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 A thing

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Willpower
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Male Posts : 3943
Join date : 2012-06-25
Age : 24
Location : Tupelo, MS

PostSubject: A thing   Sat Aug 01, 2015 12:04 pm

This is what happens when you can't sleep but have the urge to do something quote-on-quote, "creative". Been working slowly on this little project because, why the hell not?

Recently, I finished a game on the 3DS that took me around a month and a half to finish. It's called Shin Megami Tensei IV, and now I get to tell you (few) peeps about my feelings on it and do a baby review on it!

Review time! Go! And I will NOT be hiding spoilers! You've been warned.

Introduction:

SMT IV is possibly the best RPG to come out on the 3DS thus far, having released in 2013 in both Japan and North America, while Europe had to wait a ways into '14 to receive it, digital download only however. The game is made by Atlus, who started the Megami Tensei series back in the mid 80's. Since then, SMT has been stated to be a Pokemon rip off by people new to the series, when it's actually the OTHER way around, due to SMT coming out nearly a decade before Pokemon, and you being able to recruit and train hundreds of demons.

Demons? Oh yes, this game has demons. Loads of demons. As in, this game features the highest roster of demons yet in any SMT game, numbering well over 500! Every single demon is different in their stats, resistances and weaknesses, skills that they learn, personality, and their lore.

Every demon has a text window that allows you to read up on that demon's origins, because every demon in this game is based off of something from religious and cult beliefs all over the world! For instance....Shiva and Vishnu, deities in the Indian culture, are available to fight and recruit. The dragon in my signature? He returns in this game under his actual name, Huang Long (In Persona 4, he was named Kohryu, the reason why I'm not sure on), and is a Chinease deity representing the four seasons. For fuck's sake, there's a demon called Chemtrail, who is based off the belief that the trails from flying planes are part of a conspiracy theory!

Gameplay:

Gameplay is split into two parts: Exploration and Battle.

When you are in Exploration, you move around in a 3D space, in rather impressive graphics for the 3DS in my opinion, and explore the world around you as you imagine, exploring Tokyo, collecting relics to sell for money, and fighting demons.

However, when you enter combat, it goes into a first person RPG format, the enemies being in 2D with very well detailed sprites that rival the quality of Pokemon sprites, for comparison, while your team is listed on the bottom screen in panels that display their status and splash art.

Battles can be either simple or very complex depending on your party set up and your playstyle. There are many, many builds you can go with, but personally, since I always play some kind of magic character in SMT, because of how effective they are (I'll explain soon), I made a Dexterity/Luck based character, who started off very weak due to the lack of Gun skills in the game, but then scaled incredibly hard into mid and late game, with very high critical hit chances and godly firearm skills.

Magic is always a sure fire way to go, and is actually the FIRST type of build I'd recommend to any player, because of how the game plays: There are only two types of Attack damage, Physical and Gun skills, verses SEVEN types of magic, being Agi, Bufu, Zan, Zio, Hama, Mudo, and Almighty (Fire, Ice, Wind, Thunder, Light, Dark, and, read, "unblockable").

Another gameplay feature, and mind you, checking my record page right now, that I spent well over ten hours of the game doing, is Fusion.

Demon Fusion is a VERY important part to the game, allowing you to squish any two demons together, Fuse their skills together into a single list, and get better stats.

However, it gets better.

The more demons you have, the more possibilities you have. That much is certain. What if I was to tell you, however, that with three or even four demons Fusing together, you could create demons far beyond what you can usually make? That's what Special Fusions are for: making demons that are leagues above what you have around that level. However, the only downside is that Fusion, in a general concept, is a pricey business, often being the net loss of hundreds of thousand of Macca, your in-game currency, which is HARD to come by until later on.

Soundtrack:

Literally already my favorite soundtrack of '15. Listen~:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZIXqXKiZ7I&index=30&list=PLuu7gfeeGV4TKifRVuYQCVEIU1lGJoIhG&shuffle=243

Story:

The story begins with the protagonist (default name is Flynn, and thus his canon name) having a dream where two different deities are sharing with him that he will change the course of history and blah blah blah, the usual JRPG stuff. Cut to waking up, he awakens in the Eastern Kingdom of Mikado, and heads for the castle to participate in the yearly Samurai initiation rite, which involves having to equip a Gauntlet, and attempting to turn it on, which is a device that allows its user to wield and utilize the power of demons. Flynn succeeds, and is grouped with four other Samurai: Walter, a somewhat rebellious but good hearted man, Jonathan, a prim and proper guy, Isabeau, the only female and who acts as a middle man of sorts, and Navarre, a complete jerkass.

The group, minus Navarre as he ends up walking out on the group due to being captured by a demon and almost eaten, explore the caverns under the castle, which are home to many demons, and manage to keep them at bay while completing several missions, that is until an unknown person whom calls herself the Black Samurai spreads chaos across the land, and the young apprentice Samurai break the code of not entering the Minotaur's hall to give chase. However, along the way, they come across guns, and begin to find more advanced technology than they've ever seen, that is until they come across the city of Tokyo below. As it would turn out, the kingdom they live in is sitting atop of a bedrock layer that covers Tokyo like a dome, and despite it having been stated to be the year 1486 (or somewhere in that range), it's only 25 years after the nuclear fallout in Tokyo (Making it actually around 2030-2040 or so).

The party advances through Tokyo, carving their way through legions of demons and unfriendly humans that would attack them, and, eventually, capture the Black Samurai. When they bring her back for trial, however, they find out she is to be executed, and before they crucify her, she warns them that she'll return regardless.

Only a day later, her prophecy comes true, as her body is missing, and the group is now tasked with outright killing her. But, as they track her down, they realize she's the leader of the Ring of Gaea, a group that believes in that only the strong should survive. This is where the group begins to break apart, with Walter siding with Lilith, the true identity of the Black Samurai, and Jonathan siding with Sister Gabby of the Monastery in the Kingdom, who turns out to be actually the Archangel Gabriel. Here, Flynn must make a decision, and side with one of the two.

Seeing as I went with Walter, because of Jonathan's asinine comments during a trial right before the split-up, and a particular liking to Walter, I begin my trek into the Chaos path, and go with Walter into Tayama's territory, the leader of the Ashura-kai, a faction that mostly controls Tokyo and bargins with the demons for a cease fire. We break into the Hills, and find out that he's been harvesting humans for brain neurotransmitters and making pills that are mentioned throughout the story that cause the demons to become more pacified.

Walter and Flynn are so disgusted that they team up with Lilith and head to Camp Ichigaya to take control of Tayama's Yamato Perpetual Reactor, a device that provides the Ashura-kai their electricity, and use it as a gate to allow even more demons into Tokyo from the Expanse. However, Tayama is waiting for them, and after a arduous battle with the tyrant, they wrestle the controller from him, and Flynn presses the button...

Only to be sucked into the Reactor and into the Expanse! Here, Flynn has what I describe as a fever dream, and meets the White, a group of interdenominational creatures that send him, Walter, and surprise, Jonathan too (Somehow, he says that he and Flynn fought and killed Lilith together? Alternate timelines too!?) into a alternate future where the missiles hit Tokyo.

Here in Blasted Tokyo, Flynn experiences what the angels will accomplish if they win: Destroy the "Unclean Ones" of Tokyo, the city, and everything, so that the Eastern Kingdom of Mikado up above will stay under their rule and all humans are dissolved of the Original Sin, and kept innocent and derived of basic things such as knowledge and free will. Disgusted by this, we hunt down Pluto, a machine god that is poisoning Tokyo to try and finish the last few humans off, and destroy him. Here, we retrieve the controller back from a human in the shelter we found in the wasteland, and win ourselves another trip into the Expanse...

And after another conversation with the White, we end up in Infernal Toyko. Here, we are confronted by a demonoid who forces us to fight for him, and make him the "King of Tokyo". We fight our ways through even more demons, and back into Camp Ichigaya once again, slay Kenji, the King of Demons in this other future, and earn one last trip into the Expanse...

Here, Flynn is finally asked of the White to complete their one wish: Destroy the Reactor, and thus, create a black hole that will destroy the universe, and end everything!...Or, smartly, refuse them, and then be asked a question:

"Would you preserve the status quo, or destroy it?"

I hesitated at this part, and ended up pressing 'preserve', choosing to betray Walter. And then, I wake up in a monochrome forest with some odd man named Stephen who acts a lot like Steven Hawking, and tells me that I have opposed both sides by betraying Walter at the last moment. Finally! Now I don't have to enslave humanity, OR force demons into Tokyo and make things worse!

Flynn escapes the forest after slaying the White, utterly kicking their asses (I was pretty damn strong at this point), and upon returning to the normal world, Isabeau is waiting for him, and together, they revive the god Masakado, which Flynn achieves by bringing his katana to his resting place, which is his spiritual focus point. Then, the creature tells them that in order to remove the bedrock over Toyko, he needs three items: The Three Great Spirits, one of which is Hope, Goodwill, and Spite.

In order to receive Hope, you must complete a LARGE number of side quests that are now mandatory, but of course the game doesn't inform you which ones ARE the right ones. Eventually, when you complete the required quests, Flynn collects the Spirit of Hope, and brings it back to Masakado, who now travels with the two Samurai, leading them back up the Sky Tower and towards Mikado. But, wait, the Archangels have set up a dimensional portal to their Purgatorium instead! You battle your way through the angel's realm, and eventually meet with Jonathan, the bearer of the Great Spirit of Goodwill...Only to find out he has become God's Chariot, having sacrificed his body to the Archangels to become the being known as Merkabah.

The former allies fight it out, and eventually, Flynn and Isabeau defeat Merkabah, takes the Spirit, and returns to Mikado as a hero. Here, Isabeau regrettably leaves your party, and attempts to move all of the people out of Mikado and back down to Tokyo while Flynn heads to Camp Ichigaya one last time, and finds another dimensional portal that leads to Luficer's Palace. Fighting his way through the maze alone, he soon finds Walter, who has willingly fused with the Big Man Downstairs himself, Luficer!

Finally the final boss! This should be a hard fight! He has two phases, a large hp pool, I imagine! Merkabah was a bitch to kill, I can't wait to see how pain I'm in for now-

Sadly, I killed him in a single round of attacks. Four turns.

Turn 1: I Debilitated Luficer three times, and Luster Candy once on my team. He used a spell to reset it all and does some damage.

Turn 2: Debilitated again, buffed up. He attacks.

Turn 3: Everybody charges up. He attacks again.

Turn 4: Riot Gun, Riot Gun, Deadly Wind, Myriad Arrows x4, and one dead devil.

I was pissed, needless to say. Goddammit.

Anyway, after the final boss, Masakado consumes the Spirit of Goodwill and Spite, as collected by Flynn, and finally returns to his full size, destroying the bedrock above, and later, the final scene is of Tokyo's goddess being revived, and thanking Flynn...Who mysteriously looks a lot like Burroughs, your Gauntlet's AI! Spooky~

Final Synopsis?:

If I was to give this game a number score, I'd definitely give it anywhere from a 7.5 to a 8.5. It's not perfect because of some small issues here and there (I'm looking at you, World Map...And not getting the ability to fly until the veeeery end of the game, and only by getting a specific, random quest...And the CRUSHING, unfair difficulty at the very beginning (YOU CAN'T CHOOSE YOUR DIFFICULTY MODE UNTIL YOU'VE DIED TWICE FOR YHMV'S SAKE)), but it's a VERY solid game, and my first experience into the mainline SMT games. I adored the dark, futuristic atmosphere, the wonderful OST, the voice actors were amazing, and I fucking love the character's design. Lucifer, as amazing as he looked, was still a bit of a pushover however, as was Merkabah (Regrettably, he was a bit harder because he could instant kill your demons regardless of resistances or HP), and that hurts a little when you compare him to other incarnations, such as Lucifer in Nocturne from the True Demon Ending.

But, I still can't beat Red Rider at level 90.

Pictured below: Lucifer, Burroughs, Merkabah, and Flynn in the middle, to decide his role in the story.

____________________________________


So...How 'bout that Mighty No. 9?
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