A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
"Good vs. evil" theme; player tries to save his homeland from invading demons. That said, players build forces by negotiating with, recruiting, controlling many of those demons. Players also presented with a number of moral choices that affect the story.
Positive Role Models
Protagonist starts as an honorable fighter defending his home from invading demons. Other characters he encounters, teams up with vary from good, pure to evil, corrupt. Many feel justified in their actions for various reasons. Through game, player must make difficult moral choices, altering character interactions, events.
Ease of Play
Simple controls, but map navigation can be a bit of a pain; training/fusing various demons can be complex.
Violence & Scariness
Combat central to game, with players pitting teams of demonic creatures against enemies. Damage appears as flashes of light, sound, with occasional blood splatter. Some scenes show a bit more blood, corpses littering background.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some female demonic creatures feature risqué outfits that spotlight their cleavage, occasionally show their bare breasts, buttocks. Occasional sexual references in descriptions of demons.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Offensive language peppered throughout dialogue, including "s--t," "a--hole."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
Part of popular Shin Megami Tensei series, which has spawned multiple games, numerous spin-off titles. Also includes anime, manga titles, various merchandise.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Shin Megami Tensei IV is a role-playing adventure game for the Nintendo 3DS. Characters battle each other using a number of magic abilities and skills by fighting, negotiating with, and combining various demonic creatures; damage in these battles is shown through flashes of light and occasional blood splashes. Some of these creatures are presented in a sexualized manner, while others run the gamut from cute to downright frightening. Dialogue includes profanity such as "s--t" and "a--hole."
Is It Any Good?
This mature role-playing game is clearly for older audiences. Its addictive gameplay mechanics will keep players hooked as they build their supernatural team of fighters. Believe it or not, Nintendo's Pokémon was not the first video game franchise in which players captured and trained strange creatures to battle alongside them. In fact, the first Shin Megami Tensei game beat those pocket monsters to the punch by four years in Japan. But make no mistake about it: With its postapocalyptic settings, demonic creatures, and horror-esque genre, this has never been a series for young kids. Now, after numerous spin-offs and side stories, Atlus has returned to the main franchise with Shin Megami Tensei IV for the 3DS.
You can't talk about an SMT game without talking about the demons you encounter, and Shin Megami Tensei IV has a variety of twisted creatures that range from cute and cuddly to disturbingly sensual to downright bizarre and frightening. You'll have to find just the right words or give just the right gift to convince them to join your army. This also means that there's a lot of grinding involved in the game. If you try to just move from one part of the story to the next, it won't take long before you and your minions are seriously outmatched. That can make the game start to feel a bit repetitive, but that fades a bit once you start experimenting with things such as fusion in the Cathedral of Shadows app. As far as the story goes, the game has a deep plot with plenty of twists and turns, and your choices play out in some intriguing ways. Unfortunately, some of the other characters' development seems to get lost along the way, which is understandable given the scope of the plot but is still a shame since there always seems to something more lying just under the surface. Even so, Shin Megami Tensei IV is a strangely engrossing experience that's hard to put down.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.