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Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey

真・女神転生 STRANGE JOURNEY

Developers: AtlusLancarse Publisher: Atlus
08 October 2009
Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey [真・女神転生 STRANGE JOURNEY] - cover art
Glitchwave rating
3.92 / 5.0
0.5
5.0
 
 
288 Ratings / 1 Reviews
#304 All-time
#12 for 2009
A mysterious black hole has appeared on the region of the South Pole and is expanding day by day. Concerned of this event, the United Nations sent a collection of elites from around the world to investigate the area called Schwarzwelt. Inside, the U.N. Schwarzwelt Investigational Team finds that the area has been infested with supernatural beings known as demons that threaten to cross into the human world. As the team delves further into the Schwarzwelt, they find strange and repulsive callbacks to human society.
The player assumes control of an unnamed soldier from America (or Japan in the Japanese version), who will be working with three other crew members assigned by the Joint Project. The crew dons Demonica suits, which enables access to special abilities as well as regulating the player to the conditions within the Schwarzwelt.
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Releases 6
Filter by: All 6 3DS 4 DS 2
2009 Atlus Lancarse  
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JP 4 984995 900452 NTR-BMTJ-JPN
2010 Atlus Lancarse  
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XNA 7 30865 40035 5 NTR-BMTE-USA
Show all 6 releases
2017 Atlus Lancarse  
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JP 4 984995 901657 LNA-CTR-AJ9J-JPN
2018 Atlus Lancarse  
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XNA 7 30865 30027 3 LTA-CTR-AJ9E-USA
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Title
Pristine dungeon crawling
There are so many elements that are executed to near perfection in this game. The plot, atmosphere, music, dungeon design, and combat here are all top tier. The sense of progression through unlocking apps on the Demonica is super satisfying. SJ contains some of the most interesting characters in the entire franchise. The journey through the Schwarzwelt is fantastic, engaging, and unnerving nearly every step of the way.

Strange Journey isn't just a dungeon crawler or a JRPG. It is also existential and horrific. Unlike other games in the SMT franchise, SJ is pre-apocalyptic rather than post-apocalyptic, and it is up to the player to decide on a course of action to either halt or accelerate the incoming doom to humanity. In my opinion, no other SMT game expresses the weight of such a decision as well as SJ.

Most of the gameplay involves navigating a number of dungeons. They can include surprising amount of complexity, my favorite being swapping out entire chunks of the region from a different dimension. Graphically, the areas don't necessarily look that interesting, and without the map, different parts of the same sector would be indistinguishable, but luckily you'll be looking at the map on the bottom screen more often than the first-person perspective on the top screen.

The combat isn't quite as strategic as the Press Turn system found in many other SMT games, but the Demon Co-Op system present here is still very fun and gives you a reason to be more selective of your party members, as demons that align with your protagonist make for a significantly stronger party.

Character development in SJ is among the best of JRPGs here. In a relatively short script, some NPCs slowly evolve from simple fellow crew members to ideologues of various alignments, and all of them are either fascinating or easy to sympathize with.

The main drawback here compared to other SMT games is how limiting the fusion can feel. In standard fusion, you can customize abilities with demon sources, but those are difficult to come by more than once for each demon, so fully customizing a demon with the abilities you would like is very cumbersome without using a password calculator.

Speaking of passwords, I wouldn't recommend using the password system for the most part. You can input a password to automatically summon a demon into your roster, but there are two problems with this. Most obviously, being able to summon nearly any demon can break the balance of the game and allow the player to entirely circumvent the problem-solving element of boss fights. Secondly, it costs a lot of in game currency to summon demons this way, which is already fairly tight if you aren't farming for it, so using this system regularly would require more grinding than the game needs. Passwords may be a good system for players that would prefer to farm their way out of a challenge instead of dealing with the puzzle of fusion, though.

New to Redux is the Womb of Grief, a monstrous mostly-optional dungeon with a new plotline. It's fun and the plot with new character Alex is interesting, but not as solid as the base game. Also new in this version is a simplified character portrait art style. I don't personally mind the updated portraits as much as it seems others do. It's a little more "anime" looking than the original SJ, but it doesn't compromise the unsettling tone of the game for me. To me, the most important new features in Redux are the additional apps available to the player. They provide a ton of quality of life upgrades that make dungeon crawling more forgiving, while not necessarily easier.

All of that said, this game won't be for everybody. It is very trial-and-error heavy in its dungeon design. I enjoyed learning the layout of every floor of each sector, and solving each teleporting puzzle was very satisfying to me, but if a player is more into story and combat than exploration and puzzles, they might find the maps tedious. Outside of the demons and combat, this doesn't have as much in common with SMT 3, 4, or 5 as one might expect. Mostly, I would recommend this to fans of other JRPG dungeon crawlers, like SMT 1-2 and the Etrian Odyssey series. If you like the more modern SMT games and are open to old-school exploration, or are a fan of classic blobbers and wouldn't mind a modern/sci-fi twist, then you should definitely give it a shot.
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Catalog

Apple2k 真・女神転生 STRANGE JOURNEY 2024-04-14T03:42:13Z
2024-04-14T03:42:13Z
9.5
3
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
SergLeDerg 真・女神転生 STRANGE JOURNEY 2024-04-04T03:34:53Z
2024-04-04T03:34:53Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Gaige 真・女神転生 STRANGE JOURNEY 2024-04-02T13:23:17Z
2024-04-02T13:23:17Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
FirstMate 真・女神転生 STRANGE JOURNEY 2024-03-29T17:41:08Z
2024-03-29T17:41:08Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Prismatico 真・女神転生 STRANGE JOURNEY 2024-03-28T04:00:59Z
2024-03-28T04:00:59Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
OffModel 真・女神転生 STRANGE JOURNEY 2024-03-26T16:44:55Z
2024-03-26T16:44:55Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
LOON_ATIC Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey 2024-03-23T12:51:11Z
DS • XNA
2024-03-23T12:51:11Z
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
jydah 真・女神転生 STRANGE JOURNEY 2024-03-22T20:11:04Z
2024-03-22T20:11:04Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
sidekick Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey 2024-03-16T08:40:06Z
DS • XNA
2024-03-16T08:40:06Z
4.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
eliottstaten 真・女神転生 STRANGE JOURNEY 2024-03-16T04:30:28Z
2024-03-16T04:30:28Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Smooth1e 真・女神転生 STRANGE JOURNEY 2024-03-15T15:22:15Z
2024-03-15T15:22:15Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Anatommy 真・女神転生 STRANGE JOURNEY 2024-03-12T11:03:35Z
2024-03-12T11:03:35Z
2.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Content rating
CERO: C
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  • Previous comments (19) Loading...
  • JaCrispy 2023-05-16 04:16:53.394907+00
    blobber
    reply
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  • thesoyman 2023-07-11 21:24:03.854553+00
    Wish I could last more than a few hours in this but I think I am too pleb for first person SMT, the OST being really dull doesn’t help either
    reply
    • thesoyman 2023-07-11 21:25:25.247859+00
      Symphonic music is clearly not Meguro’s strong point at all
    • Pumas 2024-03-29 20:09:10.154263+00
      The OST is actually pretty bad in this one yeah
    • More replies New replies ) Loading...
  • thesoyman 2023-07-11 21:29:55.797742+00
    For the fans of the game, is the difference in quality between the original and redux so severe its worth giving the DS release a try before dropping the game?
    reply
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    • Diugo 2023-09-27 20:27:02.372871+00
      Its so weird I see many fans absolutely shittalking redux and then the argument they give is yea they ruined the artstyle and you can save anywhere you want. Like okay? I mean yea the artstyle had a downgrade but why so negative?
    • TiraRemy 2024-01-20 19:00:52.118746+00
      Well, redux has a lot of problems. The new scenarios and endings are kinda meh; Alex, Demeter, and other new characters have a very different vibe from the og cast, and so on.
      Also, it's not "just the artstyle." This is the last game where Kaneko was the artist, and his departure from the series is quite often considered to be the point at which the entire series went downhill.
      So it's to be expected that there'll be a backlash after replacing arguably the most important figure in the series and his artsyle with another guy
    • TiraRemy 2024-01-20 19:04:01.630276+00
      Also, sj is mid, play smt 2 or mt 2
    • Jodas 2024-02-22 16:46:31.185467+00
      Nah, play Redux. Actually the endings are better (I absolutely love New Neutral) and there are some extra QoL elements.
    • More replies New replies ) Loading...
  • mynamejeff 2023-10-09 19:56:20.235491+00
    the disco elysium of blobber
    reply
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  • justadice 2024-02-03 11:17:47.696646+00
    the disco elysium of blobber [2]
    reply
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  • sidekick 2024-03-02 23:17:23.259582+00
    my only other reference point is Etrian Odyssey but I would love to boldly call this the disco elysium of blobber [3]
    reply
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