Roland

Favorite Shin Megami Tensei games?

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Shin Megami Tensei is one of my favorite JRPG series ever made. I don't think there's ever been an SMT game I outright hated aside from Apocalypse. So, I thought I would ask any MegaTen fans here wha they're favorite SMT game is.  For me, my favorite SMT game is Shin Megami Tensei IV.

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Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse is my favorite solely from a gameplay perspective.  Story-wise, I think Shin Megami Tensei and Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey are my favorites.  Shin Megami Tensei: if... strikes a good balance between the two, I find.

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Nocturne was my intro to the series, and it's still probably the high point for me when it comes to the main series.

Also love Persona 2, 4 and 5 for spin-offs. DDS 1 and 2 are great, too.

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1 minute ago, Slumber said:

DDS 1 and 2 are great, too.

It's weird because when I see the abbreviation "DDS" I always think Digital Devil Story (i.e. Megami Tensei I and II) and not Digital Devil Saga.

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1 minute ago, Von Ithipathachai said:

It's weird because when I see the abbreviation "DDS" I always think Digital Devil Story (i.e. Megami Tensei I and II) and not Digital Devil Saga.

Yeah, I always forget the SMT series has two DDSes. And then it has 2 DS games on the DS.

Atlus needs help with acronyms.

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1 minute ago, Slumber said:

Yeah, I always forget the SMT series has two DDSes. And then it has 2 DS games on the DS.

Atlus needs help with acronyms.

Don't forget Devil Summoner- the Japan-only Saturn game that was followed by the sequel Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers.

 

I started with Devil Survivor, and overall it's great. As for a traditional SMT, best gameplay is Apocalypse, but Nocturne holds up surprisingly well despite its age I found. Not perfect in gameplay, and flat characters too, but on the whole it is amazing, and doesn't have the contradictory tone of Apo's plot. Apparently Atlus made a statement sometime this year saying they're always looking for an opportunity to remake Nocturne, hope they act on it eventually.

I love the Digital Devil Saga games, but the first is a little too uneventful sequel bait, and DDS2 is sadly rushed at the very end, despite being tight elsewhere in the narrative (gameplay is good, but dungeons are a little weak).

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1 minute ago, Interdimensional Observer said:

Apparently Atlus made a statement sometime this year saying they're always looking for an opportunity to remake Nocturne, hope they act on it eventually.

Give me a remake of 3 alongside the new 5 on the Switch. Do it, Atlus. DO IT AND I'LL GET THE DEMI-FIEND TATTOOS.

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1 minute ago, Interdimensional Observer said:

I started with Devil Survivor, and overall it's great. As for a traditional SMT, best gameplay is Apocalypse, but Nocturne holds up surprisingly well despite its age I found. Not perfect in gameplay, and flat characters too, but on the whole it is amazing, and doesn't have the contradictory tone of Apo's plot. Apparently Atlus made a statement sometime this year saying they're always looking for an opportunity to remake Nocturne, hope they act on it eventually.

To be fair, you have to have a very high IQ to fully understand and appreciate the plot of Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse.

I guess a Nocturne remake would be nice.  It's the only main series game not to have come out on a Nintendo platform and it would be nice to rectify that.

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Heyo, interesting topic but I like it.

 

Truth be told, my first game was Strange Journey, but I never really adored it. It's remake is also meh. The only good extended ending is Law, if you could believe it. Every other ending is either pure insanity (Chaos) or actual stupidity (Neutral)

If I had to pick my favorite story, I'd have to say Apocalypse (Not a popular opinion). The two choices near the end, though bleak, do paint that if we have to beat the big bad (no names cause spoiler), that we have to play by it's rules, something done in the older games but not to that extent.

 

If I had to pick favorite gameplay wise, aside from the newer ones, which I like, I have to say SMT 1 and 2, just cause of the old school feeling they give me.

Edit: Apocalypse is probably next to the Devil Survivor games that I like alot.

Edited by ArgentSable

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My favorite SMT games are 4, 1, IF, Devil Survivor and Persona 5 (if you’re counting Persona here).

I started with Devil Survivor and worked my way from there going to SMT1 which I still think has the strongest atmosphere of gloom and very faint hope out of all of them.

 

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My perspective on them changed as i grow older so its KINDA weird. Back then i would say SJ no doubt but replaying through it now, i somewhat dislike their atmosphere. Gameplay wise, due to it being modeled being EO, SJ is BY FAR my favorite, since EO does almost everything i wish an RPG have, and SJ by proxy had a lot of that while standing on its own merits. It just felt very retro? stuff like passwords and stuff

 

and because of that, story wise, Devil Survivor 2

 

53 minutes ago, ArgentSable said:

Heyo, interesting topic but I like it.

 

Truth be told, my first game was Strange Journey, but I never really adored it. It's remake is also meh. The only good extended ending is Law, if you could believe it. Every other ending is either pure insanity (Chaos) or actual stupidity (Neutral)

If I had to pick my favorite story, I'd have to say Apocalypse (Not a popular opinion). The two choices near the end, though bleak, do paint that if we have to beat the big bad (no names cause spoiler), that we have to play by it's rules, something done in the older games but not to that extent.

 

If I had to pick favorite gameplay wise, aside from the newer ones, which I like, I have to say SMT 1 and 2, just cause of the old school feeling they give me.

Edit: Apocalypse is probably next to the Devil Survivor games that I like alot.

Mind expanding about the ending in spoiler tags? I went through the game atm and going to try a new Neutral first run, and heard about it a lot

 

Edited by JSND Alter Dragon Boner

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24 minutes ago, Von Ithipathachai said:

Loonnnngg, I tried to read a bunch of it, but it may be of some merit. Certainly a lot of passion behind this interpretation. The author's argument Stephen isn't inherently good is interesting, a way of downplaying the goodness of Neutral that isn't criticizing it for being pathetic. I'll buy that some of this was thought of by the writers, but all of it? I'll express skepticism. I'm sure one if devoted can do this with practically any game, or any story of sufficient length- it is the creative power of the human mind. Call it a cautious cynicism.

For any subtle goodness of the whole thing of which the author of the article speak, it is a little too subtle for me. It was overriden by the silliness and anime genericness of the cast, which I found insufferable at times. Subtle nuance is great, but do try to have some ready appeal on the surface, not just Navarre's glowing green rear end in my face.

The Divine Powers were a nice idea though, like the White, but much more appealing, since they're spiritual rebirth and freedom, and not nonexistence (not like Nocture's Reason of Shijima is all that different). And to be fair, the old Law vs. Chaos vs. Neutral system can get boring, it needs some innovation from time to time. Nocturne tossed the spirits of the Gaians and Messians into a Kalpa where they can't do anything for good reasons.

I was also turned off in a crumugedon like way by the Apo's choice to separate

Spoiler

YHVH and the Great Will. Nor did I exactly like the choice of shackling Lucifer as a pawn of YHVH. But fortunately, I think the developers might have said this YHVH is only of the IV-Apo world, which means that is wholly possible or certain other Lucifers aren't like this poor one.

 

(To be fair, I'm also not exactly fond of a different mythological change in a different video game series- LoZ and the introduction of Hylia. And if she must exist, then my personal cosmography she mustn't have gotten the Triforce from the Golden Goddesses, nor can they intervene at all, they must be above morality to me. Creators who left the world to run on its own in its entirety. But I don't try to gripe too much. Maybe I just don't like massive mythos overhauls in longtime franchises.)

 

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1 hour ago, JSND Alter Dragon Boner said:

My perspective on them changed as i grow older so its KINDA weird. Back then i would say SJ no doubt but replaying through it now, i somewhat dislike their atmosphere. Gameplay wise, due to it being modeled being EO, SJ is BY FAR my favorite, since EO does almost everything i wish an RPG have, and SJ by proxy had a lot of that while standing on its own merits. It just felt very retro? stuff like passwords and stuff

 

and because of that, story wise, Devil Survivor 2

 

Mind expanding about the ending in spoiler tags? I went through the game atm and going to try a new Neutral first run, and heard about it a lot

 

Spoiler

Okay Neutral Ending. You take the power of the Cosmic Eggs (including the new one) and you proceed to become a watchman of humanity. You'd think you'd interact or do something cool but nope, you just sit on the moon with Arthur watching over humanity, allowing them to repeat their past mistakes, all the while you continually combat Swarzwhelts that pop up over and over, until humanity decides to change it's ways or until the end of time. Probably the most bleak ending ever.

Chaos you proceed to create the very same world for Chaos, but less mean. Whereas the weak aren't instantly thrown away, but more or less given a chance. So, it's a normal Chaos ending but less hardcore. Kinda meh, unless I missed something.

Law you go with Zelennin, remove the evil song, and she makes a new one, and proceeds to remove the ability to harm other life (IE she removes any and all function that is classified as morally evil, at least versus humans) and ascends humanity into the heavens, giving us to the Great Will, and not to YHVH or the angels she then saw as cruel.

 

Other spoilers, but I'm not sure if this is official. but I do believe that Alex could be you and Louisa's daughter from the future. I remember somebody explain the theory but I can't recall where.

Here ya go. Each ending.

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1 hour ago, Interdimensional Observer said:

Loonnnngg, I tried to read a bunch of it, but it may be of some merit. Certainly a lot of passion behind this interpretation. The author's argument Stephen isn't inherently good is interesting, a way of downplaying the goodness of Neutral that isn't criticizing it for being pathetic. I'll buy that some of this was thought of by the writers, but all of it? I'll express skepticism. I'm sure one if devoted can do this with practically any game, or any story of sufficient length- it is the creative power of the human mind. Call it a cautious cynicism.

For any subtle goodness of the whole thing of which the author of the article speak, it is a little too subtle for me. It was overriden by the silliness and anime genericness of the cast, which I found insufferable at times. Subtle nuance is great, but do try to have some ready appeal on the surface, not just Navarre's glowing green rear end in my face.

The Divine Powers were a nice idea though, like the White, but much more appealing, since they're spiritual rebirth and freedom, and not nonexistence (not like Nocture's Reason of Shijima is all that different). And to be fair, the old Law vs. Chaos vs. Neutral system can get boring, it needs some innovation from time to time. Nocturne tossed the spirits of the Gaians and Messians into a Kalpa where they can't do anything for good reasons.

I was also turned off in a crumugedon like way by the Apo's choice to separate

  Reveal hidden contents

YHVH and the Great Will. Nor did I exactly like the choice of shackling Lucifer as a pawn of YHVH. But fortunately, I think the developers might have said this YHVH is only of the IV-Apo world, which means that is wholly possible or certain other Lucifers aren't like this poor one.

 

(To be fair, I'm also not exactly fond of a different mythological change in a different video game series- LoZ and the introduction of Hylia. And if she must exist, then my personal cosmography she mustn't have gotten the Triforce from the Golden Goddesses, nor can they intervene at all, they must be above morality to me. Creators who left the world to run on its own in its entirety. But I don't try to gripe too much. Maybe I just don't like massive mythos overhauls in longtime franchises.)

 

Well, actually the thing is, YHVH is the corrupted essence of the Axiom (Great Will) in every reality save for the Devil Survivor ones if I recall.

Spoiler

As such, pretty much all the games, IE the holy wars to take sides are entirely rigged, so that in the end, it'll revert back to it's prior state until YHVH wins. Lucifer wants to overthrow YHVH and the Great Will, but he's still a pawn to make YHVH look better. Satan says as much when he blames YHVH for falling from the Highest (though I may be mistaken here) The Great Will thus sends it's Messiahs (protagonists) to combat it, and give humanity the freedom it once had. That is, what I understood, at least.

 

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I haven't played anything from SMT proper. As for related series, Persona 4 Golden with its stellar storyline and critique of the Japanese media, Persona 4 Dancing All Night for basically bringing up #MeToo against the Japanese idol industry (even before anyone did against Harvey Weinstein!), and an honorary mention to Tokyo Mirage Sessions for introducing me to the Persona series in the first place.

Edited by henrymidfields

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Ugh, I hate Shin Megami Tensei. They feel like games made by an emo who hates religion and wishes entertainment was like the 80s. They're boring, and way too difficult. Persona is superior, and it shows. Sorry SMT fans. Sorry Not Sorry @Roland

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4 minutes ago, Decerd said:

Ugh, I hate Shin Megami Tensei. They feel like games made by an emo who hates religion and wishes entertainment was like the 80s. They're boring, and way too difficult. Persona is superior, and it shows. Sorry SMT fans. Sorry Not Sorry @Roland

Uh, okay, but is there a reason why you specifically mention me?

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1 hour ago, Decerd said:

They're boring, and way too difficult.

Perhaps that's true for the older games, but the gameplay really does get better with each successive entry.

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2 hours ago, Roland said:

Uh, okay, but is there a reason why you specifically mention me?

You're the OP and he's being a dick. The mention is just to draw attention to it.

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3 hours ago, Decerd said:

Ugh, I hate Shin Megami Tensei. They feel like games made by an emo who hates religion and wishes entertainment was like the 80s. They're boring, and way too difficult. Persona is superior, and it shows. Sorry SMT fans. Sorry Not Sorry @Roland

I say this as a Christian but I never got the impression it hates religion. It mashes it together with various folklore and such sure. But I never felt it was outright insulting my faith. It has some interpretations I don’t agree with, but can understand why they’d go for the angle they do.

You can’t properly respect Persona without respecting where it originated from, seeing as an old timey SMT game (IF) was the massive inspiration for Persona in the first place. I’m well aware of the fanbase split, but still, I feel this way.

Werent you just the same one complaining about people’s attitudes towards Awakening and Fates? Here you’re doing the same to a different franchise, what a hypocrite.

Edited by Jedi

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2 hours ago, Jedi said:

I say this as a Christian but I never got the impression it hates religion. It mashes it together with various folklore and such sure. But I never felt it was outright insulting my faith. It has some interpretations I don’t agree with, but can understand why they’d go for the angle they do.

You can’t properly respect Persona without respecting where it originated from, seeing as an old timey SMT game (IF) was the massive inspiration for Persona in the first place. I’m well aware of the fanbase split, but still, I feel this way.

Werent you just the same one complaining about people’s attitudes towards Awakening and Fates? Here you’re doing the same to a different franchise, what a hypocrite.

I'm glad you can appreciate SMT as a Christian. It always felt a little distant to me, not being raised in a religious household, and I've wondered how my religious friends would feel playing an SMT game. The most I've been able to connect  is that I've been able to appreciate the mythology it incorporates, and I always had a bit of a laugh whenever I took a religion course in college and heard of semi-obscure figures that I learned about from SMT/Persona.

But I wonder how you feel about the interpretations of major Christian figures in SMT. Due to how SMT splits up Lucifer and his many monikers into separate beings, it means that the games give many, many, many interpretations of him.

Lucifer usually plays as a pretty neutral party most of the time these days(Depending on how hardcore he is about chaos in any given game), legitimately wanting to help humanity. Though the more he tries to help, the worse he usually makes things. Beelzebub iirc is generally a shithead, but he tends to go with Lucifer's alignment in whatever event is taking place.

Satan is on the side of YHVH, and is generally portrayed as the more understanding/forgiving of life of the two.

YHVH himself likes to jump straight to "THEY SCREWED UP AGAIN, KILL EVERYONE", and the games' depictions of his archangels isn't very kind. Though I think the archangels interfering with humanity is supposed to be the sign of the end times in Christianity, too.

And then there's the Demiurge/Yaldaboath...

Edited by Slumber

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If I had to say what my favorite games are, I'd say my top 10 are:

  1. IV
  2. Strange Journey
  3. Nocturne
  4. Digital Devil Saga 1&2
  5. Devil Survivor 2: Record Breaker

And my ranking of the Persona games are as follows

  1. Persona 4
  2. Persona 5
  3. Persona 3
  4. Persona 2: Innocent Sin
  5. Persona 2: Eternal Punishment
Edited by Roland

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5 hours ago, Slumber said:

nd I always had a bit of a laugh whenever I took a religion course in college and heard of semi-obscure figures that I learned about from SMT/Persona.

Feel the same way whenever I go to a museum and find something like a sculpture of the Four Heavenly Kings.

 

5 hours ago, Slumber said:

Lucifer usually plays as a pretty neutral party most of the time these days(Depending on how hardcore he is about chaos in any given game), legitimately wanting to help humanity.

I don't think Lucifer is helping humanity out of altruism though, he is of course doing it out of the ulterior and obvious motive of wanting chaos. He is also at fault not for what he does, but what he doesn't do. Wouldn't it kinda help the chaotic cause if instead of letting demons munch on humans he as the prince of darkness with all his great powers restrained them? How does the "experimentation" in Bootes in Strange Journey garner any love by Man for demonkind? But Lucifer rarely if ever attempts restraint. 

YHVH/the Archangels have the problem of being too demanding, sorta the opposite as Lucy's. And since it is a more direct and noticeable fault, it gets picked up on while Lucy's negligence doesn't. Not to deny Law has certain image problems besides this, for it has them and they need to be addressed.

Although in SMTIV, I found the Ring of Gaea utter junk, and the Ashura-Kai to be really good. The one truth behind their operations never failed to make me sick to my stomach's depths and morally exhausted on all my runs of the game, but I still felt they were a well-done Law organization. You get the feeling more than the Neutral-aligned Hunter's Association, that the Ashura-Kai were what was keeping Tokyo afloat the past 20 years.

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9 minutes ago, Roland said:

Man, I wish Persona and Shin Megami Tensei had a dedicated fourm. :(:

I think they still have reddits, which is the closest thing I guess? Most other forums i've found are inactive. Anyway I only played SMT4 and a little bit of Strange Journey so i'm going to say SMT4

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