. Jonathan and Walter, perhaps?

 

Another figure then comes into view—a fuzzy image of a girl. This character, simply called “Girl,” asks Flynn to revive her. The image looks like a deteriorated oil painting and with that, Flynn is back in the Eastern Kingdom of Mikado. Isshachar greets Flynn and talks about the Gauntlet Rite. People that graduate from the ceremony become full fledged samurai.

 

Shin Megami Tensei IV has event scenes similar to Fire Emblem: Awakening or Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey with character portraits on top of text. Atlus added zooming effects, so sometimes Issachar’s face will fly towards the player and other times the game will zoom out to show Isshachar again.

 

Players can explore the Eastern Kingdom of Mikado through menus similar to Devil Survivor or Etrian Odyssey. Residents in Mikado are split into two classes—the Luxuror and Casualry, essentially the haves and have-nots. You can visit the Casualry residences or head straight to Aquila Plaza to begin the Gauntlet Rite. Eager to become a samurai (and venture into dungeons), I went straight to Aquila Plaza. When Isshachar and Flynn arrive, another person is going through the ceremony. He fails to become a samurai and complains that the rite is just for show anyway. Isshachar says farewell, but tells Flynn they will always be friends.

 

The camera then switches to a first-person view as Flynn walks towards Hope. The 3D effects are strong as the camera rotates showing the stone statue and then pans on the masked crowd.

 

Now, Flynn has a choice to extend his arm out to see if the Gauntlet accepts him or to not do so. Curious to see if the game would end if Flynn decided not to partake in the Gauntlet Rite, I chose to not extend. That just ticked off the ceremony head who forcefully grabbed Flynn’s arm and put the Gauntlet on. At that moment, Flynn became a Samurai.

 

I fast-forwarded to the first dungeon, Naraku the Hall of Flame. Shin Megami Tensei IV has 3D dungeons similar to Nocturne. The L and R shoulder buttons control the camera and you use the analog stick to move around. Dungeons have objects to interact with, like points Flynn can jump from and tunnels to crawl under. These have contextual controls like pressing up to leap and down to crawl.

 

Enemies in Shin Megami Tensei IV appear on-screen just like the Persona games. If you press Y, you can swing your sword and strike demons before a battle begins. Similar to Persona 4, the sword tip has to hit the cuboid demon figure, otherwise the enemy team gets the first strike.

 

While Shin Megami Tensei IV has some features that make it more welcoming, Atlus did not dial down the difficulty. Regular enemies in the first dungeon can annihilate your party if they exploit weaknesses. The press turn system rewards ally demons and enemies with an extra attack if they hit you with a weak point. New for Shin Megami Tensei IV is a “smirk,” a buff you get after exploiting weaknesses a couple of times in a row. A smirking demon gives that demon a guaranteed critical hit on their next turn, which means they also get an extra press turn, too. Furthermore, monsters in the first dungeon like the Griffon can attack twice, and you don’t start out with a healing spell either.

 

Flynn can learn new skills through the Whisper system. When demons level up, they can pass skills down to Flynn. You can pick and choose skills like Bufu and Dia if you can add Napaea the nymph in your party. You have to negotiate to get demons to join your party in Shin Megami Tensei IV and each conversation has three options. When I asked if the Griffon would join my team, he asked Flynn to extend his arm and also had a joke choice. I agreed to do so and the Griffon asked if Flynn was scared to die. I passed this question, too, but I had to give the Griffon macca (money) and then a life stone (healing item)… and then more macca.

 

Griffon still didn’t join, but he gave me a life stone back. Other times negotiations are even less successful, because if you pick the wrong choices, the entire team of enemy demons will attack without mercy. The good news is that if you talk to a demon that you already have in your party, you can end a fight right there and possibly get an item as a gift.

 

There’s another way to avoid fights in Shin Megami Tensei IV—you can simply run away from demons. Flynn doesn’t have much trouble outrunning demons on the field, at least in the first dungeon. I figured out weaving from side to side really throws demons off. In the first dungeon, I also discovered a tunnel and crawled underneath a space to find a relic called “Deep Green Moss,” which could be sold back in town. Mikado has barracks you can rest at and recover your party for free, a blacksmith that sells weapons, and an expensive item shop.

 

I used my football running skills to get to the boss, which is shown on screen as a pink entity. In battle, that turned into the Disaster Horde, an army of reaper-like figures. My team was Flynn with Bufu (ice) and Needle Shot (gun attack), Centaur with Life Drain, Fuxi (a creature from Chinese mythology) with Zan (force), and Napaea who had Dia (healing magic). I tried using elemental spells first until I found one that the Disaster Horde was weak against and kept using that.

 

While I managed to have one demon smirk, Disaster Horde killed Napaea, my only healer, in one hit. Ouch. Without any Revival Beads, I had to carefully choose my next moves and rely on the small stock of medicine in my inventory. Needle Shot did more damage so I used that, which has a 3D blood splattering effect. Spell effects are more prominent in Shin Megami Tensei IV. Zan wraps an enemy in a tornado and Bufu freezes the screen. With a little luck, I defeated Disaster Horde and obtained an item that proved Flynn was worthy of being a samurai.

 

Jonathan and Walter were also vying for the same item, but Flynn got there first. I ran back to Mikado and Hope congratulated Flynn on retrieving the item. One quest complete, but that’s just the beginning of Shin Megami Tensei IV.

 


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  • Ninten

    Game of the year, no question.

    • Shiro

      Bioshock Infinite or any American filth will have a better chance, sadly.

      • Ethan_Twain

        Well that’s… racist. And elitist.

        • Pyrofrost

          You do realize that “American” isn’t a race, right? :p

          • Joe Montague

            What would you call it? Nationalist?

          • Pyrofrost

            That’s not really the term either; but fact is, while there are many nationalities and ethnic groups in the world, there are only 3~4 races…depending on which side of the debate you agree with.

            I really don’t think it needs a technical name though. It’s just something that is not classy and in very poor taste, especially on a public forum.

          • Ethan_Twain

            You do realize that racism can be more specific than the basic three human builds of Caucasoid, Negroid, and Mongoloid, right? Whenever the peoples or works of a nation are disparaged simply because of the nation of origin then that’s racist. When a German says “Why would I want that shit beer, that’s from Poland”, that’s racist. When a Japanese pop idol posts pictures of herself pulling her eyes into squints imitating popular Korean artists, that’s racist. When a sunni muslim attacks a shia muslim, that’s racist.

          • Pyrofrost

            You will have to excuse me for not agreeing with you, mate. The things you are describing and racism are simply two different things.
            Now we could sit here and have a string of posts debating this, and get nowhere; or we could just agree to disagree.

            Personally, I’d prefer the latter.

          • Ethan_Twain

            Then tell me, what is the word for the things I’m describing? What is the word for classification and denigration of people and art based on the nation of origin? Territorial discrimination? Counter nationalism? What is your definition of racism that does not include a sweeping dismissal of all American Video games as “filth” just for being American? And then what different term do you assign to that dismissal?

          • Pyrofrost

            If you’re looking for a technical term for berating someone or something due to its nationality of origin or ethnic origin, discrimination or prejudice would work. Yes, those are more simple and broad terms, but those pretty much cover it.

            The problem with this is that objectivity concerning this sort of thing goes out the window. It ends up being a debate based on individual feeling and ideals, rather than technicalities. That’s why racism is used to describe these sorts of things, even though they are not technically based on race.
            You can observe the same sort of thing when examining the “what is sexism” debate.

            (addendum: Just so you know, when I made the statement about America not being a race, I was more or less yanking your chain. I completely understood what you meant, and you were right to call out the guy above for what he said. What he said was shortsighted and ignorant. I never intended to get all technical until I was addressed by that other guy. So please, don’t feel that I was ever personally taking a shot at you. That’s why I left the emote at the end of my original reply to you.)

            Edit: I forgot something, you asked for my definition of racism. My definition of racism is prejudice or discrimination based on race.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=594742092 Robert M Fenner

            rac·ism [rey-siz-uhm] Show IPA noun
            1.
            a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one’s own race is superior and has the right to rule others.
            2.
            a policy, system of government, etc., based upon or fostering such a doctrine; discrimination.

            White is the hegemony, chief. A hegemony that has been and continues perpetuating racism over the rest of the world for hundreds of years. Though minorities have made a lot of progress, they are still tragically considered second-class citizens within the US, UK, Australia and other countries. They’re often unable to be employed for the same jobs as whites, or suffer lesser pay when they are.

            Shiro, who (forgive me if I’m wrong) is probably a westerner himself who just prefers Japanese games, is making a sweeping and closed-minded statement, but he isn’t being racist.

            And, y’know, there’s the point that America’s an immigrant nation and not a race.

        • Shane Guidaboni

          Racist?

      • M’iau M’iaut

        http://www.siliconera.com/open-thread/

        Please note our rules before posting like this again.

        • Guest

          Rules are meant to be ignored

      • Minos

        Certainly racist.

        It’s USA. “America” is a continent.

        • Saraneth

          Two continents, actually.

          • Minos

            3 if we count Central America.

            4 If we count the Caribean Islands.

          • Saraneth

            There are two continental plates in the region: the North American plate and the South American plate. Islands don’t usually count as continents unless they’re really large/have their own plate, such as Australia. Central America is considered either part of North America or a subcontinent like India.

          • http://twitter.com/Kazuo_Kiriyama Richard

            Doesn’t stop Americans rounding up Europeans as a country, instead of a large chunk of the world.

          • Saraneth

            To be fair, Europe’s entire surface area is only 3.93 million square miles compared to the U.S.’s 3.794 million square miles. By U.S. standards, Europe is a country and a European country is a state.

      • Herok♞

        Its sad that this comment exist and its even sadder people agree with it since its blatantly racist. I enjoyed Bioshock Infinite and would have no problem with it being Game of the Year over this or anything else, but on the same token I enjoy more niche games usually which is why I am on this site. its all about having a balance.

        • http://twitter.com/ValeFalkren Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

          Bioshock infinite has tepid gameplay. If you can get game of the year based off story alone then RPG’s should be getting them left and right.

          • Herok♞

            The thing is Bioshock Infinite is a really good game in my opinion, you might think its tepid while I think the game play is as hot as it needs to be and the story in Infinite was the best I have seen in a long time and I play alot of RPGs as well, there is something nice about having a story that isn’t a variant of save the world/town/universe once in a while, any RPG come out recently that breaks that formula? Like even SMT4 the game that this thread is based on will likely have the same law neutral and chaos endings as in most other SMT games, with little variation to the formula. If you want to discuss this further then we can talk about it in the Open Thread because this isn’t the place for general discussion.

          • http://twitter.com/ValeFalkren Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

            We can debate presence of story and it’s overall purpose in what we are presented with till we’re blue in the face ya’know. Different types of stories serve different purposes. Its more about how its done than whats it about in my opinion. Oh well doesnt matter, wasnt invested in the experience.

          • Herok♞

            I respect your opinion and you respect mine so I feel that discussion was a success in a way

          • Kenneth Richardson

            I wasn’t blown away by BioShock’s game-play (other than Elizabeth, it’s largely similar to the other BioShock games), but it’s narrative, visuals, music and general presentation send the game into a class all its own. The “story alone” isn’t the only reason people are heaping praise on this game. It’s a visual masterpiece and it has some of the best writing I’ve ever seen in a game.

            You’re welcome to your opinion, but if you look around, you’ll see that people are praising more than the game’s story.

          • http://twitter.com/ValeFalkren Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

            ….. But its supposed to be a game yeah ? Visuals and music are there to create an atmosphere in perspective. (I mean you can have titles like Kingdom Hearts that have great music but they miss opportunities to use those tracks effectively at times) But then what makes it a game and not just another? Its about how that environment connects to the player other and what they experience with it no? If not so much as a game then what is it but an interactive story as a FPS build? As for the writing, well I have some problems with the plot overall, lets just say I didnt care for the tone. It certainly wasnt something I was invested in either. When what is fun about the game is the story, besides playing the game over and over again for said tale, what point is there to it? I want it to be so fun to play over and over again with that exciting story.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=594742092 Robert M Fenner

            Is that a visual novel character you’re using for your icon?

          • http://twitter.com/ValeFalkren Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

            Nope.

        • Shiro

          to give an answer to this, i loved Bioshock Infinite, which is why i mention it outside of the other trash :P like Tomb Raider might actually win GotY, it had more sales.

          • Herok♞

            Well still I don’t say any game is trash, since people have different tastes in games.

  • Chris Yuen

    ;_; I wish that I’m a journalist working in the gaming field too, so that I can have press previews of upcoming games…but nooo…my prior experience of writing is only for niche news for one of the two English papers here in Singapore…oh well…2 more months! Nice write-up Spencer. The game sounds amazing. Once I get this, it will be my first experience with a numbered SMT game.

    • Ninten

      If you have a PS2, I highly recommend SMT3 (it’s more common than ever before) to ease the pain for waiting.

  • Lubulos

    God, I’m so hyped for this. It’s good to see that they didn’t lower the difficulty. The extreme difficulty added to the atmosphere in both Nocturne and SJ. Especially in SJ, often it felt like every step I made could be my last step.

    • Ninten

      Word, but to be fair, 3 and SJ aren’t that brutal in terms of difficulty, when you compare it to Raidou 1′s Devil Mode. I would say they can get really unfair at times, though.

      Anyone who beats the game like that is a champion.

      • Lubulos

        Don’t forget the first two SMT and if…
        These games sure teach you every trick in the Swearing Art.

        • Ninten

          Been playing If… recently. World of Gluttony was HELL with very frequent enemy attacks.

        • Foryth

          I still remember trying to get the neutral ending in SMT1. That encounter rate was indeed daunting, but balancing your alignment could prove to be annoying. Most annoying though is probably late game insta-death in random encounters, though I guess you can be prepared for that.

          Anyway, I can’t wait to see how this one turns out. :)

      • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

        I think most of Nocturne’s difficulty came more from the horrendously high encounter rate. Yes, there were bosses that were incredibly difficult, too, but when I look back at Nocturne now, the most vivid memory is being forced into a battle every three steps.

        Digital Devil Saga was like that, too. Except, DDS also had those horrid instances where enemies would “ambush” you out of the blue, before you had a chance to transform into your demon forms. It was a very “artificial” kind of difficulty.

        SMTIV looks like it’s more about taking advantage of every opportunity you can. For starters, it’s not random battles any more, which I’m incredibly thankful for.

        • Ninten

          Well, I know what you mean, heck, even the SuFami SMTs had worse encounter rates than Nocturne and you didn’t even have skills like Riberama/Estoma (not so sure about that, so put away the pitchfork, people) to change it to your liking for just a few minutes.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=594742092 Robert M Fenner

            SMT 1′s two acts were separated by Kongokai, an extremely long, boring and difficult dungeon. it made me give up on the game for a long time, and I didn’t see the post-apocalypse world for a number of years.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=594742092 Robert M Fenner

          Matador.

          MATADOR.

          The fiends following him weren’t quite so bad, but the random factor of appearance was often fatal. I remember a feeling of much chagrin at “You feel Hell’s Rider approaching you on the freeway. Will you leave the area?

          >Yes

          Sorry, he caught you!”

  • XYZ_JolteonZ980

    Oh come on Atlus, really?!, they did not dial down the difficulty? What even? Shouldn’t they conform and modulate current trends in the gaming ecosystem. I hope it is at most comparable to the difficulty of DeSuOC, which two days in doesnt feel that difficult beyond just one fight. If not then I think Ill start reconsidering the preorder.

    • Ninten

      It’s probably not as brutal as Shin Megami Tensei or the original Megami Tensei on the Famicom.

      • http://twitter.com/#!/kaishou Kaishou

        Don’t take him serious…hes one of those people who just don’t make any sense no matter the situation.

      • LynxAmali

        Those gave me nightmares.

        That and SRW F Final.

        Brutal.

        • Ninten

          Cathedral is a cringeworthy place in the history of SMT.

        • MrTyrant

          Man SRW Final was a nightmare but if this smt follow up the same way of SMT1/2 it would be difficult too. In fact, strange journey was harder that most rpg lately.

          The easier games were Devil Summoner Raidou, Devil Survivor and Persona.

    • cirE

      I sort of agree. I don’t have much time to play games, and if I wanted to get my butt kicked, I’d go play Starcraft or Counter-Strike and let another player have the satisfaction of ending me. I don’t like when single player games are too easy, either, but it’s also not fun when a single player game is unnecessarily difficult for the sole reason of making the game frustrating and take longer to finish. I play single player games these days to take a break from being destroyed in multiplayer games, so I don’t appreciate single player games that try to be a huge challenge.

      but I do recognize that there are people who enjoy challenging single-player games. Why not just add difficulty options? I can experience the story without throwing my 3DS across the room, while someone else can have their challenge. win-win. Basically what Fire Emblem did.

      • http://twitter.com/ValeFalkren Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

        If its as difficult as Etrian Odyssey IV was then its fine. Or you know Strange journey’s first dungeon. Y’all love to complain.

        • cirE

          I’m not complaining, I was just stating what I look for in single player games. I play for the story more so than the challenge.

          I haven’t played EOIV nor Strange Journey, so I really don’t know how difficult those Atlus games have been. The last Atlus release I played was Radiant Historia, which I enjoyed immensely.

    • Ethan_Twain

      I would venture that if you want your JRPGs developed in conformity to the current video game ecosystem, Atlus may not be the place for you to go. They’ve staked out their niche in the market, and they aren’t really gunning against the Nintendo’s or the Square-Enix’s of the industry to capture the mainstream JRPG audience (such as it exists).

      Not that Atlus doesn’t have a few more user friendly RPGs in their catalog, but those games are the exception rather than the rule. And this game, the fourth iteration of their core SMT series, this game is not going to be an exception.

      And lastly… good luck with DeSuOC. That one has such crazy difficulty spikes that I haven’t even managed to beat it :)

      • M’iau M’iaut

        He doesn’t really want JRPGs though. Just something to kill time before the next Naruto game :P.

      • XYZ_JolteonZ980

        I hope it has no more protect the citizen’s type of requirements in the levels, its such an annoying thing especially when some enemies can attack two squares away, and YooHoo is infuriatingly weak, gah.

        • http://wiredjungle.wordpress.com/ DrakosAmatras

          For the record, Devil Survivor is a grid-based strategy game; it’s a distinct departure from traditional SMT formula, which is a turn-based RPG. If you’re planning to spend 50$ on it, don’t go in there expecting something similar to DS; if you want more DS, just get DS2.

      • http://twitter.com/#!/kaishou Kaishou

        Wellllllllllllll hes going to have difficulty since he raised everything to VIT.

        • XYZ_JolteonZ980

          Having high HP is important in JRPGs. Unfortunately guides dont seem to give tips on how to build the perfect character, so I just choose Vit since its HP.

    • Skye Johnson

      They may not have dialed down the difficulty on normal levels (though they have made things more “accessible” such as no random battles and frequent save points, from what I’ve read), they have included different difficulty levels this time around. So there is a choice to lower the difficulty setting to easy. : )

      Also if you end up dying a certain amount of times in the same place, the game will automatically ask you if you’d like to lower difficulty, so they’re definitely trying to make SMTIV more accessible to newbies and those who aren’t in for having their ass handed to them constantly.

    • http://www.siliconera.com Spencer

      Battles are brutal, but the game will revive you if you die and you’ll be whisked away back to the field so you can prep for another fight. The other change is there is an option to dial the difficulty down if you die like twice that pops up.

      • XYZ_JolteonZ980

        Oh wow, thats really helpful, guess Ill keep my preorder. Hyped!

      • Hound

        Any idea if it starts at a standard difficulty or does it have the obligatory

        “Easy (for those that don’t play), Normal (for normal people), and Hard (for Lunatics that sigh at New Game+ benefits)” with chances to dial down (or up)?
        Or possibly raises difficulty based on what you do thus eventually demanding a “dial down” at some point otherwise rendering progress impossible by any other means?

    • Adam Jenson

      Perhaps you cannot survive in a world of strength.

  • kuroneko0509

    Nice to see that the difficulty can be said as ‘maintained’ :D

  • DesmaX

    … Will the full game really start like that? Being sucked in a vortex, warping scenarios… I can see myself being pretty confused if I play this game

    • Shane Guidaboni

      Uh, I don’t think it will be that confusing provided you read the text.

      • DesmaX

        If I remember correctly, it’s supposed to be some sort of dream, right? I remember some old news…

        But still, I just dislike games that starts with “everything happening at once”

        • LightZero

          If you played or watch a play through of SMT1 you should understand. It’s like that.

  • Tylor Boreas Makimoto

    Gods above, the 3DS is seriously becoming a powerhouse. It has all these amazing games from varying genres, 90% of which are great. I honestly cannot wait for this, Bravely Default, Project X Zone, AC: New Leaf, Pokemon X and Y (yes, both are necessary), and every other surprise Nintendo has for us this year.

  • Niyari

    it’s great to hear that you don’t need to play on hard mode to get a challenge. no random encounters already makes the game inherently easier than nocturne and digital devil saga

  • ShawnOtakuSomething

    I like my RPG’s hard (◕‿◕) good to hear the difficulty is the level is challenging . I’m so going to try the neutral ending..

    • Prinnydoom

      To be evil or good hmmm evil is fun but good feels rewarding.

      • neocatzon

        the “good” in SMTs somehow questionable though :x
        Always having a hard time deciding.

        • DawnWolf

          SMT isn’t so black and white as to have good seem… good. Always irks me how the law endings make me feel like a prick, and the chaos endings make me feel like a badass prick. Bittersweet.

          • http://twitter.com/ValeFalkren Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

            Oh dont you know? All hardasses walk the route of neutrality. On the Law side of the lawn.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=594742092 Robert M Fenner

          Yup. Law & Chaos doesn’t always/ever equate to good and evil.

          • neocatzon

            That’s why I usually choose neutral ending, but I wish there’s a 4th/”reject” ending just like ME3. The uncertainty in neutral and rejection made it so tempting.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=594742092 Robert M Fenner

            It’d be nice, wouldn’t it? Sometimes even with neutral endings it feels like the ‘freedom’ path is still following another mentor’s ideals, ie Anguished One in DeSu2

      • ShawnOtakuSomething

        good feels rewarding and looks pretty XD

  • Hraesvelgr

    All of my jelly, Spencer. All of my jelly.

    • Tylor Boreas Makimoto

      Is it grape? ;L

  • Prinnydoom

    Better and better.

  • Guest

    No 3D effects other then some logos….
    I’m cancelling both of my preorders… there is no point playing a 3DS game that doesn’t have 3D effects

    • http://denpanosekai.blogspot.com denpanosekai

      Clearly you stopped reading after the second paragraph.

    • http://twitter.com/#!/kaishou Kaishou

      So are you saying it’s pointless to own a 3DS if you have a squint? Need to tell my friend this.

    • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

      …did you read the same article that everyone else did?

    • benhofb

      I really hope you are just kidding.

    • http://profiles.google.com/dnlblue Daniel blue

      Nevermind your crazy logic – why on earth would someone have two preorders set for the same game?

  • kevin chang

    If you think it represents good and evil, you haven’t played much of the Shin Megami Tensei games.

    • http://www.siliconera.com Spencer

      I’ve played plenty of Megaten. I realize it’s “law” and “chaos” like the other games, but this is for people that aren’t familiar with the series at all.

      • kevin chang

        Different routes are not better or more righteous than another. It’s just a different path. Following YHWH cannot be interpreted to be “good”. Perhaps you shouldn’t oversimplify to the point where it is completely wrong and gives new people the wrong idea about the series (that it shoves a shitty good and bad dichotomy down your throat like Mass Effect).

        • http://www.facebook.com/trevor.nicolaysen Trevor Nicolaysen

          Except the neutral ending is, if memory serves, always more righteous than the others.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Parker-Stover/100000213614329 Parker Stover

            Neutrality is generally an option of seeking a path that opposes both of the major groups and their ideals. The impression of individuality and self reliance, as well as the game’s tendency to not portray any one side as good or evil makes Neutral a more lucrative choice than in some games. I personally don’t believe that it’s any more right than the generic law or chaos routes, but it clicks with most players so that’s how I expect it to be interpreted.

          • Jisgsaw

            That’s probably why it’s also usually the much harder route…

          • Adam Primaeros

            It’s also the “gamer” sort of route, because you get to see more content, fight all the bosses, etc. As a philosophy, Neutrality has the problem of being non-committal: on an open playing field, the trial will begin again, making an alignment with more dedicated followers take over. (As expressed in SMT2 when, whoa hey, the religious extremists took over after the Neutral ending.)

          • http://www.facebook.com/trevor.nicolaysen Trevor Nicolaysen

            Morality is all in perspective as is.

          • kevin chang

            It’s not. Every alignment has its unique pros and cons. Humanity easily screws things up. The world after SMT1 might have gone bad eventually if YHVH didn’t just decide to flood it because he was upset.

          • http://www.facebook.com/trevor.nicolaysen Trevor Nicolaysen

            Yeah, probably. But its SMT. It would have gone bad under absolutely any circumstance.

      • Adam Primaeros

        In SMT: “Law” is not good, and “Chaos” is not evil. Implying Good/Evil dichotomy does not educate anyone on Megaten at all. If anything, it’s more accurate to consider SMT tries to convey that “there are no perfect ideologies, but go ahead and support one that you believe in”.

        • http://www.cubiz.tk/ Auragar

          Or support neither and make your own/do your own thing.

          • http://twitter.com/ValeFalkren Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

            Which results in your logic being smashed to pieces by overlords.

          • http://www.cubiz.tk/ Auragar

            Or you beat them like a baws and say f u to them.

          • http://twitter.com/ValeFalkren Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

            Only in Overclocked son. Naoya/Haru route ftw

          • http://www.cubiz.tk/ Auragar

            I thought you beat uh… Lucifer in Nocturne? Is the true demon route not considered neutral? And I have yet to finish Overclocked, going with Naoya or Haru route. Also I’d prefer your not calling me “son.”

  • kylehyde

    So Flynn, now I want to put him Rider as last name

    • Prinnydoom

      Or Scifo

    • Funky Bottoms

      Or White.

  • Tom

    The ingame graphic looks appealing but those hair style and faces…

    • http://profiles.google.com/dnlblue Daniel blue

      “but those hair style and faces…”

      There’s a Squall in your icon. Your argument is invalid.

      …just kidding. I think the general art style is really appealing, except for Flynn’s admitedly bonkers helmet-hair.

  • Jisgsaw

    Didn’t read to much to not get spoiled, but I saw the press turn system seems to be the same as for Nocturne, that’s enough for me :p

    Only thing I hope is the new fusion system (already seen in P4:G) doesn’t completely destroys every ounce of difficulty like it did for Golden.

    • DawnWolf

      The only difference in fusion between P4:G and P4/P3/P3P/P3:FES is that you can pick your personas inherited skills. But really you could do that anyways by exiting and reentering the fusion screen, the skills were just random among those possible. Ergo: in P4 I could (and did) spend an hour trying to perfect my Helel’s skills through entering and leaving, but in P4: G I could just do it instantly. Doesn’t make the game easier, just makes it less tedious and unneededly annoying.

      • Jisgsaw

        Yes, you COULD do it if you really wanted to.
        But as it was so tedious, normal people wouldn’t do, ending with somewhat less powerfull demons (seriously, I made a Trumpeter which had absolutely NO weaknesses, without ANY planing at all, just in passing in 2 minutes).

        Other thing that changed is the power up of the skills via the shuffle. Once one skill upgraded (got repel physical from resist physical pretty fast), you can keep the skill sithout any constraints, which completely kills the challenge.

        So in a nutshell: in P4, you had to choose (and suffer for HOURS to get it (I’m talking inheriting repel physical, repel ice, repel thunder, absorb fire and mind charge at the same time here, which in P4 would be insane to wait for to get)) to have OP personaes. In golden, you had to chose NOT to have them, and build up the difficulty yourself.

        • Matt M

          If they build fusions knowing this is an option, it probably means it will require less effort making good fusion and more actually fusing to get great demons.

          • Jisgsaw

            What I fear, is that they either suppose people will take full advantage form these fusion, and so make the ennemies a lot stronger (which would REQUIRE to spend some consequent time fusing. which not everyone wants). Or not impose the fusing and keep ennemies less strong, leading to a P4:G like problem.

            What I hope is that they are smarter than me and find a way to please fans of both aspects :p

          • Matt M

            But if the abilities are equaled out with their application and the enemies’ difficulty, why is that bad? It should balance itself out.

        • Zeik56

          One of the biggest problems with the way P4 handled it IMO was that it had very few restrictions on what could be inherited. Letting you choose skills meant you could all your best skills onto a good Persona with little effort.

          Hopefully given that they are implementing this feature from the getgo they will put heavier restrictions on what each demon can actually inherit.

  • Oscar Alberto Abrego Suarez

    Awesome cant wait to play it, question: When you say default is like Persona 2 IS were there is a default name and you can change it?. Or is in blank like SJ?

  • Zero_Destiny

    Flynn? So is it only one name and not First and Last? No nickname option ether? Not a deal breaker by any means but if it’s like that then I’m kinda bummed.

    Everything else sounds pretty cool and its nice to hear that the 3D (stereoscopic) sounds pretty fleshed out. Doesn’t seem like 100% 3D but it does sound like it has some nicer effects going for it. I really wasn’t expecting anything big in the 3D department.

  • AnimeRemix

    Excuse me Spencer, but when you moved Flynn around, was you using the circle pad or the d-pad? I’m just curious since I think I heard both DeSu1OC and Soul Hackers used only the d-pad…

    • DawnWolf

      Don’t know about Soul Hackers, but DeSuOC works fine with circle pad. For the record, the circle pad for most games is just the d-pad, with the diagonal directions being double button presses. I hate using d-pads to navigate, so I used the circle pad for the majority of DeSuOC.

      • Zero_Destiny

        In Soul Hackers movement is done through the D-Pad while the circle pad is used to move the map around on the bottom of the screen.

        • AnimeRemix

          Thank you and Brandon Jackson for both informing me about both games! Now I have a little more hope that SMT IV will allow movement through the circle pad (even if movement was only for d-pad, this game would still be epic nonetheless!)

          • Zero_Destiny

            I’d imagine SMTIV will use the circle pad. Soul Hackers has a more rigid first person movement system and also since it was a port, part of me thinks Atlus didn’t want to map extra movement to the circle pad and just opted to give it to the map. Though tbh the circle pad moving the map was actually a pretty nice set-up.

            SMTIV is a free range movement game in an 3D environment. So it would be pretty shocking to me if it didn’t use the circle pad. Just my 2-cents.

          • http://twitter.com/ValeFalkren Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

            Sure its nice but if you use the D-pad as much as I have it causes it to be depressed in overall. (Blazblue Continuum shift II is really tough on them XD playing that with a bunch of dungeon crawlers , mercy be had on your d-pad)

          • Zero_Destiny

            Well then let’s hope SMTIV lets us use the circle pad, huh? To save what’s left of our D-Pads! lol

          • http://twitter.com/ValeFalkren Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

            A buttons are also penchant to getting smashed. But its always the b button that breaks first. Or the R button.

  • ragingmerifes

    I can’t read this article… sorry Siliconera, but as soon as this game is released in Japan, I will lock myself out of the internet and start using it only for Instagram… I can’t even know if the game will be good or amazing… I need to have a first-hand experience.
    But hey, congrats, you lucky boy.

  • Space_Ghost

    Like some others have said, I can’t read more than the first paragraph on this article, because I love when RPG’s surprise me. I’m definitely eager to play my first SMT game! I never did like the FP view much, but in RPG battle screens I can handle it.

    • http://www.cubiz.tk/ Auragar

      First one? Wow. They’re great you’ll have a blast.

  • HPN

    Can. Not. Wait.

  • IshimaruKaito

    LOL i like how he didnt tell us the bosses weakness…..well played spencer well played!

    side comment: i just lol at the person going on a “comment down” spree on here

  • Ferofax

    Hmm. So basically, a main series SMT with lots of cosmetic similarities to Persona?

    I wonder how the divided fanbase will react to that. *giggle*

    Looking forward to this love.

    • DyLaN

      The fanbase is already pretty divided on the subject of SMTIV if you ask me.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=594742092 Robert M Fenner

        I’m a little disappointed that the town hub is Etrian Odyssey-style, but I’m still pumped!

  • MrSirFeatherFang

    Some days, some nights. Some live, some die in the way of the samurai. Some fight, some bleed. Sun up to sun down. The sons of a battlecry.
    I wonder if this fits with the game…

    • http://twitter.com/ValeFalkren Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

      I dunno champ, gonna start screaming about no blood no bone and no ash?

    • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

      I wonder how many people got the reference.

  • Detrimont

    That opening part of the game is VERY reminiscent of the very first SMT game

  • SSRespect

    Is it recommended that I play the previous ones to enjoy SMT IV or can I go into it and enjoy it as well? I have played the Persona series and DS I and II but never the SMT series.

    • Haseyo

      Nocturne (i.e SMT III) would be the closest thing to IV. You really don’t -have- to, but it helps to get familiar with the aspects of the game.

    • ChiffonCake

      They’re mostly self-contained stories, so not really. Though it seems that this game will have many references to the previous SMTs, what with the Black Samurai wearing a Demonica from Strange Journey and the intro part there being really reminiscent of SMTI’s, so playing them might let you notice those better, as well as getting used to the recurring themes.

      Anyway, I’m so hyped for this game! Thankfully I’ll be getting a 3DS soon, but I still don’t know if I should get Fire Emblem Awakening or this game to go with it… decisions, decisions…

  • SSRespect

    Is it recommended that I play the previous SMT games before playing SMT IV? I do want to play IV but was wondering if playing the previous three would be helpful in understanding the story. I have played the Persona and DS series.

  • UnknownHero

    Are the english voices any good?

  • Aerozeta

    From what I’ve read from this article, the game looks very promising. It seems they are probably showing late-game scenes in the beginning and eventually after 50 or 60 hours, the player will recognize the scenes and feel more attached and stuff. Anyways, pre-ordered and currently playing Nocturne, hype is imminent!

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