Today, Atlus USA finally made the announcement fans of the Shin Megami Tensei series have been dying for: Shin Megami Tensei IV Final is coming to North America. It will be called Shin Megami Tensei IV Apocalypse, and will be released this Summer (it will cost $49.99 in North America, and $64.99 in Canada). Click here for the official website!
As you probably already know if you read all our previous posts about the Japanese release, the protagonist of Shin Megami Tensei IV Apocalypse is a Hunter cadet who meets an untimely death at the hands of demons. But Dagda, a mysterious god, ressurects him. In exchange, the protagonist has to follow his orders, and the path he’s set on is not quite the safest one, and the difference between peace and anarchy is paper thin.
But who is Dagda? An opportunitic lesser god? Part of something much bigger? You will have to play the game in order to find out!
If you’re interested in Shin Megami Tensei IV Apocalypse, but haven’t played Shin Megami Tensei IV, here’s two things you should know:
- you definitely should get it (it’s frequently on sale on the Nintendo eShop, too)
- you don’t need to play it before playing Shin Megami Tensei IV Apocalypse (even if the story overlaps, with some shared characters)
Here’s a run down of the game’s main features by Atlus:
- The Eternal Struggle Between Gods– The Shin Megami Tensei series, known for exploring the tenuous symbiosis between man and deity, reaches deeper than ever in Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse, as the band of main characters must decide which side of peace or anarchy they are on.
- Partner Up for Success – A new twist on the SMTIV combat formula allows players to bring one of seven partners to battle (in addition to the standard three demons), each with their own unique skills and AI. Plus, partners will fill up a meter that will interrupt the enemy, do massive damage, and give players an extra turn. Given the excruciating difficulty of battles in Shin Megami Tensei, the partner system will allow for new player strategies.
- Demons Aplenty – Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse has a series record 450+ demons to fight, fuse, or recruit to player parties. With demons from a wide selection of cultures and religions to choose from, players will be able to customize their party to their liking.
- Fuse For Affinities – Demon fusion, combining two or more demons to form a more powerful one, is one of the cornerstones of Shin Megami Tensei games, and now demons will have affinities for certain skills, giving players more decisions to make about which skills fusions will inherit.
- Press Turns and Smirking – The Press Turn system returns, which gives players (or enemies!) extra turns for exploiting weaknesses. The Smirk system returns as well, which gives huge offensive and defensive boosts to party members (or enemies) and now unlocks bonuses for certain skills, such as insta-kill attacks.
- Over 60h of gameplay
Here’s a trailer for Shin Megami Tensei IV Final / Apocalypse (which is the “Image Anime” video):
And here’s some screenshots and the boxart:
But that’s not all: Atlus also posted a blog post to explain why the title was changed (it was called Shin Megami Tensei IV Final in Japan, as you already know). Basically, Atlus USA wanted a title that would be “easier for the western audience to understand the game’s epic nature”. But even if they were given the go-ahead, it was still a pretty complex process.
After all, they had to keep three things in mind:
- the title had to make sense
- the title had to sound good
- the title had to look good on the box
What’s more, they had to keep in mind the length (it couldn’t be too long due to the logo in-game). And in Japan, the designer put the A from the Anarchy sign on top the Peace sign, to highlight the duality of the chaos/law aspect of the game. Naturally, it’s something they had to keep in the English title. Finally, there was also legal issues (copyrights) and potentially objectionable content (such as Holy War) to take into account.
But in the end, all those restrictions helped them narrow down the right direction. From Shin Megami Tensei IV Final, they ended up with with Shin Megami Tensei IV Apocalypse, and the “IV” was actually kept in the title (they did consider dropping it). And no, you will not find any “Featuring Dante from the Devil May Cry series” on the box!
(Something Atlus does not mention is that Apocalypse does have a religious connotation, which fits perfectly well with the game’s theme).
It’s not the first time Atlus changed the title of a game for the Western release. After all, Etrian Odyssey is called Sekaijuu no Meikyuu in Japan (lit: Labyrinth of the World Tree). For Etrian Odyssey Untold, the Japanese title was Shin Sekaijuu no Meikyuu (lit. New Labyrinth of the World Tree). After many hours of debate, they went with “Untold”, which conveyed the same meaning (ie: the game features story content, not found in the DS version), had an air of mysterious, and sounded quite good.
Shin Megami Tensei IV Apocalypse (known as Shin Megami Tensei IV Final in Japan) (3DS) comes out this Summer in North America. Unfortunately, nothing was announced for Europe, but it’s only a matter of week until we get an announcement. Our Upcoming Releases page has been updated with this localisation!
Source: Atlus PR