Tuesday, March 22, 2011

On Shin Megami Tensei

Shin Megami Tensei, "True Goddess Reincarnation" is an Anime RPG from Aeria Games.

I will admit to having trouble with this genre - "Megaten" as its fans call it touches a few issues that I have with anime-based games in general.

That aside, let's dive right in.

First, the character creation screen brings us right into Issue Station #1 - playing characters that are young teenagers. Being an adult, and very glad my childhood's a distant memory, this is a choice that annoys me. The freebie character generator is an uninspiring group of choices and weapons, some of which seem downright ridiculous in the hands of the character. (Yep, that young Asian girl looks like she can swing that sledgehammer with one hand, no problem.)

As soon as you are finished equipping at the Random Bland Clothing and Ridiculous Weapon Store, we're off to the game, by way of  the Anime Apocalypse Cliche Montage. That was fun. End of the world, demons and inexplicable sciencey stuff. And look, I can attack the demons because I use a magical sciencey arm-laptop.

You are put into a tutorial mission to make sure you know what buttons and mouse commands make your grade-school-age character turn into The Demon-Slashing Badass that you want to be. A few false starts, a few kicks in the head and bruises - and loads and loads of band-aids, whether you need these things by the dozen or not - and you're at the Boss.

Yay! Here's somebody that looks like a real fight.

And suddenly your tutor runs in, and gets killed.

And you get told to run.

Aaaand suddenly and inexplicably it's years later, you're in a big complex with dozens of other PCs, and talking to a guy with an eyepatch and an inverted cross on his collar.

And being told to make friends with the monsters.

Wait, what?

After fumbling around for a while, trying to figure out how to talk to the Pixie Dictator and having her stomp me into the ground like I was standing under the Monty Python Foot, I figured out that I can't read the Kanji being typed by anyone else playing the game.


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