Every game can’t be perfect, and in face no game truly is. SMT IV is no different. There are a few things that most media outlets ignore, that I’d like to discuss. I’ve also done a video highlighting a few of these annoyances to act as a companion to this article. So let’s jump right into it.
To begin with, when you finally make your way far enough into the game you’re taken to what is effectively an overworld. From here you take the shape of a little circular icon that moves around a static backdrop. Enemies appear every now and then and will chase after you, but that’s not what’s annoying. No, the annoying part is that the map can be extremely difficult to navigate because it is hard to see. It’s entirely possible to get stuck for an hour simply because you couldn’t see the dark blue path next to the dark gray path, and that’s the only way to proceed to your next destination. Other times there will be microscopic gates that hinder your progression, and all you had to do was move around them, but because of the color scheme what should be super simple can become a chore.
Finally there’s the issue of A.I. Frequently this game will hand you your ass on a beautiful platter, but then at other times you’re left scratching your head. One common complaint people have with the Dragon Quest series is when they’re fighting an enemy and the creature at hand casts a spell even though they’ve run out of MP. Doing this once is fine, doing it four times in a boss fight is ridiculous. Something similar happens here too. While you’re battling a demon, it will cast an ice attack on your one character that’s completely immune to all frost damage, thereby forfeiting their turn and allowing you to counter. Doing this once is perfectly fine, but having that very same demon repeat said attack three more times is ludicrous.
So is the sky falling, is SMT IV doomed, I’d say by taking a quick glance at the game’s Metacritic that the answer is an overwhelming no. The rest of the game is extremely fun, and the demon collecting and fusion system is a blast, and clearly the most enjoyable part of the game. It’s just that sometimes people can get a little excited about one aspect and ignore the others, so I thought I’d do something a little different and highlight some key things that have been popping up that aren’t so hot. Expect the full review in the next few days.