Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey

released on Oct 08, 2009

In the near future, a mysterious, growing, black void appears at the Earth's southern pole. Unable to determine its cause and powerless to stop its deadly encroachment, humanity sends an elite team of explorers into the heart of the phenomenon, just as Strange Journey's look and feel represent a return to the heart of Shin Megami Tensei, bringing to mind the all-time classic Nocturne. With over 300 demons to bribe, coerce, and negotiate with to gain assistance in battle, Strange Journey is every bit the deep, rewarding RPG experience fans have come to expect from the SMT franchise, yet delivered with a fresh new sci-fi story that taps into mature themes of morality and introspection.

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Ah....Strange Journey. A game that I heard in the Megaten community before I even played any of the games in the franchise. A game that's been memed into being "the hardest SMT to ever exist" back in the day. The "peak of the series" to several. Overall, a game that exists to make fun of Persona 3-5 fans so SMT fans can feel superior for liking a game that's slightly more difficult to find some meaning in their lives.
So after over a decade and finally deciding to beat all the mainline entries as I'm slacking off from playing Kiseki no Azure, I decided to beat Strange Journey once and for all, crossing it out on the list of SMT games I need to beat. And it was probably the most boring game I ever played.
I don't know how Atlus done it but this game is so legitimately fucking boring, like seriously. It's so boring that Kiseki no Zero looks actually entertaining in comparison.
The soundtrack is so bland and forgettable, it's just generic orchestra akin to some Hollywood film. What happened to the fun music Atlus is known for? Even Kozuka tracks are more memorable than this shit despite their flaws.
The gameplay is just boring and somewhat shitty. The environments lacks anything memorable about them and it's mostly just random ice or stone walls when compared to SMT 1, 2, IF, and even Debisama dungeons. The combat is also just a slighty improved SMT 1 to IF gameplay where now you can deal extra damage via demon co-op. Sounds fun on concept, but it gets boring in a few minutes due to a lack of challenge.
It's just really bizarre that a title from 1995 overall has better dungeon crawling than a 2009 title. Even Phantasy Star 2 was more fun than this shit.
The story is just your typical "save the earth" plot with shitty Yoko Taro tier gimmicks of "Hurr durr HUMANS ARE THE TRUE MONSTERS IT'S ALL HUMANS FAULTS FOR BEING SUCH IDIOTIC FLAWED CREATURES!".
I rolled my eyes endlessly as the game keeps telling me the same shitty message of "human bad". Like couldn't they do anything interesting with the actual writing?
Overall, Strange Journey is just a shitty game that was hyped up to be cool back in the day in order to look cool to Persona fans. It doesn't play good, it doesn't sound good, and the story comes off as heavily pretentious at times.
I'm glad this game is off the list now.

insanely unbearable maps but story is peak

Que despedida linda do Kazuma Kaneko
Que jogasso puta que pariu, um rpg incrivel e com uma exploração muito divertida e instigante. Seus designs, seus temas e mensagens, seus personagens, todos são incrivelmente marcantes e deixam um gosto otimo na boca quando você finaliza, e te deixam extremamente azedo quando você precisa tomar decisões cruciais pra historia, eu realmente bati muito a cabeça aqui pra tentar escolher qual caminho seguir
Infelizmente o level design de alguns mundos parece ter sido feito pelo proprio capeta, e a reta final é dificil a nivel de se você não tem o mapinha de fusões da wiki você simplesmente não passa
Enfim, otimo jogo, obrigado Kaneko