What is this game? - Shin Megami Tensei is a Japanese turn-based RPG game developed by ATLUS. It was released in 1992 for Super Famicom. This is also the start of popular Shin Megami Tensei (SMT or Megaten) series. The setting? [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=auk0Gmt8Y64[/youtube] - Shin Megami Tensei is about our world being infested by demons who bring harm to the humanity. All demons are different in terms of classification and alignment, and some demons may be good while most of the demons are evil. The setting changes from modern time to somewhere in the future after some progression into storyline, and you will be directly involved in outcome of the world, which is shaped depending on the path you choose. Features - Shin Megami Tensei is considered (or at least I do) a black sheep among many JRPGs in that it heavily emphasizes on player choice, which is unusual for most popular JRPGs. The game is also quite non-linear in terms of gameplay due to something called 'Demon companions'. In this game, there will be VERY few human NPCs who join your party. Instead you have to convince the demons you fight to join you either by bribing them with MAG or by fulfilling some of the different conditions. Once the demons are in your party, you will be able to summon/maintain them by using MAG, which is one of the two currencies in the game. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lVmXlc_j5Wk[/youtube] Also demons can evolve or be fused together to make a better (or worse) demon. There are endless combination of demons, and your playstyle varies heavily depending on which demons you choose to use. The game also features alignment system from mid-game, and depending on which of the three alignments (Lawful, Neutral, Chaotic) you choose to follow, the story progression be shaped toward fulfillment of that alignment, thus resulting in different endings for each alignments. Some things that get in the way - First of all, the protagonist is just a puny human being. The game doesn't care if you are a messiah or a total douchebag. You can only use your sword and guns. Your demons will be your main strengths in the battle. Also if your protagonist dies, that's a straight game-over. There will be no second chance except reloading a save. This tradition is unfortunately continued in most of the SMT franchise, and will be followed in the future as well. [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYDvFkh3u2s[/youtube] Also the encounters are way too frequent from mid game. It provides you with chance of taking different demons into your party, but at the same time will distract you from your adventure. I personally found it quite annoying because it was way too frequent. This game is also really really hard. There will be a lot of trial-and-errors. You have to try hard to guess and hit the enemies in their weak points, or battles will be very challenging. And as for its age, I found that SMT did not age too well since its release. The battle system can be bit tedious because it does rely heavily on the text, along with the encounters being way too frequent. In the end.. - I consider this as one of the most significant Japanese RPGs of all time. Not only it has truly unique system which is only more polished and improved as the new SMT series are released, but also the way this game handles the story is truly brilliant. This is one of the RPG games where your choices truly matter, and the story leaves a lot of space to think about. If you want to play a truly unique Japanese RPG game, then this is definitely something to play at least once in your lifetime.