App Points in Shin Megami Tensei IV
In this article, I will review what I consider to be the best apps to purchase on Burroughs in Shin Megami Tensei IV. This will be particularly useful for those of you who have just started playing and are unclear about what apps to buy with your limited points.
Well then, without further ado, let us begin.
This is perhaps the most useful app in the game if you're looking to fill out your compendium. What it does is allow you to speak to demons that speak in gibberish. You'll start seeing these demons almost as soon as you step into Naraku since the Slime is the first demon to speak in gibberish.
Note: Demolingual won't be available in the App Store until you attempt to talk to a demon that speaks in gibberish (and fail). So, the first time you see a Slime, attempt to talk to it. After the battle, go check the App Store.
Why Should I Grab Demolingual?
Well, if the app description doesn't convince you, let's take a look at the demons within Naraku that require Demolinguist to Scout:
- Slime, as already mentioned before. This is pretty much the worst demon in the game (which actually makes sense as Slimes in Shin Megami Tensei are usually a result of horribly failed fusion attempts), but it has immunity to two ailments for whatever reason. Also, they're the first demon to learn Life Drain.
- Wicker Man. You'll find this critter on the fourth stratum of Naraku.
- Tangata Manu. You'll get a challenge quest early on to get six livers from these demons. Getting the livers just involves killing them. You can't recruit any without Demolinguist, though.
That's just off the top of my head. Once you reach the bottom of Naraku, you'll find demons such as Jack the Ripper and Preta, who also speak in gibberish. So, given that, the latest I would grab this app is once you beat the second Main Boss (you'll know who it is as you leave Naraku immediately after that).
Skill Expansion/Demon Skill +
These two apps serve the same overall function for your party (that is, they increase the number of skill slots your party members have available). At the start of a fresh New Game, your protagonist and demons will only have four skill slots to work with. I recommend leveling up Skill Expansion first, as it will boost your protagonist's number of skill slots. Your protagonist is going to be a fixture in your party, but you'll be fusing demons regularly during the course of your playthrough. I got Skill Expansion to level 3 (so my protagonist had seven skill slots) before investing in Demon Skill +, but you may consider a more balanced approach.
You'll definitely want to get these apps leveled up as soon as possible since skill versatility is pretty much a must after a certain point in the game.
Why Skill Expansion Is So Useful
I don't doubt that there are people that have self-imposed challenges of beating the game with only four skill slots. However, remember that the only way your protagonist is getting any new skills is via Demon Whispering. Also, look at the bare minimum skills your protagonist should have at the end of the game, if possible:
- Luster Candy: This is equivalent to a single casting of Tarukaja, Sukukaja, and Rakukaja at the same time on your entire party. Beautiful for action economy, as every turn counts, especially later on in the game.
- Debilitate: This is the debuff sibling of Luster Candy. This is equivalent to a single casting of Tarunda, Sukunda, and Rakunda at the same time on the enemy party. Awesome for the same reasons Luster Candy is.
- Mediarahan: Full heal on your entire party? Yes, please!
- Energy Drain: The above-mentioned skills are really expensive. So, you pretty much need to have a way of getting MP back without relying on Chakra Drops/Pots.
- An Almighty Attack: If you have a lot of Magic, you'll want Megido (or one of its stronger cousins). Alternately, I believe that Desperate Hit is the equivalent for those protagonists that have a lot of Strength and Dexterity. My protagonist currently has Megidola.
- `Lets you revive a fallen party member at full HP. You'll still have to re-summon them later, but at least it saves you items.
Keep in mind that this is only possible later in the game, and you'll want to have skills to attack weaknesses until you get this far. Accept no substitutes! You need Skill Expansion!
This app is less important in the early game but gains more importance as you get more demons logged into your Compendium, as it will lower the cost of summoning demons from your Compendium. This is really useful for various reasons:
- There is no need to backtrack all the way to previous locations just to fetch a lesser demon you want to use in a fusion.
- You can save a demon that has a skill you really like (like Energy Drain, for example) and just re-summon them whenever you want the skill applied to a better demon.
- If you have a demon you want or need in your party line-up but don't want to part with them, you can overwrite their entry in the Compendium, fuse them off, and then buy them back.
At its highest level, Summon Discount will halve the cost of summoning demons from the Compendium, so it will save you lots and lots of Macca.
There are great apps, and there are good apps. Then, you just have the ones that are newbie bait. Here are the apps that I would never purchase:
- Fusion Booster: A two-level app that costs 40 App Points for each level and only increases your level by one for the purpose of fusing demons. As much as I hate grinding, it's better that you grind that level you are missing to fuse a particular demon than it is to waste 40 App Points in such a way.
- Any EXP app: There are a few of these. They boost the experience you get from events such as demon fusion and scouting. Just not a good investment of App Points. On a first playthrough, you get most of your experience from quest completion and battles. During subsequent playthroughs, quest completion makes up the majority of your experience gains (especially if you decide to keep your level rather than revert to Level 1). In any case, if we think of Shin Megami Tensei IV as cake, EXP apps are like the candles on the cake, if that.
- The apps that add Talk skills that aren't called Scout: No ... just no. If you really want benefits from talking to demons, invest in the Scout line instead. While it's true that demons are capricious creatures, you still come out ahead since all it takes is a successful Scout to get a bunch of goodies.
So, those are what I consider to be the best apps in the game. Here are some honorable mentions:
- Skill Smoother: Reduces the cost of your demon's skills by 1 for each level you have in this app. This app has four levels, so maxing it out will reduce skill costs by 4.
- The line of Scout boosting app: Scout Gift will start you off on this line. By the end of the line, a demon you successfully Scout will give you an item, Macca, will learn a bonus skill before joining, will gain bonus stats, and will attempt to recruit any of its allies (if applicable) into your cause as well. I don't personally recommend it for a first playthrough, but I believe Undead demons can only be recruited via the use of this line (you need to scout one of the Undead's allies and hope they will attempt to recruit the Undead demon). Since there are only a few Undead demons in the first place (and you have to play multiple playthroughs for 100% completion), this isn't such a big deal.
- The Recovery Apps: There's one for HP and another for MP. Given my almost disturbing addiction to Energy Drain, I don't use these apps. However, other players have reported positive results in terms of increased sustainability (because it's annoying to have to go back to a town just to heal up for lack of desire to burn items).
So, now you have a much better idea of what to invest your App Points into during your Shin Megami Tensei IV playthrough. Feel free to post in the comments section on your own personal preferences on this subject or just to give feedback on this article. Please note that this is only my personal opinion, and your playstyle may accommodate a different app layout than mine.
Until the next time, take care and have fun!
Blazed and Confused on March 07, 2016:
Demonlingual is the biggest newbie bait of them all!! There aren't many demons that need it (and they're not especially good or anything either), you can just fuse for those that do, and the biggest one... Scout+ let's you recruit them anyways!!! How could this possibly be a top notch app?! (Seriously asking, and seriously hoping for a response)
RandomComment on August 11, 2014:
Uh... what happened to expand stock?