I’ve cogitated on what to say and how to address certain viewpoints within the Megami Tensei community who treat mine as idiotic or “crazy” and after writing down a list of Pros and Cons on different ways to approach this, I’ve concluded that I’m not going to bother anymore. I’ve written a set of objections before, they changed nothing, and I genuinely don’t want to be the type of person who stirs-up melodramatic controversy that becomes more about ego-stroking than providing any type of value to discussions about the MegaTen franchise. Even professional journalists have this ego problem. That’s not the type of person I want to be and that’s not why I began blogging about my enthusiasm regarding the series. I just don’t understand why every time I want to talk about something cool that I found regarding Atlus Japan’s writing, there’s always people who just shit on everything I’m saying whether directly or covertly, whenever I try to just have a discussion about it in appropriate places like the comments sections of those arguments then they ignore me, and why I’m constantly ridiculed for it. I just give-up on trying to understand that mentality or why it is always just me on the receiving end of it. It’s like there’s a group of people who are obsessed with only the most negative portrayals of Atlus games and they won’t be satisfied unless my views are as negative as theirs. I want no part of it.
However, there is one aspect that should be addressed because it is a rather aggressive attitude towards newcomers who wish to enjoy the Megami Tensei franchise. Shamefully enough, I admit to being an arrogant “gatekeeper” for a very, very long time because I assumed that my anecdotal experience was more normal than it actually was when it came to Shin Megami Tensei. It wasn’t until reading multiple forum posts on reddit and speaking with a few people on discord, one individual in particular who emphatically made it clear that they weren’t being lazy or trying to ruin my experience by wanting all future games to be easier but that the games really were difficult for them, that I realized I’d been wrong for gatekeeping. I had fallen into the cognitive bias of the false-consensus effect and I’d been too full of myself to notice. As of now, I believe that so long as Hard Mode remains locked from being accessed by people playing on Normal or Lower difficulties, then I’m satisfied that I get the challenge that I desire from these games and others get the experiences that they treasure from these games. The attention by the developers is thus equal towards everyone; newcomers and veterans alike. All that is to say the following:
- I, and others, have no right to tell you what is difficult or easy about your experience when playing Shin Megami Tensei games; regardless of how long we’ve been playing this series. Your views aren’t lesser than mine. You have your own issues in life to deal with and not everyone can spend 40 – 60 hours or more on a game because they have things to do in real life.
- I, and others, have no right to call your personal, subjective views on the Shin Megami Tensei series as somehow factually incorrect or factually wrong.These are subjective pieces of entertainment media which the creators themselves repeatedly say they don’t wish to impose their own views on the personal perspectives of their fans. They support their own fanbase coming up with their own views and interpretations on the media itself. To be clear: I will disagree with your views if I find objections worth arguing based on research I’ve done and I will disagree and suggest from my point of view that I think your argument might be incorrect probably via dialectic arguments, but I have no right to tell you that it is absolutely so.
- Unless there is sufficient evidence based on translations of a text, I would never be so arrogant as to call the translators of Atlus games as wrong when they specify philosophical concepts that are part of their games, especially if I haven’t read the philosophy in question.
- I, and others, have no right to tell you what “dark” material you can and can’t be comfortable with experiencing in a Shin Megami Tensei game or within the Megami Tensei franchise as a whole. These are mature games though, so please carefully think over whether your discomfort outweighs your enjoyment of the series.
Anyway, I just thought I’d write this piece and make things clear regarding my views on certain things. I plan on making a more comprehensive thematic analysis on Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne once I’m finished with every route of the HD Remaster, since it follows a script that is closer to the Japanese script of the game to make sure it was more faithful and authentic to the philosophy that the game espouses according to the Atlus and Sega translators themselves. I felt my very, very old one didn’t do a good job at all and I always sought to redo it with a more accurate script, which is why I wanted to play through all of it before writing another thematic analysis. My thematic analysis is going to involve Nietzschean philosophy in SMTIII: Nocturne. Whether you agree with my views on the SMT games or not, I hope you get some value from my blog posts whether it is material I’ve already written or those yet to come.
Update on 11/30/21: Hope you enjoy.