Shin Megami Tensei 4 Articles RSS Feed | Shin Megami Tensei 4 RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network A Look Back at the 3DS's Best RPGs Mon, 05 Feb 2018 10:24:40 -0500 wlkrjesse


The 3DS has provided us with many fantastic RPG's, frankly too many to list, but these are a few of the real standouts. While the Switch is the best of both worlds, if any of these games have grabbed your interest feel free to dust off your 3DS and pick up a few. They're all relatively inexpensive at this point and can provide you an entry into a franchise you never even knew you loved. Like Shin Megami Tensei.

Did I miss one of your favorites? Do you want to tell me about how Monster Hunter isn't an RPG? Leave a comment and let me know!

Shin Megami Tensei IV 

Price: $19.99


Buy it on: Amazon


It's not easy to get people on board the Megaten train even with the success of Persona, and understandably so as the older SMT games can seem outdated. If you've ever had the slightest bit of curiosity about the older SMT games, or you're a Persona fan and want to cover some bases, Shin Megami Tensei IV is your best way to have a foot in each world.

The first thing that will hit newcomers to the series is the difficulty. While not one of the hardest Atlus titles Shin Megami Tensei is certainly not a like a stroll through the park and is a big step up from Persona in terms of difficulty. You can't stop and smell the roses in SMT4, and while a lower difficulty setting is available you're still well within range to get bopped if you aren't playing smart. 

The second thing you'll notice is the ideal SMT/Persona gameplay. I'm a big fan of the enemy weakness exploitation featured in Atlus games and that's here in full force as is something called the "Smirk" system. This system gives  you the chance to do even more damage after an effective attack. Of course, you also have full access to your typical SMT fair; negotiating, fusing, and creating your own party is still very much the name of the game. Stepping in with a more traditional Megaten feel are battles that you often can not escape from or bypass by juking on the overmap. There will be plenty of times where you have to fight it out, and things can get unexpectedly hairy.

As you'd imagine, the story is phenomenal and one of the game's strong suits, but it does take a darker path than some of the installments in the Persona franchise. I think it's all the much better for it, but if you're looking for a story about plucky high schoolers maybe you should stay away. The feudal Japanese system mixed with medieval Europe theme works wonderfully, and the music is as intoxicating as is tradition for a Megaten game.

What makes this such a truly fantastic title is the scope of the whole thing. You really do get your money's worth with this game as it lasts around 40 hours for the story alone. While also featuring cutscenes that could be mistaken for a RPG console release. The entire game is fully voice acted, complete with fully realized 3D environments and a surprisingly mature story for a handheld RPG. This is the closest you'll get to a full blown SMT game without dipping over into some of the less friendly titles. If you've ever had a small interest in the franchise, SMT is where you should begin.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

Price: $18.95


Buy it on: Amazon


Another entry some may dispute as a role-playing game, but it's just too damn good to leave off the list. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past is the best Zelda game ever made. We know this. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is its true sequel, and at times is close to grabbing the crown. 

While The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was widely revered, some fans still pined for a traditional Zelda experience. Understandably so, but the traditional Zelda formula is, to be blunt, stale. This is where A Link Between Worlds shines. The freedom to approach the dungeons in any way you choose and to rent items instead of having to tackle the dungeons in a specific manner to complete the game was a welcome addition to the series. Being able to lift that oppressing weight from a long entrenched franchise, that was frankly threatening to go belly up, made A Link Between Worlds a turning point for the franchise.

The unique wall merging mechanic is something that works better than it has any right to. It is an oxymoronical gimmick that you're always expecting to lose its luster, but at the very worst becomes adequate. If you haven't played A Link to the Past, or you're missing a more button down Zelda experience, A Link Between Worlds is absolutely mandatory.

Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate

Price: $39.99


Buy it on: Amazon


Monster Hunter is a commitment. When you choose to play this game, you're willingly signing part of your life over to Capcom. No one plays Monster Hunter just once. Not even you. Monster Hunter 4 is your gateway drug to a fantastic gaming series.

Some people might say Monster Hunter is not an RPG. I don't think so. If anything it's a simulation game with RPG elements. You are THE monster hunter, and that's what you're going to do. Go out, kill monsters, harvest their rich tasty courage and then return to base to craft or purchase your eternal rewards. Sounds boring on paper, but something about it is so much greater than the sum of its parts.

Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate is not the best Monster Hunter on the system. I'd say that honor is reserved for Generations; mostly due to the addition of holding a button to gather instead of having to press it repeatedly. However, Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate does a phenomenal job of introducing newer players to this imposing franchise. If you're not quite sure if Monster Hunter World is for you; are afraid of the price tag, or don't own a PS4/PC than this is where you should start. Also the blacksmith is named The Man so, come on. Live a little.

Pokémon Ultra Sun and Moon

Price: $30


Buy it on: Amazon


Though to be fair, you can get any of them. X, Y, Sun, Moon, whatever; you can even go Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire if that's how you do your business. There's nothing that fits what people want out of an RPG on their DS better than a Pokémon game. You can spend as much or as little time on a Pokémon game, but chances are if you bought it you know what you're getting into.

However, I personally think Pokémon design has entered something of a renaissance with Pokemon: Sun and Pokemon: Moon and because of this it is my personal recommendation. You can see some really fantastic Pokémon designs slowly gaining traction with X and Y: featuring the likes of Klefki, Aegislash and Hawlucha who were all interesting left turns, but once Sun and Moon came out there seemed to be a full blown wiping of the slate. 

Almost every entry in Sun and Moon is a banger. All the starters are fantastic Popplio is underrated and often hated like every genius of their generation, Mimikyu has the perfect amount of self awareness to still be charming and a little creepy. Palossand continues the theme of making cool inanmiate objects into Pokémon while Wishiwashi is an interesting take on Pokémon with multiple forms, the list goes on. It's one of the most solid lineups I've seen from the franchise in an extremely long time and with the release of Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, now is as good a time as any to jump back in.

Bravely Default

Price: $44.94


Buy it on: Amazon


Square Enix is a veteran in the RPG circuit, and has had their fair share of impressive portable releases. Crisis CoreFinal Fantasy Tactics Advanced and a myriad of Final Fantasy re-releases have all made their way onto modern handhelds, and rank from nostalgic to excellent.  

Born as a spiritual successor to the spin off game Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light, Bravely Default hits the mark through a charming blend of old school nostalgia and modern sensibilities. Metro referred to it as "the best Final Fantasy game that never was," and they aren't alone. Bravely Default has been praised for an overall phenomenal localization, presentation, music and everything else, but I think the real draw to the game is  through the combat. 

Turn based RPG's have an issue with keeping the gameplay loop engaging, and Bravely Default takes a unique approach. In combat you're able to forgo your current turn, but then use that same turn again in the future. This alone makes the game worth checking out for RPG fans. If you're a fan of other Square Enix games and are looking for one with a gameplay twist while familiar elements of the RPG genre are not just kept intact, but enhanced than I highly recommend Bravely Default.


RPGs and portable consoles are a match made in heaven. You can whittle away at a massive game bit by bit when you have some free time, so it simultaneously stretches an already long game out to cover plenty of time and you don't get too burnt out on it. With this in mind, it's no wonder that the 3DS has given way to some of the most addictive role-playing games in recent memory. Here are a few of the best.

Pokemon Isn't as Original as Its Fans Would Like You to Believe Mon, 07 Mar 2016 06:05:19 -0500 Angelina Bonilla

With the announcement of Pokémon Sun and Moon, the fans launched into a frenzy -- not unlike piranhas when a bleeding animal is dropped into the Amazon River -- with ideas about new innovations the games might introduce. It would be interesting to talk about Pokémon’s past innovations, as well as those they borrowed from other virtual pet or battling pet games. Imitation is the greatest form of flattery after all, and in Pokémon’s case they’re being very flattering to some of these other franchises.

"We heard you were talking about the new Pokémon games."

Keep in mind that this article isn’t trying to bash Pokémon or its fan base, even if they were compared to piranhas earlier. Most gamers are like that when any of their favorite series announce a new game. This article is meant to give recognition to overlooked games that Pokémon borrowed features from. These games may have gone unnoticed by the mainstream gaming populace, or been maligned due to how complex said systems were.

Mega Evolution

This is a low-hanging fruit, but it’s a low-hanging fruit that must be plucked and cut to ribbons just like the rest. When Mega Evolution was announced, many cheered for a new type of evolution that doesn’t change the physical appearance of the classic Pokémon permanently like in Generation 4. However, Digimon fans might have looked at it in a different way, since Digimon has been doing Mega Evolution since the beginning of its run in 1997.

This fitting image is by SupaCrikeyDave on Deviant Art.

The tamers use a special device to mega evolve their Digimon,called Digivices. Evolution is partly based upon how strong their bond with their Digimon was. This Digivolution was temporary and usually was only used to boost the Digimon’s power to fight against stronger foes in the anime and in some of the games in the series; such as Digimon Rumble Arena. Similarly, in Pokemon X and Y when Korrina’s Lucario forms a special bond with you and decides to fight alongside you against its former trainer with its Mega Form against the other Lucario.

Pokémon only temporarily stay in the state of Mega Evolution, until the battle is won and they return to their previous form. Both give a bonus to stats and make their respective monsters considerably more powerful, both have you go out of your way to achieve this evolution (other than the Kanto Starters, Lucario and Gift Blaziken.). Other than Single Stage Evolution Megas in Pokemon, you have to evolve both Pokémon and Digimon to the state where they can be mega evolved, find either a Mega Stone (Pokémon) or a Device, Crest, Egg or grind up stats from a specific family of monsters (Digimon). There’s also usually some sort of prerequisite you have to meet for both, whether it’s beating the Elite 4, playing at specific times, or finding specific monsters.

This is actually one of the simpler charts to digivolve your Digimon. Digimon didn't mess around. 


There has been some debate on this, and even Kotaku weighed in on the comparisons with their “Naw, Digimon Had Nothing To Do With Pokémon's Mega Evolutions” article, but rather than going into detail about it, they just quoted Game Freak on what Mega Evolution is and talked about what it meant. Since Gamefreak said nothing about Digivolution then they must not have taken anything from it, right? That’s how the article frames itself and it never delivers on the title itself.

Pokémon Amie and Super Training

One of the other innovations that the sixth generation of Pokémon has is the addition of Pokémon Amie and Super Training. Players have been begging for something like Super Training for a while now in order to help train their caught or eugenically bred Pokémon.

Super Training in general is used much more in competitive play than in normal play. Now, things like Super Training, or specifically training each stat by doing little challenges, has been around in many virtual pet games, but we’ll address both it and Pokémon Amie, where you get to feed your Pokémon and raise their affection for you, all in one fell swoop with the series Monster Rancher.

Monster Rancher is a little more out of the limelight than Pokémon or Digimon, so it’s no surprise that very few people made this comparison. However, when it comes to playing with your Pokémon or forcing them to train specific stats, it rings very true to this series. Most of the time you have a sort of ranch in which you must train 1 monster to start. The monster has very specific stats depending on the type  and the letter or number combination used when “reviving” monsters from the stones.

Once at the ranch, you can give them affection, food and train specific stats with little mini games that can be failed; but monsters gain stats anyways. This is basically what Pokémon Amie and Super Training is, barring a few differences. Most of the similarities between the two can be seen in Monster Rancher 4, where the Super Training Page and the Monster Data Page have an uncanny resemblance. The biggest difference is that many of the Monster Rancher Games have this as a main focus, while Pokémon markets it as more of an extra feature.

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon, Recruiting Pokémon

While not part of the main series, Pokémon Mystery Dungeon has gained a sizable fan base of its own with its more mature storyline and integration of Pokémon-like elements with dungeon crawling mechanics. It’s a straightforward series that takes inspiration from the Megami Tensei games. While not as dark tonally, it does give you the option to recruit the monsters you stumble across rather than beating them to the point of fainting and throwing a ball at them.

The Megami Tensei series goes back to 1987 with the game Digital Devil Story: Megami Tensei, one of Atlus’ earliest games, and has been an influence to not just Pokémon but to Digimon as well. Digimon World 2 plays similarly to the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon games. You beat up your opponent to a point but then they ask to join your party or you do some sort of quest for them; similar to the main Megami Tensei series and its spin off, Persona...the first two Persona games, anyways.

This makes the phrase “Shin Megami Tensei 4, it’s like Pokémon but with demons” all the more amusing considering that Megami Tensei came first.

Pokémon Sun and Moon

Now we come to our latest entry, Pokémon Sun and Moon. It’s easy to say that since no info has come out about these games yet we can’t judge them. However, it is difficult to ignore the very similarly titled Digimon games, Digimon Dusk and Digimon Dawn. This makes me wonder if the Pokémon that are going to be available in the respective games are going to be dark and light-themed, just like in Digimon Dusk and Digimon Dawn.


Pokémon might not be original, but neither are its brothers and sisters.

While Pokémon does take a lot from other games, every other game in this very specific sub-genre has borrowed from one another at some point throughout their long series lifespans. Pokémon is certainly not the only “offender.” However, it’s tendency to borrow from other games is often not talked about as much because of the influence it’s had on the genre, pop culture, gaming, and because of the brilliant marketing that got many people attached to this series.

There are even articles about how business could learn about marketing from Pokémon. It’s easy for the gaming community as a whole to be excited about a new Pokémon game because most of us grew up with it and because generally the games are good; very few games with the official Pokémon label on it are genuinely bad. This can’t be said for some of the games from other series in the genre like Monster Rancher EVO and Digimon World Championship.

Pokémon borrows elements from Digimon, Monster Rancher, and Shin Megami Tensei. World of Warcraft borrows heavily from every "WoW-killer" in the past ten years, first-person shooters used to be known as Doom clones, and the Elder Scrolls and Final Fantasy series wouldn't exist without Ultima and Wizardry, which in turn wouldn't exist without Dungeons & Dragons. They all borrow from each other and it’s important to know just where these ideas came from rather than just attributing them to the most popular thing. After all, how can you know just how far you’ve come if you don’t know where you started?

6 great JRPGs for the Nintendo 3DS Sat, 23 Jan 2016 13:27:54 -0500 Damian A. Hinton


The Nintendo 3DS is a fantastic destination for those looking to get their JRPG fix, with tons of games already released and even more on the way. These were only a few of them, but they're some of the best.


What JRPG's were missed from the list? What JRPG's are you looking forward to in the coming year?


Let us know in the comments below!


Fantasy Life


Take the Animal Crossing and Rune Factory formula and apply it to a fantasy setting, and you get Level-5's Fantasy Life. 


The game features a quirky setting, and a variety of jobs to take so you can live life the way you want. From cooking to exploring, tailoring and even fishing; you can pursue a life however you see fit. 


There is a rather robust story mode that can be completed in about 30 hours, but there are almost endless hours of content to enjoy.


Fire Emblem:Awakening


Fire Emblem: Awakening is one of the best JRPG's released so far on the Nintendo 3DS -- and may also be one of the best titles on the system period. 


The turn-based battles are a joy to take part in, and the wide variety of classes and characters give you plenty of options to take down the opposing forces.


While the games story is presented very well, the characters interactions are what really shine in this game. You can allow many of your allies to talk with (and even marry) their counterparts, which leads to fantastic results on the battlefield -- results which potentially lead to future effects.


Shin Megami Tensei IV


The long-running Megami Tensei continued its run of excellence with the 2013 release of Shin Megami Tensei IV.


The game lets you explore a ruined future landscape populated heavily by rampant demons - demons that you collect Pokemon-style, to help you battle through a ravaged world.


There's a terrific narrative to be found in the game as well, with multiple endings depending on who ally yourself with.


(Sidenote: This is only one of the few Megami Tensei titles you play on 3DS. There's also the spinoff Persona Q, as well the Devil Survivor games.)


The Etrian Odyssey Series and the Etrian Odyssey Untold series


Since the series of dungeon-crawlers started on the original Nintendo DS, the Etrian Odyssey games have always been a niche franchise; indicating that the games weren't necessarily for everyone. 


The newest titles in the franchise, however have improved their accessibility to appeal to a wider range of fans while still maintaining the hardcore nature of their gameplay.


While the early games were light on story elements, the newer Etrian Odyssey Untold games serve as remake of the earlier titles in the series with more story moments, character interactions, and even animated cutscenes.


Bravely Default


Bravely Default takes the best of old-school JRPG's - most notably the Final Fantasy series - and combines new-age video game design decisions to produce a title that shines in some of the best ways.


Though the story can drag on bit -- and the game overstays it's welcome a bit by the second half -- the moment-to-moment gameplay is a great adaptation of old turn-based battle conventions. 




Crimson Shroud


If you're a fan of tabletop, you'll be right at home with Level 5's Crimson Shroud. Its unique battle system hearkens back to the original role-playing games, utilizing dice-rolls and and a touch of luck to progress the game's unique enemy encounters.


While the game ism't particularly long (you can finish the story in about 7-8 hours) there is a lot game packed inside this little package. Coming from the mind of Yasumi Matsuno - the man behind such titles as Vagrant Story, and Final Fantasy XII - you can expect to be wowed by Crimson Shrouds' overall quality.


Honorable Mention: Xenoblade Chronicles 3D


Xenoblade Chronicles 3D gets a shout-out here, even though technically the game released for the Nintendo Wii before making its debut on the Nintendo 3DS.


Nevertheless, Xenoblade Chronicles 3D is a great title, with a large open world to explore, and plenty of monsters to take down - not to mention an expansive story, and an array of interesting characters.




If you're Nintendo 3DS owner and a fan of JRPGs, you're probably excited for the upcoming releases of titles like Fire Emblem: Fates and Sqaure Enix's Bravely Second: End Layer.


While those games can't come soon enough, there are quite a few JRPG titles available for the system that you can pick up to tide you over. We've chosen six of our favorites to share with you.

Getting started: Shin Megami Tensei Sun, 29 Nov 2015 12:53:29 -0500 John Adamczyk

JRPGs come in every shape and size these days, but none quite match the fascinating style and concepts behind the Shin Megami Tensei series, which has exploded in popularity with the advent of Persona 3 and 4; with a highly anticipated fifth game due next year.

Being able to team up with Satan, Thor, and Jack the Ripper, among hundreds of other cultural figures you'll grow to love and hate is a unique and satisfying experience you won't find in any other series. And while a decade or two ago, the phrase "Satanic Pokemon" might have made people nervous, nowadays most would consider it synonymous with "awesome," which it is.

However, getting started with the series can be a little daunting, considering the spinoffs and spinoffs of spinoffs the game spawns. In case you forgot, we're even getting a Shin Megami Tensei x Fire Emblem crossover for the Wii U. 

With so many games to choose from, it can be difficult to find a starting point; and that can keep people from partaking in one of the most fascinating series of JRPGs around today.

One of the best parts of the Shin Megami Tensei series, however, is the fact that most of the stories are self-contained. If you haven't played the first game (which nobody would blame you for, it came out in 1987), you could still play the second game without being confused. Same goes for every game thereafter, with only a few rare exceptions. So really, when it comes to starting with the series, it's all about personal preference.

Here, I'll be walking you through some of the easiest games to get started with, and while some of the games here might be a little old, that's good news. If you can't find them in stores, go ahead and look up some emulators, because most of these games can be run pretty smoothly on older hardware.

Getting Started: Persona 4

Where to play it: PS2, PS3, PSP


Chances are, if you're reading this, this is the one SMT (spinoff) game you've probably played, and now you want more. If you haven't, well, you might as well start where most of us have: Persona 4 is a charming game, but it's a huge departure from Shin Megami Tensei as a whole. The mechanics are still there, but you'll probably be left scratching your head a little when you make the move to the SMT series itself.

If you aren't quite done with Persona and need that fix of social links and personas, backtracking to Persona 3 can also prove to be a good start, and it's also available on the same consoles. Persona 3 is also a great choice if you want to start the SMT series with a Persona game, but aren't sold on 4's happy-go-lucky style.

If you're ready to go for some real SMT mainline games beyond the Persona series, or if you want some good old-fashioned demon summoning action, here are the games I'm going to recommend that are truer to the core series.

Getting Started: Shin Megami Tensei IV

Where to play it: Nintendo 3DS

If you want to get right into SMT without all the frills, this is where you start, hands-down. With one of the most compelling stories in an SMT mainline game, contemporary anti-frustration mechanics that make it the tiniest bit easier than earlier installments (but not too easy), and an intuitive tutorial, this is the perfect place to start.

Team up with demons, buy their loyalty, splice their souls together to create stronger, more powerful demons, and explore a setting that I just can't spoil for you. SMT IV is probably the most solid place to start.

Of course, there are quirkier alternatives for those of you who want something a little different to ease you into the series.

Getting Started: Devil Survivor

Where to play it: Nintendo 3DS or Nintendo DS

If you're new to the series and you've got experience in grid-based combat games like Final Fantasy Tactics, this might be the best place for you to start. A fascinating blend of turn-based Tactics-styled navigation within turn-based combat, the game's base demon mechanics are pretty much the same as every other SMT game, with the crucial twist of combat taking place on an overworld grid. 

Characters adjacent to demons can engage them in combat and vise versa to begin a turn-based back and forth in traditional Shin Megami Tensei fashion, and with different objectives and story routes, you can end up with totally different challenges and endgame content that makes the NG+ mechanics very rewarding. 

Getting Started: Strange Journey

Where to play it: Nintendo DS

If you aren't totally sold on the mainline games...why are you here? Kidding, there's something for you, too. The mechanics of Strange Journey are still the same, but the game feels so wildly different from the rest of the series. 

With an emphasis on atmosphere and isolation, the story takes place in an anomalous void that has emerged in Antarctica. You're part of a special task force sent by the United Nations to explore this bizarre activity. The game has inspiration rooted in some of the best sci-fi horror films around, think The Thing and Event Horizon.

Another reason you might like Strange Journey is if you like dungeon crawls

You'll be navigating corridors and slaughtering demons while you progress through the story. Of course, if you like dungeon delves, you know that part of the fun is facing soul-crushing defeat again and again, and chances are, with Strange Journey, that's going to happen. A lot. But it's definitely something different for the series, and while it's clearly a Shin Megami Tensei game, there isn't another game in the series quite like it.

Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne

Where to play it: PlayStation 2 and 3


If you like a challenge, here's the start for you. A bit dated graphically, but this is probably one of the best games for RPG players who want to sit down and figure out how to survive on their own. Boss fights, especially early on, will feel like puzzles, where you'll need to determine how to take advantage of enemy weaknesses (and cover up the weaknesses of your own demons), while surviving increasingly ridiculous attacks and abilities.

If you want the SMT experience without the brakes, this is the best possible start. You'll learn how to optimize your party, embrace the fusion mechanic, and prey on enemy weakness, or you'll perish.

Just don't ragequit when you reach this guy.

Any game on this list will offer you hours of gameplay, and a head-first dive into the Shin Megami Tensei series. 

The best part of starting with a series so vast is the fact that, not only do you have so many games to choose from, but once you're hooked, you'll have plenty of other options waiting for you that will sate your newfound Satanic Pokemon addiction.

From Persona to Devil Survivor to the core Shin Megami Tensei games, each title has something new to bring to the table. Even after you've completed one of these games, I'd still highly recommend playing through any and all of them.

Enjoy, and good luck.

10 least spooky skeletons in games Mon, 02 Nov 2015 12:18:51 -0500 Clint Pereira


What did we learn about skeletons today?


They're skinless people who are often forced into a role. A lot of them are musically-inclined. And we're all very confused about whether they're supposed to be scary or not.


Skeletons could have been scary once, but now nobody's sure what to do with them anymore. As it stands, they tend to be cast as throwaway enemies and comic relief.


1. Mr. Bones from Mr. Bones


Proof that glowing eyes doesn't automatically make you scary.


In this game, you play as a skeleton with weird chimp-like features who is frantically trying to run away from other skeletons while losing his limbs. It's not uncommon to hop around on one leg or your spine. Truly, Mr. Bones demonstrates how beleaguered the life of a skeleton army soldier must really be.


Oh, and he turns his skeleton friends good with the power of music. Yep.




2. Dry Bones from the Mario series


Dry Bones used to be vaguely threatening, if a bit slow-moving. In more recent iterations, like in Mario Party 7 and Mario Kart 8, he looks more like a plushy. Even Luigi is scarier than this pile of bones.


3. Papyrus from Undertale


I take it back. David is not the silliest-looking skeleton.


What can I say about Papyrus? He is a cartoon villain with an actual Skeletor laugh who is terrible at his human-hunting job. In fact, the army he's trying to get into is full of adorable, fluffy dogs, and they're still better at hunting down humans. Instead of trapping and/or killing the human he's after, they go on a date and become best friends.


Not a good representative of skeleton-kind.


...just don't tell his brother I said any of this, though, or I might have a bad time.


4. David from Shin Megami Tensei 4


Boss fight difficulty aside, David is the silliest-looking skeleton in existence.


For one, he's not even wearing his Elizabethan-era clothing correctly. He should be wearing leggings underneath those puffy dealies. Also, his name is David! How unspooky is that?


It's like he got out of bed, forgot to put pants on, and said, "Here I am. Let's fight. Or play music. Whatever."


5. Manuel Calavera from Grim Fandango


Manny is just a guy trying to do his job. Unfortunately, corruption and the skeleton mob keep getting in his way.


Grim Fandango is proof that skeletons are just regular people... who don't have any of their skin or organs.


6. Spinal from Killer Instinct


Meet Spinal, the loincloth-wearing badass from the Killer Instinct series, because nothing says "dangerous" like a bright orange sweatband and buck teeth.


Spinal's newest iteration is a bit more intense, but his original model is anything but terrifying.


7. The Skull from F-Zero GX


Every time I see this guy's face, I'm tempted to do a Skeletor impression. Nice calves, bud. What is that, a laser tag vest?


I don't know whose idea it was to resurrect the greatest racer of all time, but why they felt the need to file down his teeth is beyond me.


8. Sir Daniel Fortesque from MediEvil


Sir Daniel Fortesque doesn't want to scare anyone. He just wants to prove himself after his first chance at heroism was ended with an arrow in his eye.


Probably the scariest thing about him is imagining what he looked like as a human. Probably something like Nigel Thornberry.


9. The skeleton warriors from Castlevania 64


Castlevania loves its skeletons. But Castlevania 64 didn't really seem to try to make the skeletons scary or threatening. They just kind of annoyingly throw themselves at you like so many bony gnats.


Pictured above is the aptly-named "bomb skeleton." It lights a fuse on its head, jogs after you, then explodes after a few seconds. Not the skeleton army's brightest.


10. Jackal from Abyss Odyssey


What's weird about this suave skeleton is that he is both an enemy mob with a rapier and an NPC who likes to play guitars and tell stories.


Maybe he's just on his lunch break?


I was just Dia de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead, and it seems like prime time to talk about skeletons. As in, those creatures that everyone says are supposed to be scary but never actually are.


For one, everyone has a skeleton. Skeletons are just our bones walking around. Skeletons also pretty easy to break. When they die, they usually fall apart or their head pops off in a comical fashion.


And yet, video games insist on throwing hordes of skeletons at players. Here are the least spooky members of the skeleton army.

RUMOR: Nintendo to Acquire Atlus? Mon, 22 Jul 2013 16:08:47 -0400 vegna871

It's tough times out there for many people.  Index Corporation, a Japanese multimedia company, has filed for bankruptcy and is selling off a few of their subsidiaries. One of these, perhaps the biggest, is the game company Atlus.  Atlus is a fairly well know developer of JRPGs, probably most known for their long running Shin Megami Tensei series.  Well, rumor has it that the most likely bidder for the company is none other than Nintendo.

Nintendo acquiring Atlus would make a great deal of sense. The two companies have been working together for some time, and Atlus' next two big games, Shin Megami Tensei IV and Shin Megami Tensei X: Fire Emblem are going to be released on Nintendo systems, the 3DS and Wii U respectively.  It's even been said that Nintendo has been treating Atlus like a first party studio since long before Index Corp's bankruptcy was announced.

Now this could have a few effects on Atlus' games.  For one, Atlus is known to jump around to various different platforms, never really sticking to just developing for one. One of the reasons they are beloved is that up until now, gamers have been able to receive some of the company's greatness no matter what console they owned. Even PC has the sorta decent free to play Shin Megami Tensei: Imagine MMO. The second reason is that Atlus makes some DARK games.  Pictured above is a scene from Persona 3 in which the main character has to shoot himself in the head to unleash his powers.  This is a major mechanic in the game.  Nintendo has a bit of a reputation from shying away from dark and mature themes whenever possible, due to their stance that video games are toys rather than a higher form of entertainment. If they acquired Atlus, would they try to rein them in and dumb down the dark themes that make Atlus' games as great as they are? If so, it would be a huge fall for an excellent gaming company.

What do you guys think? Would you like to see Nintendo acquire Atlus? Sound off in the comments below, and stay tuned to Gameskinny and the Team Timelords Facebook page for more updates on this potential acquisition.

Shin Megami Tensei x Fire Emblem Setting More or Less Revealed Tue, 09 Jul 2013 14:30:43 -0400 MirandaCB

For a very long while no one heard anything on the new Shin Megami Tensei x Fire Emblem game that was mentioned last January. However, Hitoshi Yamagami, head supervisor of all Intelligent Systems projects, revealed a small, but highly interesting detail about the game in an interview with Hobby Consolas.

Yamagami expressed that he wanted to make a Fire Emblem in modern times. He imagined “a Pegasus that comes from the sky and lands on…Building 109 of Shibuya, Tokyo.” After visiting with several companies to pitch this idea, Atlus suggested throwing Shin Megami Tensei into the mix, launching the collaboration between Atlus and Intelligent Systems.

With this mash up of RPG’s and Yamagami’s vision, it can only mean that Fire Emblem characters and elements will take place in a modern setting (possibly post-apocalyptic). How they’ll get there? Most likely time travel.

To set the groundwork until its release, Nintendo of America is opening the opportunity to get $30 eShop credit when customers purchase Shin Megami Tensei IV and Fire Emblem: Awakening and register the Club Nintendo codes within. These two titles are for 3DS, but Shin Megami Tensei x Fire Emblem will be released on the Wii U. 

E3 Reveal: Shin Megami Tensei IV Thu, 13 Jun 2013 19:28:56 -0400 Smoky Grey

Today at E3 we got to take a look at the first true sequel in 10 years to the Shin Megami Tensei series. Shin Megami Tensei IV will be released in the U.S. on July 16th and  they promised 'soon' for Europe.


Shin Megami Tensei IV will tell the story of a peasant attempting to join the aristocracy and become a samurai. It takes place in 1492 in the kingdom of Mikado where, at the age of 18, your main character must undergo a rite of passage to become a samurai. A black samurai soon starts handing out books that turn people into demons, and you are sent to investigate why. 


We will be seeing a very in-depth story unfolding across many hours of gameplay. The Shin Megami series has always had a great story and this new title promises not to disappoint the fans. The all new ability to talk to and negotiate with demons is a unique and interesting idea. A successful negotiation will end up with the demon joining your party giving you the ability to summon them, but watch out--trusting a demon may result in them stealing your swag and disappearing.

The developers said today that if you are a super skilled player and run straight through the story, doing no side quests, you might be able to knock it out in 40 hours. With over 400 demons and more than 30 brand new demons, if you are anything like me you will have to catch them all, so I am sure we will be spending a lot of time on this one. Shin Megami Tensei IV will be available for the 3DS on July 16th so get your pre-orders in now.

24 Nintendo 3DS and 3DS XL Models Not Released in North America Fri, 17 May 2013 12:49:24 -0400 Ashley Shankle

Limited edition console releases are nothing new to Nintendo of Japan, but exactly which models of the Nintendo 3DS have we missed here in North America? The list may be longer than you think.

While many newly-designed models make it over here, most often they're meant to sell the system to new adopters. The Japanese special edition models are specifically geared toward fans of particular series, whether they already own a 3DS or 3DS XL or not.

Many of these units are based on various series already found on Nintendo systems, meaning most interested parties would have owned a 3DS beforehand. Being a Nintendo collector is suffering.

Those listed which mention the models as still being available may be purchased via Play-Asia or your preferred game import website. Do note the 3DS and the 3DS XL are region-locked.

Japan-only 3DS Models

Tomodachi Collection Edition

This edition comes with the Tomodachi Collection game, and having been released April 18, is still available via some import retailers.

Shin Megami Tensei IV Edition

This unit is releasing with the game on May 23, and comes with the game pre-installed. Import retailers still have it available for pre-order.

Monster Hunter 3G Edition

Released in 2011 with Monster Hunter 3G (MH 3 Ultimate elsewhere) in 2011, this model stands as the holy grail of 3DS models for fans of the series.

Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D Edition

Konami raffled tickets to purchase this snakeskin model from their web store due to high demand at the time of release. Getting lucky enough to buy this first release netted owners a copy of of the game as well as two, specially-designed clear folders. It seems that limited purchase requirement was later removed, as Play-Asia has this model for sale.

New Super Mario Bros. 2 Edition

This unit comes with a digital copy of New Super Mario Bros. 2 and is black on the inside. It is still available via most import retailers.

CoroCoro Comics Anniversary Edition

CoroCoro and Nintendo collaborated on this release for the magazine's 35th anniversary in 2012. Information on this release is very scarce, but one can assume this edition was given away in a contest event. This is one of the rarest 3DS models ever produced.

Pokemon Daisuki Charizard Edition

Another rare entry to the list! Fans initially had to enter a lottery at one of the many Pokemon Centers located across Japan to be given a chance to win this unit. Members of the Japanese Pokemon Fan Club could purchase it at a later date for a short period.

Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance Edition

This release was bundled with the game in 2012 and is certainly one of the more classy 3DS designs. It is still available via most import retailers.

SD Gundam G Generation 3D Edition

This is perhaps my favorite 3DS model. The bundle was released in late 2011 and is more than a little difficult to find these days.

Pokemon Center Anniversary Eevee Edition

This release is coming up on June 22 in celebration of the Pokemon Center's 15th anniversary. As with the other lottery or raffle-based limited releases, chances are there will be limited sales to Pokemon Fan Club members at a later date. Even so, this unit is going to be incredibly rare.

 Dragon Quest Monsters: Terry’s Wonderland 3D Edition

This was released in 2012 bundled with Terry's Wonderland 3D, the 3DS remake of Dragon Quest Monsters. This limited release can be difficult to find today.

Culdcept Edition

This exceedingly rare 3DS model was given away as a prize to a Culdcept championship in 2012. This is the rarest officially licensed 3DS to be produced.

Disney Magic Castle Edition

This cheerful design is being released with a digital release of Disney Magic Castle: My Happy Life on July 11. It is currently available for pre-order via most import retailers.

Mario & Luigi RPG 4: Dream Adventure Edition

The North American title for this edition's partner game is Mario & Luigi: Dream Team. This design has yet to be announced for a North American release, but it is fairly likely.

LovePlus Manaka Deluxe Edition
LovePlus Nene Deluxe Edition
LovePlus Rinko Deluxe Edition

These three models were raffle-only sales via Konami Japan's online store in 2011. There were no additional opportunities to pick these three gorgeous units up.

3DS Models Released Elsewhere

Ice White Edition

This release is not rare in the least, but is not seeing a release in North America due to a lack of interest in the color. The Ice White color has been released in most major territories, except for North America.

Chinese Mario Editions

These special 3DS XL models were the first iteration of the handheld to make it to China and came packed with Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7. The rarity of these models is unknown.

European and Japanese Club Nintendo Prizes

Both the European and Japanese Club Nintendo branches held a contest in late 2011/early 2012 in which participants could win one of these limited units. The North American Club Nintendo branch did not hold a similar contest.

Shin Megami Tensei 4 Trailer Shows Off Demons Speaking Known Tounges Wed, 15 May 2013 23:15:18 -0400 EdibleKnife

Atlus USA has uploaded a new English trailer for the upcoming 3DS RPG, Shin Megami Tensei 4!

Within the trailer, you'll get a sample of the English voice acting for not only the humans but also for the demons you'll be encountering during your quest. All this coupled with a few battle and dungeon traversal snippets.

For those outside intrigued, SMT 4 is a turn-based RPG and the next installment in the Shin Megami Tensei mainline series focused on dungeon crawling and combat alongside demons, monsters, and deities from real world myths.

The game will be out exclusively for the Nintendo 3DS July 16th with all first run copies coming out as limited editions.

Atlus USA's Youtube Channel.

Shin Megami Tensei 4 First Print Bonuses Announced, First English Footage Wed, 17 Apr 2013 21:16:51 -0400 Ashley Shankle

Shin Megami Tensei 4, you're so far and yet so close. We won't have to wait much longer, with the release of SMT4 set for July 16 in North America. This release's goodies are limited to the first edition of the game as opposed to preorder holders. What are the goodies, you ask?

  • Prima Games' 176-page Strategy & Design book, featuring a starter strategy guide and concept art by Masayuki Doi.
  • The Shin Megami Tensei Music Collection CD featuring tracks from several SMT titles.
  • A Deluxe slipcase featuring art by Masayuki Doi.

This isn't too bad, to be honest -- but it certainly isn't the limited edition 3DS XL that Japan is getting. Seeing Masayuki Doi's name twice also makes me miss Kazuma Kaneko being the head designer for the series. Doi's art is nice, but I far prefer Kaneko's darker, more bizarre artstyle.

First English Footage!

Shin Megami Tensei 4 made a special appearance on today's European Nintendo Direct presentation. The video describes SMT4 as a "blend of traditional Shin Megami Tensei gameplay and new ideas". I'll keep my traditionalist mouth shut.

Check out the video (footage begins at 35:35), and don't forget SMT4 will be coming out in North America in July 16!

Shin Megami Tensei 4 Coming to North America This Summer Tue, 02 Apr 2013 12:34:15 -0400 Ashley Shankle

The Japanese release date for Shin Megami Tensei 4 was recently confirmed to be May 23, and it looks like we won't be waiting long for the much-awaited mainline SMT title to see a localization. Atlus has confirmed that Shin Megami Tensei 4 will be seeing a release in North America this summer!

As a long-time Megaten fan, I could not be more excited to see a main Shin Megami Tensei game again. Remember when everyone thought Strange Journey was supposed to be the fourth entry to the main series? Great game, but in a way I'm glad there is a true (named) successor to the series.

This will be the first SMT title in 10 years in Japan, and the first one in 9 years in North America. Shin Megami Tensei 2 and Nocturne were and remain two of my favorite console RPGs of any generation.

Expect more official announcements on the English release of SMT4 as summer grows near. Time for me to get a 3DS, I guess.

New Japanese Shin Megami Tensei 4 Trailer Gives Good Look at Game Tue, 19 Mar 2013 11:28:51 -0400 Ashley Shankle

Shin Megami Tensei 4 is just around the corner for Japanese 3DS owners. While the Japanese version of the game is scheduled for release on May 23, we still have yet to hear anything from Atlus on a localization for the first mainline SMT title in ten years.

The trailer above covers the story and many of the game's features, including demon summoning and fusion as well as the familiar combat system.

Is that a guy with a Demonica from Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey at the 3:29 mark? Aw yeah.

As a long-time Megaten fan, I was pensive about Shin Megami Tensei 4 because of the chance in art style and the lack of random battles, but it's shaping up to more than make up for those familiar staples of the series. If only we had a localization announcement and that mega-swag 3DS XL made its way to Europe and North America. One can dream, right?

New Shin Megami Tensei IV Trailer Shown During Nintendo Direct Thu, 21 Feb 2013 14:15:27 -0500 Ashley Shankle

Shin Megami Tensei IV is just around the corner for Japanese 3DS owners, with the game's release scheduled for May 23. This morning's 3DS-centric Nintendo Direct gave us some new footage of this new entry into Atlus' flagship series.

Atlus has yet to release the trailer as a standalone video, but you can check out the Nintendo Direct presentation below to get a look at the new footage and trailer. Shin Megami Tensei IV coverage begins at 20:42.

Shin Megami Tensei IV Releases in May in Japan Wed, 20 Feb 2013 16:30:52 -0500 Ashley Shankle

Shin Megami Tensei IV isn't as far off as I thought. The first entry to the main series since the PlayStation 2 will be seeing a release in Japan on May 23. A limited edition 3DS XL will be released on the same date, with the game already installed.

There has yet to be an announcement of a North American or European release, but expect to hear something from Atlus about Shin Megami Tensei IV's localization sometime this year.

(Via Siliconera)