Friday, June 5, 2009

Game Series Recomendation

Shin Megami Tensei.

I don't know how I made it this far in my adult life, being completely oblivious to this gaming franchise. These games, were not only ahead of their time, but they are physiologically more intelligent and involved then many of their RPG brethren.

I started the series at the very beginning : Megami Tensei the Novel. I know it isn't a game, but I didn't want to play the Famicom games so I figured the novel would suffice. Later I found out the Famicom games are actually direct sequels to the books. So I skipped the Famicom games and went stright into the Super Famicom games that have been fan translated, Shin Megami Tensei 1 & 2. These games hold up incredably well to today's standards. The first one not as much so, because all the textures are the same and you play from a fixed first person perspective in a 16 bit game. You get turned around A LOT.

However, the story in the first one is much darker. I couldn't help thinking about how, when it was originally released in Japan, I was sitting at home in America, happily playing Mario games, without any idea that people were playing a game where you form contracts with demons and then fight Satan AND Christians and destroy all life on Earth in the process. But damn it is good.

The second one, while more controversial because you fight and kill God Himself, seems tamer. Perhaps there is a stronger disconnect because the world has already been destroyed by the time you get to it, so it isn't as recognizable as a human civilization, and feels slightly more like a fantasy setting.

"Shin Megami Tensei If..." is the next in the series, but I haven't played it since no translation exists yet. I really want to play this one becasue it is an alternate take on the first game, where the world does not end (only your school gets dragged to Hell), and is the direct prequel to the Persona games. All Persona games happen in the same universe as the "Shin Megami Tensei If..." timeline.

The thrid part to the original series is called "Nocturne" in America and "Lucifer's Call" everywhere else. It is on PS2 and VERY difficult to find.

There is a ton of info on the "Persona" games online, so I won't go into all that, but I love those games just as much as the original series.

I will say, what I like best about these games are the subtitle nods to the others games in the series. At first they seem like they are all seperate entries like a Final Fantasy, but in reality most of them are in the same Universe, or at least an alternate Universe of one of the other series.

Of course I haven't even begun to touch on the wide birth of Shin Megami Tensei titles, but maybe that will be a new project for me with this blog. I'll focus on one at a time and give my opinion, instead of this sloppy post that just talks about random and unorganized thoughts concerning the series.