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Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics What's this?

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8.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 165 Ratings

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  • Summary: Building on the styles of ATLUS' Persona, Devil Summoner, and Devil Survivor titles, SMTIV is the first true successor to 2004's Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne. The story of SMTIV revolves around the Samurai, the sacred protectors of the Eastern Kingdom of Mikado. As a newly appointed Samurai, players will struggle with factions that have nefarious designs on the world as they defend their home kingdom from a growing army of demons. Decisions players make throughout the course of the story will have lasting repercussions, as the fate of the world hangs in the balance. Collapse
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31
  1. Jul 25, 2013
    96
    A strong story makes this a best in class RPG.
  2. Jul 10, 2013
    95
    Shin Megami Tensei IV may have been developed for two little screens, but it's a massive, uncompromising game that feels just as big as any console RPG release. It's as deep and gratifying as you'd expect from Atlus' original key franchise, and now it's fully portable (with a save anywhere function). In fact, the only real problem you're going to have with Shin Megami Tensei IV is keeping your 3DS battery charged up, because it's the best RPG for 3DS to date.
  3. Jul 24, 2013
    90
    If you're a fan of the franchise or a fan of JRPGs, you need to run out and buy SMT4.
  4. 85
    Overall, Shin Megami Tensei IV is a massive, sprawling RPG that features one of the most fun and deep combat systems I’ve seen on the 3DS.
  5. Jul 10, 2013
    85
    Shin Megami Tensei IV succeeds on the merits of its outstanding demon fusion system and combat, even if its story and exploration are only fair.
  6. Jul 15, 2013
    80
    The excellent combat and the almost never-ending quest to explore the compendium of demons should keep you coming back for more, even if you have a fairly good assumption of what the other endings might entail.
  7. Jul 23, 2013
    60
    The plot is full of holes, inconsistencies, and unbelievable character actions and reactions. There are some creative moments late in the game where SMTIV presents the alignments and philosophies in a fascinating, new way, but for the most part the plot, characters, and morals fail to come together as part of a coherent setting.

See all 31 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 29
  2. Negative: 3 out of 29
  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 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
  3. Jul 24, 2013
    10
    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.
    Expand
  4. 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
  5. 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. Expand
  6. 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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  7. 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

See all 29 User Reviews