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Shin Megami Tensei: Imagine (真・女神転生IMAGINE), formerly Megami Tensei Online Imagine (女神転生ONLINE IMAGINE), is a massively multiplayer online roleplaying game based in the Megami Tensei universe. Aeria Games acquired the rights to the game from Cave Co., Ltd. ( contracted as simply "MegaTen".) Shin Megami Tensei is a major intellectual property of the Japanese developer and publisher, Atlus Co., Ltd. The first of many titles in the franchise was released by Atlus in 1992 for the Japanese Super NES and has grown a large and loyal following around the world with additional game titles for consumer consoles and handheld systems. The latest installment brings the brand online.
Originally released in Japan in 2007, Shin Megami Tensei: Imagine Online was Cave’s first massive multiplayer online (MMO) title for PC. It features demon summoning and other gameplay features from the previous games. The game requires no subscription fee but charges for specific in-game items which are sold for real currency. On September 9 2008 it was announced that Aeria Games & Entertainment had licensed the game for North American and European Release. Beta invitations were first sent out on December 1, 2008, and the closed beta began the same day. Shin Megami Tensei: Imagine's open beta was started as of December 30, 2008. The official game was release to North America on December 31, 2008 & is now available for download via Aeria Game's website.
This game describes an alternative view of the future where the Earth is overrun by Demons. Humans have clashed, and eventually learned to co-exist with them. The player is a "Demon Buster" (or DB for short), who fights and interacts with these Demons; featuring Japanese anime-like graphics, with the added feature of futuristic devices (such as portable computers that players wear around their arms called COMPs) the game can appeal to a wide range of fans.
The gameplay consists of real-time strategic commands, each with a "casting" and "cool-down" time. The player character is primarily controlled by the number keys and mouse. While the player's demon generally acts on AI, it can be manually given actions with the F keys. Properly using the player character's commands in tandem with their demon companion's can significantly increase the player's battling efficiency. Additionally, it is wise to use demons whose attacks do not compete with the player character, but provide more options. For example, a pair of two close-ranged characters would throw off each others' strategic timing, but a close-range human would be more supported with their demon's long-range attacks for maximum efficiency.
Demons, the main draw of the game, can be obtained through "Negotiating." Like defeat, a successful negotiation earns EXP and the demon disappears. However, the demon can offer items or friendship to the player. Talk, Threaten and Taunt are among the negotiation abilities, and each demon favors a particular ability. After setting a contract, the new partner can fight alongside the player in battle. Demon partners with high friendship can also be "crystallized", becoming a form of item usable in modifying equipment.
There are several types of weapons. Having a variety of at least 3 affinities (generally Slash, Charge and Blunt) is essential to a melee player. Besides weaponry, most equippable items provide minor enhancing effects or simply aesthetics, except for torso and lower body that usually always give defense boosts.
There are two currencies: coinage for buying typical items and general services (Macca) and minerals for misc. things and demon summoning (magnetite).
The game take place between the events of Shin Megami Tensei and Shin Megami Tensei II. In the Tokyo of the game's futuristic scene, sometime around the 21st century (Year 202X), survivors of a war known as the "Great Destruction" live in small constructed shelters awaiting the day when humanity can be rebuilt. These survivors, led by a group known as the "Seven Philosophers", constructed a massive tower which eventually became known as "Shinjuku Babel". The remaining survivors then retreated underground and constructed a refugee city known as "Home III". Here, the player begins their exploration of the world of MegaTen. In this post-apocalyptic world, demonic forces run rampant and it is the player's job to defeat them. Players are given the option to be in one of three groups: Law, who try to preserve the system and bring it back together; Chaos, who try to break the system; or Neutral, freelance mercenary types. A Players Alignment (Law/Neutral/Chaos) can be changed through the game either by answering questions on certain acts, or donating money to Law or Chaos churches. Players can, while developing their own character, capture the already mentioned "Demons" and also "Spirits" through the use of specialized skills, then use these captured creatures to battle other monsters in combat. These demons can also be fused together to create more powerful demons. Demon use is based on alignment, skill, level and abilities of the players. Players can also complete quests to find additional items, learn new skills and explore more of the world of MegaTen.
Two types of missions to undertake in Shin Megami Tensei: Imagine are acts and quests. Acts are based on the storyline, while quests are small missions you can undertake for extra XP or Macca.