The First Few Hours – Shin Megami Tensei 4

There would have been a time, not long ago, when I would have been excited about a new Shin Megami game, let alone an entry in the main series.  The DS entries, and to a lesser extent Persona 4, have sapped this excitement from me.  But here I am, giving it another shot, because Nocturne and Persona 3 remain some of the best experiences I ever had on the PS2 (not to mention the earlier Persona’s)

First Thoughts, First Impressions:  The low key neon which somehow helped to emphasize the overall darkness from the early PS2 era Shine Megami titles appears to be completely gone (this started with Persona 3, but is complete now). It’s replaced with 80s camp anime, bright sunlight, and a throw back to early persona games in character portraits. Even the quirky and endearing personalities from persona 3 (and to a lesser extent 4) are missing.  Although I will say that the actual dungeon crawling looks amazing and works well.

So how does it play?  I’m not sure why, but there is something about the game.  Despite what I expected, I was actually very excited to continue playing it yesterday. It’s the beginning though.  I put quite a few hours in Strange Journey, but never ended up finishing it, because at a certain point in time you have to choose a very distinct ending.  Once you get there, it’s all out of surprises.  So I assume I know how 4 will end:  3 bland choices, evil, neutral and good. Although Nocturne avoided this convention, so it could always surprise me.
Nocturne neon

Nocturne neon

Digital Devil Saga neon

Digital Devil Saga neon

and 4's...

and 4…