As you guys know, I am an absolute sucker for special editions with physical goods. Even in an age where it makes entirely more sense to go digital, if you throw in a soundtrack or a nice box, I’m sold on a physical copy. Shin Megami Tensei 4 went all-out with their physical release this time around, but is it worth the lack of convenience?
See, here’s where I’d post an unboxing video, but I am a weak man who opens things quickly and doesn’t have any video-worthy camera handy. So you get photos instead! Speaking of which, my apologies for the quality of these. Nothing I tried would get rid of the glare and bits of my wall (see the box) in the photo. I just wanted to get out somethin’ more personal than grabbing photos from Amazon’s website or somethin’.
Right, here’s the box. While it looks incredibly nice, it’s actually the weakest part of this set. If you’ve ever ordered a ‘special edition’ copy of a game before, you’ll note that the box that all the goodies come in is this really flimsy, easily-worn cardboard that makes me downright afraid of handling the thing. It’s a shame that they (meaning whoever was involved with putting this together) didn’t invest in a higher quality material for the box.
Thankfully, the book is miles better. While the cover is fairly thin and honestly makes me a bit afraid of using it, the pages have a nice thickness to them, as opposed to being magazine-thin. The art and concept sketches, along with designer notes, are pretty cool as well. The strategy guide portion of it acts as a physical manual (I skimmed through the beginning and couldn’t find anything not included in the e-manual), as well as a massive database of fusions, challenge quests, and equipment. Presumably enemies, too, but I’m not gonna spoil it for myself.
Finally, we’ve got the soundtrack. Now let me preface this bit by saying I am not the biggest fan of instrumental music without context. There’s a reason why most of my music is Touhou remixes or anime openings, as opposed to the non-vocal stuff. Anyway, I’m giving the soundtrack a fair shot, but other folks will probably enjoy it a lot more than me. The CD has eight tracks total, spanning the mainline Shin Megami Tensei series. It’s… decent. Not good, not bad, but okay.
The first three tracks are the openings from the first three games, so it’s cool to see those come back. I’m going to assume that Hallucination I and II are from SMT I and II respectively. Overture seems to be a completely new track, or a remix, not totally certain. My personal favorite song has to go to track seven, SDDS IV, a heavy, rock-sounding piece that would be downright excellent with lyrics. The soundtrack ends with the appropriately grandiose and epic Reincarnation, which… honestly sounds like Old Man Lucifer’s theme from Nocturne, but feel free to correct me if I’m wrong. Anyway, the soundtrack’s not something I’ll listen to more than… once, honestly, maybe twice, but it’s a nice bonus for fans of videogame music.
So, what’s the final verdict on this edition? It’s definitely the best thing I’ve seen come from Atlus. The Devil Summoner 2 one might beat it, though, but that’s not being made anymore, to my knowledge. The biggest disappointment is honestly the box itself, as I’ve owned mine for a day and it’s already showing a tiny bit of wear on the bottom and I’m genuinely worried about handling it and causing more damage. Either way, this is the coolest special edition I’ve personally owned since Epic Mickey (when in doubt: figures always win), and I’m really hoping Atlus keeps this trend going. … Well, as long as they invest in better boxes next time. Anyway, I’m out for now. I’ll try to get something about the actual game out by this weekend, so look forward to that. As always, thanks for reading and have a good’un.