|A prematurely awarded (and extremely rare) five star experience.|
I was sort of looking forward to the release of Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey Redux. Sort of looking forward to it. I wasnít going to skip it; I am definitely glad to support the 3DS in any RPG it wants to sell me at this point, and probably other genres besides. And, Iím a long time member of the Atlus Faithful.
I have to admit I was a bit underwhelmed by their recently updated Radiant Historia, however. Did it seem an awful lot like a DS game? Well, yeah. I have both versions; they didnít really seem all that different from each other. Radiant Historia didnít do all that well in its DS version, though it was an interesting game and well-received critically. But it was released right at the end of the consoleís cycle. So too the port to the 3DS. I doubt IT will do all that well either. Surprise me, Atlus.
But anyway, the subject at hand is SMT: Strange Journey Redux. I hadnít actually caught the DS game; I didnít discover SMT until SMT IV was released on the 3DS. When I saw it on the shelf, I knew I had to ask the GameStop guy about it. (Fortunately, I found the right GameStop guy.) ďItís an RPG, a first person dungeon crawler, where you fight demons, and maybe recruit demons for your team.Ē Holy crap. What could be better than that?
SMT IV, I loved. For a while. I was hugely into the prologue of the game. I didnít know then that the prologue of that game is different from the whole rest of the SMT universe, seemingly, in that it took place in some feudal society. A few hours in, though, you end up in a dark, post-apocalyptic version of Tokyo. Very depressing. Dark, yes, surely. And oppressive. And seeming eternal. Eventually, I gave up on the game just because itís too much like earthly existence. Dark and depressing and oppressive and seemingly eternal. Oh, and tedious.
But I really dug the demon thing, and the magic system. The TRADITION of the game. It was clear that this game had some history, whether one was aware of it or not.
Iíve now played quite a number of SMT games, including its more popular offspring, Persona. Those Devil Survivor games are also cool, though frankly I donít appreciate the strategy RPG all that much. My favorite SMT game of all time really isnít an SMT game, but one of those crossover games that Atlus sometimes does: Tokyo Mirage Sessions FE. It was clearly an SMT game, a lot less clearly an FE (Fire Emblem) game. I think that where I loved it, FE fans didnít think all that much of itÖ.
But now, we come to Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey Redux.
I bought it on release day. Because one just learns to do that with niche games. But I didnít get to it for quite a while. I was finishing up some other things. And, as I said, I was only lukewarm-excited by it.
But DAMN this is a good game. Itís growing to be my favorite 3DS game, and holy crap it might end up being my favorite game of all time. Iím only 10 hours in...way too early to make such crazy predictions...but this is one fantastic game. Whatever itches I have as a gamer...and I have many...this game scratches so well.
Us old guys are jaded, and we assume that the best games are back in the past somewhere. Could it be that one best game is right here in front of me? I'd better slow down and appreciate it.
Iíve just today beaten the boss of the first dungeon. I hoped (but didnít know) that I was prepared for him, with a lot of grinding and some lucky recruiting and a few attempts at demon fusion. I got through with a fully intact party, and felt some personal success in the accomplishment. Also, I probably had a lucky random number fall in my favor. With SMT games, itís perfectly possible to be perfectly prepared and still end up losing out. One canít avoid that eventuality; one can only prepare against it.
Strange Journey Redux is difficult and challenging and surprising and beautiful. And, in my opinion, itís worth your attention, if any of the parameters intrigue you: role playing, dungeon crawling, creature collecting, demon raising, playing it your own way and hoping for the best. Itís so far proving itself to be a science fiction masterpiece, and a rare gaming experience.
A love letter from Atlus to the Atlus faithful.
Who else out there in Honest Gamer-land is playing this thing? Letís talk.
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|honestgamer - June 10, 2018 (10:34 AM)
Incredibly, I now own two versions of this game (the DS original and the 3DS upgrade your post is about) and still haven't even touched it. But I expect to love it when I do, perhaps years from now at my current rate of going through my backlog. Sorry I don't have anything more substantial to say in response to a thoughtful post that certainly deserves it, but I thought I would say something so you know you're not posting into an unread void.
|dirtsheep - June 10, 2018 (03:16 PM)
Hey Jason! Good to hear from you. Yeah, you'll get to this game at some point, and I predict you'll kick yourself for waiting for so long. It's deep and engaging. But probably not one to play on a part-time basis, amongst other games. For me at least, there is a lot to keep track of, and some daily attention seems to help. Even if it's only during my breaks at work.
I'll be doing more writing on it soon.
|dirtsheep - June 10, 2018 (03:20 PM)
Hmmm...I marked most of that second paragraph as a spoiler using angle brackets, which were evidently interpreted as broken HTML. Sorry 'bout that.