More Reviews
REVIEWS Astro A38 Wireless Headset Review
With the launch of the A38s, Astro has clearly shown that they can rock our eardrums off even if we aren’t sitting in our living rooms.

Destiny Review
With Bungie's leap to next-generation platforms and interstellar space closer to home, I wonder if E.T. is out there somewhere.
More Previews
PREVIEWS Skylanders Trap Team Preview
While younger gamers have flocked to the brand, more mature consumers remain reluctant to jump on board. Skylanders move forward with trappable enemies, though I doubt it’ll turn stubborn heads.
Release Dates
NEW RELEASES Persona 4 Arena Ultimax
Release date: 09/30/14

Alien: Isolation
Release date: 10/07/14

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel
Release date: 10/14/14

The Evil Within
Release date: 10/14/14


LATEST FEATURES Assassin's Creed Unity Interview: Ubisoft Talks Multplayer, Next-Gen Development, More
Ubisoft's first "truly" next-gen entry in the Assassin's Creed franchise takes the fight to France. Here's what you can expect.

PlayStation Download September 2014 - Updating Each Week
Sony's platforms always get plenty of new digital software and we'll bring you the list each week with the rest.
MOST POPULAR FEATURES The Updating List of PAX Indies
We're heading to PAX Prime! Are you looking to check out a few unique indie games while you're there? UPDATED: Dragon Fin Soup, Dungeon of the Endless,

LEADERBOARD
Read More Member Blogs
FEATURED VOXPOP shandog137
A Letter to the Big “N"
By shandog137
Posted on 09/12/14
I have and will continue to have a place in my heart for Nintendo. In fact, my first console was a Super Nintendo. The video game market has changed drastically since the early '90s and it seems like what once was platinum is more so along the lines of silver now. Nintendo has always been...

DAILY MANIFESTO

Shin Megami Tensei IV Review Log: Combat

Posted on Wednesday, July 10 @ 16:00:00 Eastern by


Shin Megami Tensei IV is now less than a week away from release, meaning your pre-order should be in by now if you still want to get your mits on the Limited Edition first-print. I can talk openly about the game now that the embargo has lifted, but I'm still working on my initial playthrough. As was the case with Persona 4 Golden, we'll have a final verdict soon, but in the meantime, I've been hopelessly entrenched in SMT IV's extensively modern combat system.

Combat in SMT IV gives you control over your own powers and abilities, but also those of up to three demon companions, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. You build your team up by conversing with demons and convincing them to join your side, but I'll have more on that in a separate post. Bottom line, choosing your moves smartly can make you a dominant demon wielder and give you an incredible feeling of success.

Japanese role-playing games have always given players the opportunity to grow and develop their skills over time, but Atlus has used light puzzle mechanics in its last few titles to give even skilled hands a bit of a brain teaser. The first trick is discovering which elements your enemies are weak against.


You can accomplish this by hitting them with every power you've got or upgrading your AI companion Burroughs with new apps later down the line (again, more on this later). Once you've exploited a weakness, you can repeatedly hammer enemies in a similar fashion until they're all dead and gone. Some demons can change their affinity, buff against elemental attacks they're weak against, or come with no set weakness to speak of, so don't expect to rely on the same attacks over and over again.

The second trick is establishing a rhythm of successful battles where the enemy never even has an opportunity to inflict damage. As you run around the dungeon, you can strike first and initiate battles. Then, if you know the enemy you're up against, you can exploit weaknesses and add further moves to your turn, thereby eliminating the enemy's opportunity to act until the battle's already been won.

Boss enemies don't allow for this never-ending cycle, though. I fought a boss the other day that was weak against fire attacks, so I hungrily instructed all of my demons to attack with fire to perpetuate my turn. At some point, the fire attacks stopped adding moves to my turn, but the damage inflicted had staggered the opponent.


Another element to be conscious of in battles is the Smirk. If an enemy should dodge away from or outright reflect your attack, your turn will end and the demon will have entered Smirk state. You and your demons can get into this state of heightened power and ability too, but when an enemy Smirks, it usually means a ton of damage is about to fall on your head.

Only the player character can use items (unless one of your demons learns a special ability), and it takes a little while to obtain a demon with an All-Heal ability, so make sure you take your first timid steps into Naraku with care. SMT IV's blistering difficulty is matched only by the humiliation you feel when it asks you if you'd like to use a lower difficulty.

In order to get to this lower difficulty setting, you need to have died once and paid about half your money to be resurrected. Then you have to die again. Once you've done that, you can switch the difficulty back and forth at will, but Easy definitely represents a more entertaining and enjoyable experience. Again, we'll have more on that later.

Look out for my next Shin Megami Tensei IV Review Log soon.
Related Games:   Shin Megami Tensei IV


comments powered by Disqus

More On GameRevolution