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Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey

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Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey
Strangejourney logo transparent 550
真・女神転生 ストレンジジャーニー
Shin Megami Tensei Sutorenji Jānī
Game Information
Developer Atlus
Lancarse
Publisher Atlus
Platform(s) Nintendo DS
Release Dates
Flag of Japan October 8, 2009
Flag of the United States/Flag of Canada March 23, 2010

Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey is a game for the Nintendo DS console.

PlotEdit

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 (シュバルツバース, Shubarutsubāsu, Schwarz-verse). 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.

CharactersEdit

SMT Strange Journey Cast

From left to right: Zelenin, Protagonist, Commander Gore, Jimenez

The major characters of Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey are:

  • The Protagonist - A USMC officer who underwent intense combat and command training between tours of duty. He was transferred to the Schwarzwelt Investigation Team by U.N. request. As a member of the Strike Team, his duties include off-ship missions and providing security for the expedition. He is on the crew roster for ship 1, the Red Sprite.
  • Commander Gore - The overall commander of the Schwarzwelt Investigation Team. He was originally a military officer serving a large country; the leadership abilities he displayed during his service earned him the top position on the team that now holds the fate of mankind. He commands the Red Sprite directly in addition to overseeing operations on the other three ships.
  • Jimenez - Another member of the expedition with an American military background, Jimenez began his career as an enlisted man and is now a private contractor, attracted to the expedition by the promise of a financial gain. He serves on ship 2, the Blue Jet, as a member of the Strike Team.
  • Zelenin - A Russian scientist recognized for her research on the Schwarzwelt. Her position as the First Lieutenant of the Monitor Team was one of the first appointments made. Her chief duty is to research the Schwarzwelt's true nature along with her crewmates on ship 3, the Elve.
  • Arthur - The command unit for the Red Sprite, installed with an administrative pseudopersonality. From his vantage point tied into all the ship's systems, he extrapolates and proposes missions for the team. He is named after real life writer Arthur C. Clarke, who wrote the science fiction novel 2001: A Space Odyssey.
  • Bugaboo - Deep inside the Schwarzwelt, the investigative team finds Bugaboo, a demon that has undergone torture at the hands of other demons. Scanning Bugaboo shows that it is only 75% demon. Why are demons imprisoning their own kind? What research were they performing?
  • Mastema - A mysterious entity that appears before the investigation team, resembling an angel with black wings. He is skilled in mystical arts and has the power to break the demons' barriers, but his countenance is more sinister than divine. He claims to have come to the Schwarzwelt on God's orders, but can he be taken at his word? In the Japanese release he was called Mansemat.
  • Strange Girl - An enigmatic girl who speaks of demons and humans, but seems content to witness the proceedings rather than take an active hand. Her name is Louisa Ferre in the US version.

GameplayEdit

Strange Journey returns to the original Shin Megami Tensei formula of dungeon crawling from first person and negotiating with demons to become your minion, but changes the narrative to a science fiction setting. After collecting any of the over 300 demons in the game, you can try and fuse them together to create more powerful demons. Another notable feature is the lack of needing to acquire Magnetite to maintain your demons outside the field. However, the Moon Phase System found in all of the previous main series titles is still intact.

The inclusion of the Demonica (DEMOuntable Next Intigrated Capability Armor) allows the protagonist to upgrade his abilities to progress further into the Schwarzwelt.

Password SystemEdit

Another new addition to the series is a password system. By using an up to 32 digit code in the Demon Compendium players can trade passwords to unlock demons from each other. Certain demons can only be obtained in this way, and Atlus will reveal passwords to give players access to them. It was decided that this system was easier to use by connecting through Wi-Fi as passwords can be posted anywhere and used at anytime.

ReceptionEdit

Strange Journey is well received by critics. IGN gave it 4 stars (8.5 in scale of 10), saying that "though the game's turn-based combat system is standard stuff, fusing demons, launching co-op attacks, and exploring the environments keeps things interesting". It received a score of 36/40 from Famitsu, which was the highest score given by the Japanese magazine to an Atlus game at the time.

GalleryEdit

 
StrangeJourney
Logo for the Japanese version
 
SMT Strange Journey JPN
Cover of the Japanese version
 
SMT Strange Journey ENG
Cover for the American version
 
Strange Journey full cover art
Full sized cover art

TriviaEdit

Mistress Jimenez
  • There is an error in the text where Wu Kong talks about Mistress Mem Aleph but accidentally replaces her name with Jimenez.
  • The American release was accompanied by a soundtrack CD as well as a collectible outer box with all launch copies of the game. Music is done by long time composer Shoji Meguro.
  • A poster was available with the pre-order of this game from GameStop. It is located behind the box art.
  • The game was developed as Shin Megami Tensei IV, according to an interview with Kazuma Kaneko.[1] Since the game's setting does not take place in Tokyo, it is apparently not named as such though.
  • Schwarzwelt is German for "Black World".
  • To date, Strange Journey has the fewest playable characters out of any Shin Megami Tensei game excluding fusible demons.
  • The vehicles used to explore the Schwarzwelt in Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey are based on the Landmasters from a post-apocalyptic science fiction movie called Damnation Alley.[2]

ReferencesEdit

  1. http://gonintendo.com/viewstory.php?id=98913
  2. http://rogue.tumblr.com/post/19881672681

External linksEdit

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