Just finished SMT4 *no spoilers* mini-review

#1GREEN00Posted 11/12/2013 6:46:56 AM
FINALLY finished it, 70 hours, neutral ending, 3DS activity log says 93 hours overall. I must have had 80%+ compendium completion, I got really OCD about fusing as many new demons as possible.

Overall, SMT4 is a mixed bag. Some very high quality elements, some really poor elements.

-the spritework is subtle and displays great character
-the OST is as excellent as ever
-the plot has some interesting elements but isn't a highpoint for the broader SMT series
-demon fusion is addictive but more frivolous than usual
-in-battle backgrounds are fantastic
-the settings portrayed in SMT4 are interesting but perhaps underutilized
-the "dungeon" visuals are pretty good but the level design is a low point in the SMT series, and the map system can be rage inducing in its lack of information and player control for the purposes of basic and mandatory uses
-the voice acting is mediocre and was turned off early in the game
-it's good to see the press-turn system return, but SMT4 is by far its weakest adaptation. Nocturne, DDS, and DDS2 use it far, far more effectively
-overworld navigation is a chore and is your biggest enemy in the game about fighting powerful demons
-Main Character customization is largely below average, with a bright spot being the concept of the underutilized demon whisper system
-battles are a relatively mindless blitz, in a series that prides itself on patience and strategy. No defense stat (def, mag def, anything) oversimplifies various RPG tenants, leading to for instance: offense being king, quick and graceless player death a relative certainty for much of the game, and MC customization being a rote and predictable affair. I steamrolled most of SMT4 with a MC with almost all stat points put into DEX using Blast Arrow, SMT4 is very easily broken
-Doi and the guest demon designer aren't terrible, but don't compare to Kaneko
-content being behind a DLC paywall is unprecedented and does the game no favors to say the least. It harms the game significantly.

Neutral ending is frustratingly arbitrary to achieve with few opportunities to shift alignment in your favor and a vague and limited system in place to know where your alignment stands, and is a slog to finish (you have to do EVERY sidequest available).

I give SMT4 a 6/10. (For comparison, Nocturne is 10/10, DDS1 is 8/10, and a 5/10 would be the actual average)

Atlus's other recent games are overall superior IMO. EO3 is dramatically superior, EO4 is solidly superior, and even Persona 4, a game I used to seethingly hate is superior to SMT4. All told, SMT4 is a decent effort, but a misstep.
#2TheZeldaFanPosted 11/13/2013 11:24:32 AM
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#3BlackSheepWallsPosted 11/13/2013 3:04:57 PM
I wonder if they balance the endgame somehow with a enhanced version and a patch for the older version, I am not hyped for this game since I know that is is really imbalanced at the middle/end-> getting too easy.
#4Ultima_LordPosted 11/13/2013 3:14:36 PM
GREEN00 posted...
-the voice acting is mediocre


Nope

I give SMT4 a 6/10. Atlus's other recent games are overall superior IMO. even Persona 4


Pff. I give your review a 6/10. >:l
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#5NextGenCowboyPosted 11/13/2013 8:27:15 PM
BlackSheepWalls posted...
I wonder if they balance the endgame somehow with a enhanced version and a patch for the older version, I am not hyped for this game since I know that is is really imbalanced at the middle/end-> getting too easy.


It's only really not balanced for people who have played previous games in the series/subseries. First time players will probably find most/all of the game difficult. The imbalance comes from the fact that you can very easily break the system in ways you couldn't before.
#6GREEN00(Topic Creator)Posted 11/14/2013 4:16:35 AM
Ultima_Lord posted...
GREEN00 posted...
-the voice acting is mediocre


Nope

Really?

I give SMT4 a 6/10. Atlus's other recent games are overall superior IMO. even Persona 4


Pff. I give your review a 6/10. >:l

Care to explain? I'm interested to know why you disagree.
#7NoirStrikerPosted 11/16/2013 3:27:30 PM
Nocturne isn't a 10/10 stop fooling yourself...

Persona 4 is a 10/10 or 9.5/10, SMT IV is a solid 8 or 9/10.
#8wentzelotPosted 11/27/2013 6:15:22 AM
NoirStriker posted...
Nocturne isn't a 10/10 stop fooling yourself...

#9360pagesPosted 11/27/2013 7:02:40 AM
I would rate Nocturne higher than this, this game isn't bad, a solid high 8, but I do think every RPG made by Atlus on the 3DS is better, at least in terms of gameplay.
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#10Flipsider99Posted 11/27/2013 8:34:05 AM
I agree with some of your points, but disagree or don't understand others.

GREEN00 posted...
-the "dungeon" visuals are pretty good but the level design is a low point in the SMT series, and the map system can be rage inducing in its lack of information and player control for the purposes of basic and mandatory uses


I don't really understand your problem with the map. What information do you think it's lacking? I think it gives enough without giving too much.

-the voice acting is mediocre and was turned off early in the game


Disagree. I think the voice acting is pretty decent.

-overworld navigation is a chore and is your biggest enemy in the game about fighting powerful demons


Don't really understand this, either. The overworld is big enough that you can get lost in it, but it's small enough to be easily learned. It's a little annoying that you can't do sneak attacks on the overworld, but not a big deal.

I give SMT4 a 6/10. (For comparison, Nocturne is 10/10, DDS1 is 8/10, and a 5/10 would be the actual average)


I'd give it a 9, I think. Personally, my biggest problem with it by far is the save scum system, which removes risk/reward from the game. I also share your problems with the fusion system. However, the things the game does well it does VERY well, and overall it's my favorite game of the year.