Post-Mortem: Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse

 

 

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I love SMT, a lot. I’ve played, *deep breath*, I, II, III, Raidou 1 &2, Devil Summoner, Soul Hackers, DemiKids Red & Black, Imagine(far more than anyone should and than I dare admit), Strange Journey, you get the idea.

So of course I hit the ground running when Apocalypse came out.

Where does it stand in the pantheon, though?

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Apocalypse has great IDEAS. The theme of a Polytheist alliance banding together to tell Lucifer and YHVH to go kick rocks? Brilliant.

The execution, not so much. The protagonist was deliberately given a younger appearance to lure in… you guessed it, the casuals. In addition, the theme of the POWER OF FRIENDSHIP permeates the entire game. You keep expecting a Social Link… Go? prompt to appear halfway through the game, it’s that blatant.

I’ll give Atlus credit, though. IV:A doesn’t rest on that theme too heavily. Some nasty, nasty things go down in this game. People die in horrifying ways. Tokyo is a twisted place.

Merkabah is a DICK. But it just gives the whole experience constant tonality shifts. Someone dies brutally, but your best friend is totally there with you! Your friends are with you, but Merkabah slaughtered every hunter in range of him with one swing of his Hama-wielding hand.

You get the idea.

Oh, and the DLC…

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Let’s not go there. Apocalypse is a great game, and unlike its predecessor, rarely loses its fangs. It just every so often, sadly, reminds us of what could have and should have been had it committed to the full nine of a proper warring gods SMT experience.

Bears noting: the music is as good as ever. This is now my ringtone.

It may remain as such for months to come.