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Shin Megami Tensei: Lucifer's Call (PS2)

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£6.19 Best Offer by: amazon.co.uk See more offers
3 Reviews

Published by: Usisoft / Genre: Role-playing / Release date: 2005-07-01

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    3 Reviews
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      27.12.2010 21:10
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      if you're looking for a good JRPG on PS2, you should defenitely try this one.

      Storyline 8/10 - The main character found himself involved in what is called the conception (the world as we know is destroyed and preparation for it's rebirth). The main character awakens after witnessing the destruction of Tokyo, and the new world is inhabited with demons and incarnation of death. And he also transformed into a demon itself. SMT : Nocturne had a great story with many twists and keep you wondering what'll happen next.

      Gameplay 9/10 - The game system is a 'turn based system'. You turn depends on how many character in your party. And if you hit an enemy weakness(every demon have it's weak and strong element) you will get an extra turn, and vice versa. You'll lose your turn if you miss or they repel/drain/block your attack. So, you'll need to know what's your enemy weakness before taking a fight, because if you don't, they can sweep all of your party in 15 sec. And another one is Demonic Summoning system, you can combine a lot of demon to get a new demon. Also, you can recruit any demon that you encounter in battle.

      Music 10/10 - Music in this game is awesome composed by Shoji Meguro, the atmosphere is very dark, combined from hard rock and techno. 'Boss battle' and 'Final Battle' is one of the best soundtracks I ever heard.

      Graphic 9/10 - This game use cell shaded and I think it's very good. Usually, game creator only focusing on main party or something, but not in this game. All of the demon animation is very smooth and fits with the dark story.

      Overall 9/10

      Information : Dante from 'Devil May Cry' is on this game, he has a major role. And of course, can be obtained as your party.

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        18.09.2010 14:27
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        If you're into this type of game you can't really go wrong here.

        Legendary RPG! It's actually one of the best games I've ever played. Easily my fave RPG ever, and possibly the greatest game I've ever played full stop.

        The atmosphere running through the game is epic, and it can be completed several times because you can choose your alignment and each has a different ending. The story itself is easily the best I've seen in an RPG game too, but the truly great thing is the battle system.

        For your own skills you have Magatama (Demon Essences.) that you equip and get skills from as you level, but the main thing is the group you can have with you. You can choose from dozens and dozens of different Demons you encounter throughout the game to make up your team, and you can also fuse Demons together to make different ones.

        Fusing can end up taking a lot of time, but it's just so cool getting the right Demon with the best skills on him/her, and when you learn how to mix things up you can have a team ready for almost any type of situation.

        Don't get me wrong, for some this game will be way too strange and annoying, because it's not like many others and has a very dark story, but for people into this type of thing it's just done brilliantly.

        The downside is that the game creators, Atlus, don't have a European headquarters, so this game didn't get a re-run and is now super-rare. Best either looking around on EBay or hoping you can find a bargain elsewhere, but be prepared to pay around £40-50 if you want it in the best condition or new.

        And don't just take my word(s) for it either, if you ask around enough RPG fans you'll almost surely find people who love this game, it's kind of like a gaming cult classic. (if you're speaking to Americans though it's called Nocturne over there, which is it's original name. Got called Lucifer's Call here due someone else having the rights to the name.)

        Finally, if you get it and it's the right game for you, maybe say goodbye to at least a month of your life.

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          15.07.2010 21:40
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          Persona 3 with all the good bits taken out

          It seemed odd that a Japanese RPG would publicise a minor cameo from Devil May Cry star Dante extensively on its box-art, especially given just how far removed Lucifer's Call is from the action sensibilities of the games he features in. In fact, pace-wise, this is virtually its antithesis. It's something of a mystery how just a few years prior to the superb Persona 3, Atlus could have come out with a game as resoundingly dull as Lucifer's Call.

          They've certainly invested a lot of time laying the foundations. Its visuals are striking and of a really good standard; there's a huge array of demons to fight, fuse and summon; and as ever, there are lots of items 'n' options to tinker with and plenty of locations to explore. Unfortunately in this instance, a solid base does not equate to a positive playing experience.

          There's an endless quality (perhaps that's the wrong word) to Lucifer's Call. I'm all for games adopting a slightly more sedate pace at times, but this is pedestrian on a whole new, mind-numbing level that makes the likes of Xenosaga II look sprightly by comparison. What's worse is that it feels like Atlus followed some of the most workman-like elements of the RPG blueprint, amplified them tenfold and removed nearly all of the social/story rewards in the process.

          The turn-based battles are of the random variety and occur with horrendous frequency, to the point where even walking between two or three rooms and corridors seems a real trek as you find yourself being warped into a battle every few seconds. There's an inescapable feeling that you're going nowhere fast, and this is compounded by the staggeringly slow development rate of the main character. It took me over 15 hours to reach Level 35, which would be normal in most RPGs where time is set aside with towns, mini-games, cut-scenes and general exploration, but Lucifer's Call is suffocated with constant enemy encounters wherever you go. It's like a never-ending bombardment, and as the battles aren't exactly brisk, it becomes a real grind.

          Positives can be found in the battle-system itself though, as you attempt to convince demons to join your cause, often requiring a bribe or a favourable answer to a question they pose. The human character (whom you name) takes one automatic place in a party of four, whilst you can assign up to three demons to assist. Anyone familiar with Persona will know the score - each has its own unique strengths, weaknesses and moves in battle and so you need to strike a balance between magic users and physical demons. There's a lot of depth in the art of fusing demons to create new ones, though attaining strong healers can be an unnecessarily arduous task.

          Its deliberate go-slow mantra is immensely irritating though, and summed up in the placement of the healing and save points. You can teleport between a modest number of main hubs where healing points tend to be situated, but the smaller, more frequent save points only allow teleportation to the main hub, not vise-versa or to each other. In practice, this means that when your characters inevitably require healing, you have to abandon your progress in a given dungeon, beam to one of the few healing spots in the game and begin your pilgrimage again, with all those battles to look forward to again along the way.

          It doesn't help that the developers take an almost sadistic pleasure in playing to all of the most laborious elements of the experience. The move away from the random-generated dungeons of old was a positive one, except they've been replaced by perhaps the only thing worse; purpose-built labyrinths. Cue endless corridors, ample dead ends, empty rooms and the depressing notion that, a lot of the time, progression requires a mixture of good fortune and saint-like levels of patience.

          Lucifer's Call has been lauded for its challenge, but that really depends on whether you're willing to chip away for long periods with little tangible reward. It's hard to condone the way the game goes about achieving its 'challenge' - essentially reducing the player to a comatose state. A test of skill is fine, but this often feels like the equivalent of a job that's 100 percent paperwork and zero recreation. With virtually no let up in the battles, it leaves the unremarkable storyline in limbo for large periods - it's hard to remember what's going on after awhile.

          Visually it's really rather pretty - the colour is a touch washed-out, but characters have a suave cel-shaded quality to them and the dungeons themselves are a lot stronger looking than that which (later) appeared in the Persona's. The gothic stylings of post-apocalyptic Japan are impressive and distinctive, whilst the rotating camera is a decent and easy-to-use attribute.

          Shoji Meguro's soundtrack is so-so by his standards; still displaying the unique versatility that the composer possesses, but as with the gameplay, the music meanders somewhat aimlessly for much of the game, and the majority of the melodies don't feel like they were specifically devised to fit one circumstance or another. Despite cut-scenes and confrontations, whether intentionally or not, there's a disquietingly lifeless feel to it all, due in large part to the minimal sound-effects and absence of living beings in the field of play.

          It's no exaggeration to say that 15 hours of play felt like a lifetime and, but for review purposes, I would have called it quits there and then. By 25 hours, things weren't getting any better (or any quicker) and I decided that, for my own mental well-being as much as anything else, it was best to call it quits. There's likely a fair bit more where that came from and inevitably the very most hardcore of JRPG fans will grit their teeth and pursue completion, but if you're going to invest a large amount of time in an adventure, it may as well be one you'll remember for the right reasons - like Persona 3 or 4 then.

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