Things to Look Foward to in Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey Redux

Atlus has announced a remake for Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey, and it will be hitting America’s shores alongside their other remake, Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology, in early 2018. The remake, titled Strange Journey Redux, promises new and improved content, updated visuals and an unforgettable experience.

Here are some of the features I’m looking forward to in Strange Journey Redux.

New Content

There were three major characters and three endings the player could pursue in the original game. Strange Journey Redux introduces a new character called Alex, who will play a major role in how the story unfolds. Not much has been revealed about her but I’m eager to see how she will affect the overarching story of Strange Journey, especially since official trailers have placed much emphasis on Alex holding a grudge against you, the player.

In addition to Alex, the remake will also include a new dungeon and new endings. In the original game the choices you picked determined your alignment. To summarize, going with the Law alignment would get you the lawful ending, Chaos the chaotic ending, and Neutral the neutral ending.

Naturally, this makes me wonder what the new endings in Strange Journey Redux will be like. We might get an ending where the player rejects all three sides and stands alone. Maybe we will get the option to swat the respective characters of each route to join us. An ending where Alex kills the player might also be possible, but until more information is released, I can only guess at what Atlus has in store for us.

Voice acting

The original game was entirely unvoiced and relied on story and witty dialogue to draw players in, but I always felt the game could have benefitted from voice acting. Strange Journey Redux answered my prayers and fans who are undecided about buying the remake might be swayed at the tantalizing thought of hearing their favourite characters.

Unfortunately, Strange Journey Redux will only be dubbed in Japanese, so there will be no English dub. This is a strange decision for Atlus since the game is more suited for English voices compared to other SMT spinoffs as a majority of the characters aren’t Japanese. There’s even a character who speaks with a butchered southern accent, and it would’ve been hilarious to hear it.

However, from the small bits of Japanese dub I heard from trailers and in-game footage so far, the voice actors have done a great job bringing their characters to life. The voices of Jimenez, Zelenin and Gore suit their respective characters perfectly and were better than what I initially expected.

I’m not too worried about the final voice-over quality since Atlus has a great track record with both English and Japanese dubs in games like Persona and Devil Survivor, but I wish we could have had both languages for Strange Journey Redux.

New art and sound effects

Much of the art in the original game, done by Kazuma Kaneko, will be replaced in Strange Journey Redux with new illustrations by Masayuki Doi. Although I’m a fan of Kaneko’s severe-looking art style, Doi’s art is stylish and appealing in its own way. It remains faithful to the originals while managing to look unique, and I feel like they will be well received by people who prefer a modern, anime look.

Strange Journey Redux will also feature updated visuals. I’m guessing dungeon backgrounds will either be touched up to look better on the 3DS or redone entirely, but seeing as the ones in the original game were detailed and looked great, I doubt any major changes will be made.

After watching an Atlus livestream where they showed off the game, it’s clear that sound effects for various elemental and physical attacks have also been replaced. Skills like bufu and garu sound near identical to the ones in Persona 5. Even knowing that Atlus probably did this to save money and time, I can’t help but feel disappointed new sound effects weren’t made for Strange Journey Redux.

Both newcomers and fans of the original will have something to enjoy in Strange Journey Redux. The original game was a wonderful experience and despite how ridiculously difficult it could get, it captured my heart. What I look forward to the most is not the updated visuals or the new art, but getting the chance to play the game again. Look out for it in 2018.

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