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The Ten: Updated Wednesdays-Fridays-Sundays

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Impressions: Shin Megami Tensei IV

Class-structure is totally screwed.
 So I decided to take a leap and delve into the murky depths of water analogies in reference to a series I've never played before: Shin Megami Tensei. After thoroughly enjoying Etrian Odyssey IV and realizing that Atlus is freaking amazing in every way, I figured I should try out their big JRPG series. I'm now about forty-two hours in, and while I love the game so much, I also dislike it for the same reasons.

I'm a torn man.

On one hand, I think the environment design of the game (when it's not-menu-based) is awesome, and though many complain everything looks a bit too similar, I've only had issue with that once. The bleak ruins of Tokyo make an awesome setting, and Atlus plays around with some variation in the "towns" and field areas. The battle system is half incredibly fun, half annoying since just about anything can happen if you're not careful. However, exploiting the system is rewarding and keeps you playing so that you can redo the battles you've failed miserably. But, now that I'm deeply entrenched in the game, playing the title intelligently and taking a trial-and-error approach really don't go hand-in-hand, and since battles are unpredictable at times, and the game is starting to wear on me.

The story is mesmerizing, and I truly want to learn the secrets of what exactly in god's name is going on in this world. But so far, I've done nothing but... hunt the Black Samurai. Yeah, sure, I've helped out some humans living in the underground and solved some problems for a couple of different districts, but for the most part, my goal and the progression of my mission as a samurai has been largely unchanged, and even when it was completed, things didn't exactly get any better.

I'm hoping there's a major toss-up after this latest segment, because while I love the game's setting and moodiness, the atmosphere can only sell the game so much. I do like fusing demons, though.

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