It's about as repetitive as you'd expect a JRPG to be. Except it's probably the one entry in this series of dungeon crawlers with the smallest "dungeons", if they can even be called that. It's rather open world-ish when you are working on the story quests . . . as open world as you can get in a place full of demons anyway. Quests and shops are really all you get, but hey, that's pretty standard for the genre right?
One warning though, this is one of the most unforgiving series's around though (though this is by far the most forgiving entry). One mistake can cost anyone their lives within one turn. Preemptive strikes and exploit every enemy elemental weakness possible (or just hope for crits) or you will get wiped quickly. yes, even in the tutorial.
"Whoa, is that a scythe?""It's also a customizable high-impact sniper rifle!" -Ruby Rose, bragging to classmates at age 15, RWBY
OP, core SMT is the least boring thing. Stop what you are doing and get one of those discounted copies ASAP. Persona and Pokemon are like having chocolate, but core SMT is doing cocaine. Once you start playing core SMT, every other RPG feels egregiously understimulating.
The wild battle system of this game (in particular) is player-controlled (you can literally run from battles in the real world and guarantee first attacks [in most situations, this game isn't perfect]) and you'll only face repetition if you screw up. Grinding a few levels is not required and it usually has a minimal effect on your game anyway (unless you grind for days); the game's mechanics focus you on building up your demon roster and using the right party in each situation. Each area's enemies are completely different and evolve as you do, testing you and compelling you to do better at every turn.
Core SMTs are real RPGs, and I don't just mean that in the sense that they're better than most RPGs; I mean it in the sense that you basically ARE playing a role of your choice. This is because, for one, you're making real moral decisions in this game. I don't mean decisions of the Mass Effect kind where you're either a good guy or an anti-hero, I mean that whatever you do, the end result is you bringing about a world shaped by the beliefs you tended to express in-game and that there are always negative consequences to what you've done. The main character is a vehicle for who you are not only because of this, but because you can name the guy, customize his stat changes per each level up, and alter his clothing. You are really, truly immersed in a fantastic world from the get go.
The challenge in this game is also addicting. You will die a lot, and about 90% of the time (this game does have fake difficulty at some spots, but it usually doesn't), you own your death and are completely responsible for it. This is a feeling that other RPG series really fail to replicate. You are always trying to improve because of the difficulty, and the process of optimizing yourself is very engrossing and never boring. Once you get past the tutorial area and get used to the mechanics, you're still learning every step of the way instead of mashing A at every wild encounter.
Steve Nick posted...
What do you spend most of your time in this game doing?
Fusing, recruiting, and battling demons; making moral decisions that are never right or wrong; making yourself stronger at every moment in which it is possible; exploring a world that is simultaneously foreign and yet so close to the human experience. Buy the game. You will not regret it, and even if you somehow did, the price isn't even that much compared to today's everyday console games.
ItIsAPsyBorg summed It up really REALLY well. As I kind, I thought that SMT was boring because of its serious and dark tone, going for Pokemon and Final Fantasy at all times.
But then I got to read the original Digital Devil Story Novel, played Persona 3, then went back to the older titles.
You will not regret it. I've finally received my copy today and I'm having a blast! Unless you don't get to like the series, you'll see how addictive the series is. You just keep wanting more... And, well, not to sound like a d*** but it will in fact expose a lot of shallows RPGs out there.
Honestly, I used to love the Digimon World rpgs, but I realized how bad overall it was. Yeah, I still like the digimons themselves, but their battle systems always fail to have any depths to 'em.