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12-06-22 11:09 PM
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Xeogaming Forums - Gaming Discussion - Let's talk about: Shin Megami Tensei. | |
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Kard Ayals
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Posted on 11-06-10 06:41 PM Link | Quote
"What?", most of you must be thinking this. I wouldn't surprised, as this series isn't quite well known.

For those of you who know what SMT is, this is going to refer to both the main series (Nocturne, etc) and its spinoffs.


So, what is SMT? It is a series of RPG. Turn based, for the most part. So you might be thinking "not another boring turned based RPG".

Nope, not this one. In a nutshell, I'd say that most SMT games are "very dark themed Pokemon games". Not that it's very much like Pokemon, but you do have hundreds of monsters you can get in each game. More on that later.

So... dark themed? Very much so. Happiness usually doesn't last long in these games. I'll also get on that later.

So, on the gameplay. I'll focus on the core gameplay, which is more or less shared by most SMT games.

You generally get to control 4 characters (or monsters, or both) against enemies. Then enters the "Press Turn" system (and it's variants). Each character (or enemy) has a single action. However, if you attack and hit someone with its weakness or get a critical, you'll get an additional action. In some games, you can repeat this process if you do the same against different foes (basically, hit monster 1 with weakness -> additionnal action, hit monster 2 -> another action, etc). Obviously, they can do the same to you.

With such a system, you won't always be able to win by mashing X a bunch of times. In fact, you'll have to do some work, try to cover your weaknesses, get magic to hit the enemies' weaknesses. You'll also have to choose how you use your magic. I'll see to get videos of that, a bit later on. Oh, and your main character dying = game over.

Seems simple, but the battle system makes these games quite good already.

But it's not all. I'll admit SMT isn't known for having the best plots, it's not that bad. But I'll go over that while I talk a bit about individual games.

But now: the music. I'll even make a separate thread for this. Shoji Meguro is a god. That is all.

On to the individual games (those I've played at least):

SMT3: Nocturne
What it is known for: In the past, it was known for its rarity and high price on eBay (but it has dropped with re-issues). It is also known for its difficulty.

I'm not lying. That thing's hard mode is unforgiving. The first battle has a 50% chance of killing you, by the way.

System: Press Turn System, maximum of two actions for any character (boss or some specials have/grant more). Get monsters to join your party, fuse them to get new monsters (and new skills)

What it is about: In most games, you fight to save the world. Not in this one. Within 10 minutes of a new game, the world is destroyed. It's up to you to remake it as you see fit. Six different endings depending on your allignement. Not much to the plot, lots of dungeon crawling.

Digital Devil Saga
What it is known for: out of all SMT spinoffs, it is one of the closest to a "true" SMT. Digital Devil Saga 2 is also know for having one of the hardest bonus boss of all times.

System: Press Turn System, once again. Party is much more like a traditionnal RPG, but can train your characters in any skill tree. In DDS2, characters have their human form and their demon form (and half-demon, but that's something you can't choose). You can devour other demons to gain strenght.

What it is about: Hard to talk about without any spoilers, since DDS2 is a sequel.

Persona 3
What it is known for: kinda beginning friendly, 'dark' story. Social link system.

System: battle system is what I was describing earlier. You aren't limited to a single if you keep hitting weaknesses on different monsters. But as a whole, this game comes with a twist. You have two phases: day and night. During the day, you'll go to school, spend time with people, do a bunch of stuff. This part is kinda dating sim-like. Not that you'll do a whole bunch of dating. But still, your main character has a bunch of stats related to his social life. This is the Social Link System. The more S-Links you have, and the higher their level, the better. S-Links allow you to be stronger for the RPG part.

So, as you can guess, night is where you will fight (if you desire). At night you can go in a dungeon called "Tartarus" (the only dungeon, but has 200+ floors). Each character has a Persona, which is kinda like a monster. Characters will summon them to use magic, or any skill. Each Persona has a skill set, their weakness and strength to elements. Main character can have more than one, switch in-battle. Again, for the main character, you'll be able to fuse Personas. That way, they can inherit skills, you can get better ones too. You'll spend quite a bit of time trying to figure out what Persona you want, and what skills you want it to have.
In all versions of P3 (aside from PSP), you only control your main character, AI controls the others (you can give them 'strategies' to follow).

What it is about: There are quite a few versions of the game, but basically: dating sim at day and RPG at night.

Persona 4
See Persona 3, but you can control all characters. Different plot, and it's not a direct sequel, so you can play it as stand-alone.

Devil Summoner
I only know about the Raidou ones, but they aren't turn based. Bit harder to explain, and this post is getting quite long already.


Sooooooooo.... why this thread? More people need to know of SMT, and if you happen to like JRPGs but are tired of those damn generic games, SMT is the way to go.
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Posted on 11-06-10 08:37 PM Link | Quote
Honestly, I can't agree on the part where people say it's 'not well known'.

If you're a gamer, even if you haven't played the titles, you've probably at least run across the Persona series in your travels once or twice before with people talking about it. Usually 3 and 4. The series has been going on the Famicom since the late 80s.

There's quite a few variants of the game, and there's probably a game with an Action or RPG player that they'll enjoy. All of them tend to have a nice difficulty curve with them, though. Some more than others.
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Posted on 11-06-10 08:41 PM Link | Quote
I honestly haven't see that many people who would recognize SMT. If anything, it's definitely not a big title. Not in North America, at least.
Hiryuu

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Posted on 11-06-10 08:46 PM Link | Quote
Eh.

I had heard about it way back around the time Persona 2 came out on the PSX but I never pursued it. It wasn't until '07 or '08 that I sat down with Persona 3 FES.

And it's been history ever since.
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Posted on 11-07-10 01:33 AM Link | Quote
Just finished Revelations for the umpteenth time, now going to start Persona 3 or 4. I've played a bit of 4 but didn't really get much into it at the time.

As far as awesome games? Digital Devil Saga was fan-freaking-tastic!


(Last edited by Lord Nelrith the Badass on 11-07-10 01:33 AM)
Xeoman

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Posted on 11-07-10 01:39 AM Link | Quote
My issues with the games:

- Very rare and expensive.
- I usually hear people have like 100-200 hours at least on them. lol

Someday I wanna check them out though. Actually I have Persona 4 but never really did much with it...
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Posted on 11-07-10 07:29 AM Link | Quote
Persona 3: FES and Persona 4 probably are the easiest to find. And FES is really cheap (I think it cost me $30).

There's also the PSP versions, if you want to try it out.
天国JOE

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Posted on 11-15-10 05:37 AM Link | Quote
Originally posted by Xeus
I usually hear people have like 100-200 hours at least on them. lol
Yeah but even after 80 hours you don't want it to end. That's their magic.
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Posted on 11-16-10 12:30 AM Link | Quote
This is one of those few RPGs I never picked up in the PS2 era of videogames. I was never turned off by it or anything. It's just it never caught my attention.

But I have a good friend who plays this religiously and has told me countless times to pick this game up. Only problem is that I gave my PS2 to my closest friend of mine. And he needed it more than I did. So in the future I will be sure to pick this game up.

Now, I have played a demo of it on my PSP back before it was stepped on. And I have to say I love the system and social aspect of the game. It's very well done and it's something I came attached with.

But everyone that I have talked to has said the series was very good. And they like the same kinda RPG's as I do. So I'm gonna suggest this game. Even though I never played it; I would pick it up in a heartbeat.
Hiryuu

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Posted on 12-14-10 09:36 PM Link | Quote
I've picked it up yet again because of getting a PSP a few weeks ago; dropped P3P on it. Fairly good streamline and it's relatively decent for how much they 'took out' of the game (honestly, it's walking around on a map replaced to moving a cursor around on the map - some of us vets actually appreciate it a little more so we don't have to waste time).

I don't think you'll spend more than 100 in a game of P3/4 normally unless you're a completionist. Most people can usually tear it down for a good majority in 60-80. I think my P3 initial save had 130 and I take my RPGs that I really like seriously.

Disgaea 1 and 3 got way more time out of me in comparison (300 each, at least).
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Posted on 12-15-10 06:47 PM Link | Quote
Originally posted by Hiryuu
Fairly good streamline and it's relatively decent for how much they 'took out' of the game (honestly, it's walking around on a map replaced to moving a cursor around on the map - some of us vets actually appreciate it a little more so we don't have to waste time).



YES.

Oh god, that helps so freaking much.

I haven't played in forever now. But lol school, I guess
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