Outside of Japan, the Megaten series is called the Shin Megami Tensei series, as the series came out after everything started being called Shin Megami Tensei. I checked out the original SMT game, a game few have played, but I decided to delve even deeper and go with the original game, Megami Tensei, a game even less have played.
Knowing this was an NES game, I knew I was going to have to deal with outdated mechanics. I personally have no problem with playing NES RPG’s, hell I even played the original incarnation of Dragon Quest. Despite my experience with NES RPG’s, Megami Tensei was kind of a different beast. I’ve almost entirely played the top-down NES RPG’s, a game that’s entirely in first person was completely new to me on the console. It kind of reminded me of the dungeons from the original Phantasy Star. Though this game does give me some of the similar frustrations to that game.
The 16-Bit or later first person games either give you an auto-map on the bottom of the screen or even have a map menu. Also the navigation was a lot less confusing. Any post-16-Bit RPG also makes it much easier to navigate, as it’s a lot easier to navigate in a 3D rendered environment in first person. 8-bit, not so much. Due to the graphical limitations, everything tends to look the same.
Due to this, I was happy to hear that Megami Tensei had a remake on the SNES, which was almost like a godsend when it came to navigation. I honestly tried the NES version, but I got so lost in that beginning town it was a nightmare for me. Now to the actual gameplay…
Megami Tensei is a first person dungeon crawler reminiscent of Shining in the Darkness, despite coming out first. There’s essentially a hub town, and you navigate through a sprawling dungeon. This wasn’t much of a drastic change from later SMT games, as healing and saving points are usually spread significantly thing. The typical frustration with the difficulty is typical from SMT games.
A welcome feature they added to the remake that was absent in the original is how you get fully healed when you level up. This is really nice when you’re really close to a boss, but your MP is basically zero. If you’re pretty close to leveling up, you can just grind for a tad bit, and now you’re fully prepared to take on that boss.
I’m looking forward to playing more of this game, a dungeon crawler is a change of pace from what I’m used to. Though this is one of those games where you have to legitimately sit down and play, and not just pick up and play for a couple of mins because of how spread out the sections of the game are.