"Shin Megami Tensei" and JRPG fans in the west have something new to ogle over: A new "Shin Megami Tensei 4" trailer for the upcoming 3DS game has leaked, according to Cubed 3. The new trailer, which was released through developer Atlus' official Japanese website for "Shin Megami Tensei 4," features footage of customizable character menus, where players will be able to alter the appearance of their avatars with clothes and accessories. A NeoGAF forum also reveals screen caps from the upcoming "Shin Megami Tensei 4" for 3DS, which has been slated for release in Japan on May 23, 2013. View the new "Shin Megami Tensei 4" trailer below:
A "Shin Megami Tensei 4" 3DS release date has yet to be set for North America, though given the critical and commercial success of developer Atlus' "Persona 4" HD remake on PS Vita, "Persona 4 Golden," as well as their recent tie-in fighting game, "Persona 4 Arena," for PS3 and Xbox 360, fans are hopeful that the game will receive a western release. Where will the game take place? The hotly anticipated "Shin Megami Tensei 4" for 3DS will take place between two worlds, a modern day urban world, and a classical European fantasy world populated by samurai characters; Sounds just bizarre enough to fit Atlas' "Shin Megami Tensei" bill. Gamespot has the scoop on gameplay and narrative elements of Atlus' upcoming RPG:
Players will be controlling a protagonist who is part of a futuristic samurai group from the country of East Mikado. In contrast to the dark and demon-ridden landscape of post-apocalyptic Tokyo (because some traditions need to stick in Megami Tensei titles), East Mikado is bright and is built like a medieval castle. Yes, we're feeling vibes of The Village here, but instead of outcasts who shun technology, these samurais brandish their stylish and slick gloves that allow them to conjure demons and rid Tokyo of its plague as well as act as a fancy GPS device.
Like in past games, players will have to pick between law and chaotic alignments to further the narrative and open up branching story paths (ala recent SMT title Strange Journey). Players traverse the annals of a ruined Tokyo in a third-person perspective in 3D ala Shin Megami Tensei 3, though combat will be strictly in a first-person perspective with 2D graphics representing your opponents. You still control a small team of demons to kill off other demons or convince them to join your side. Judging from the combat, the press turn combat system returns, though it's not yet determined if it will be exactly like SMT 3's structure where exploiting enemy weaknesses will make you use half a turn and even give you more turns for fighting.
[...]The most welcome change is that the game will not have random battles. Taking a page from spin-offs Persona 3 and 4, SMT IV's protagonist can hack his way through obstacles and initiate combat with on-screen encounters with his sword. While on the overworld, you will have a yellow ring surrounding your player; as long as enemies are within that circle, you will be pursued until they touch you to initiate combat.
As with past titles in the main "Shin Megami Tensei" series, the "Press Turn Battle" system will be back. Gematsu explains the system in detail below:
Press Turn Battle
During battles, you attack by choosing a certain number of actions. The number of actions can be increased by attacking weak points. It's refreshing to hit the enemy's weak points a whole bunch in one stroke, but on the contrary, you can get caught in predicaments when attacking the weak points.
All in all, it's a simple but thrilling battle system. In addition, occasionally demons will band together and appear as an "army." The weak points of the army groups aren't always obvious. You'll need to find the weak point and attack it aggressively before the army unleashes their waves of attacks on you.
The character that increases the number of actions may grin widely and laugh. Not only will the grinning character become strengthened temporarily, but their weak point becomes ineffective, and it changes the battle progress greatly. Both enemies and allies can break out into a grin, so it's an advantageous system in a pinch, but also nerve-wracking if things aren't going your way.
When you use up the set number of turns, a simpler level of difficulty becomes available. Since you can change the degree of difficulty whenever you want, it's possible to adjust the play style freely. You can also save and load at any time too.
When you are annihilated in battle, you are sent to the Styx River, but you can return to the point before you were annihilated by paying up game coins. You can hand over your money (macca) or game coins to the Styx Ferryman "Karon," and he will revive you right before where you died, where you can immediately attempt the fight again. And this time, hopefully not lose.
View the previously released "Shin Megami Tensei 4" trailer here, which was initially bundled with the recently released 3DS version of "Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers," which will be released in North America on April 16, 2013: