|Game Name||Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey|
Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey is a RPG video game published by Atlus released on March 23rd, 2010 for the Nintendo DS.
Review by LordZemus:
Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey is a Turn-based dungeon-crawler RPG (but dungeon exploring isn’t it’s strong point) in which we take the role of a nameless soldier (not so nameless after you give him first and second name ) that travels together with the best elite soldiers the world has to offer to investigate the Schwartzwelt (Black World in German) , a gigantic black hole that appeared in the South Pole .
Just when you enter the place with your three specialized vessels , you all get separated and the A.I. computer informs the crew of your vessel (in mathematical gibberish ) that getting in the Schwartzwelt was easy , but getting out will be a perilous Odyssey through mazes plagued with creatures men only knew in dreams , lore and religion : demons , youkai , gods , angels and many more.
First of all , let’s get something straight : you’re weak and literally a burden to the team ( if the main character dies even if the rest of the team is alive , it’s Game Over) , but you have a couple of things in your possession that will make up for it … or at least not embarrass yourself:
- The Demonica , your cutting-edge armor suit that grows along with its user and can be equipped with a variety of apps that will prolongate your life span a little bit more .In the beginning you have to answer a couple of questions the armor A.I. makes you that will determine for the rest of the game what main stat you will be good at (strength , luck…).
- Demon Summoning & Demon Fusion & Compendium: when you all arrive to the Schwartzwelt , a mysterious individual hijacked your Demonicas and installed a couple of programs that you will have to abuse if you want to survive : Demon Summoning will allow you to set demons as your party members , to get them , you must talk with them in battle and gain their favor , but be careful , some will trick you and backstab you when you lower your guard or even outright ignore you (this can be solved with a couple of Demonica apps ) ; Demon Fusion will allow you to fuse 2 demons into a new one who will inherit part of the skills from its parents ( be warned , to fuse a demon , the child demon must have the same or lower level as your character and accidents may happen ) ; finally , the compendium lets you register the demons you posses in your team at that moment ( update it frequently or whenever you get a new demon , fused or recruited ) , you can then view their stats , lore and even summon them again in exchange for coin if you lose them.
- Forma , enemy drops and shop : even with demons by your side , you’re still weak , therefore collect forma (gem-like substances ) to create consumables , enemy drops to create equipment and visit the shop often.
- Alignment :there are 3 = chaotic , neutral and lawful , this affects 2 aspects of the game : teammenbers with the same affinity can make co-op attacks ; the other one is the game ending , depending on the phrase you choose before a boss battle , your alignment will change.
Despite I mentioned that it is a dungeon crawler , it really isn’t , when going through the mazes , it autopmaps automatically and there aren’t any real puzzles to solve and you transition to a battle screen in random encounters , and to further complicate things you can’t edit the map to point out clues (you have to remember or write down in paper places of interest and paths , specially with random teleportation near end game). The real charm lies in demon fusion actually : you fuse more and more demons to overcome your trials and the Compedium acts like a pokedex/vending machine (I’m quite addicted to fuse more and more demons and see all their trivia ), personally I was fascinated with all of the demon sprites and art created by Kazuma Kaneko (I will never understand why he always colours the upper lips black ) and all the trivia that came with all the demons , seriously , I’m near end game and I only have registered about 40% of them (where the hell are the rest of them?!?).
This game will definetly charm those people with interest in RPGs and even more to those that love to collect and fill the blank pages of the Compendium with every demon they can find.
P.S. I tried to Google some images for this review and I was insta spoiled the endings , be careful.