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 Post subject: Re: The Shin Megami Everything Thread
PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:55 pm 


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I think it looks great! Though I have a fetish of sorts for these lo rez textures and moody sprites. It just ain't Megaten unless the graphics genuinely depress you. I remember playing through part of The Dark Spire on wireframe mode before I realised how bloody minded this actually was.

Still holding out for a remake of SMT1 using the EO4 engine a la DSJ, though they'd probably balls it up too.
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 Post subject: Re: The Shin Megami Everything Thread
PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 6:04 pm 


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I tend to think the same way - I played through SJ on DS for the first time last year and found it stunning. The 3D mazes look superb - by turns bleak, psychedelic (in a good way) and sardonic - and more so than in any other first-person dungeon crawler their repetitiveness works to create a heightened feeling of suffocating, oppressive claustrophobia and hopelessness. The game was also pretty much the last hurrah for good Kaneko demon artwork.

It'd be a mistake to play through all of The Dark Spire without seeing the 'modern' graphics, though, for sure. It has a really unique kind of charioscuro you don't often see in games - I've never seen anything use colour quite like it. Part of this is due to the DS screen itself, I think, which lent itself to a lot of strong aesthetic choices in all of the Atlus dungeon crawlers (e.g. one thing EO, SJ and The Dark Spire all have in common is beautifully crisp fonts - even the menus are a pleasure to look at).

It's just occurred to me that it was one of your posts (commenting on either its miraculous localisation or its low price) that got me into Soul Hackers, which quickly became one of my favourite games. So, thank you! This gives me a good excuse to share this belter.


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 Post subject: Re: The Shin Megami Everything Thread
PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:19 pm 


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That's awesome I'm really glad you enjoyed it! Soul Hackers is great in just how '32-bit' it feels. All those lo rez polys, mid-90's psychedelic touches and that crazy good soundtrack. I also love how you can just hold down B and STRAFE DOWN EVERY CORRIDOR AT 100KMPH which completely flips the idea that dungeon crawlers have to be 'slow'. I also really like how it feels like SMTI/II/If... but with knobs on, complete with millions of deadends and the city overworld. Strange Journey might have the best narrative/'story telling' and II might be my all time favourite but Soul Hackers is probably the most fun to play overall.
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 Post subject: Re: The Shin Megami Everything Thread
PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:55 pm 


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Demons and their compatibility with me:
Is it based solely off my neutral alignment? Or is it affected by the fact that i'm walking around with 3 chaos boiz atm.
So will i find it harder to recruit angels atm.
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 Post subject: Re: The Shin Megami Everything Thread
PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:03 am 


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MX7 wrote:
That's awesome I'm really glad you enjoyed it! Soul Hackers is great in just how '32-bit' it feels. All those lo rez polys, mid-90's psychedelic touches and that crazy good soundtrack. I also love how you can just hold down B and STRAFE DOWN EVERY CORRIDOR AT 100KMPH which completely flips the idea that dungeon crawlers have to be 'slow'. I also really like how it feels like SMTI/II/If... but with knobs on, complete with millions of deadends and the city overworld. Strange Journey might have the best narrative/'story telling' and II might be my all time favourite but Soul Hackers is probably the most fun to play overall.


Yeah, all of this!

One of my favourite things about the 3DS port is its commitment to the original game's aesthetics, not just in terms of keeping the original soundtrack and visuals etc, but as much of the package as was possible, right down to holding onto the original compressed-to-fuck FMV cutscenes/boss battle transitions and including them essentially untouched. The game really nails a specific Gibson-esque conception of cyberspace, and I'm so glad that the 3DS update leaves its very mid-90s aesthetics completely intact, because they're irresistible.

I like how off-kilter the gameplay is, too - the demon loyalty system being such that if a boss fight is proving too tough, it's less a matter of levelling up and more a matter of finding the right pals and getting them drunk. The demon dialogue/negotiation is a fair bit more robust than in most of the other SMT games, too. They're still just talking in weird non-sequiturs most of the time, but you haven't exhausted their lines after three battles. Thanks to this and the trippy nightmare-spaces you encounter them in, the battle situations never get old. I also very much enjoyed this one magic-draining boss that I defeated by... continuing to use magic until it fucking exploded from it.

Glad I picked it up when I did, too - I got a physical copy for £8, and I see it already fetches £40-50. Thanks again!


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 Post subject: Re: The Shin Megami Everything Thread
PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 11:01 am 


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Blinge wrote:
Demons and their compatibility with me:
Is it based solely off my neutral alignment? Or is it affected by the fact that i'm walking around with 3 chaos boiz atm.
So will i find it harder to recruit angels atm.


Unless anything was changed, it's based on your alignment alone. I think it might be impossible to chat up opposite alignment demons, but I spent most of my time in Neutral so can't remember for sure.


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 Post subject: Re: The Shin Megami Everything Thread
PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:13 pm 


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So what changes my alignment... hanging with demons of a certain alignment?
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 Post subject: Re: The Shin Megami Everything Thread
PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 12:34 pm 


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IIRC it's mostly based on choices you make at certain points in the story - I ended up with Chaos and I think it was mainly because I repeatedly ignored Mastema/told him to shove it. You can get subapps that make negotiations easier (like "Relax Spray") but I can't remember if there are any that make demons ignore alignment.


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 Post subject: Re: The Shin Megami Everything Thread
PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 2:16 pm 


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MX7, what makes II your favorite? Haven't played it, just curious if you can give me that huzzah to check it out!


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 Post subject: Re: The Shin Megami Everything Thread
PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 4:16 pm 


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Klatrymadon wrote:
IIRC it's mostly based on choices you make at certain points in the story


Yeah, dialogue choices. There's a place (in the first zone iirc?) in the original near the end that you can go to change it to whatever you want at will. ... grindy, but at will. Lets you see all of the endings on one save file if you save before the fork.


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 Post subject: Re: The Shin Megami Everything Thread
PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:38 pm 


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drauch wrote:
MX7, what makes II your favorite? Haven't played it, just curious if you can give me that huzzah to check it out!


Because it's absolutely batshit insane. There's a few quality of life adjustments over the first one, including hitting one of the shoulder keys to access the automap, and way more dungeon textures than the first.
But really it's because it's so weird. The world ends in the first game (spoilers! It happens very early on) and II is set several years after the world has been rebuilt. It's eccentric and inventive, with fairy princesses with huge LCD monitors, cyberspace, underground discotheques, and then a demon eats an entire city with you in it. Tonally it's all over the place.
It's standard Megaten monotony, but for some reason the fever dream presentation ticks my boxes. But if you want a pure SMT experience definitely play the first SMT first. There's a cool hack called by Orden that adds easy automapping to the Aeon Genesis translation.
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 Post subject: Re: The Shin Megami Everything Thread
PostPosted: Wed Jul 10, 2019 6:16 am 


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Klatrymadon wrote:
The game really nails a specific Gibson-esque conception of cyberspace,


I'm sold.

Edit: Man the new area in SJ: Redux appears as early as sector Bootes!
I think this is the new area anyway, after a bloody altercation with the hottie from the art..

I don't know when the best time to tackle it would be..
Honestly though this game gives me life when i'm commuting home utterly shattered.
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 Post subject: Re: The Shin Megami Everything Thread
PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 11:30 am 


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Any advice on how or when to use demon sources?
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 Post subject: Re: The Shin Megami Everything Thread
PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 12:55 am 


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I guess the best advice is to fight the impulse to hoard stuff as much as possible - one day your save file will mean nothing to you so there's no reason to hoard or do content you don't feel like. If you can use the skills now, put them on there. Most of them will only have their value lowered as you progress through the game as better attacks and heals become available. And unless they've changed things very drastically, it should be possible to "graft" over skills through fusion using low level demons with high level skills.

(I say this, and still never once used a TM in a Pokemon game back when they had limited uses. Or a Mega elixir in a Final Fantasy game.)


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 Post subject: Re: The Shin Megami Everything Thread
PostPosted: Fri Jul 19, 2019 5:11 pm 


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How's SMT IV: Apocalypse? Thinking about picking this up but also interested in SMT: Soul Hackers, thanks to the discussion going on here (I love me some Gibson future aesthetic).

I played and completed the original SMT IV. Despite playing it on and off over the course of several years (wasn't really focused on RPGs back then), I really enjoyed it.


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 Post subject: Re: The Shin Megami Everything Thread
PostPosted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 5:52 am 


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People seem to really rate it! Personally I couldn't get over the fact it's IV recycled and the utterly dreadful English dub (so playing it in Japanese would be preferable). Also 'orrible children ruin a pretty compelling narrative nugget.

Great to see lots of Soul Hackers love here (and incidentally on Twitter etc). Personally I don't see Gibson so much as Neal Stephenson and Pat Cadigan. It's basically vaporwave/y2k.gif the videogame. Arrrgh I have a crazy list of games to play and I'm seriously reconsidering playing it through for a third time...
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 Post subject: Re: The Shin Megami Everything Thread
PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2019 8:37 pm 


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alright, Soul Hackers it is :)


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 Post subject: Re: The Shin Megami Everything Thread
PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2019 2:37 pm 


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Yeah, Soul Hackers is the best.

I wasn't a fan of II as much as I. II is way too neck deep in Messian drama, whereas I has a nice balance and shows you all sides of that crazy universe.

And I goes from 0 to 60 with a quickness.
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 Post subject: Re: The Shin Megami Everything Thread
PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2019 4:34 pm 


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Yeah I will concede that I is possibly the better game in terms of it's structure and narrative. II just has that punctum for me.

Kyuyakyu Megami Tensei I is the most fun to actually play in terms of SFC Megaten though, hands down. Underrated gem.
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 Post subject: Re: The Shin Megami Everything Thread
PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2019 7:07 pm 


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MX7 wrote:
Kyuyakyu Megami Tensei I is the most fun to actually play in terms of SFC Megaten though, hands down. Underrated gem.


Oh dear. that doesn't bode well for SMT considering I enjoyed the first half of Kyuyakyu but later areas were like pulling teeth.

However, you and I don't agree on much so i'm not that worried :mrgreen:
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 Post subject: Re: The Shin Megami Everything Thread
PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2019 9:46 pm 


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Ha, yep, you can just safely invert all my recomendations d:

Seriously though KMT is like a souped up Megami Tensei using SMT I/II/If... 's engine so if you didn't like that one then SFC Megaten may not be for how.

How are you getting on with Deep Strange Journey?
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 Post subject: Re: The Shin Megami Everything Thread
PostPosted: Fri Aug 02, 2019 10:36 pm 


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I always liked that SMT1 creates such a palpable feeling of being a dumb teenager embroiled way over their head in 'serious' social and political matters somewhat beyond their grasp, which is something probably a zillion other RPGs aspire to do but which I've never really felt before, so it's impressive on that level at least.


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 Post subject: Re: The Shin Megami Everything Thread
PostPosted: Sat Aug 03, 2019 8:16 am 


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MX7 wrote:
Ha, yep, you can just safely invert all my recomendations d:

Seriously though KMT is like a souped up Megami Tensei using SMT I/II/If... 's engine so if you didn't like that one then SFC Megaten may not be for how.

How are you getting on with Deep Strange Journey?


Sector Bootes, Mithras' palace.. All that stuff was amazing.
Loved that section.

I'm in sector Carina atm. Just seen piggy plasma shield boi and made a shibboleth.
And looked up what shibboleth means.

Also I'm law aligned now, so that's a fucking pain in the arse. I had a great neutral dream team that would carve anything up with a good spread of elements.. but my law gang gang just aren't the same =[
Will continue to tough it out and play full law though I think.

As for the Redux stuff, I've fully explored the first floor of the womb of grief but it's not as interesting as the main game and i don't like having the choice between the two, it's confusing... :3

Edit: Oh yeah, fucking fusion man. I completely lost track of who or what is a prime demon or a mitama or w/e the fuck they're called. It would help if the status page said which one was a prime so i could track it.
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 Post subject: Re: The Shin Megami Everything Thread
PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2019 3:13 pm 


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Wow i just want to find one fucking demon.
Is there any list online of demons and their locations!? Te pnes ive seen so far dont tell me wherw the fucking demons are. This has been a frustrating train journey.
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 Post subject: Re: The Shin Megami Everything Thread
PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2019 10:11 pm 



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I think I'm getting close to the end of Soul Hackers. There's only one location left on the map, though it's possible something else could open up.

It's been fun. I previously would have said games under the Megami Tensei umbrella only got good in 2000 with Eternal Punishment, but I many have to walk that back a few years, if the original release wasn't significantly different than this 3DS port. Encounters are more engaging now that enemies appear in WYSIWYG formations, rather than one or two monotype blocks.
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