Shin Megami Tensei Imagine

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Overview

Shin Megami Tensei Imagine Overview

Shin Megami Tensei: Imagine is a science-fiction MMORPG loosely based on the Megami Tensei universe used in many Japanese console RPGs, the most recent of these being Persona 4.  Because of the lengthy title, Imagine goes by several names, though most gamers know it as MegaTen due to it’s time under Aeria Games publishing.  The most notable feature in Megaten is definitely the skill-based progression system with dozens of skills available to all classes. These skills are called ‘expertises’. Play as a Demon Buster whose role it is to subdue demons and put them under your control. Major game events are broken down into Acts, which usually have difficult bosses at the end requiring small groups to defeat. At this time, MegaTen contains no PvP content.

Shin Megami Tensei Imagine Screenshots

Shin Megami Tensei Imagine Featured Video

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Full Review

Shin Megami Tensei Imagine Full Review

by Erhan Altay

What? A Story?

If you’re a frequent MMORPG player, you’ve likely noticed that the story behind most games goes something like this: ‘Ready, Set, Grind!’  MegaTen breaks this mold a bit and throws in an introductory cutscene that tries to explain some of the game’s backstory. Another of these cutscenes awaits players who make it through the tutorial, but more on that later. From what I understood of this story, there was a huge, apocalyptic war between Demons and Humans many years ago, followed by a period of chaos which was washed away in a great flood. Now, in the 2X century, humanity has begun to re-organize in large underground shelters called ‘Homes’, but Demons have once again appeared on the surface to cause mischief.

And that brings us to you, a ‘Demon Buster’ in training. Your NPC instructor receives a call about a disturbance at a nearby Home, and being the closest to the scene, volunteers to investigate.  This first mission acts as the game’s tutorial and introduces the game basics; movement, combat, skills and so forth.  Following this tutorial, players are asked to take an additional optional tutorial in the ‘virtual room.’  This second tutorial goes into far more detail and explains more advanced skills (such counter-attacks), and magic use.  The combat in MegaTen is very similar to the system used in Mabinogi.  Besides a normal attack, players have several special moves that can be activated such as block, counter, or rush.  To defeat powerful enemies, proper use of these skills is required.  For example, if an opponent blocks, a rush will break through it, while a normal attack will only leave you vulnerable to a counter attack.

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Limitless Possibilities

Character development in MegaTen is very in-depth, and gives players plenty to think about.  Besides leveling up and distributing stat points between the six stats (Strength, Magic, Vitality, Intelligence, Speed, and Luck), players must chose which expertise they wish to develop.  Each expertise contains its own skill line, and is increased in rank by frequent use.  All this is explained effectively in the second tutorial, but as an example – casting an offensive spell increases the ‘destruction magic’ expertise which unlocks more potent spells.  Players can ‘lock’ expertise they do not wish to grow, since there is a skill cap.  The skill cap also means your character will likely fall under one of three general templates – a melee fighter, a gunner, or a mage.  Of course, you are free to pursue all three skill types, but it is far more efficient to specialize in one than attempt to be a jack-of-all-trades.

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Demon, I Choose You!

Demons play a major role in Megaten, and not only as monsters to grind off.  Several expertise are dedicated to charming, negotiating with, or taunting monsters into submission.  Both your character’s level and rank with these skills effects your chances at success, but once subdued, these demons can be summoned to assist you in combat.  During the early levels, players are limited to lame pets (like pixies and injured dogs), but will eventually have a large selection of pets, each with different skills and attributes. MegaTen also includes an interesting alignment system which puts players into one of three categories (Law, Neutral, or Chaos), based on their actions.  The only real disappointment I had with Megaten was the complete lack of PvP.  Difficult boss fights requiring small groups seem to be the only end-game content.  Let’s hope its enough!  If for some reason you can’t get into Megaten, but like the sci-fi theme, you could check out other titles like RF Online and Anarchy Online, or some sci-fi themed MMOs like S4 League and Ace Online.

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Final Verdict: Good

MegaTen manages to offer just enough unique features to distinguish itself, but still maintains a traditional MMORPG feel. The fast-paced combat, pet and skill systems, along with the post-apocalyptic Sci-Fi setting make Imagine stand out from the crowd.

Screenshots

Shin Megami Tensei Imagine Screenshots

Videos

Shin Megami Tensei Imagine Videos

Shin Megami Tensei Gameplay Trailer

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Shin Megami Tensei Character Creation Video

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Shin Megami Tensei Boss Battle Video

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Megaten Trailer by Aeria Games

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Shin Megami Tensei Game Trailer Original

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System Requirements

Shin Megami Tensei Imagine System Requirements

Minimum Requirements:

OS: Windows XP / Vista
CPU: 3.1 Ghz Intel P3 or equivalent
RAM: 512 MB RAM
HDD: 3.5 GB free
Graphics Card: GeForce4, ATI RADEON 8500 or better
DirectX: 9.0c

Recommended Specification:

OS: Windows XP/Vista
CPU: 3.0 Ghz Intel P4 or equivalent
RAM: 1024 MB (1 GB) RAM or more
HDD: 3.5 GB free
Graphics Card: GeForce 7800, Radeon X1800, or better with 128MB RAM
DirectX: 9.0c or Better

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