Each and every October VGMpire dives into a brand or series that’s just TOO BIG for one or two episodes. This month-long block o’ shows is internationally known as ROCKTOBER, and this year we spooped ya good with Shin Megami Tober – and celebrated five years of VGMpire!
ROCKTOBER RETURNS with a month of sinister Shin Megami Tensei tunes! We begin with a trio of Super Famicom titles that laid the groundwork for an entire series and its numerous spinoffs, yet never really left Japan. That’s SMT I, II and the lesser known If…
The early days of SMT are best described as dirge-y or even funereal with ominous overtones. BUT they are so damn slick and unlike any other music on the Super Famicom that they quickly became three of my favorite 16-bit soundtracks.
Shin Megami Tensei grows up with two stylish sequels separated by a decade of real world time. We begin with PS2 demon-em-up SMT Nocturne, then jam out to incredibly moody tunes from 2013’s SMT IV.
This is a pretty large gap for just two games – SMT III is early 2000s while IV landed ten years later. The soundtracks couldn’t be more different, with III offering some very Persona-like tracks (courtesy of Persona-san Shoji Meguro) and IV walking the line between moody SFC tunes and hummable video game-y goodness. IV may be my favorite portion of the entire show.
With the numbered SMT titles handled, it’s time to examine its Devil Summoner spinoff series, which begins on the Sega Saturn and extends all the way to the PS2. We also briefly discuss Strange Journey, the spinoff that was almost a proper mainline sequel.
I’m out of my element here, but Henry knows the score (literally! he reviewed Devil Summoner 2) and walks us through each of these notable spin offs. The musical stylings are all over the place (jazz, dance, hard rock) but they are unquestionably good tracks.
Our final foray into the world of Shin Megami Tensei tackles the Devil Survivor sub series, then whirls through Last Bible, Jack Bros and Demi Kids before concluding the month with Tokyo Mirage Sessions.
We round out SMTober with even more SMT spin offs – there are so many you know – and top it all off with Wii U-exclusive Tokyo Mirage Sessions.
If you’re wondering “where the eff is Persona??” then 1) Calm damn, jesus, it’s just a show, and 2) Good news! We did it years ago!
Thanks again for listening and sticking with the show for five whole years. Means a lot to know folks still vibe on the tracks we pick, share their own fave picks and give the show lots of love. Here’s to five more!