Shin Megami Tensei: IMAGINE (Episode 27)

Posted on August 8, 2012, in Episodes and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 34 Comments.

  1. Shut down in the west. If you want to play it, it’ll have to be in Japanese.

  2. I’m a big SMT fan, but I couldn’t stand this game. I just don’t like MMOs. I don’t have the kind of time necessary to invest in them. I play games as a way to have fun, and five hours spent on an MMO grinding run feels like work – unpaid work at that.

  3. I’ve always been curious about this game, but I’ve never had time to try it. I like challenging MMO’s, though, so maybe I can find the time.

  4. Maple Story just landed on Steam. Has the community changed any?

  5. There’s tutorials all over from the NPC’s as far as things like guns and weapons.

    But this review is really harsh.. So many things you could nitpick or point out, and it seems like you spend 1 or 2 days with it if you could only get through Suginami Tunnels, much less where using a fire demon on the boss Garm.

    It seems like you where trying to detract people from the game with this one, heh..

    • Atlus sure as hell didn’t feel that way.

      • Rufus T Firefly

        I consider myself a big SMT fan (been hooked ever since I received Revelations: Persona for the PSX back in ’97) so of course I had to try this out. Wow, this game is NOT newbie friendly at all. The grinding Ziegrif mentioned a few posts back was pretty much spot on. Heck, most newbies are told to use the virtual battle tutorial to level up your magic or combat skills before you even start the main quest. Make sure you have a couple of movies to watch while you grind. If you wanted to get far in the game, you better have a build planed out, or copy one from the Aeria forums.
        Experimental or concept builds are strongly discouraged.

        I didn’t really play much PvP, but I do know some people in my former clan who did buy the CS items. They pretty much dominated the arena. It was fun to watch, but I did feel sorry for the other players.

        Despite it’s harshness, I really wanted to like this game. I liked the environments personally (reminded me of smt 1 & 2, which makes sense considering it’s a mid-quel).
        The music was good (except the battle music started to grate on my nerves after awhile). And the main reason I play any SMT (demon collecting) was fun (although the way you have to “record” them into your demon compendium was just ridiculous)

        Since its recent move to Atlus, so I don’t know how much or little of it has change since I stopped a year ago. But from your video I can only assume it is still the same.

        TL;DR the game has a STEEP learning curve, and will kick your butt. But any Megeten fan should at least try it.

        I also want to say I’ve been watching your videos ever since the DFO review. I find them informative and quite funny. Incidentally, it was your review of City of Heroes that made start playing it. So congrats to your one year anniversary and keep up the great work!


  6. Did you ever notice the hotkeys like 1, F1 etc and settings? you kept clicking the moves while in combat which probably made it awkward to fight. problem with newbies is they don’t know where the wiki is anymore and they don’t use itsince aeria had it officially in front of you in their SMT homepage. it helped me hugely, i really didn’t need very much help.

    but anyone wishes to know where it is now

    Do your acts and get to babel xD

  7. X3 Glad to see you finally reviewing this. I’ve been watching since the Eden Eternal review, but this is really the only MMO I’ve stuck to, so it’s nice to hear your take on it. You hit a good amount of detail for as much as it can all be to take in. And yeah, it took me a little to get much further than Nakano when I first started playing– at least until a friend showed me the wonders of the free mount quest in Babel. The other dungeons are similar, but they all have a gimmick or two to them (stat-based crystals in Quartz, switches in Celu, repaired files in Ichi, timed rooms in the Metro, etc.).

    I actually did catch you in game one night (screencapped and everything, haha), though I was a little too shy to poke you at the time. Looking forward to more episodes.

  8. Just a heads up, Mabinogi had a combat overhaul recently. It’s more actiony now and has less in common with this game, save for the absence of classes.

  9. -sigh- Every time i see this game i go to try it out, and every time become frustrated and confused. It has happened at least 5 times now, and heck i’ve even gotten past the first city so i know the mechanics of it from at least a basic level, but i always feel like i need a better build or lack direction. If this game had a much stronger wiki i may actually be able to stick to it.. wonder if atlus has any plans to attempt one.

  10. Kinda nitpicky, so sorry if it comes off that way, but I just wanted to point out that while macca does stack pretty high, I think the upper limit is something like 50k. Not an issue early in the game, but it becomes quite an annoyance later on, especially with the limited amount of free inventory space.

    • Not nitpicky at all. I figured there would be a cap, and I’m shocked it would be THAT high. Good info for those interested in the game, thanks!

    • The stacking issue can be fixed easily. Inside the Cathedral of Shadows, there is a Yagiya that will allow you to exchange your 50k macca stacks for paper currency, of which will stack much more neatly. 50k macca is one piece of paper currency, and I believe the paper can stack 1000 times, so don’t fret about that.

  11. I played SMT imagine for about a year in Aerias side of things guess I’ll tell something of teh experience.
    And you pretty much scraped less than skin Chaos. This game is confusing as all hell. For example I learned that Vitality also reduces Cooldown times after playing for about 6 months.
    There’s also the fact that the exp builds (attack, rush etc.) CANNOT BE RESET AFTER LV 30 unless you use a cash shop item.
    Also the exp boosters for attack and others like that are mandatory. I spent 8 hours pushing 1 button against a GUDDAMN PINK BIRD that reflected my punches for the last rank of attack. I literally PUNCHED myself for 8 hours… straight´, some sanity was lost. So the grinding will get pretty intense unless you blow some cash at the shop.
    Also you reviewed the wrong cash shop.
    The CS items that are shown in game are NOT the real CS items. Real CS items are things that boost atk dmg and other things. The Hitoshura jock suit (don’t remeber the name) Was an item that when used in pvp let lv 30 people 1 shot lv 90s. Also items that when used with OTHER CS items would render you with -95% CD meaning non stop magical attacks. Add to that a set of things that gave you the ability to use 1 or 2 magic skills ina row you could have infinite gatling gun mages. And all this ONLY from the cash shop or other players.
    And the prices. Inflated when I played it I don’t know if they’re more managable but 70 million for a CD set kinda chapped my hide back at the time.
    Oh and while you didn’t get out of the starter area you didn’t meet some of the worse bugs. I.E the pvp bug which to my knowledge is still around. What did it do? Bug out your charachter so you couldn’t play anymore.
    The community is nice though… when there isn’t drama that is.

    SMT Imagine is not a casual pick it up game IMO.
    It’s a time sink that requires at least a year if you progress without the CS and even without that Crafting is a nightmare and the only solution to not using the CS.
    And of course you couldn’t have a crafter that was an efficent fighter aswell.
    So what do you need? A charachter ticket for a crafter or to make another account for another chara slot.
    Welcome to SMT IMAGINE! Pay to win.

    Angry rant filled with QQ over/

    I loved this game but after a year the repetition just destroyed me.
    Not even the friends I had made could keep me there.

    Oh and good review It’s exactly what an entirely new player would see.
    When I started it was really fun. Then after a while it just started to taste like ash.

    • Oh and am an avid SMT fan. Own Persona 2,3 ,3 fes, p3p, p4.
      Nocturne, DDS 1 and 2, Devil summoner Raidou 1 and I have smt 1 and 2 as Roms here somewhere.
      Now if I could just get Persona 1 I’d be quite happy.

      So yeah I did my damndest to enjoy Imagine.
      Burned me out in the process though.

      Eh I’ll stop tooting my own horn now.
      Guess ranting is some sort of therapy for 1st world whining.

    • I didn’t talk about the wrong Cash Shop, I just showed that the stores contain CS items, and … that was a much more hilarious thing to look at than the regular cash shop.

      Also since you were remembering the Aeria version, is it not possible those items may have had their effectiveness dialed down, or even removed?

      Regardless I see you have a passionate experience with that game, and yeah, there’s no way in hell I could even get close to covering the complexity in this game’s nuances. Thansk for posting the info here for people to see just how involved this game can be.

      • Nope, CS items have not been reduced in their effectiveness. On the contrary, the latest content that has been implemented in the server has been balanced on the assumption that people have CS boosting gear. Oh, and some dungeons require CS items to be opened, as well.

        Having played the game for a long while now, I have the impression that the game was very cleverly designed from the outset with all the “content” (in the sense of what you could actually experience in the game) open to everybody. The balance of the game was such that tactics could make a huge difference in the outcome of a fight. CS gear was either purely cosmetic or only marginally better than in-game stuff and the only real use for CS items was to skip some of the time sinks that are scattered in the game. Then, I don’t know if the dev team changed, or if they simply thought that they were not making enough money that way, the CS has been used to provide players with more and more balance-breaking stuff, and lastly content that all but required players to have CS items and gear was implemented.

        Despite all that, I would still recommend others to play the game: the “original” content is still very accessible and entertaining… However, I would not stick with it after completing the main chain of quests and a couple of the major side quests… the effort/reward ratio is simply not worth it. Unless, of course, you want to stay because of the friends you made in-game; that’s always a good reason to keep playing.

        • Aye I see yer point chaos, but the pay to win concept the game has is pretty lucrative at least to aeria it was. The Hitoshura jumpsuit i mentioned cost 100 dollars when it came out. It’s ridiculously overpowered and Atlus hasn’t changed much of the concept what my buddies who still play tell me. Things are still the way they were way back when.
          And yeah I got a ridiculously personal experience in that game that makes me more biased than the pope when he talks about religion.
          And we got confirmation in the comment above me aswell.
          The game is small yet enormous and hard to learn.
          Also the game has a HUGE development time for new content and when it’s implemented it either didn’t work or required CS items to use. I.E Shiva and Vishnu and Quartz Gold.
          It’s pay to win. And seems to be going for a pay to play concept for some end game stuff. A shame really.
          Still Love your reviews. Watched em since ep 6.
          This one just hit a bit too close to home dood.
          Keep up the good work!

  12. Wow…I haven’t seen an environment this bland since Goldeneye64….I mean…it makes Fusion Fall & City of Heroes on minimal graphics setting look good. & I agree, while nice at first, that music gets boring real fast.

    Gotta laugh at that guy in the cash shop. Perhaps the designers didn’t intend it to look like a guy wanking off a gun.

  13. You say “shihn may-gaah-mee tehn-say” Japan says “Shihn meh-gah-mih tehn-say.” There, I said it.

  14. Actually, if you punch a demon, it’ll reset the talk progress to some extent so you can keep trying. Most people don’t seem to know this, though; hell, I didn’t until a little while ago after browsing through the forums.

    Also, I fully agree about the quest system. My friends and I complained long and hard about that. You have to talk to everyone. Literally everyone.

    Also also, I have to ask; were you just unable to use the hotkeys for skills? It /really/ makes combat easier., since you can use both your own and the demon’s skills (without having to switch to the demon)

    I really regret catching you on the last day of recording, which also happened to be maint day. >> Doubt I would’ve changed your mind much, but hell, it might’ve been fun. xD

    . . . Penis chariot? No, but there /is/ the Incubus..

  15. I’ve played a fair bit into SMT 1 on SNES (there’s a fan translation floating around), and dabbled a bit in Imagine, and it’s extremely faithful to it’s source if nothing else. Definitely a “try it, it may or may not be for you” title.

    Oh and ChaosD1, you mention Mabinogi so much, how about reviewing it?

  16. I have such mixed feelings on this game. On one hand, there’s the the style, the awesomeness that is demon fusion and a story that gets surprisingly interesting as the game progresses. Even the clunky combat gets pretty intricate and even fun at later stages, and beating tough dungeons with too few people through good teamwork is really rewarding.

    At the same time, the game can be quite tedious, especially with the slow walking speed, and not being able to beat later dungeons without a decent 4 man party (without spending ridiculous amounts of time) just drags it down.

    Still, there’s no other MMO I’ve played that quite captures this gameplay and depth so I’m sure I’ll play it again. Eventually.

  17. I love Shin Megami Tensei, but I just can’t get into this game. I don’t know why really, I just get a big ‘meh’ feeling when I play it. I personally think it is because I didn’t have any friends to play it with.
    The only real thing that bothers me is, if you give a damn about the story, how ‘Law’ and ‘Chaos’ work in this game. With the few choices the game gives, Law is being a ‘good guy’ and chaos is being a ‘bad guy’ in this game. I personally don’t care for that portrayal of each side. That is just a little thing that bothers me though, far from a game killer.

  18. I have only played Persona 4, but recognizing all the demons as personas is interesting me. I may have to check this out.

  19. I played this game for a while and had some real fun with it, but the runs got really boring after some time and it wasn’t really helped by the utterly crowded city, which made it a pain to go look for a party. Also before they changed the channels into one the game crashed a lot for me. I think some people might have played it only for the dress-up though.

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