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    Shin Megami Tensei IV

    Game » consists of 6 releases. Released May 23, 2013

    The fourth numbered entry in Atlus's RPG series of occult-themed tales in a post-apocalyptic world.

    Are you bummed that all of the battles are in first person?

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    Justin258

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    Poll Are you bummed that all of the battles are in first person? (170 votes)

    Yeah, it sucks, why couldn't they have animated everything like in Nocturne and Persona? 44%
    Nope, this means battles go faster and this decision allowed them to include more demons. 56%

    So every time I've looked at posts about this game, some people pop up and express how bummed they are about how all of the battles are in first person. I don't know Atlus's exact reasoning behind this decision, of course, but it doesn't bum me out at all. Etrian Odyssey and Strange Journey were both fine in first person, and I actually like how it makes things go so much faster. Not only that, making battles consist of sprites probably allowed them to put more time and money into making better or bigger dungeons and/or a large number of bigger and better demons. Nocturne was a fantastic game but the smaller number of demons meant that I was not fusing and getting new ones very often like I have been doing in Strange Journey (which has a total of around 300, if I'm not mistaken).

    What reasons might someone have for preferring that they all be animated? Seeing the demons might be cool once but seeing the same animation a billion times gets boring in Persona 3, 4, and Nocturne. Are there any other reasons?

     • 
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    Make_Me_Mad

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    #1  Edited By Make_Me_Mad

    Not really that upset. Hasn't it kind of always been the case for handheld SMT games? Not counting the Personas, of course.

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    TruthTellah

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    I wish you had a third option: "I guess it's alright. I'll get used to it."

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    Sticky_Pennies

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    Not bummed at all. Strange Journey was an excellent game, and that was in first person.

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    Justin258

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    #4  Edited By Justin258

    @make_me_mad said:

    Not really that upset. Hasn't it kind of always been the case for handheld SMT games? Not counting the Personas, of course.

    Actually, no. Strange Journey and Soul Hackers, the latter of which is a re-release, are the only two that are first person. Devil Survivor is a strategy game and Persona 3 and 4 have all of the battle animations that their PS2 versions had. I don't think that Persona 1 and 2 on PSP were in first person, but I'm not entirely sure about that one. At least they weren't entirely.

    EDIT: This game isn't entirely in first person either. Just the turn-based battles. Everything else is third person.

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    gokaired

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    It's old school, i have no problem with it.

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    Video_Game_King

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    @believer258:

    Persona 1 only had first person exploration; the combat in those games was third person (with this really confusing formation system a la Romancing SaGa). Persona 2 and Persona 2 were completely third person.

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    SpaceRunaway

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    I would say that it doesn't feel like a Megaten game if it's not in 1st person. Yeah, that's right, NOCTURNE!

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    confusedowl

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    I would prefer it in third person just because I like to see the appearance of my weapons change in combat but I'll get used to the first person view. It's not that big a deal. What I've seen of the dungeon crawling the areas look quite nice so that makes up for it I'd say.

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    BisonHero

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    First person battles have always sucked, in every RPG that has them. Japanese, Western, doesn't matter.

    This series, Dragon Quest, Earthbound, Elder Scrolls: would all be better with 3rd-person cameras.

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    Justin258

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    First person battles have always sucked, in every RPG that has them. Japanese, Western, doesn't matter.

    This series, Dragon Quest, Earthbound, Elder Scrolls: would all be better with 3rd-person cameras.

    Well, I was especially looking for a reason why you think they suck. What advantages would 3rd person have in this particular series of games?

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    abendlaender

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    First person battles have always sucked, in every RPG that has them. Japanese, Western, doesn't matter.

    This series, Dragon Quest, Earthbound, Elder Scrolls: would all be better with 3rd-person cameras.

    I would agree with DQ and Earthbound (Elder Scrolls is fine in 1st Person to me, also it has a 3rd Perosn camera). I don't really know why it bothers me, but I always hated the first person turn-based battles. It just looks less....interesting I think

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    BisonHero

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    @believer258 said:

    @bisonhero said:

    First person battles have always sucked, in every RPG that has them. Japanese, Western, doesn't matter.

    This series, Dragon Quest, Earthbound, Elder Scrolls: would all be better with 3rd-person cameras.

    Well, I was especially looking for a reason why you think they suck. What advantages would 3rd person have in this particular series of games?

    There wouldn't be any gameplay advantages, but it just seems like the developer is cheaping out on us by not animating the player's party. It's 2013, not 1986. If Pokemon on the Game Boy could find a way to show the player's Pokemon from behind, then I'm sure SMT can figure it out.

    It's entirely perception, but still doing all the battles in first person just looks bad, especially in a turn-based games where I know that being turn-based already takes an enormous load off of the developer in terms of how things can go wrong (compared to games with real-time combat).

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    Justin258

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    @believer258 said:

    @bisonhero said:

    First person battles have always sucked, in every RPG that has them. Japanese, Western, doesn't matter.

    This series, Dragon Quest, Earthbound, Elder Scrolls: would all be better with 3rd-person cameras.

    Well, I was especially looking for a reason why you think they suck. What advantages would 3rd person have in this particular series of games?

    There wouldn't be any gameplay advantages, but it just seems like the developer is cheaping out on us by not animating the player's party. It's 2013, not 1986. If Pokemon on the Game Boy could find a way to show the player's Pokemon from behind, then I'm sure SMT can figure it out.

    It's entirely perception, but still doing all the battles in first person just looks bad, especially in a turn-based games where I know that being turn-based already takes an enormous load off of the developer in terms of how things can go wrong (compared to games with real-time combat).

    To be fair, Pokemon wasn't all that different from first person combat anyway. It was all still images, if I remember correctly, you just got to see your Pokemon as a still image on the screen.

    I guess I can see it being entirely perception, but I don't think it necessarily looks bad. I don't want to say that I really enjoy the first person battles themselves, but I prefer the benefits of them being in first person. If nothing else, I won't have to sit through repetitive animations again and again and the pace will be much faster.

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    Video_Game_King

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    @bisonhero:

    I don't have much of a problem with first person combat in RPGs. First person navigation, on the other hand...

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    Mrsignerman44

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    #15  Edited By Mrsignerman44

    I'm not thrilled, but I can deal with it. At least they squeezed in more demons, the resolution on some sprites however is questionable...

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    Hailinel

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    #16  Edited By Hailinel

    It's standard for SMT, and I don't really have a problem with it. Nocturne was the exception rather than the rule.

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    aleryn

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    #17  Edited By aleryn

    Doesn't bug me since I started with the first game on Super Famicom. Aside from that? I can see why others would want to see their characters in battles.

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    EXTomar

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    I'm open to that team doing something different. Besides wasn't the first game technically from the view of the player?

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    Justin258

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    #19  Edited By Justin258

    @extomar said:

    I'm open to that team doing something different. Besides wasn't the first game technically from the view of the player?

    Yeah, the series' roots do indeed lie in first person dungeon crawling. Most of the SMT games from the '90's are from the view of the player, and a handful from last decade are as well.

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    eirikr

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    It's totally fine. The way the enemies are shaded gives them needed depth and when you attack the camera angle will shift, making battles seem more dynamic. My only issue is that sometimes boss battles can seem a little drab, because almost all of them are a gargantuan close-up sprite against the same swirly haze Earthbound-like background. But the music makes up for it.

    In short, the perspective doesn't actually affect the gameplay at all, which is perhaps the best the series has ever seen.

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    YI_Orange

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    I don't know. I've always liked first person battles less for some reason. Can't really explain why, I just always get a little bummed out when they show up. I guess the animations just make the battles more interesting?(and man can JRPG battles stand to be more interesting)

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    kishinfoulux

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    I just feel like there isn't really a good reason to NOT be able to see your characters and have animations during battle. Persona 4 did it just fine. And for those saying "well battles are quicker with first person" you could auto battle and have a fight be done in moments in Persona 4. Even disregarding that it's not so huge a difference. If a battle takes a little longer, but I can actually SEE what's going on I'd much rather have that.

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    LiquidPrince

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    I'm more bummed that it is not on Vita.

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    Hunter5024

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    I'm bummed out when anything is in first person. I totally get the merits of the perspective, but I really prefer third.

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    eirikr

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    I just feel like there isn't really a good reason to NOT be able to see your characters and have animations during battle. Persona 4 did it just fine. And for those saying "well battles are quicker with first person" you could auto battle and have a fight be done in moments in Persona 4. Even disregarding that it's not so huge a difference. If a battle takes a little longer, but I can actually SEE what's going on I'd much rather have that.

    My guess is that there wasn't time nor budget to render all of the game's 400+ demons in 3D. Of course, the logical response to that is, "use fewer demons!" Nocturne had one of the smallest compendiums in the series as the...well, first-ish game to be fully 3D.

    I'm guessing IV runs on a different engine, so all the demons rendered across the PS2 titles couldn't simply be reused. Add that to the fact that all of Strange Journey's demons except for a small handful reappear in IV and I get the feeling that the first-person battles was a decision made near the beginning of the game's development cycle.

    While I'd say the quality of the game is in no way impacted by the battle perspective, I empathize with those who feel that third-person adds a little more charm. There was something more satisfying about attacks bouncing off an uber-demon you made in Nocturne versus the same thing happening to a static portrait in other games.

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    deactivated-63e816891732d

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    Never really had a problem with the battle perspective, I like them both. My first JRPG was EarthBound, though, so maybe that's why I'm open to old school RPG mechanics like this.

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    leinad44

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    I really don't care what perspective it is. As long as the game is fun!

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    kerse

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    I'd prefer third person personally, but there's nothing wrong with first person at all. And honestly its an SMT game that isn't Persona, I was 100% expecting it to be first person. For me, it just makes the battling a little more boring. I don't really mind though, I come to RPG's for a good story mainly, and if the battling is fun thats a bonus for me. Not to say if battling is terrible I can deal with it, there is definitely a threshold for that. And I guess I can keep going with awful story and dialogue if the battling is fun (looking at you Star Ocean: The Last Hope). So I guess don't listen to me.

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    Justin258

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    @kscorps said:

    Never really had a problem with the battle perspective, I like them both. My first JRPG was EarthBound, though, so maybe that's why I'm open to old school RPG mechanics like this.

    My first actual JRPG was Chrono Trigger last year (unless you count Kingdom Hearts). I didn't encounter the first person perspective in JRPG's myself until Etrian Odyssey IV. To me, the mechanics between first and third person are very similar and that's what I play these games for, so the perspective during battle doesn't matter.

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    NyxFe

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    I used to really dislike the first person perspective in RPGs (e.g. my first experiences with Dragon Quest), but over the years I have found it doesn't bother me at all. Maybe it was my later found love of Wizardry, but I don't really find that third-person or being able to see your characters hitting the enemies is really all that critical to an RPG. While it's nice to fancy animations and whatnot, after tens of hours of fighting/leveling you start to wish you could skip those anyway. At some point, animation filled battle systems become pretty unbearable (Grandia (to be fair, justified pretty well here), Legend of Dragoon, Glory of Heracles, etc.).
    Even the non-first person SMT games (DDS1/2, Persona) wouldn't be much different for being in first person.

    My primary concern with SMT4 is whether they maintain the amazing Dekaja sound effect from DDS. So satisfying.

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    Bocam

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    I have more of a problem with the fact some of the designs are pretty shitty

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    MezZa

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    #32  Edited By MezZa

    I prefer third person, but it doesn't really matter. I don't really have a reason for my preference other than its what I'm used to, and I like seeing the characters. It just makes it more visually stimulating for me I guess.

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    nick_verissimo

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    I doubt anyone would dislike a flashier, third-person perspective for the battle system, but if it allows the game to have things like voice acting and higher production values for everything outside of battles, than I'm totally okay with it. If I'm just slogging through text and see no real effort on the presentation side, then I'd be left wanting a little more.

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    envane

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    smt 3 was the only main-line smt game to NOT have first person battles , and the layout for the dungeons in smt games and persona is pretty much the same in 2d or 3d .. this is clearly a bunch of people wanting smt to be persona , which it has never been ..

    imo smt4 looks like they have advanced the formula enough without ruining it completely (are ppl still raging over demon designs?)

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    Mcfart

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    I was hoping for Nocturne-style, since the 3DS can do it, but it's not a deal breaker. Also P4 Golden and P3P both have 3d battles...

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    neoepoch

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    @mcfart: P3P also has terrible overworld navigation, and P4G has way fewer demons. I mean they recycle a ton of shadows in the main dungeons anyway.

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    Joeyoe31

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    I can definitely deal. I love Strange Journey and the Etrian Odyssey series, but I would have definitely preferred 3D models.

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    NegativeCero

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    Nah, I've gone through them in multiple RPG's without any issue, including the Dragon Quest series and previous MegaTen games.

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    TheManWithNoPlan

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    The only way to effectively negotiate with demons is in the first person.

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    nights

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    #40  Edited By nights

    The only thing I'm bummed out about is that this game had to come out during the Steam summer sale. I've got the Limited Edition box just sitting there, no idea when I'll get into it. I have to be in the right state of mind. Considering there are 500 demons in the ame, I'm fine with the fact that the battles are in 2D. Would I prefer a 3D combat system? Sure, but the number of demons makes up for it.

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    DonutFever

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    #41  Edited By DonutFever

    I selected Yeah, because I really prefer third person, but it's not a HUGE deal. Doesn't bother me too much.

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    JessicaaGoldBurst

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    Nocturne's my favorite game of all time, but I love the older, first-person games, too. So I actually thought this was a nice compromise between the two.

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    Flappy

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    I only have two things to complain about and they're more nitpicky than anything else:

    1) There's no "Defense" stat, so every fight, in theory, can potentially end with you pushing up daisies. Better pick armor with good resistances, son!

    2) Every piece of armor changes your appearance, but it would've been cool if we had a "Costume" option of some sort so we can have both functionality and effectiveness.

    Yup! That's all the beef I have with the game. Everything else is pretty legit (including the ballbusting difficulty on some bosses)

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    Belegorm

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    The classic SMT games on the super famicom were in 1st person; I'm fine with a series returning to its roots

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    Nux

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    Not at all. I used to be turned off by first person battles but I've gotten used to it. In fact games like Devil Survivor 1 and 2 have even gotten me to like the first person battles in handheld SMT games. Also the attack specific demon death animation is really cool. Have you seen what it looks like when a demon is killed with Bufu?

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