Saturday, 28 January 2012

Shin megami tensei:Strange journey

gamespot score:6.0(Fair)

my score:8.0

(+)Pros:-Dungeon crawling feels great,-unique and refreshing environments per sector,-demon negotiation is fun and addictive,-demon fusion is back and as good as ever,-alignment system makes for some intense choice making and promotes more gameplay time by providing different endings,-incredibly lenghty main story.

(-)Cons:-Excessive backtracking to previous sectors,-character personalities are rather stiff.

Gameplay time:50 hours+

Sorry for another late post, school is taking up alot of my time. Luckily though I got another 2 games under my belt for reviews. When it comes to dungeon crawlers, no one's done it better than atlus, EO is a superb series, especially the most recent 3rd one. Needless to say when they worked on a dungeon crawler for their star SMT series, they didnt hold back, strange journey is indeed one heck of a dungeon crawler. With tons of cool mechanics going for it, strange journey is a great dungeon crawler, and I'm sure as heck gamespot is underating this gem of a game when other sites are giving it 8s and 9s.

Mankind is plagued with a crisis, and an unknown anomoly is causing the planet's highest classed individuals a huge uproar. Up in the south pole, the schwarweltz is expanding, and its pretty much worrying everyone. To prevent that, the federation has grouped up the world's best soldiers, scientists and researchers to go INTO the schwarweltz, which happens to be a big black dome on unknown. Armed with state of the art equipment and survival suits known as the demonica, these ambitious group dives into the schwarweltz. Split into 4 ships, you play as an american soldier, aboard the red sprite, one of the 4 ships. Upon entering the schwarweltz though, a distortion takes place, and the 4 ships are split apart, causing a huge disalarm. Upon a crash landing, the red sprite gets attacked by demons, and a strange voice sends out a demon summoning programe to all occupants of the red sprite. Since then, they are able to see demons, and thus begins thier adventure on the schwarweltz.

No SMT game is complete without our favourite snow fairy!

The premise of FPS dungeon crawlers like strange journey are all the same. You explore sectors in schwarweltz one by one, named alphabetically, A for Antlia, B for bootes, C for Carina, so on and so forth. There are 8 sectors in total, and each sector is ridiculously long, each with its own side quests and unique layouts. Moving in these sectors feel great, as you move foward step after step, you encounter contraptions like conveyer belts, teleporters, or gates that show you a different side of the map.

These little things make exploring all the more fun to do, and stuff like forma search really take the experience even further. Each and every sector you discover feels and looks great, ranging from ice caves, to shopping malls (this was my favourite), to heaven like sanctuaries. And each of these sectors and infested with thier own varieties of demons, each present in previous SMT games, and thus begins the horror. This game is hard, but like other FPS dungeon crawlers (EO for example), this is expected. And lets be honest, most SMT games are really hard.

Shape your destiny in battle with SMT's familiar formula.

Battles are the basic same SMT stuff you have seen in other games. There are plenty of types of attacks in this game, and each demon is unique to its own strenghts and weaknesses to these attacks. These have been seen many times already, so I won't really go in depth. Demon fusion is back, and it inherits the same characteristics and the one in other SMT games like persona and devil survivor. Now, if you train a demon a lot, it will give you its source, with some of its select skills. You can transfer this source to demon fusion, and have it inherit the skills in that source. Its neat, and using this repeatedly can help you out with fusing your ultimate demon with select skills.

A sweet new mechanic in strange journey, is demon negotiation. This is the first SMT game I played with this feature, and its actually pretty sweet. Anytime during battle, you can communicate with a demon and have him/her do you a favour, be it giving you items, macca, or joining your party. To do this you have to sweet talk them, and talk to them about topics they are interested in. When you are successful, you can ask your favour from them.  These topics are relevant to the type of demon you are talking to. Big badass demons (those gangster kinds) like straightfoward and casual answers, while sexy lady demons like you to suck up to them and compliment thier figure, the more casual lady demons want you to do the opposite though, talk to them about anything other than thier figure. Lets be honest here, thats freaking cool.

Me! Me! I would want a lilith to be my demon!

While the story for strange journey isnt bad, the characters of the story, are some not to look up to. Character models are stiff, and they aren't very full of personality. Other than jimnez, you have an absolutely boring crew, and its no fun to ever hang out around them. Finding other soldiers on the field also makes no different, since they all look the fking same, and conversations with them go nowhere, since they all almost say the same damn things. Another annoying thing about this game is the backtracking. You will be visiting old sectors ALOT, be it for sidequests or story, its no fun to be in a sector you've already been to before, and having spent  tons of hours there. You get what I mean.

Strange journey is far from being a bad game. It is a gem of a SMT title, and no one should overlook it. With a metacritic score of 8.0, gamespot clearly just hated on this one. Strange journey is a unique SMT title that any fan would enjoy, especially if you're a fan of the first person dungeon crawling adventures like EO or class of heroes. Strange journey is a journey worth taking, thats for sure.

Happy gaming.