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Pokemon is an infectious game. Its like a puppy, no matter how you may try otherwise, if you're into traditional RPGs, its going to endear itself to you and you're going to love it.

Hell, I'm 32 and I just can't say no to it. Back when Pokemon Gold and Silver were out, I was still in college and we had other closet Pokemon players on campus. I've never given a shit about what people think of me playing it, either, because a good RPG is a good RPG.

You will make contracts with demons to have them serve you as allies. You can store them away as data and use technology to summon them when you need them. There are certain parties very interested in seeing how many demons and angels you can find, ally with and document their data.

Sounds familiar. SMT actually predates Pokemon, but I think the similarities are coincidental.

Unlike a lot of RPGs, you can talk your way out of fighting. There are rewards for negotiation, barter the right items and answer an enemy's questions correctly and you may get an item or a new demon ally to add to your ranks.

There are also moral alignments, which is not the norm for the JRPG, but since SMT is actually inspired by old western dungeon crawlers, its nice to see a game where you actually get a choice in the narrative that not only affect story and the characters, but gameplay as well. Choices can lead to different endgames and sometimes different quests.

And customization is really insane here. Unlike the breeding in Pokemon games, you can give up two demons to make a new one via a mad science called "fusion." In more recent entries of the series you're able to fully customize your demons in addition to your own skill sets.

So if you like Pokemon, but crave something a little more story-driven (though by JRPG standards SMT is pretty sparse) you may actually enjoy the SMT series. Its got a similar appeal, but with a demonic ninja twist.

Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey starts hitting stores March 23rd in the US. Yay.

As if I didn't have enough to play already, I already had 500 pokemon to catch, now there's 300+ demons to collect in another game. They'll keep me busy for a few months, I think.
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About The Silent Protagonistone of us since 1:33 AM on 10.06.2009

I've been into games since I was able to reach the joystick on the Pac-Man arcade cabinet. That was 1982 - ever since that day I knew gaming and I would be bound by fate in some way, shape or form that I've still yet to figure out.

Until then, I've decided to just play games, enjoy them, blog about games and otherwise not shut up about them. Well, I do think about other stuff, I just keep coming back to the whole games thing.

Metroid is probably still my all-time favorite series. Its the one I keep coming back to year after year despite which version it might be. Super Metroid and Metroid Prime 2 are my favorites of the series and I also often enjoy anything Metroid-like. I enjoy the solitude and exploration of such games.

I also enjoy Shin Megami Tensei, Fallout, Deus Ex, The Elder Scrolls - pretty much anything with a lot of solitary exploration and a large world makes me a rather happy camper. To contrast this I usually need some lighter and happier games as well, which could be anything from a Pokemon game to a fashion game. Retro games of most stripes are something I still enjoy. Sometimes you just need that sort of contrast to keep going.

My platforms of choice tend to be handhelds, I'm starting to consider dropping any non-Nintendo console in favor of PC since Sony's IPs don't appeal to me and Halo just ends up on PC at some point anyway. I don't hate Playstation per se, I just hate what its become under the current Sony.

I do keep a PS2 handy to revisit Playstation's glory days. Great console, easily one of the best platforms aside from SNES, DS and Dreamcast.

As for other things about me, I guess we'll find out, won't we?