The game has a dark post-apocalyptic atmosphere, with creepy synthesizer music and a misanthropic plot.
You take the role of a Samuri from a vaguely Christian Kingdom who, along with a few companions, descends upon the remnants of a demon-infested Tokyo through hidden tunnels (Tokyo being destroyed is a main theme that seems to occur in most mainline SMT games).
Along the way, you encounter various demons who you can fight, bribe for money, or coerce into joining your ranks.
The mechanics work, and there’s always an element of strategy and luck to every battle.
Whether you choose to align with angels or demons, the game is quick to remind you that your choice might not necessarily be the right one.
At one point in the game, you’re cast into a hell of your own doing, a realm made up of the culmination of your own choices (and, trust me, it’s bad no matter who you choose to side with).
There’s also a neutral path you can walk, which is probably the most rewarding but also the trickiest to obtain, though somehow I managed it on my first try (without even using a guide).
One of your companions is a privileged richboy who hates demons and represents the “law” side of the spectrum.
Often, you’ll have to settle disputes between the two, moving the plot along in a specific direction that culminates (predictably) in a showdown between your party and the ultimate good or evil.That may not be the most original concept, but SMT IV sure is nuanced about it.You don’t have to grind levels in SMT IV, but you do have to pay attention to every fight.Just spamming the “attack” button will get you to the game over screen very quickly.While SMT IV is a ton of fun, it is a bit lacking in plot and character development.