MEGAMI TENSEIā„¢ Uncensored => Tokyo 202X => Topic started by: yksehtniycul on October 25, 2008, 08:37:08 PM

Title: Giten Megaten 1996 Impressions
Post by: yksehtniycul on October 25, 2008, 08:37:08 PM
I was able to fool around with the PC98 version of Giten for a bit. Unlike the PC version it feels like a real game.

I didn't get too far for the mouse giving me hell. The game worked fine, but I couldn't get my mouse out of the window for long before it would be sucked back in. I'm going to seek out advice on that.

Everything looks solid. The graphics are not shiny textures like in the PC (Windows98) version. They are actually kinda MSpaint style mixed dot maps. And there might not be any animation when turning. I forget. You can't see NPC sprites from a distance of more than two squares. That could seriously change the way fighting is handled. On the other hand the demons look much better. These are the sprites I remembered from the online directory since taken down. All of the rooms and NPCs look much better. Nothing looks ugly or dirty, and the fonts don't look jinky. Instead of NPCs getting chopped up to their chests the head gets chopped off... I'm not sure which is weirder. I dunno what it is with the age old tradition of putting 1st person game cameras approximately in the players stomach cavity. The demons actually advance toward you, and fairly rapidly... behavior I did not notice in the PC (Windows98) game.

All and all this one looks like a game I'll be playing. The Windows98 version I was not looking forward to enduring. They are radically different games graphically. Only the PC98 version feels like a proper professional release however.

trivia: Law is mispelled Low in the LNC graph (there is the vertical axis as well -- can't recall whether it was Dark/Light or Evil/Good for certain)

Low is also used when selecting the difficulty of the VR trainer. But oh well... the Japanese have never shown care when it comes to English immortalized in game form.

Time will tell if this is the best classic Megaten gameplay everrr...

Title: Re: Giten Megaten 1996 Impressions
Post by: yksehtniycul on October 30, 2008, 04:04:03 AM
I gotta admit this is an intriguing game. It's so different it's hard to describe. The gameplay is more sophisticated than possibly any 1st person Megaten title. The gameplay feels like a precursor to IMAGINE even. The setting is very similar to IMAGINE. The basic environment is very similar -- an underground shelter with a warrior class known as Devil Busters. Much of the same language is used in the stat system and explanations.

The artwork is very nice and crisp. Much better than SMT2 or Kyuuyaku in ways. I've no idea what was up with the Win98 version. It feels kinda like the PS1 remakes of the SMT titles (but for Giten) but really doesn't hold up to the test of time (possibly the graphics were very flash in it's day)

The PC98 version on the other hand is very nice. I'd recommend it to anyone with the temperament to play the Super Famicom titles. The cutscenes are very nice as well. They are dot illustrations and don't appear amateur at all. The reason the Win98 game appears so amateurish it seems is various filters and photoshopping were used to make the dot graphics appear airbrushed. The same was done to the sprites to horrible effect. In fact I'm not even sure the same devil graphics are used in the Win98 version (I think maybe they were redrawn then scanned in -- or the original concept art might've been used)

The presentation is very solid. The dungeons don't have turning animations but they're more sophisticated than the SMT ones I think. The interface is very nice, though it's a bit tedious to navigate by mouse (and I've found no alternative way to go about it -- all the joystick buttons seem to be mapped to walking maneuvers)

Combat is very interesting. Demons wonder about freely and visibly. They have side and back animations. They attack from afar launching projectile spells which produce area damage. I haven't worked out how the positioning system works, but you can change your party arrangement, so it must matter. You can fire guns and area effect spells to rooms full of enemies in the same way. You can also walk about while fighting (the ability to walk is hindered by some mechanisms during combat)

There are many interesting stats including charm and psychology. Many kinds of equip, possibly with some unique icon graphics. It feels very much like a spiritual successor to MT2 but with some adventure elements thrown in (adv is a staple of PC-XX titles)

Just for the record, Kaneko Kazuma is given "original character design" credits along side another artist. It's hard to tell precisely what that means. I doubt it means he produced "original artwork". Regardless the artwork is interesting at every turn. There is a lot of talk of cybernetics... which also play a part in MT2 (the heroes arm is bitten off and replaced -- perhaps the origin of the "arm terminal")

There are six playable characters which all join the party before the second opening sequence for a cinematic fight. You can talk to devils and your status list goes beyond 30 I think, so it's yet to be seen whether it is more character or devil driven combat. You're paired up with a dominant heroine character leading up to the second opening setup.

It can be a pain getting to the first chance to save. It's basically wondering around the massive shelter setting up some triggers which require revisiting some key npcs. Finally you must return to your quarters (and possibly choose the rest option which then permits you to save) ...afterwards you awake to a quiz... presumably answering the laundry list of questions about general Megaten competency results in something. After that you're paired up with your first partner and shoved into a special Virtual Trainer dungeon, if you die you are given the option to continue or give up, but either option forces you to continue. Finally you run into another DB and are told there is an emergency bug/virus in the system and something about the boss room is unusual... you then meet another higher level DB and enter the boss area... you are permitted to check their stats and setup the fight but I was eventually pulled out before action commenced where you run into two more DBs, then there is action cinematics interlaced with credits (presumably the boss fight)

Afterwards you're formally introduced to your fellow DBs (they were also in quarters in the shelter previously) and a cyber dog fills out the squad. The dog seems an odd addition but perhaps it plays a Kerberos type role at some point.

Then you're escorted to a further battery of exams, during which the shelter goes into an emergency alert state... it appears devils are attacking, and you rush headlong into the situation (often the game takes control of your walking -- there is also an auto-nav filter unlocked later I believe)

You run into some adventure game style NPC situations, and are basically judged by how you reacted after you learn it was all a mock setup (fortunately this exam was shorter than the others)

Afterwards you part with the heroine (who you sometimes seem to end up in short dating sim style situations -- not unlike devil convo) and head back to your room... where you find her waiting (basically another dating sim setup)

At that point I saved again and quit to see if my game would reload. It seems possible the timing of the game is a dead crawl after loading a saved game with the setup I'm using, but I'm hoping that'll fix itself after rebooting the emulator. If not I'll have to look into alternative means of play.

Also the starting screen is incredibly slow, but once the game gets going normal (or slower) speeds seem ideal... especially as the combat is not strictly turn based. You pretty much have to kick the emulator into full speed to get thru the startup (this is probably why reviewers have commented the PC-98 version of the game to be slow)

If I don't get too turned off, I might develop a translation/guide someday.

Title: Re: Giten Megaten 1996 Impressions
Post by: DevilRy on October 30, 2008, 07:21:30 PM
You could even turn this post even into the main Giten info page if you wanted to.  :biggrin: