Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey was first released in Japan five years ago today, on October 8th, 2009. Can you believe that shit? I sure as hell can’t.
Strange Journey was everything I wanted it to be, and more. Most importantly, it taught me that the basic concept behind Shin Megami Tensei is not just occult in appearance but that a great deal of thematic depth is hidden behind whatever facade its story wears. Specifically, it was the revelation that the game’s themes and subtext were reflective of the comparative analyses and histories within the decades-old mythology and religion books I was reading concurrently while playing; it’s a side of the series many may overlook or be only superficially aware of, but, by Strange Journey’s example, it’s there waiting to extend a psychopomp-like hand to the abyss of the collective unconscious when someone is willing and ready.
Strange Journey lived up to the potential of Shin Megami Tensei absolutely. While it does have flaws which should not be overlooked, the game’s unique setting, atmosphere, and creativity still catapult it above most of its series peers. This is the game that really cemented my love for Shin Megami Tensei and it’s the future possibility of another game of its pedigree that will keep me a fan, no matter what the series throws out or how badly it fails to understand itself.