October 30th is three months away, and for most people that day just may be another day, but to Atlus fans like me, it's a day to be happy about. After all, by then Shin Megami Tensei just turned 22.
It's pretty much a surprise as to how a franchise such as Shin Megami Tensei has remained loyal to it's roots for all these years, it has remained humble despite it's achievements, it's one of the few titles that revolutionized jRPG, something it shares with the Final Fantasy franchise, it also encourages you to collect data from monsters within your level and monsters you encounter, something it started way before Pokemon, but what ultimately makes Shin Megami Tensei different from both(and what makes it remain loyal to it's source material, the Megami Tensei book series) is the fact that the hands of the world and the fate it will have is all on your hands. Would you like to fight for a world where Evil does not exist under God? Would you like to fight for a world where nothing is law but man's own primal instincts where demons exist amongst humans? or would you rather fight for humanity and ultimately leave the choice of their future unto their hands? Because no other franchise can make you feel like a god at the end like Shin Megami Tensei.
SMT as a franchise has always been ahead of it's time, and Atlus has always pulled that off due to never putting a compromise on the quality of the franchise, We've seen Final Fantasy being reduced from an RPG to a spectacle fighter
due to how Square Enix is mismanaging the franchise(which gets even worse as years go by seeing as they've even planned sequels such as Lightning returns), even the Final Fantasy Tactics franchise is currently under threat of going through the path of All the Bravest
when it was the last branch of FF that actually focused on quality storytelling. We've also seen how Pokemon never changed except for the how the amount increases per generation while there's zero progress on the story(At least the manga is trying to offer a solid storyline to the franchise, but that's the manga) at all. Atlus held true to the SMT franchise for almost 22 years now, doing it's source material(Both Megami Tensei and Teito Monogatari) justice while getting better with every release while it's rivals fail to hold on to the very things that made their franchises good as years go by.
SMT has stayed great for all these years mainly due to the fact that Atlus has stayed loyal, loyal to the source material(to the Megami Tensei, Digital Devil Saga and Teito Monogatari
series), and the loyalty that matters the most, loyalty to their fans. We've seen other rival franchises stumble due to how they try to "broaden" their playerbase, losing sight and betraying the very fans that raised it up. Don't get me wrong, Atlus also tries to do that(hence the Persona 3
, Persona 4
, Devil Survivor
series, Raidou Kuzunoha
) but they've done so without sacrificing the enjoyment of their main audience, the existence of the the reprint of SMT: Nocturne(a game that has aged gracefully for the past 9 years) and Digital Devil Saga, SMT: Strange Journey
, and the latest installment of the franchise, SMT IV
, is a testament to this. I end my note saying that if there's ever a Japanese RPG video game company I'd stay faithful to till the very end, it's Atlus. Atlus never compromised the quality of their works, if they made a game for a console, they'd always give it their all, hell, if the effort they placed on Jack Bros. for the Virtual Boy didn't convince you, I don't know what will. Atlus, Shine on you crazy diamond.