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[Review] Shin Megami Tensei: Imagine: An Anime Gem

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 17,626MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

In our latest review, we put Shin Megami Tensei: Imagine through its paces to see how it stacks up. See what we discovered in our exclusive review.

Released in 2007, Imagine is set in Japan in an alternate future where a war between humans and demons has decimated civilization. Imagine puts players in control of “DBs” or Demon Busters, who are skilled in the use of swords, sorcery and guns. In addition to these weapons, DBs are also trained in the use of arm mounted computers to summon and control demons to assist them in combat. Using these skills, players complete quests and make their way through the acts that make up the storyline of Imagine. Imagine shares a lot of aspects with single player entries in the series and fans of previous Shin Megami Tensei games will find many familiar aspects to enjoy. Those new to the series who try Imagine will find a MMO that, while visually and technically dated, contains a deep leveling system, an interesting setting and an army of demons waiting to be collected.

Read more of Justin Asselstine's Shin Megami Tensei: An Anime Gem.


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  • StormwindXStormwindX LondonPosts: 168Member

    SMT has held a special place in my heart as my favorite RPG franchise ever since I first laid eyes on SMT 3: Nocturne. I haven't touched this one yet, but at least the SMT games that I have played all boast excellent music, atmosphere and story (except, IMO, for the Persona series), a lot of challenge, and decent, yet very stylized graphics. And I just love the design of a lot of the demons.


    Anyway, I might give Imagine a whirl sometime, even if just for a day or two.

  • DraronDraron A town in, KYPosts: 993Member
    IMO, Mabinogi has everything SMT:I does but better.
  • KamatariPLKamatariPL OlsztynPosts: 7Member

    there is one more pros. Combat.

    It's not your plain grind after all, a lot more tactic is involved than in most of hotkey-based games.

    To the Cons. PvP should be added. This system is kinda messy and rether boring. 

  • 13707051370705 den haagPosts: 1Member

    I feel that there are a couple statements in this review that are by and large incorrect:

    Polish/1:  First, the game has been developed by a single developer, CAVE, and has been under its "care" ever since. It has changed hands (twice) only in terms of publisher, and only with regards to the US/International server, originally with Aeria Games and now with Atlus Online.

    Polish/2: Secondly the amount of polish in the game is abysmal: there are countless translation mistakes from Japanese and the occasional random untranslated snippet. Furthermore, CAVE is best known for "bullet hell" kinds of games, and their ability to maintain the codebase of a MMO is sorely lacking: every time new content is introduced inevitably something else breaks, and it's weeks before it's fixed again. Particularly spectacular the case of a bug that pretty much made PvP unplayable, which has been fixed only after MONTHS (maybe even a year, after a while most people stopped caring).

    Social: well, I'd give it more than a six, but to each his own. However, hub design is not so great, since basically everything revolves around a single city, Babel, and whole areas of the game are deserted, since travelling though maps is a chore.

    Value: shortly after the game launch, it was true that "a player who wishes to experience everything the game has to offer can do so without having to pay additional money". It is still technically true for most dungeons and quests (which were implemented in the first two years of the game life), but definitely not true with respect to more recent content. The cash shop is not merely "items of convenience and cosmetic changes", either:  the influence of cash gear on performance is big, and most of the recent content is balanced for that kind of damage output, to the point of being unplayable otherwise; this had an influence on the community and the game economy as a whole, so it is very hard to progress beyond mid-low level without spending cash.

    @KatamariIPL: the game has PvP, it just has been broken for a long time. It is true, however, that SMT:I was designed without PvP in mind, so it is pretty much separate from the rest of the game. For this reason, PvP is also pretty much irremediably unbalanced...


  • nhatnhat york, PAPosts: 121Member Uncommon
    I wish they update the controls to be more modern. Auto run, tab targetting and a few others I forgot. Otherwise it's a solid game.
  • gaeanprayergaeanprayer Somewhere Out There, PAPosts: 2,325Member Uncommon
    Cash shop is vital for endgame, don't know what the reviewer is smoking. When I last played, Cash shop was also vital for creature slots. I'm not talking just a few; one of the big carrots for the persona series is the collection of personae, leveling and combining them to create new ones or old ones with better skills. In order to do that here, you'd have to come out your pocket in a pretty major way, one that doesn't reflect the quality or value of the game, IMO.

    "Forums aren't for intelligent discussion; they're for blow-hards with unwavering opinions."

  • JayArcherJayArcher Kingston, ONPosts: 3Member

    To respond to a couple of these comments:

    With regards to polish I haven't run into any real bugs playing off and on since launch. The people I speak with on my server don't seem to have many, if any problems with bugs. Admittedly, you're right and  I was thinking of polish as mostly gameplay related and I probably could have knocked off a point for the translation.

    While Cave has always been the developer I know when Atlus took over publishing they had a quality assurance sweep to fix bugs. As Aeria has a internal QA team I was under the assumption they did as well when they relaunched the game the first time.

    With regards to endgame cash shop stuff while I'm no longer max level I have clan members who have gotten to top or near top level with the base demon slots and no cash shop gear. I didn't say it was easy leveling without cash shop, just that it was possible. And with regards to the value score it's about playing the game and having fun for free. While I could never give exact numbers, there are a lot of people who play mmos who don't care about the endgame or will never reach it so it's about whether the average gamer will get enjoyment out of the free portion of the game.

    "Fate has no forgiveness for those who dare stand against it." - Chrono Cross Freelance Reviewer

  • healbellhealbell SingaporePosts: 2Member

    I used to play this game until it became pay to win. You needed a certain amount of Int in order to reach maximum buffiness which was close to impossible if you were for some reason a Lawful character instead of Chaotic -- I think that's changed with the introduction of new demons. It's the same for Synthing (enhancing gear) -- you need luck and intelligence to get the % to succeed and you want party members with (cash) gear to give you those bonuses. Otherwise, you'd be failing and you don't want to fail.

    And pretty much you have to avoid pvp if you have no cash gear, and other players wouldn't run endgame dungeons with you. It's not that it's impossible to buy cash gear with macca, it's just horrible.

    Back when the game was managed under AeriaGames, there was a bunch of drama inclusive but not limited to a rare demon being gifted to a player-GM and AeriaGames wanting to hire a certain translator but not wanting to pay them well.

  • imecekimecek LodzPosts: 2Member
    Looks quite good, I must play it!

    I am from Poland, interested in Law, please visit my website - , everybody are welcome!

  • MirariMirariMirariMirari Vernon, TXPosts: 47Member

    Its an okay game. not the best plus compared to other games this is really bad and overated, please dont be offended, the gameplay and mapping is terrible!

    Unless you know what your doing I reccomend that if you want a massive MMO xD and great graphics, or fighting and location dont play this it will upset you alot.

    I honestly think this got a really high rating for nothing, the person who reviewed it must of just enjoyed the game

    I really don't know what to put here.

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