Reviews: Shin Megami Tensei I

Shin Megami Tensei 1: A Hidden Gem, weathered by time.

When most people think of SNES RPG's, they think of Final Fantasy 6, Earthbound and, of course, the all time classic and probably one of the greatest games ever made, Chrono Trigger. However, there exists one game that most people don't know about. One game that stands out from the rest, but goes unnoticed due to its uniqueness. That game is Shin Megami Tensei 1. This game is where the series really found its legs, as megami tensei 1 and 2 on the NES serve more as foundation games than actual fun games (They're both grindy as hell too, even the Updated Re-Release on the SNES couldn't fix that.) This game, unlike the two that came before it, can stand up, albeit, with crutches to help it. The mechanics are that you capture demons by talking to them to get them to join your party and possibly fuse two or three demons together to fuse a new one. The basic story is that you are High school student living in Tokyo in 199X, when a government teleportation experiment goes wrong and opens a portal to the Expanse, the realm of the demons. Demons, as demons tend to do, invade the city and it's locked down by the UN and the United States Army is sent in to enforce the lockdown. The stories good, but moves at the pace would expect from an SNES game, that is, everything is given a bare minimum explanation, and the game can be beaten within 8 hours if you know what your doing. However, it took me 25 hours to beat this game, even with a gamefaqs guide. You see, demons have tendency to ask for stuff during conversation and then run away with it, a trend that's in all the mainline SMT games, but is really fucking annoying here because it seems like every other demon does it. Fusion also sucks, with it barley mattering here as opposed to SMT 2, which fixed pretty much all the issues I had with this game, as well as having a better story. I heard that the encounter rate was horrendous, I played the IOS version on my Ipad, so they fixed it there. Above all, this game needs to be played with foreknowledge that the series gets better later, as most of the ideas that were revolutionary here have been done better in later games. Play this after you've played at least nocturne. And if you play this one, buy the IOS version for $8.00, it's worth it. If you want to start to get into the series, don't start here, unless your really good at really old games.