Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey
Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey offers a refreshingly thoughtful experience compared to most Japanese RPG plots
- Intriguing and mature story elements, lots of areas to explore and hidden secrets to find
- Demon fusion takes trial and error, thematic elements may offend some gamers
While it's engaging dungeons and mature themes are sure to please fans of the Shin Megami Tensei franchise, Strange Journey suffers from a hit-or-miss Demon Fusion system and a somewhat tired premise.
The latest Shin Megami title certainly has an appropriate name. Strange Journey is a strange game for two reasons: one, it's an M-rated DS title, which is exceptionally rare, and two, it's about a futuristic multinational army that ventures to an Antarctica-like dimension to stop an impending demonic takeover of planet Earth. Strange Journey earns its 'Mature' rating not through depicted blood and gore, but by dealing with themes and story elements that could potentially make gamers feel very uncomfortable, something the franchise is known for. The Shin Megami Tensei series has also delved into various mythologies and depending on the choices you make during your time with Strange Journey, you might even end up having to fight the holy armies of the Judeo-Christian God (yes, the Biblical God, not some metaphorical figure). It's a refreshingly thoughtful experience compared to most Japanese RPG plots, but it's not for the easily offended.
The game's odd premise is also a departure from the established norm and it centres on a soldier who leads the expedition as he explores the ice caves and hellish mockeries of human-made locales that compose the strange world; everything plays out in a first-person perspective, similar to Atlus's own Etrian Odyssey series, and along the way, you can actually communicate with and recruit demons to join your team, as well as augment their powers and fuse them into more powerful fighters. You also make several moral decisions over the course of the game that determines which ending sequence you unlock.
Exploration of the varied dungeons throughout Strange Journey is exciting, and the strong enemy encounters force you to think carefully about risks and rewards when going into uncharted territory; it's a nice change from RPGs where non-boss encounters are nothing more than cannon fodder meant to bolster your experience level. While the turn-based combat engine is standard fare, there's still a lot of strategy to recruiting and creating powerful demons and crafting parties that work well together. One thing that disappointed me, however, was the demon fusion system: The previous DS entry, Devil Survivor, had an excellent "helper" utility that provided assistance in finding and planning various demon fusions. This utility isn't present in Strange Journey, and it is sorely missed -- you'll either have to commit the statistical information to memory, invest a lot of trial and error, or have a FAQ on hand.
The other big issue for me is a matter of personal preference. While the "futuristic military" theme is one that hasn't been seen much in the SMT series (or Japanese RPGs in general), it's so widespread in other gaming genres -- particularly here in the West -- that I found myself bored with it almost from the get-go. Some players will certainly appreciate the break from fantasy kingdoms and teenage anime heroes, but I like the "modern-day Japan" settings of SMT titles like Persona and Devil Survivor much more than this.
But while Strange Journey has its issues, it's still a solid game and one of only a handful of titles on the DS that truly is meant for mature audiences. If you're looking for a thoughtful, challenging RPG experience, this is a Strange Journey worth taking; those who take issue with the thematic elements, however, might want to go adventuring elsewhere.
Join the newsletter!
SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™
Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer Fuchsia/Iron
WD MY PASSPORT™ X Gaming Storage
Apple iPhone X
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-55EZ950U
Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-77EZ1000U
cloudandco Smart Cane
Bang and Olufsen BeoVision 14
Nespresso Creatista Coffee Machine
Toys for Boys
Lego Mindstorms EV3
Leica M10 Digital Rangefinder Camera
Onyx Smart Walkie Talkie
Bose SoundLink Micro
Propel Star Wars T-65 X-Wing Drone
Google Daydream View VR Headset
LaCie Rugged USB-C Portable Hard Drive
Ubiquiti Network’s Front Row Camera
Xbox One X
Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K
Nest Protect Smart Smoke Alarm
Panasonic Hi-Fi - SC-UA7GS-K
Amazon Echo Bluetooth Speaker
PETKIG Go Smart Dog Leash
Dearear Endear In-ear Wireless Earphones
Toffee Bags Commuter Satchel
iRobot Roomba 980 Vaccum Cleaning Robot
Belkin Pocket Power 10,000mAh
WD MY CLOUD™ HOME Personal Cloud Storage
Panasonic Portable Splashproof Fun - RF-D20U
Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse
3SIXT 3-in-1 Smartphone Lens Kit
Logitech Doodle Collection Wireless Mouse
Ikea NORDMÄRKE Wireless Charging Pad
Urbanworx Full HD Action Camera
Tile Pro Bluetooth Tracker
Kogan Bluetooth Soundbar
Lexon Flip Alarm Clock
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Hisense takes the fight to home entertainment heavyweights with flagship Series 8 and 9 ULED TVs
- 2 Sony's latest Ultra HD OLED debuts in Australia
- 3 Panasonic Ultra HD OLED TV Review
- 4 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
- 5 Oppo A77 smartphone: Full in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Acer attempts to woo Australian gamers with reveal of its new Predator range
- Nintendo Switch software update: What does 4.0.0 feature and how to install it?
- Robot House announce vacuum-bot adventure game ahead of PAX Australia
- Wargaming launches ANZ servers for World of Tanks
- VR fairytale game Luna due for Oct 17 release
PCW Evaluation Team
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.
- Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review
- The Best Australian Black Friday Tech Deals That Aren't On Amazon
- Wolfenstein The New Colossus Review
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- CCBusiness Intelligence SpecialistNSW
- TPTechnical Project CoordinatorVIC
- FTJunior Automation TesterQLD
- FTInfrastructure/ Hybrid Cloud Architect - Government OrganisationVIC
- FTSenior NodeJS DeveloperQLD
- FTTableau Application Support SpecialistOther
- FTTechnical Product ArchitectQLD
- CCAutomation Anywhere developerQLD
- FTService Desk Consultant - Part TimeOther
- CCWeb Applications Project ManagerNSW
- FTMid-Level Software EngineerOther
- CCSenior Business AnalystNSW
- CCJunior .Net Developer /Analyst ProgrammerQLD
- TPPrincipal Project Manager|HRIS ProgramQLD
- FTSenior Data Warehouse Developer, Power BIOther
- TPProject Manager - IT SecurityQLD
- CCAngular DeveloperNSW
- FTDisaster Recovery Technical Business AnalystOther
- CC.Net DeveloperNSW
- CCChange ManagerNSW
- FTTest ManagerACT
- FTSenior Front End DeveloperOther
- FTUser Experience PractitionerACT
- CCReporting AnalystNSW
- FTAxiomSL Technical ConsultantOther