Why fight demons when you can talk them down to joining your quest? This idea is one of the driving forces behind combat in Shin Megami Tensei IV with a number of refinements over the previous titles.
Developed for Nintendo’s 3DS platform, Shin Megami Tensei IV (translated to True Goddess Reincarnation IV) is the fifth video game to grace the franchise with a similar post-apocalyptic setting to the previous adventures. Following the journey of Samurai Flynn who protects the Kingdom of Mikado from hostile demon attacks players quickly find themselves entrenched in the way between angelic and demonic forces.
Aiding in this adventure are three protagonists that represent the paths that players can take; law, chaos and neutrality. While these characters feel lacking because of this single purpose it does not distract too heavily from the rest of the gameplay.
What this entails is navigating the overworld map as Flynn through a mix of 2D and 3D environments. Along the way you’ll take on various quests which are a mixture of mandatory and optional in traditional RPG fashion. This isn’t where the standard features of role playing titles end either with the usual level up systems, equipment and items to find and purchase through the in game currency of macca.
Battles are not entirely randomised in Shin Megami Tensei IV, which is good news for most modern day gamers who are continuing to turn away from randomised encounter titles. Instead Shin Megami Tensei IV lets players strike an enemy (giving you an advantage), alternatively if a monster runs into your side or from behind you’ll find yourself at disadvantage. Players can not run from battles unless an easy mode has been activated (only by dying repeatedly).
Once a battle is started you’ll find yourself in a familiar turn based interface where you can instruct each party member to perform an action against your demon foes. The unique features in this battle system include an emphasis on exploiting opponent weaknesses which can provide an extra battle turn for critical hits and in turn puts the attacker in Smirk status, which boosts damage and removes their weakness completely.
Most interesting though is the demon recruitment where players can communicate with demons rather than fighting. By doing so via flattery, threats and bribery you can recruit them into your service (over 400 available). Fusing this demons is also possible to turn them into new powerful forms for your party.
- Recruit demons by talking to them instead of fighting.
- Fuse recruited demons together for new party members.
- Explore a large world with various main and side quests.
- Three supporting characters with their own path to follow.
- For the Nintendo 3DS.
Review Platform: 3DS