Sunday, 10 August 2014

Preview: Shin Megami Tensei IV

It's a strange situation in regards to this title & it's EU release, such a high profile game has been left to release a significant amount of time later than it's US/JAP versions. It's also not getting a physical release, rather a release on the EShop at the reasonable price of £17.99/€19.99. Here is a little preview just to guide those who haven't been following this title.

As you can tell by the title, this is the 4th main entry in the main umbrella series of Shin Megami Tensei, though there are similar elements and demons/personas from the Persona series this is a whole different ball game.
Following the format of the PS2 title Shin Megami Tensei: Lucifer's Call/Nocturne/SMT III this is a third person, dungeon exploring, demon fusing, devil fighting, RPG epic. The battle system in this game is one fans will be familiar with "Press Turn". What this basically means you get the chance to micromanage your turns by hitting weaknesses or "passing" on turns to maximize your combat efficiency. I have loved this system since originally playing SMT 3 and it continues to get better with every version.

The battle system unlike in SMT3/Persona/DDS is fron the first person perspective ala SMT1/Soul Hackers, while this doesn't effect the system at all some people do like to see animations. The models aswell during battles are sprites just like in Soul Hackers with a few little touch ups. I like this little throw back to the classics and it would always help memory size which means ATLUS can go the extra mile filling this title with content.

Fusion has taken an upgrade in this title aswell, previously unless you knew or used a guide Fusion would be a trial and error affair. In SMT IV you have the help of the A.I Mido who will guide you through the ins and outs of Demon Fusion, something you will be doing an awful lot if you want to conquer SMT IV. 
Talking of conquering SMT IV it's reported that the classic difficulty is there, SMT has never been a game you can take any less than seriously, constant difficulty spikes keep you on your toes but if you put the effort in and keep your demons relevant it's always manageable. 

A final note in regards to the content of the game is that in both Japan & the US the game has seen a considerable amount of DLC, depending on your stance on this it could be good or bad, unfortunately until we hear more on this matter we can't comment on pricing,quality or release date for any of the DLC.

The story is quite interesting and sounds quite dark especially compared to everyone's favourite murder mystery detective team. Here's a brief preview of what's to come.

"Every year in the Eastern Kingdom of Mikado, all children who have turned 18 that year make a pilgrimage to Mikado Castle to take part in what is known as the "Guardian Rite", a traditional ceremony to determine a person's worthiness to join the elite ranks of The Samurai, noble warriors and protectors of the realm. You and your friend Issachar are from a simple village, and today is the day that your life may change forever......" Blurb taken from the official Shin Megami Tensei IV webpage

The Main Cast.

Flynn (Protagonist): This is your character, chosen to become one of the legendary Samurai it's up to you to determine his actions, just remember that every action has repercussions.

Johnathan: A young member of the Luxurors who becomes a samurai around the same time as Flynn. He is kind and gentle, and favours order over chaos, but is not afraid to fight and sacrifice things for what he believes in.

Walter: A young member of the Casualries who becomes a samurai around the same time as Flynn and Jonathan. Though rough and rash, he is also passionate and good-hearted, and values freedom.

Isabeau: A young member of the Luxurors who becomes a samurai around the same time as the other three, and a daughter of a samurai. When faced with the truth she is unable to decide for herself what is right, but is still willing to fight to stop what she believes is wrong.

Gabby: A member of the Mikado church, shrouded in mystery

Tayama: The head of the yakuza organisation Ashura-kai, which polices most of Tokyo's human society. Despite being a yakuza he represents Law, with the Ashura-kai being the basis of all of what order remains in Tokyo.

Black Samurai: A mysterious character that wears a strange black armor. She has given books to the people of East Mikado in order for them to think for themselves.

Hikaru: A mysterious and knowledgeable, seemingly teenage girl who appears before the samurai in Tokyo. She wears a high school uniform, out of place in the devastated city.

Overall SMT IV has been one of my most anticipated titles for the 3DS and I am really looking forward to bringing you more news, tips and a review of the title. This should be on any serious RPG players' radar and if it wasn't already hopefully this small preview has helped spur a decision for you.

Shin Megami Tensei IV will release on the 3DS E-Shop for £17.99/€19.99, at the moment all we know is it'll be in September & we will report once a solid date comes through

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