This epic 3DS adventure is a must for those looking for a challenging role-playing adventure.
Role-playing games usually act as an Achilles Heel for me. There's nothing wrong with them, mind you, since they allow gamers to jump into an adventure and grow with their character for hours on end. But between tiresome, repetitive battle systems and some lackluster characters, there are some that just tend to wear down on me, rather than compelling me to continue on.
However, Shin Megami Tensei IV is a bit different. It's ridiculously hard if you don't change over to the easy setting, and those battles can be a grind the more you go on. And yet, thanks to the depth of choices you can make and the demons you can add to your party, I felt the need to continue. Atlus has always done a good job with this series, even catering to those who don't feel that Shin Megami Tensei is their type of series. There's something here that just says, "Stick around, there's some awesomeness coming up." And indeed there is.
In the game, you play a would-be samurai named Flynn, who has been longing to join the elite warriors to defend the kingdom of East Mikado. He's accepted into a group along with other fellow samurai – Jonathan, Isabeau and Walter, but soon learns that the job isn't all it's cracked up to be. Mainly it revolves around demon hunting, as they hide out in the Naraku dungeon. But things take a turn for the interesting when they begin expanding outside of that space, and a luminous Black Samurai appears, with his own devastating plan. It's a little hard to explain in plot terms, but it does set the stage for some interesting choices.
In Shin Megami Tensei IV, the choices you make do have an effect on your character. Do you abide by the general samurai rules, or do you let chaos take over for the sake of leveling up? You also get to hunt down and forge together with demon forces, adding to your party. You'll need all the help you can get, because some of these enemies can be downright nasty.
The battle system is traditional for fans of the series, but it might be overwhelming to some at first. Enemies are prone to striking suddenly – and even from behind – which can wipe out your party quicker than expected. Fortunately, Atlus has thrown in an easier difficulty, making the game much more tolerable.