• Publisher: Atlus
  • Release Date: Jul 16, 2013
User Score
8.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 169 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 20 out of 169

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  1. Jul 16, 2013
    10
    we have waited nearly a decade for shin megami tensei 4 and while I would Have loved for it to be on non hand held console I can see why they did not do so. The visuals and style are great for the 3ds but not so much a big hdtv. But i am digging the characters and the game so far. Love rpgs or things Japan get this game this is one of the most own titles for this neat little Nintendo console. plus this and fire emblem get you a 30 dollar e shop credit!!!! Expand
  2. Jul 16, 2013
    9
    This is one of the best 3ds games out right now. If you are looking for a great rpg then look no further than this game. I got the special edition which came with a guide and a cd which was well worth the extra Ten dollars. If you are new to the series no worries this is a new story for the series. do your self a favor and buy this one.
  3. Jul 21, 2013
    10
    At first, looking at videos and coverage from various websites, I was a little put off by the demon animations being that they look almost like gifs, but oh boy how wrong was I when I started playing it and in 3D. The backgrounds are totally tri dimensional, the world is perfectly designed, and it has this grim, dark vibe attached to it. The music is incredible, it gives this almost horror like feeling with a retro touch to it (if you played previous old school SMT, you'll know what I mean). It also houses more than 400 demons, 400!! Which upscales the replayability of the title by a lot, not to mention the 4 endings, cheap priced DLC and almost 40-50 hours of gameplay already included. It is a must have for RPG fans, especially Megaten fans. I really can't stop playing it, go buy it NOW. Expand
  4. Jul 21, 2013
    10
    Amazing 4th installment of the SMT series. Kinda upset to see such strange comparisons and laughable ones as well such as; "This game is the Dark Souls of Persona" or "this isn't a waifu simulator I'm disapointed." What makes this game shine is it's dark vibe, intense difficulty, old school dungeon crawling, fantastic graphics and beautiful sprites, a fantastic soundtrack, as well as an engrossing surreal apocalyptic story.

    I highly recommend this game to anyone who is a fan of old school JRPG's or anyone who is up for a challenge in general.

    Graphics: 8/10 great spritework and excellent third person exploring. More sprite animation would be nice though.

    gameplay: 10/10 old school JRPG goodness

    audio: 9/10 fantastic soundtrack, and great voice acting.

    lasting appeal: 10/10 seriously I see myself losing at least over a hundred hours to this game just trying to unlock everything.

    Do yourself a favor and buy this game.
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  5. Jul 18, 2013
    7
    I am 7 hours into the game and I am still not sure what the point is. Are the demons making a come back? The characters on the other hand are very fun and lead the story along very nicely. The battle system is a bit complicated and feels over done, but once you get used to it you begin to enjoy it a lot. Capturing demons is horrible and the worst feature of the game, "stop stealing my stuff demons!!" I am enjoying this game so far and it will hopefully continue to improve as I grow used to the SMT mechanics. I recommend giving this game a go if you can get it on sale as I did. $20 after the $30 rebate, already had Fire Emblem. I would not pay $50 for it though. Expand
  6. Dec 5, 2013
    4
    Being a huge Shin Megami fan, I originally rated this title a 7 due to it's clunky PS1 style dungeon controls and shallower story than SMTIII. After some more time with this title I am dropping my score to a 4. The level design is horrible, you should not need to use a guide or walkthrough to get through a game, but there is never a clear path to the next goal, and random encounters are pretty much unavoidable. You can only have 1 active mission at a time, so a simple marker on the map would have made this a much easier experience. In the dungeons, you move with the analog stick, but if you want to go up or down a simple ramp or ladder, you have to use the D-pad, and then go through a confirmation screen, just to get a visible item on top of a box. Aside from the 3DS visuals, there is nothing about this game that feels like it came out in 2013. It's nice to see a new roster of demons, but many seem uninspired. The music is not even as good as previous SMT titles. The story is also pretty bland for the SMT universe. If you are a hardcore jrpg fan or smt fan, you will do what you need to get through this title, but it feels like a step backwards for the series, which is a shame. Expand
  7. Jul 17, 2013
    9
    A pretty good game. Surprisingly good graphics. Was a bit worried of the fps styled battle system, but I actually find the battles rather good and wasn't as bad as I thought. The spell effects is nice and challenging enough to keep you at your toes, with these 2 strong points, the fps battles are negligible (was never a fan of fps RPG battles...I wished it was fully modeled but it's not as boring in this game). Interesting and dark story line. For those who pre-ordered the collector edition, you will be given a walkthrough as well. This walk through helps out immensely as it also points out enemy weaknesses. Hard to imagine how many times I will be getting wiped if not for the walkthrough. Expand
  8. BFP
    Jul 26, 2013
    9
    Oh... my... gawd... where can I get more of this?!
    Granted, I haven't been a fan of the SMT meta-series for very long (just really discovered it in the last couple of years), but I can say that I absolutely LOVE this game. Even while it smashes me over the head with its old-school difficulty. It hates because it loves, as far as I'm concerned.

    Visuals are top-notch, both in the 2D and
    the 3D departments; each demon has its own unique look, and the characters are distinct and vibrant. For the first time in the series there is voice acting (and quite a bit of it too!), and all of it is top-notch, as expected of Atlus if only the script weren't so bland in spots, but its mostly overcome by the emotion presented through the VA's. Finally, battles are fast-paced and frantic as hell; as mentioned, the Press Turn combat system is unforgiving, and even a small mistake or misstep can really screw you over, making this game feel -REALLY- apocalyptic.

    The only complaints I can fling at SMT4 is that it doesn't get off the ground fast enough it took me about 10 hours before I finally got into the main area of the game, but I did a lot of messing around as well. Newcomers will find themselves being pummeled from the very beginning with the game's unwavering difficulty most of which seems to be a case of "Nefarious RNG Gods". Everything about the Press Turn combat system comes down to finding the opponent's weaknesses and exploiting the living out of them; the game rewards those that find the weak spots, and punishes those that lag behind. Given that there's absolutely NO defense stat in this game, you can easily get party-wiped by a bad run, or worse yet, rotten luck.

    Still... the first couple of actual main story bosses are battles of attrition; if you don't know what you need to bring to each fight, you'll likely be sent home crying. Many, many times. Most likely you'll have to redo these battles multiple times before you squeak through. However, when you do break through you'll feel triumphant for a bit... right up until you realize the game is only just starting.

    SMT games have never been for the faint of heart, but the fourth entry in the flagship namesake series is all but a meatgrinder if you go in expecting a cakewalk and free drinks at the beginning. Simply put, there is no hand-holding; its an adventure for those that crave a real challenge. Anyone who claims otherwise is lying.
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  9. Jul 24, 2013
    9
    SMT IV being my first entry into the MegaTen series (spinoffs included), I only expected a few superficial concepts: demon collecting, dark atmosphere, and teenage/young adult main characters. I hope this review can make others who are newcomers to the series think carefully about playing this game.I am about 20 hours into the game, and I feel like I have seen enough of it to write this review. For those who are accustomed to this series, please be gentle as I am not an expert and am ignorant of many features.

    Gameplay:
    The gameplay is turn-based, but has a lot of depth which lends itself to the variety of strategies which one can utilize in any given battle. Each demon has its own elemental affinities and ailment affinities, as well as the ability to learn nearly any type of skill through demon fusion. Such skills can be "whispered" (more on that later) to your main character, giving him a great assortment to complement your demons. It also allows you to mix things up on the fly if you're having trouble against a boss. Smirks add a lot to the combat and can occur via critical hits (via the luck stat or using a skill which is super effective). As far as I know, these increase the damage next turn for that character and defend him/her from damage if the enemy attacks. You have four characters which comprise your "Party": the main character (you), and three demons of your choosing. You also have a "Stock" with which you can swap out members of your party. You can upgrade your Stock to increase the number of demons you can carry, but I am unsure of the limits. I have currently upgraded to 13 slots in my stock. The demons in your stock earn EXP, but at a slower rate than your party members. This is just one reason why demon fusion (discussed in features) is so critical. The main character can use items, varying from basic healing items to items which mimic full-blown attacks, which helps characters lacking in elemental attacks. Your demons are not capable of such a feat unless they learn a skill which allows them to use items. You can "pass" your turn to the next character in your party. This is useful for many reasons, the most basic being to avoid using an ineffective attack.

    When all is said and done, the most critical point of gameplay is perhaps conversing with demons. This allows you to bring them onto your team as allies. Sometimes they will steal your life, items, or MP, and won't even join your side. Other times, they will immediately join you after you have slayed their companions. You can even ask them for Macca (in-game currency) and earn additional XP for successful conversations.

    Finally, this is a game of exploration. Exploration occurs in third-person and you will often encounter demons who will immediately charge upon your approach. You can avoid these encounters with swift maneuvers, but often times the XP is more than worth the trouble avoiding them. You loot treasure chests and unlock new areas through exploration.

    Features (Menu-Based):
    1) Skill Whispering:
    This feature has been one of the most useful I've seen from any RPG: the ability to copy attacks from your demons. As previously mentioned, this gives the main character a wide array of skills to choose from and suits your needs for any situation. Each demon has a specific level at which they can whisper skills to you. Once you have learned the skill, other demons can whisper the same skill again to increase its potency and decrease its cost to use.
    2) Cathedral of Shadows
    One of my favorite features of the game. With it, you can do one of two things: demon fusion, or use the compendium. Demon fusion consists of choosing two or more demons and combining them to create another. Simple, right? Well, it's made simpler with the recommended fusions, but it is very in depth. Upon fusion, the parents provide skills to pass down to the product. This allows a huge amount of variety in the skillsets of the demon you're producing. Because you can keep fusing demons over and over again, you can get the exact skills you want on any given demon. The demon compendium allows you to acquire the demons you've aligned yourself with, something which I have used a few times after fusion to get back the parent demons.
    3) Character Customization
    Like other RPGs, you can outfit your main character with gear possessing elemental affinities and special properties. You can also specify which stats you want to specialize in after leveling up.
    4) Apps
    Apps are paid for by leveling up your character to earn App Points. You can spend these on passive buffs. Some of these include increasing your stock capacity, the ability to ask for Macca from demons, and increasing the stat points a demon earns upon leveling up. There are a TON of apps.

    I have never been so enthralled by a RPG. I've played my fair share, but this is the first where the gameplay truly grabs me. It is a deep and rewarding game, with beautiful presentation and a wealth of variety in strategy.
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  10. Oct 14, 2013
    9
    If you can see past the inherent hardcore RPG tendencies, generally linear story, and glaring plot holes that start building only an hour or two in, this is a great game and one of the best on the 3DS.

    Pros: great graphical presentation in character and environmental art. Memorable soundtrack (very reminiscent of 90's sci-fi PC games). Voice acting (for the most part most minor
    characters are laughable, such as the guy who charges you Macca to cross a bridge, and a young woman who is clearly voiced by a man). Hardcore gameplay, and the familiar SMT battle formula exploit the enemy's weakness, and don't get exploited yourself.

    Cons: navigation becomes a nightmare if you aren't intimately familiar with Tokyo. Most quests are breadcrumb-type quests that lack the breadcrumbs you're told to go somewhere, and rarely given any indication on how to get there. Some may find the old school battle presentation lacking, while others will find it charming (very similar to Devil Survivor; your party of demons is not visually represented on-screen, while enemies and attacks are lightly-animated sprites.) Finally (without giving too much away,) your party is thrust hundreds of years into the future, from a medieval kingdom into a post-apocalyptic Tokyo. Your party is hardly amazed, let alone confused at their surroundings and all of this new technology. It's something that bugged me for my entire time spent with this game; for example, they'll be intrigued by "strange food" served at Tokyo's various taverns, but have no problem operating elevators and watching surveillance videos on an HDTV monitor.
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  11. Jul 17, 2013
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I'm a big fan of Shin Megami Tensei series and I think SMT 4 is awesome .Though the dungeon map looks a little simple and crude .The demons are good as always and the control are comfortable .So I give 10 for it Expand
  12. Nov 6, 2013
    6
    There are comparisons out there between Pokemon and SMT. I can understand the comparisons to a certain degree, and as someone who had not played a SMT game before this one, I consider their similarities to be limited. In Pokemon, you recruit a team that you develop and strengthen, choosing your strengths and weaknesses explicitly. In SMT, you recruit demons, which you subsequently fuse into other demons. There is no demon that you can keep with you from beginning to end- this game is not meant for that. As for strengths and weaknesses, you can take steps in this game to eliminate almost all weaknesses. What I mean is this: by the end of the game, all my demons were almost clone copies of each other. The most effective strategy involves trying to give as many of your demons as many different elemental attacks as possible so you can abuse the system to get as many attacks as you can. So I had multiple demons all with Cold, Fire, Lightning, etc.-based attacks so that they could be effective against any enemy. When I fused a cool demon, it was sad knowing that he would be useless in 3 levels and I would just fuse him into another demon, who may or may not resemble anything from a children’s toy to a geographic landmark. The evolutions that are available in the game are somewhat exciting, but they’re rare to find, and the evolutions don’t always make sense. The story in the game is fairly lackluster, and I really disliked having to navigate myself through Tokyo on my own. You have to remember where all the locations are, and even then- the quests have a way of not letting you know exactly where you need to be. I spent a good deal of time lost and having to look up guides online to see where I needed to go next. Overall, my experience with this game was fairly negative- the unique combat system was interesting, but it was also repetitive. Fusing demons was cool when you got cool demons, but most of the time the best demons were ridiculous-looking. I’d have been better off replaying Fire Emblem. Expand
  13. Jul 18, 2013
    10
    this is by no means an easy game. you will die often in the beginning till you can recruit a team of at least 3 demons. those that can get pass that part are in for a treat as this game had production value written all over it. demons look great and the story thus far is interesting to say the least. if you are new to jrpgs you might want to stay clear of this one as the learning curve is pretty high however the game does do a great jop of explaining everything. Expand
  14. Jul 25, 2013
    9
    The story is sufficiently enthrilling to keep you engaged and the mix of both monster recruiting and quest system makes the game to feel like an evil, more mature "Pocket Monster Hunter" game.

    The gameplay also winks on these two great franchises (Pokémon and MonHun), like scavenging for delivery items and finding which type of attack is super effective (and which is weak) against
    which demon, still the push turn system is (as long as I know) an inheritance from previous "New Goddess Reborn" games.

    The difficult level is rather high. Kinda reminded me of Dragon Quest 1 (Dragon Warrior in America) even demons 10 levels down from you can get you in some trouble if you're not careful.

    Overall, a great RPG and a must for fans of the genre.
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  15. Jul 19, 2013
    10
    I've had this game for a couple of days when I saved I was absolutely amazed to see my playtime has already clocked in at about 11 hours. I can't remember the last time I was this absorbed in a game. The fighting system is one of the most enjoyable, in depth, and intricate I've come across in some time. It's getting knocked big time by some reviewers for the somewhat weak story. It isn't terrible, just fairly minimalist. It's a portable game, so keep that in perspective. In any case, if I'm having this much fun playing a game, it's doing its job. Trust me, if you have a 3DS and you're up for a challenge, you want this. Expand
  16. Oct 21, 2013
    10
    Once again another great Jrpg on Nintendo's AWESOME handheld. I just got done giving a great review to Pokemon X, but I decided to give Shin Megami Tensei IV also a my review. in a few short words all I can say is this game is also another winner in my book. I've been a huge SMT fan for awhile now, but so far I haven't seen many great jrpg's until this and just a few other titles. Atlus Rocks it out again with a Stellar title. Expand
  17. Feb 16, 2014
    4
    This is a title in the series that doesn't feel like it made the jump to hand held well, considering SMT 3 (Nocturne) was on the ps2. It doesn't so much borrow game mechanics from other titles under the SMT banner as it does cobble them together into something vaguely similar. In a cruel ironic way, SMT Strange Journey feels more like SMT 4 than SMT 4 does. The controls are in desperate need of another analogue stick to direct the camera in the dungeons, and the high demon roster count that they tout so much is unapologetically padded from assets in prior games, with very little originality to call it's own. The in game currency feels pointlessly subversive, till I realized "buy the macca grinding DLC" was the primary help many FAQ sites offered. The game's atmosphere is said to be more "desolate" than prior games, but I don't buy that either when compared to SMT3. The long and short of it is SMT4 doesn't do SMT gameplay well. It feels like the game is a modified engine of other SMT spin-off titles like Devil Survivor, rather than the gameplay mechanics SMT core has to offer. I could only recommend the game to fans already invested in SMT titles. SMT 4 is not a game I would offer up to a newcomer to the genre, which is sad since the series deserves more coverage than it gets. Expand
  18. Jul 27, 2013
    10
    I can't even being to explain how much I love this game! I bought the 3DS XL just for this game (also got Fire Emblem which I haven't even started yet). Even though I consider the 3DS a pile of dung (OMG the battery life is stupid bad); regardless, it was worth every dime just to play this game! If you like Nocturne or any of the SMT games...then this is a must have. Can't stop playing.

    Warning: it is very difficult at first, but gets way easier when you get going...don't give up.
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  19. Aug 31, 2013
    9
    The best RPG on the 3DS to date. When I beat the game, I clocked in at about 70 hours. That whole time I was impressed by the smooth battle system and pretty consistent challenge that the game offered.
    Yes, the characters were rather flat throughout, but the world built around them was deep and layered and I caught myself feeling real emotion in the story. Most games I play nowadays can't
    even make me laugh.
    Great game, definite buy. If you want a heavily-packed experience then you've come to the right place.
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  20. Aug 16, 2013
    10
    The value in this game is impressive. If you like RPG games, your 3ds, and thought Fire Emblem was good (compared to this it's boring) you should go buy this.
  21. Jul 30, 2013
    8
    Shin Megami Tesnei IV is a deep game held back by its flat characters and a story that isn't all that great. Where SMT really stands out is in it gameplay and setting; The demon fusing is as deep as ever. It's a very addicting game where it does have its tedious moments and isn't nearly as hard as some people make it out to be. While the story isn't all that great I found myself enjoying it nevertheless, there's a couple plot twists that really make up for the lack of narrative. It's a deep game, that I found myself asking "Is this really on a handheld?" on a consistent basis. It's a must for any JRPG fan. Expand
  22. Jul 30, 2013
    10
    I have played this game for nearly 50 hours. The game is somewhat repetitive and there are some annoying parts of the game, like the way enemies rush at you while you are trying to read a map that is not available in a paused state. This is my favorite game available on the 3DS platform at this time. This is a huge upgrade over Strange Journey, and (from what I have been told) there are significant refinements since Nocturne that have stream-lined gameplay for the better. All I know is that this game is super-addictive. I did not finish Strange Journey (or any other SMT game), but I am looking forward to completing this and probably more than once for the multiple endings. Behold, my demons! Expand
  23. Aug 6, 2013
    10
    cant say anything bad about a game this good! I absolutely loved it! loved it! it was fun and engrossing. i still cant put my stylus down without thinking- hm i hope Charon isn't going to overcharge me again! haha.
  24. Aug 7, 2013
    10
    Worth every money I spent in this game, its very addictive, long time game play, and whats important its replayable. I got the limited edition and the book very good. This a must have game for every RPG lover.
  25. Sep 4, 2013
    9
    Shin Megami Tensei games don't know how to be bad games to the people who are loyal to the franchise and genre. They are gods among games. This one was no exception. The game has that unique japanese manga fiction storyline and story telling that fans of JRPG's flock to and the pokemon meets final fantasy gameplay that everyone else devour. The graphics were great and the 3D really brings it to life. One of the best things I found was how accessible this title is to gamers new to shin megami games. It not only comes with a paraphrased guide book, it manages to walk you through the game and its mechanics while not holding your hand the whole time and giving you the toddler treatment. They even added a lower difficulty option which is normally damned. I think its a great option for those who see the genre and want to get into it nice and easy. Expand
  26. May 27, 2014
    6
    Being a European, I have not been able to play this game yet, and knowing Atlus, I never will, however, to avoid missing out I watched many YouTube clips of the game, and in my opinion it is one of the best Pokemon games yet, the game begins with you playing as an anime who has became a pokemon man, and the female protagonist of another Pokemon Strange Journey has started to turn everyone into Europeans, meaning you must stop female protagonist of Strange Journey from making more Europeans, because if you don't, Atlus will have to eventually release the game for PAL territories.

    The game has the good old Law and Chaos paths instead of the whiny Emo Reasons that the antagonists in the game had, apart from Hikawa, he was cool.
    The Chaos path has you side with the evil Europe fanbase as you set out to destroy the the NA region.
    The Law path however has you side with the NA and wipe Europe out, then everyone is happy and plays Persona 4 area.
    I decided to watch the Chaos ending myself.

    Not as good as Persona 2, that one had Hitler in it, other than that Chie is best girl and you're waifu sucks and Europe does not exist.
    I give it a six.
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  27. Nov 9, 2013
    9
    As usual, MegaTen delivers on its promise of unrelenting demon collection and RPG action. This game isn't for everyone. Whiny people who can't handle a challenge will almost certainly shrivel away and go back to their Grand Theft Auto and CoD almost immediately, but then again, this game wasn't made for them (This comment is directed towards ragingmerifes, whose gaming profiles are pathetic and opinions should not be taken seriously. A zero? What a moron). The 3DS has a lot of great role-playing games, and this one easily stands among the best of them. However, a certain degree of patience is required to progress. Rush into a new area and you could find yourself getting hosed in seconds flat. So, the learning curve is steep, but don't be scared. The graphics are great by handheld standards, the story is interesting, if a bit convoluted, and fusing demons is satisfying. Play this game. Expand
  28. Dec 13, 2013
    10
    This is one of the most engaging game I ever played. The game's plot is also greatly developed. I find myself confused on who to align with as I loved all the characters. But the area where this game shines the most is the demon collecting and fusion. Great game and for someone who hasn't played any Shin Megami Tensei game before, this game is totally a great game for the newbies as an introductory game. The difficulty may overwhelm you but that's just a classic trademark of SMT games. Expand
  29. Jul 25, 2014
    6
    Only for fans. That's the sad truth of this game. And even then, only Hardcore Fans will find this game suitable to their tastes. As it is quite difficult to do anything. Earn money, "macca" is so difficult that you need the DLC to grind money, and even then, it's not a mission that can be done early in the game, you have to advance quite a bit to be able to beat the enemies that drop the items to sell.

    leveling up is also difficult, and there's DLC for it as well. And for app points as well. Seems like you can circumvent the difficulty of the game after you play for well over 10 hours. Leveling to 10 or 20 isn't easy. As even level 1 demons can kill your level 14 special fusion demon. Kind of ... weird, considering it is an RPG where being high level should yield more damage against low level enemies and the low level enemies doing less damage to you, which isn't true in this game.

    defeating an enemy 1 level ahead of you isn't going to give a lot of experience, as it should, it all depends on where in the cave you are. And you are told to grind for levels everywhere you can, which is kind of boring, after doing so more than 3 times in two floors apart from where you started.

    The above points will no doubt make new players of the series stop playing completely, as a single demon with multi strike can kill off the entire party, even at full health, if you are caught by surprise. Those points prove that only die hard fans or hardcore fans will stick with the game and finish it.
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Metascore
83

Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31
  1. Sep 23, 2013
    85
    The long awaited Shin Megami Tensei 4 unfortunately isn't as progressive as its predecessor, but does offer a memorable adventure in a decaying Tokyo. Familiar elements have been improved and dressed in a modern outfit without it being at the expense of the strong core formula of the series.
  2. Aug 25, 2013
    60
    SMT IV gets the details of grinding right, but it seems the devil was elsewhere.
  3. Aug 7, 2013
    80
    The game may not transcend its genre, but it’s a great reminder of why so many us fell in love with role-playing games in the first place.