Shin Megami Tensei IV Review

Shin Megami Tensei IV Review Screen 1

Shin Megami Tensei IV is a famous, much lauded JRPG (Japanese Role Playing Game) accepted and acclaimed in Japan and other world territories. Why has it taken so long for it to come to Europe?

I will probably never have the answer to that one. I have seen after a year and a half delay, it was coming, as an eshop only release for a reduced price. As soon as I saw I had the chance to review it, I instantly said yes, to see what the big deal was, why these games are so highly regarded.  As a new comer, a western gamer, I like the idea of taking a look at a whole new series in the genre.

Graphically, for a 3ds game, I feel it’s passable, the sprites and background graphics are okay looking during cut scenes. In the exploration part of the game, it doesn’t really look that good; I could even compare the texturing of the dungeons to a console a few generations ago. That isn’t that big of a deal it’s all part of the styling I’m guessing but still, it’s not impressive to me. What is somewhat impressive is the art style and variation of the monsters you face, but before going on about that, I better explain some of the major gameplay mechanics.

Shin Megami Tensei IV Review Screen 3

As mentioned, Shin Megami Tensei IV is a different style of game that I am really used to; however, it can be comparable to one game I am a huge fan of. Pokémon, for me yes, it is similar, but different too. Fighting and getting monsters to join up with you in your battles, can be seen like Pokémon, but it plays different as well of course. You have an option to chat up or bribe different monsters to join up with you, paying money or items to get them to join your team (maximum team mates – four).

The gameplay mechanics are okay, fine, funny at points even but seem rather random too and I feel can get repetitive as well. From there the fighting is like Pokémon too, picking attacks from yourself and your team, using items and so on, having said that, I didn’t enjoy it as much as my Pokémon experience either. It’s not particularly bad, just not for me.

The story itself is okay, you are a young person who gets signed up to be a trainee Samurai, learning the ways as the world gets more and more troublesome. I don’t go in for story line details, but it’s safe to say there are some serious issues faced in the game, some I wouldn’t have expected, there’s some serious twists in the tale, but you’ll get no spoilers from me! Are they worth playing through for? It’s a deep game, a real time well, as it should be, being what it is, for all the time it is though I’d say no, not for me anyway.

Shin Megami Tensei IV Review Screen 4

Back to the graphics, a true highlight for me is the designs of the various monsters, looking at the amount and how they actually look is actually very impressive. As said previously, the other stuff is fine but basic. The characters look and voice acting are bland or annoying really, a bit off putting, but expected for the type of game it is. The music and soundscape is passible also, nothing outstanding in general.

As expressed in the start of the review I am really a new comer to the JRPG genre, I can’t say I was too impressed. Shin Megami Tensei IV was flawed but fun, interesting yet boring, pretty and yet ugly, a real mixed bag.

I’m sure some fans will laugh or rage at this review, but I can only see it from where I am sitting, as an outsider, I look and compare it to what I like that are similar, Professor Layton, Phoenix Wright, Pokémon, games along those lines and I can only see one answer, I can understand why people enjoy this, I just don’t.

REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Nintendo 3DS code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to

Subscribe to our mailing list

Get the latest game reviews, news, features, and more straight to your inbox