July 14, 2010

Playing for Time: Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey

Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey
Nintendo DS, 2010

16 hours into the game. This is actually my first Shin Megami Tensei game, so what is old news for most SMT fans is all new to me. I'm conscious that I'm missing out on a lot of references and inside jokes, but so far the game has been extremely easily approachable for a newcomer.

It's nice to see a JRPG with a story that's a bit different than what the typical titles in the genre offer. The darker shades and weirder premise feels a bit wasted, though, since Strange Journey has surprisingly little story content. I mean, there are dialogue scenes and whatnots, but the ratio of grind versus story leans heavily towards grinding. After the lengthy opening cut-scene the narrative has relied heavily on little story snippets and short dialogue scenes, mostly taking place after you complete a dungeon, and most concerning some pressing matter the player has to tackle in order to advance to the next problem. I would like to see more than just "accomplish task X to gain access to area Y" type of content. Hopefully there's more story in the future. At least it would appear the actual plot is starting to pick up.

But don't get me wrong, I am enjoying the game like whut, despite the whine.

(If you're wondering what Playing for Time is, see this explanatory post.) 

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