More Megaten Beta

With all the MMO subs I have running, tonight I dove back into the Megaten beta. I guess I’ll call it that, rather than Shin Megami Tensei or Persona Online, since that’s what it’ll be called in NA. I snagged a few screenshots but the screenie function is kind of not-great. The game looks much sharper than these screens would indicate.

Tonight I finished my training, which took a while as I got the hang of chaining attacks and allowing for charging time for defenses and what not. Then I headed out on my first quest, to bring back a Pixie Leader. We needed scales from her wing to cure a wounded comrade.

It took me a while to figure out how to “tame” the pixie; hopefully in release players will get a bit of extra handholding. And once I did, she floated along beside me with the title “Treated like a slave by Gillain”!! Hmph. I need to do something about that!

There’s a lot to this game, though. I spend a lot of time running around gawking at the demons that other players have summoned. There are cards that you find that, presumably, can get you demons. I’ve got a piece of gear that needs fixing, so I’m guessing there’s some kind of crafting. And the combat is quite fun (and a bit challenging) so far. Skills are increased by using them, and there are no firm classes. As you gain levels (so yeah, you do get levels) you get points to spend on your attributes. If you’re going to be doing a lot of melee, you boost strength. Mages will boost magic and gunners will boost agility. Then you have a big bunch of skills and choose which of those you want to improve. Once “toggled on” every time you use those skills you gain expertise in them. Gain enough and that skill levels up.

I still don’t have a full grasp of all that’s going on, but I’m *really* liking what I’ve seen so far. But keep in mind that I really enjoyed the Playstation versions of Persona, too.

Learn how to train a pixie below this guy. Spoiler Alert!

You have to use the “Greeting” skill (it should be on your hotkey bar by the Skills window its labeled as “Talk”) on the Pixie Leader 3 times. After that, she’ll either join you or get bored and leave. Just keep trying until she says something about wanting to come along. Once she says that she’ll morph into a green egg-shaped thing which you can click on and collect, and after that you can summon her.

Beta report! Shin Megami Tensei: Imagine

I was reading Tipa’s post about Shin Megami Tensei: Imagine (aka Megaten, aka Persona Online) this morning, and not an hour later Massively had a post announced beta client and keys were available from Filefront.

I was kind of in an “Off the grid” mood tonight so a beta mmo where I was completely anonymous sounded like just the thing (that, and Tipa hasn’t steered me wrong yet). I snagged the client, patched up and jumped in. I was warned going in that the servers were being a bit flaky tonight; they just rolled out some big patch I guess, and this *is* beta, and sure enough I didn’t get too far in before I got disconnected and as of right now even their web site is throwing an Error 500.

But from the half-hour or so I got to play, I was very pleasantly surprised. The game starts feeling very much like a JRPG, with you an untried hero ready to fight against the demons that have invaded our world from otherwhere. The perky older, more experienced warrior that guides you through your first steps is a comfortable cliche and does a good job of teaching basic controls (and I’m pretty sure this first bit was a solo instance). Oddly when you leave her side, you go to a ‘virtual battlefield’ where a crusty old cliche warrior walks you through the same steps. I imagine one or the other of these sequences will be cut from the release game.

Tipa’s post covers the early game well enough that there’s no need for me to rehash things, and she got more time in. Combat is active/actiony, and thankfully WASD movement is supported (not always a given in Eastern MMOs). The interface felt clean and crisp. The art-style is pure Persona and so is the music. It just had a real nostalgic feel to it. Unfortunately a lot of the storyline text is still in Japanese, and the fact that this bugged me in itself says something about the title: I want to know what happened!

Definitely another title to put on my “to play” list. These Free-To-Play MMOs are really growing in quality lately. Not very long ago they were all cookie-cutter grind-fests, but not any more.