Yesterday, Atlus surprised its fanbase with the announcement of Shin Megami Tensei IV: Final, a companion game to its critical smash hit on the Nintendo 3DS. One day later, Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu has the very first screenshots of this new title.
The first of the bunch is the most shocking. At first glance, it seems like a certain King of the Gerudo has slipped from his own series and joined the ranks of the undead in this new universe. If that is our villain, then he really looks a lot like a skeletal Ganondorf, and he has been slain by our green tunic hero one too many times.
The rest of the screenshots don’t paint a very nice world. Earth has been ravaged after isolating itself from heaven, and the human race has been reduced to gangs of marauders and demonic gangsters. Shin Megami Tensei’s faceless character sprites also return, making it just as creepy as ever. Isn’t it amazing that this effective style stems from a technological limitation? Atlus couldn’t render faces in such a small resolution in the older games, and that limitation lead to what we still see today. I love it.
The development team has also gone crazy with the color scheme this time with lots of glowing neon greens to clash against the dark backgrounds.
Famitsu also laid out the game’s “Partner” system. Our hero can bring along “partner” characters into battle, and these guys will help back up the protagonist and his demonic minions, granting them statistical benefits and healing depending on the ally. It provided the example of Asahi, a female healer who will gain the ability to cure different status effects as she levels up.
Shin Megami Tensei IV: Final launches in Japan for the Nintendo 3DS in Feb. 2016. No English version has been announced yet, but I don’t see Atlus holding out on us with this one. It will get here sooner or later.