Shin Megami Tensei: IMAGINE
- Has separate connection channels to reduce lag for lower-tech processors.
- Retains the Shin Megami Tensei character design for long-time fans of the genre.
- Ability to recruit enemies in Pokemon fashion.
- Ability to fuse these monsters in doubles or triples, creating near-endless fusion possibilities.
- Small game world to further restrict lag.
- Ability to create your own clan or guild and invite friends, as well as create and customize an emblem for it.
- Hands-on battle system.
- The community is as friendly as can be.
- The graphics aren’t amazing, but they aren’t horrid either.
- You might find yourself excessively grinding on many occasions to progress in the story.
- The difficulty of recruiting monsters can get repetitive and annoying quickly.
- The story is good, but relatively short for a Shin Megami Tensei game.
- There is an excessive lack of side quests.
- Character customization is a bit lacking as well.
Overall: A good game for a while, but nothing you’ll quit your day job over.
Let’s face it. A lot of attention in the MMO market these days is focused on the ridiculously overrated Blizzard product, World of Warcraft, and due to this fact, not a lot of other online games get too much attention unless they’re F2P (free-to-play). Some of these F2P games could be considered just as good as World of Warcraft, even though they aren’t P2P (pay-to-play), and Shin Megami Tensei’s IMAGINE is one of them. It does a great job of keeping you interested in the beginning even if you’ve never heard of Shin Megami Tensei’s earlier console works, and it will also attract fans of the franchise old and new alike.
One of the biggest factors this game has going for it is the demon recruitment system. In Pokemon fashion, your character can run around the world of MegaTen and recruit or capture ‘demons’ to fight for you and assist you in battle. The kinds of demons you can recruit range from elemental-types to sort of characteristic types, such as ‘Divine’ characteristic demons or ‘Chaos’ characteristic demons. Some demons you can only recruit depending on what alignment you choose in the game, and your alignment is chosen based on the decisions you choose at major points in the storyline. Once you’ve recruited two or more demons, you can take them to a special NPC that will fuse them for you. This fusion system opens several possibilities in demon creation that gives the player a more open-ended experience outside of the storyline, which makes the game more interesting and fun to play, and that’s something a lot of MMOs these days lack.
The game is also backed up by an increasingly friendly community, another thing many MMOs haven’t been able to acquire for some time. There are even points in the storyline where your character can bring along a party to make the mission quite a bit easier (I found myself doing an Act 4 mission with two level 50s, where as I was level 10, you can bet that mission flew by). I also found myself not being able to recruit the demons I wanted because they were too high level for me, thankfully IMAGINE incorporated the ability for other, higher level characters to recruit them, then give them to me! (I couldn’t use them until I was at their level, but at least I still had them for when I’d want them.) Not only that, but it seems like everyone in the game is completely willing to show you the ropes. Major plus.
Another thing I liked about IMAGINE was its leveling system. Of course, just like every other MMO and video game in general, you level up by obtaining a certain amount of EXP and once your bar fills, you level up. But with IMAGINE, Aeria incorporated a nifty little bit of their own profit into the game where, for real cash, you can buy AP (AeriaPoints) to use in the game to buy various items. Of these items, there are a few like “Incense of Adventure” and such that you can use on your character that grants them an ability that causes their EXP gain rate to go up by 3.00% for 10 hours. Definitely makes the game worth playing just to use these and make leveling easier.
Oddly enough, I did provide a small list of cons for this game, but in reality, those were just a few things that bothered ME. This doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll bother you as well. But even so, those cons can be considered positive when viewed differently. If grinding isn’t your thing, use some Incenses and get some higher level folks to take you to a high level dungeon; they will be more than willing to do it because the community is great. No matter what you can find in this game that is a con in any way, there will always be some way to look at it positively then ends up making it nullify itself. All in all, Shin Megami Tensei: IMAGINE is something definitely worth picking up.
Tags: aeriagames, character customization, character design, day job, demon, demons, enemies, f2p games, franchise, game world, good game, megaten, monsters, Online Games, possibilities, recruitment system, small game, time fans