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Mistress of MMOs

Unbiased reviews and/or factual statings on what a game has to offer. Maybe even a few other posts as well.

Author: spinach8puff

Shin Megami Tensei: Imagine Online - Brief First Look

Posted by spinach8puff Thursday January 1 2009 at 7:27PM
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Personal Feelings
I haven't gotten very far, but there is a lot to learn in your first 10 levels. It's somewhat similar to Pokémon and the old Final Fantasy. However I wouldn't recommend this game to someone just getting into the MMO gaming world as it's not simple. So far I am having fun, even thought it's only in its open beta, and I plan to continue playing it.

 

Graphics
The realistic graphics are nothing amazing with everything being on high quality, but I have seen worse. Your character looks somewhat plastic since it has very little shading. Surprisingly what you see in advertisements and on their website is what you see in game. There is also a day and night cycle.

Audio
It's not terrible or amazing. The music is comparable with older console game audio.

Controls
For movement you can either click to move or use your WASD keys. The WASD controls are rather clunky and not recommended unless you really dislike the other option. You can look around while holding the right mouse button and zoom in/out with your wheel. If you don't like how your key configuration is set up you are able to change it. There is an auto run feature, but you are unable to change direction by simply looking in a different direction. There is no auto attack or jump feature. The different chat channels are easy to use.

User Interface
You can move every part of the interface and minimize it if you want, but you are unable to shrink it. There are four options for you to change the shape of your hotkey bar.

Character Customization
There's anywhere from 3 - 10 preset options to change your height, face, hair/eye color, clothes, hairstyle, and weapon preference. There's only one race. I haven't found anyone who looks exactly like me yet.

 

Game Play

Tutorial
The first area you get to you are given a brief rundown on how to attack, move, look around, and all of the simple stuff. Later on you are told the same thing again, but they add a better explanation on your other attack buttons and a lot of other information you should remember.

Story
There are no long paragraphs or quest dialogues that you have to read to get an idea of what is going on. There are mini cutscenes and simple one liner sentences that you click though, like in Final Fantasy, to continue a conversation with an NPC.

Quests
I'm unsure yet if they are the primary form of experience gain as I have mostly obtained ones to go talk to NPCs. The quests I did get asked me to go kill a certain amount of Mob_01, deliver a letter, and charm a mob to bring it back to an NPC. You are told the area where the mob you need is, but the area is only highlighted when you talk to the quest NPC. You also have a choice of dialogue with some quests.

World
It is mostly an open world, but there are some instanced dungeons.

Demons
Think of the demons in this game like Pokémon. They are out in the field and to charm one you have to use a negotiation skill. To start off you get three negotiation skills with which are taunt, threaten, and talk. You aren't always able to charm one so sometimes you will find they disappear or attack you. Once you have charmed one you get to look at its abilities. Each demon has their own strengths, weaknesses, and looks different. There is also an option to fuse two demons together to make a stronger one. You and your demon have two separate experience bars and share mob experience.

Attribute Points
There are six attributes which you can manually assign:
Strength - Increases damage with close range weapons
Magic - Increase efficiency with all spells
Vitality - Increase maximum amount of your hit points
Intelligence - Increase maximum amount of your mana pool
Speed - Increase damage with long range weapons
Luck - Increase chances of delivering a crit, decrease chance of being crit or status ailments, and affects loot dropped.

You get a few points each level and you are unable to change them once you have distributed them.

Combat
There is no auto block, parry, dodge, or attack. Click once on the mob to select it then click once on an attack and then again to use it. At the beginning you are shown how to best use guard and dodge. You regenerate health and mana outside of combat.

Skills
There are around 35 different expertise skills with five classes within the specific skill and a few different ranks within each class. It isn't possible to learn everything or reset them.

List of general items

  • Magnetites are used as a reagent to summon demons that you've befriended.
  • Mocca is the actual money used to buy items in game. Neither of them drop every time from mobs.
  • Revival Beads revive your demon or other players.
  • Traeto Stone is a reagent used to hearth/gate back to your home point (bind location).

Other stuff worth mentioning

  • Equipped items takes up your inventory space.
  • You can enter buildings and it's a fast load.
  • In the cities there are these little squares where you can set up a stall location to sell items. It costs money, but you don't have to be there while you sell stuff. You assign a demon to tend to it. If you cancel the stall then you still have to pay the money for it.
  • There is a mail box in game and you can access it anywhere.
  • There are different channels.
  • You can only make one character currently and I am guessing it's because it's in open beta.
  • Mobs don't respawn ridiculously fast and their bodies have a time limit.

 

Nominal writes:

I'm pretty sure that the one character thing carries over to retail, but I can't remember clearly. I just had one character in the Japanese version. The game is a bit dated at this point, continuing the trend of getting late launches into the North American market (or International Market as the case may be), though it is still aesthetically sound at just under two years of age and does fit the Megaten Universe splendidly. I feel that Aeria's licensing of this title is a testament to the unlikelihood of it's (conceived) Western appeal. 

I can't help but feel your review is missing one major point: a good number of people that would be reading this wouldn't know the first thing about Pokemon. Myself inclusive. The average gamer is 35 now. Imagine blatently caters to the existing Megaten fanbase. I cannot fathom many people will be picking this guy up without a preexisting interest in this franchise, if not just the greater genre alone.

Thu Jan 01 2009 9:57PM Report
screenpete writes:

most gamers first encounter with the Franchise would probably be with PErsona series or Nocturne. I first heard of it in a article a couple of months ago.

 

Thu Jan 01 2009 10:13PM Report
screenpete writes:

or Digital Devil Story, sorry no edit

 

Thu Jan 01 2009 10:13PM Report
spinach8puff writes:

To Esterid:

This post was meant to be me stating what features it has and not a review. If I had reviewed it I would have discussed pros, cons, put in personal feelings regarding what I felt about the game, and/or stuck review in the title. I would have made this post in its appropriate forums for this website, but they aren't up and I felt this was needed as I have never heard of this game.

I agree the average age of gamers are 35, but I disagree the majority of people that age don't know the anything about Pokémon. If by chance they don't then they should get the gist of it now as I tried to describe it in the section I felt was comparable to Pokémon while mentioning the word Pokémon.

Fri Jan 02 2009 12:36AM Report

MMORPG.com writes:
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