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YMMV / Shin Megami Tensei if...

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  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Reiko is by far the most preferred of the partners. This makes sense, as she represents the Neutral route, which is also the most popular in the series (and also unlocks some extra content if followed, such as the Mindscape of Hazama).
  • Epileptic Trees: On its own, the game doesn't really spawn any, as the whole thing is meant to be self-contained. Once it serves as the cornerstone for an entire Alternate Continuity, however, boy howdy. A ton of this centers around Hazama, such as the question of just how he got the power he did, since nobody else gained such power to shape the "Demon World" like he did just by entering. And he just meant to summon a demon at the start anyway, not suck the entire school to the other side... And where the hell is the actual leader of the Abyss in all this, anyway?...
    • Then there's the fact that the first "Demon Emperor" form that he fights you with looks an awful lot like Akihiko Sanada's Caesar Persona, and the Demon Emperor seems to come out of him in a manner visually reminiscent of a Persona in later titles... just a Shout-Out from a later title back to If, or?...
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    • There's also the question of exactly how much of the game happens, or is, in Hazama's mind. The idea that everyone was transported there instead of the demon world makes some sense, considering that the ritual Hazama performed probably couldn't have given him the kind of power it did, as well as the fact that Lucifer is conspicuously absent.
  • Scrappy Level: The gimmick to the Domain of Sloth is that the students and faculty of Karukozaka High are being made to excavate something. You can help them out a little bit, but in the end you have to wait for a long number of full lunar cycles before you can find what you need to continue. Since you need to move around the dungeon to advance the lunar cycle and this triggers constant random encounters, this takes hours of pointless, directionless grinding. Many players stop here out of sheer boredom. To top it all off, it was originally going to be even worse: it was going to take 12 full lunar cycles instead of 6. In other words, this level is just the bane of lazy people. Or a sign of lazy game design.
    • Immediately after that, you have to go through the Domain of Envy (on Yumi and Reiko's routes), which combines everything people hate about Megaten dungeons in one sadistic package. Dark rooms where you can't see any of the walls! Pit traps! Conveyor belts dumping you into pit traps! Teleport mazes! One-way doors! Entire floors where you can't use the COMP, which means no checking the automap, summoning demons, or negotiating with enemy demons! And none of them are marked on the automap except the dark rooms! All of this would be bad enough by itself, but to top it all off, not only do you lose your partner at the beginning of this dungeon, you have to fight not one but two bosses, one of them without your partner. At least it's only six floors...
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    • Players on Charlie's route don't get off easy either. Sure, they don't have to go through the Domain of Envy, but they do have to go through the Domain of Wrath. It features almost all the gimmicks from the Domain of Envy, but trades the no-COMP floors and dark spaces for fetch quests, worse teleport mazes, and lots and lots of damage floors.
  • WTH, Costuming Department?: Those blue/green/white striped pants and skirts easily make If's school uniforms one of the tackiest in fiction.


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