Nintendo 3DS

Shin Megami Tensei IV Gets Rated “M” For Its Usual Antics


Shin Megami Tensei IV is rated “M” (Mature) by the ESRB and a rating summary for the game is available on the ESRB website now. Here’s what led to the M rating:


This is a role-playing game in which players assume the roles of demon fighters who battle evil forces in fantasy and post-apocalyptic settings. Players interact/negotiate with characters and engage in turn-based battles with human and demon-like creatures. Players choose attacks from a menu, using mostly magic spells to kill various creatures (e.g., sprites, demons, gods/goddesses). Damage is indicated by screen-shaking effects, flashes, or zapping sounds; some attacks result in blood-splatter effects.


Blood is also depicted on the screen or in pools on the ground. One scene depicts a room with a large pile of corpses in the background. During the course of the game, some female demons wear outfits that expose their breasts or buttocks; other demons have phallic-shaped heads or torsos. Descriptions of demons sometimes include sexual references: “It ravishes women while they sleep, impregnating them’ and “They visit sleeping men and have sexual intercourse with them.” The words “sh*t” and “a*shole” appear in the dialogue.


Yep. That sounds like Shin Megami Tensei. Uncannily like it, actually. That whole bit about phallic-shaped demons and sexual references is from the ESRB’s description of Soul Hackers. (The Soul Hackers description identifies the two demons in question as Incubus and Succubus.) That same part of the rating summary is also used for other Shin Megami Tensei games such as Persona 3 and Strange Journey.


Shin Megami Tensei IV will be released on July 16th in North America.


Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.