• Publisher: Atlus
  • Release Date: Mar 23, 2010

Generally favorable reviews - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 26
  2. Negative: 1 out of 26
  1. Strange Journey does its own thing, but boy, does it do it well. If you're looking for an interesting challenge that will keep you rapt from start to finish, this is one adventure you won't want to miss.
  2. In many ways it feels like an adult-themed Pokemon, complete with a cast of demons that, though not as adorable as Pikachu and company, nonetheless have their own dark charms. So, atrocious US boxart aside, this is one import worth the extra shipping.
  3. A typically assured mix of standard Japanese role-playing and MegaTen's more provocative ideas.
  4. The Shin Megami Tensei series has proven itself as one of the most consistently well-made RPG franchises in recent memory, and SMT: Strange Journey is no exception. There are few dungeon exploration games that are as solidly well put-together and interesting.
  5. 93
    While the aesthetic elements of Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey are only slightly above-average, the incredibly strong gameplay elements make the game so addictive that this doesn't matter.
  6. Many worlds to explore, tons of demons to fight, recruit, and fuse, hundreds of team combinations to try out, an alignment system that allows for varying playthroughs, and lots of weapons, armor, and accessories to create via item drop combinations.
  7. 90
    Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey is one of the most dense, addictive and compelling role playing games you can find on the Nintendo DS.
  8. As far as Nintendo DS role-playing games go, this is my new favorite, hands down. But then again, I'm a huge fan of both dungeon crawling and Atlus' Shin Megami Tensei series games.
  9. Strange Journey is easily one of the best RPGs to come out this year, which should come as no surprise to the SMT faithful.
  10. Uncovering all the Schwarzwelt's secrets will keep you glued to your DS for hours of intense RPG action. [Issue#203, p.96]
  11. An excellent DS RPG that feels like many of the best parts of previous games in the series and its spin-offs that have been streamlined greatly. There are some faults here and there that keep it from being perfect, but DS owners looking for a great RPG to get invested in will find a lot to like here.
  12. It has a tough, old-school feeling to it, but it does feel more accessible compared to other Shin Megami Tensei games.
  13. 85
    There's also a surprising amount of personality in the game, as dialogue sequences develop the characters, bosses, and quests to an impressive degree. It's not without a few bumps here and there, but Strange Journey's depth and wealth of options for customization make it a trip worth taking.
  14. Sci-fi trappings don't make the repetitive gameplay in this dungeon crawler feel any less dated.
  15. As a dungeon crawler, Strange Journey is abominable. As an SMT, it's unforgivable.
  16. Unless you're absolutely sick of Shin Megami Tensei's core mechanics or can't push past a few tutorial-heavy opening hours, Strange Journey's a fantastic RPG - portable or not.
  17. 70
    It's a solid game all-around that takes a good-not-great traditional JRPG and replaces the standard third-person dungeons with good-not-great first-person, tile-based ones, binding everything together with a strong apocalyptic story.
  18. The combination of a compelling and ideological narrative with complex combat, not to forget the outright fun of collecting demons, makes Strange Journey an incredible addition to the series.
  19. 91
    The core of Strange Journey is classically engrossing MegaTen and Etrian Odyssey.
  20. It's a familiar taste, but it's comforting rather than stale.
  21. If you're looking for a long, deep and engrossing RPG, take this Strange Journey on your DS.
  22. About as hardcore and old-fashioned an RPG as you're likely to play. [Issue#96, p.101]
  23. Satisfactory difficult RPG belongs to the best pieces of its genre – there are only a few other games for your touch-screen handheld with the same complexity and strong battle system. [Issue#192]
  24. For better or for worse, it makes the player the master of his own destiny. As it turns out, that's a heck of a challenge, but the challenge is worth it. [Apr 2010, p.87]
  25. For fans of Atlus' other RPGs, this is a real must-have. It might prove too slow or horrifically doom-laden for less seasoned role-playing fans, however. [May 2010, p.60]
  26. 70
    If you're looking for a thoughtful, challenging RPG experience, this is a Strange Journey worth taking; those who take issue with the thematic elements, however, might want to go adventuring elsewhere. [March 2010, p.91]
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 53 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 6
  2. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. Mar 25, 2014
    One of the most underrated games in the history of the universe.

    Strange Journey exudes style in every facet. From the classic dungeon
    crawling gameplay to the memorable musical score by Shōji Meguro, Strange Journey represents the pinnacle of the SMT series.

    Real SMT fans play Strange Journey. Moe fans play Persona.
    Full Review »
  2. Jul 12, 2013
    Pros: - Grueling Difficulty, yet Accessible - Terrific Gameplay Elements - Plenty of Replay Value Cons: - Main Story Themes are done well, but are Cliche to use
    - Characters are under-developed, but still Entertaining
    Full Review »
  3. Jan 28, 2012
    Okay first of all, I have always like the IDEA of the SMT series more than the actual execution of the games. The very nature of the games causes them to be a bit difficult and grind heavy, so I have never actually completed a SMT game...until now.

    With Strange Journey the creators have not only created the best SMT game I have ever played (including all the spinoffs), but they have also created the best first person dungeon crawler I have ever played. This game has an EXCELLENT auto map system that works perfectly with the DS dual screens, making navigation a breeze. Also the compendium and fusion elements travel with you now, so you can view and fuse demons wherever you are, with no need to backtrack to some weird Igor character.

    The story and setting are both appropriately weird, disturbing, and exciting at the same time, and the new mission-based angle really gives you excellent reasons to get out there and explore.

    And about that grinding...
    Yes, it is there. I can't imagine how they could make a SMT game with demon collection without grinding. However, they have done their best at making grinding more enjoyable and much less frustrating. Healing and saving points are much more available and affordable, so that grinding out levels is equally beneficial to your wallet. And the inclusion of an auto-battle option at the press of a button is a super time-saver. And if you're a fan of instant gratification, each demon has a password, so a quick internet search will give you the ability to summon just the right demon when you want it (assuming your character can afford it).

    I can't tell you how much I have enjoyed this game thanks to all the little touches the developers have put in place for this DS release. If you are a fan of SMT, collection-type RPGs, or dungeon crawlers in general, you absolutely cannot go wrong with this game. I picked it up for twelve bucks so you have no excuse. And you can ignore that lowest score in the critic review section. He admittedly didn't even finish the game. In my opinion that reviewer should be pulled from the metacritic ratings. So go, get it now. Go on. lol
    Full Review »