SMT4 continues the battle between the good, the bad and the JRPG.
• Lots of areas to explore.
• Combat flow is balanced.
• Game mood is very well set.
• Lots of demons to use and fuse.
• Packaging/extras are superb.
• Nice long game/getting your monies worth.
• Nice to have difficulty option.
The Bad Stuff:
• Characters are not fleshed out enough.
• Demon recruiting becomes tedious.
• Tokyo map is graphically poor.
• Story feels a little bland.
• Camera control takes some getting use to.
Story & Characters:
You are a young man that has just been chosen by a technological demon summoning gauntlet to be a samurai for the eastern kingdom of Mikado. your duty is to defend Mikado from demonic invasion, ironically by recruiting and using demons in combat. As the story progresses you and a small group of samurai must descend down into Tokyo to defeat the black samurai. The black samurai is using a old form of wisdom to change people into demons. As you and your companions explore and learn more about the past, present and future. Your decisions along the way help to create what foe you will battle at the end. The story and characters are not bad by a long shot, but I did feel like both needed a bit more work and depth.
In SMT4 you will be doing a lot of running around and turn based combat. Basically you will be exploring Tokyo and while doing so completing jobs for multiple groups. Tokyo is a big place and there's lots to see and do, this is lots of fun and is very interesting. Unfortunately the world map of Tokyo is quite confusing at first and it does take awhile to get to know your way around. As you explore you are attacked by demons, part of the game is to recruit these demons to fight for you by bribing them. Once you have a few you can fuse them together to create a new demon, the storage and fusing of the demons is done through the gauntlet you received when you became a samurai. The gauntlet has an AI named Burroughs which helps you with many aspects of the game. I found her to be the most interesting character in the whole game. As you move deeper into the game the story will become a bit more confusing so paying close attention is important. The game is long and forgetting details while in the middle of tasks happens often, luckily there is a job log in the menu section that helps with this. This can get tedious so I suggest taking long breaks every day or two or you will burn out quickly.
Graphics & Music:
Graphically it's a very good looking game with one exception, the world map of Tokyo can take awhile to get use to. It's hard to see what your looking at and where you can and can't go. This might of been done on purpose to convey the deterioration of the city and set the dark theme of the game. The music also creates the dark mood of the theme really well and a CD with 8 tracks comes with the game.
Technically SMT4 isn't much different from other jrpg's, you travel around a lot and fight a lot. But what it does do really well is create an atmosphere that feels dark and larger then many other handheld games. This game feels like it should be on the PS3 in order to feel it's scale. I would love to see a remake 2 or 3 years from now on the PS4, think it would do the game more justice. SMT4 also comes with a 176 page strategy and design book which is great, it covers most of the game and helps out a lot with explaining the games features. I ended up playing SMT4 for 95 hours and from what I could see there are four possible endings to the game, I saw 2. It's a great game but it can get a bit tedious, I highly recommend playing SMT4.
Story & Characters: 7/10
Game Play: 8/10
Graphics & Music: 9/10