the end of MegaTen as we know it


#1

Making this thread because I thought it was a halfway decent title. I guess it’s our Shin Megami Tensei IV Final / Apocalypse thread? I don’t have any input because I probably won’t play SMTIVA at least until I finish Nocturne, Strange Journey, DDS, DDS2, Raidou, Raidou 2, and SMTIV.

Actually here’s some input: bring back Kazuma Kaneko.


#2

me too! daunting as all hell


#3

Yep. What’s he doing these days?


#4

4A has a ‘winter’ release date in europe

i keep seeing screenshots of high-def kaneko demons from p5 and hoping for a ps4 smt5


#5

Kaneko’s supposedly still with Atlus. I never hear in what capacity. He was fairly present in Strange Journey’s production, and was responsible for some of SMTIV’s plot outline, but otherwise…?

Honestly good as P5 looks on its own, that was one of the hypest things when the first trailer dropped. They did go back to demons as enemies though, and Atlus is resource efficient…so here’s hoping!


#6

Eh, glory days of MegaTen are behind us, I am afraid. Only waifulands from now on. Not that I blame it solely on Atlus, tis the way of Nippon these days.

Kazuma Kaneko is probably involved, but wants to give the junior staff of the company more chances, I guess. Just like Shoji Meguro is handling only Persona from now on, and lets the younger composers oto the other stuff. Which I don’t mind, despite being my favorite composer I think he peaked with DDS and has become quite predictable in his compositions. SMTIV soundtrack was ballzer and it was handled by one of the juniors.


#7

I’ve always been vaguely interested in the SMT series

What are the highlights? How much of my life do I need to devote to these things to get the fun (or at least cool) parts?


#8

Well, common consensus seems to be start with Nocturne, which is what I’ve been playing at a couple hours a day pace for maybe a month now and I’m probably two-thirds through it, judging by the remaining holes in my equipment menu.

It’s pretty much awesome from the start. There’s a maybe fifteen minute intro segment on Nocturne but even that’s great and atmospheric.

Things to note:

  • you can reroll which skills demons inherit from their parents by deselecting and reselecting them on the fusion screen
  • buffs and debuffs are really good and important
  • shuffling demons on and off the bench is important

And everyone tells me to hold on to the original Pixie you get for some kind of late game bonus.


#9

I’ve only played through a handful of them, but the franchise as a whole has a reputation/history of being lengthy, grindy, and well above average difficulty.

So it depends upon the ones that interest you and what you’d consider fun or cool parts, but most of them require at least a couple hours to get into the actual systems and flow of things.

I’m not good at offering advice on where to start, other than Nocturne and Persona 3 for PS2 maybe.


#10

Oh, I’ve played P3 and P4 (though… I think I just sorta… stopped right at the end of both). I’ve gotten the impression that the Persona series of games are more character focused (via the daytime activities and S-Links) while the SMT games are more dungeon-crawl-y to the point where some are straight-up Wizardry variants. Is that accurate?


#11

They’re dungeon crawlers, more so than your average JRPG.

I don’t think there’s any grinding in the games. Mapping out the whole dungeon is a standard for dungeon crawlers, and as long as you do that, it’s all good.

Would suggest Nocturne as well, which is also arguably the best SMT game as well. Introduced the press-turn system that the earlier games lacked, and is stylistically the coolest and most cohesive as well.

DDS games are great, although somewhat more limited in their gameplay with not as much party variety. Story is more narrative heavy and melodramatic, but interesting setting and Kaneko’s designs elevate it way above over typical anime trash.

Kuzunoha games are interesting, but the most rough around the edges as well. The first game ties into earlier SMT games in a really cool way. Setting is very unusual for a JRPG though, so definitely worth a try.

P3&P4 are okay. I regard P3 pretty good, even though this marks the animu creep in the franchise. P4 was more of the same and while most people consider it superior due to pretty superficial improvements and/or subjective plot/style/character preferences, it is personally my least favorite MT game.

Want to get into P1 and P2 games as well, but the original PSX localized version is incomplete, and the PSP remake has godawful music compared to the audiological heaven of the original. P2 is supposedly the best Persona game.


#12

kaneko’s been sidelined ever since strange journey bombed since that was kind of his baby. i don’t think he’s done anything but scenario work and rough guidelines since. he’s getting old, too, he might just be having trouble keeping up nowadays.

bear in mind it’s also entirely possible kaneko’s been holding the franchise back too. they’re trying to find new footing with these new games, with a new generation of artists. they’re not going to hit the mark perfectly.

of course the new ones aren’t exactly progressive, either…


#13

I definitely disagree about Nocturne being grindy. That’s one of the things I really like about it. I’m playing in hard and I’ve never just sat there and grinded it. The game is really good at giving you the tools you need to get through bosses.

Other games I can’t speak on.


#14

pre-PS2 atlus games are all super duper grindy, although thanks to various glitches speedrun routes do exist for some of them (smt2 is the glitchiest)

they kind of took a different direction at that point, with greater emphasis on party composition, and it paid off for them


#15

Definitely piqued my interest in Nocture. I’d heard it was grindy and hard as hell, but I’ll have to finish P4 first…


#16

nocturne is grindy if you let it be grindy, but levels aren’t going to be what makes you win or lose, generally speaking

i would argue that if you’re a seasoned rpg player it’s not even that hard

the encounter rate is a bit frustrating at times but you don’t necessarily have to fight them all


#17

I’ve learnt to not trust anyone who tells you that post-Dragon Quest 1 JRPG’s are grindy. If you utilize all the shit given to you, especially in the case of Nocturne, there’s no need to grind whatsoever. It does expect you to just map out most of the dungeon, of course, but that’s pretty much the basic gameplay loop of this genre.

I think it’s just that most JRPGs are pretty shit at demanding the player to git gud or ask to utilize any of the items/abilities so that when people do hit a wall, they tend to just alleviate this with grinding.


#18

Oh yeah, something cool you can do is talk demons away if you have one of the same species in your party or on your bench. Which I found to be pretty important early in the game when I didn’t have the resources to fight everything.


#19

Strange Journey is a very interesting game. I would recommend it if you’re into dystopian science-fiction and don’t mind first-person dungeon crawlers. It is hypnotizing to uncover the symmetry of the dungeons. But it has many things going for it.

I couldn’t get into Nocturne much. I think it’s because I played it after the modern Megaten games. If it’s your first then you’ll probably like it more.


#20

Yeah when it comes to “grind” I was talking about how people see SMT games a lot, alongside them being time consuming and requiring of your attention. Not them actually demanding repeated battles for leveling and drops, necessarily. The encounter rates and steep difficulty can make it seem padded, but knowing the systems and general patience balances out most of it.

I really want to playthrough Strange Journey again… what a nerve-wracking and awesome experience.