There aren’t many games out there that have captured my imagination as thoroughly as Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne did in 2000. Even though it may have been a victim of its own hype, I consider it to be one of the greatest RPGs of all time. The game’s story and setting are equally as well-loved as its gameplay. This is why, when I heard the remake would be coming to the 3DS, I had to play it. I was not disappointed.
I have been looking forward to this release since the first time I played Nocturne back in 2007. Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne is a Nintendo DS port of the original PS1 classic, and as such is a remake of the game. For years the idea of having a modern remake of a classic RPG was something I wanted to see, and the HD remaster does not disappoint.
Having been a fan of the original Shin Megami Tensei as well as its remakes and enhanced versions, I was excited to get my hands on the new Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne HD Remaster. The game has garnered some criticism from fans for the inclusion of the “Smash Bros.”-like “Devil Summoner” character, but all of that is easily forgiven if you can get past the steep price tag.
Shin Megami Tensei lives! For years, Shin Megami Tensei V seemed non-existent, leaving the sublime Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE to carry the torch alone. Not anymore. Before the long-awaited release of Shin Megami Tensei V in 2021, Atlus has decided to present us with the remaster first. Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne has long been considered one of the best games in the entire MegaTen series. And now this classic JRPG masterpiece is available to a modern audience. Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne HD Remaster is a fantastic game that has brought the game to more modern standards in a great way. The final version of an absolutely brilliant game.
First of all, the elephant in the room. Shin Megami Tensei is the franchise from which the Persona series was born. But no, it’s not the same. Both have one thing in common, and that is the recruitment and fusion of demons and characters, but otherwise they are very different. Persona games have more personal, school-based plots and focus on social simulations. However, SMT has more theological intrigue, a post-apocalyptic setting, and more hardcore gameplay. Shin Megami Tensei also uses the Press Turn combat system, while Persona uses a stripped down and simplified version. So while there are similarities, they are two very different series. This doesn’t mean that Persona fans shouldn’t try SMT, not at all! First, you need to know what you’re getting into.
Let’s move on to the game itself. At the beginning of the game, the main character is in Yoyogi Park in Tokyo. You organize a meeting with friends and one of your teachers at school. Of course everything goes wrong and you get caught up in the machinations of cultists who want to bring about the end of the world. Or rather, the beginning, depending on who you talk to. It’s called Inception, and it would make the world die and be reborn in a chosen image. This image of choice is called intelligence and is the driving force behind the action in this game. See how different people have their own vision of the future in the staging area that Tokyo has become since Design (aka Whirlwind World). Their own reasons they want to carry out. That’s where you come in.
You didn’t come out of Inception unscathed. After meeting the man behind the concept, which you narrowly survived, you met a mysterious stranger. The child who gave you a gift. Something that gives you tremendous power in this new world, with unknown prices. This gift was what we call a magatama that changed you as much as Inception left Tokyo. You have been transformed into something less human, more demonic. They were christened Demi Fendi and released into the new world of Vortex. What happens next is your decision. You may decide to make an alliance with one of the spirit bearers and recreate the world in their image. Or you can reject these self-appointed gods and make your own decisions about the fate of the world. You don’t even have to do anything. The fate of the world depends on you.
You will not be alone on your journey through the world of Vortex. At the heart of the MegaTen games is the demon recruitment and fusion system. And this system remains unchanged and fundamental in Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne HD Remaster. Starting with the classic Pixie as your first demon to recruit, you can choose and create any demons you want. They are paid in three ways. First of all, it’s recruiting during the fight. Almost all enemies can be tackled instead of attacked. And if you make the right choice during the conversation, the enemy demon will join your team. The second way is to merge the demons you control into stronger and more powerful demons. Finally, you can use the Demon Compendium to summon any demon you previously possessed. Overall, the system is very similar to Pokemon, but with a lot more options.
The battles are similar in this regard. These are turn-based team battles in which you and your demons take on the forces of the swirling world. Although the game seems as simple as Pokemon at first, you soon get a feel for the deeper mechanics of the game. It’s mostly about the press turn system and the importance of buffs/debuffs. As for the last point, Pokemon is all about the attack. Non-attack techniques are only really used in the competitive meta game. In Shin Megami Tensei III this is not the case: Nocturne HD Remaster. You will have to use them, and use them often. You can’t just take them out to attack, you have to use every means to win. And one of those tools is the Press Turn system.
Shin Megami Tensei III: The Nocturne HD Remaster game marked the debut of this fantastic combat system, which has since spread beyond its borders. Persona 5 uses a faster form of this principle in its combat system. Basically, it’s pretty simple. If you attack your opponent with a move that addresses one of his weaknesses, you get an extra turn. This also applies to opponents, so combat is all about exploiting weaknesses while covering your own. But that’s only part of the problem. In most games, dodging attacks simply means avoiding damage. It’s not like that. If you miss attacks, you lose a turn, and so do your opponents. So if you increase evasion and decrease the opponent’s hit rate, the number of attacks on the opponent will increase again. It is a very complex combat system with many ways to play. Ideal for several courses.
Let’s take a look at what exactly has been redone in this remaster. Believe it or not, there are actually quite a few. New character models that are a big improvement over the original. Renewed backgrounds and environment. What’s even more interesting are the game changes. There are several new features and balance changes. Some are taken from the Japanese version of the game (e.g. the structure of the move legacy), others are new to this version. Then there was a new translation. Like many other JRPGs from the late 90s and early 2000s, the English translation….. was questionable. Not anymore, as the game has received a brand new translation and a new set of voices. They took the old VA work and mixed it with new lines to create a cohesive package that didn’t change the voice or feel of the original. Really, this is how classics should be treated.
I love this game. Shameless. Everything about this game attracted me at the time, and it still does. I love heavy theological themes shown through a very Eastern lens. I love the setting, the development system, the recruiting mechanisms, and the demon fusion. The music is fantastic, the memes are timeless, and the new features and changes make the game an even greater masterpiece.
It was this game that set my standard for turn-based JRPGs, and a replay showed me why. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Shin Megami Tensei IV, Apocalypse and Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE. But this game triumphs as the best MegaTen game (although TMS comes in second, not that Fire Emblem fans won’t like that). At least for now. Shin Megami Tensei V is coming, and it’s aiming for the Nocturne crown. May the best blasphemous simulator win.
|It’s a big improvement over the original in every way, even if it can’t compete with the biggest modern games.||This game gave us the Press Turn combat system, and with the classic MegaTen demon summoning mechanics, created a true masterpiece.|
|The soundtrack is a classic, and the voices, both original and new, are fantastic.||The story and characters are phenomenal, the gameplay is excellent, summoning and modifying demons is incredibly interesting, it’s a near perfect JRPG.|
|Final decision: 9.5|
Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne HD Remaster is already available on Nintendo Switch, PS4 and PC.
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In the 1990s, the Shin Megami Tensei franchise was just getting started. It was the era of CD-ROMs, and games were just beginning to be distributed as downloads. Shin Megami Tensei 3: Nocturne, the third entry in the series, was one of the first titles to make the transition to online distribution. It was a critical and commercial success, and has been remade in high definition for the new generation of consoles.. Read more about shin megami tensei iii nocturne hd remaster pc and let us know what you think.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the SMT Nocturne remake good?
A few months back, Atlus released the HD remaster of Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne for the Nintendo 3DS. This classic dungeon-crawling RPG was originally released for the Playstation 2 in 2003 and set the standard for a later generation of JRPGs. The story is about a young man named Keicho who, after moving to the city of Tokyo, is sent to fight demons. As he gains more experience, his demon powers grow and his mission becomes more important. Along the way, the player must interact with a number of characters who each have their own quirks and backstories. I’ll be honest: I don’t know much about Shin Megami Tensei. I don’t even know the original games very well, and I only played the original Nocturne on a Windows Phone. So when I heard Nocturne HD was getting remade for the Nintendo 3DS, I made sure I got it for the new system.
Is Nocturne HD worth it?
The newest in the series of video games based on the Shin Megami Tensei (or SMT) franchise, Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne is a video game developed by Atlus. A finalist for Best Role Playing Game at the 2009 Spike Video Game Awards, it was re-released in Japan in 2010 as a remaster for the Nintendo DS handheld, with English translated text. Nocturne HD is a love letter to the classic RPG games of yesteryear, a top-down, turn-based RPG that brings a modern edge to genre standards. A classic JRPG with modern graphics and sound, Nocturne HD is a game that any fan of classic RPGs is going to want to play. The game is available for the PS4 and Xbox One.
Should I play Shin Megami Tensei 3?
Although Shin Megami Tensei 3 was originally released for the Super Nintendo in 2000, it’s now getting a remaster for the Nintendo 3DS. The original version was an RPG fan favorite, and the remaster comes out of the gate with some heavy third-party support. Capcom, Atlus, and Atlus USA all put in valuable support for the game, and you’ll be able to play the game on your 3DS in English, Japanese, and French. When I first started playing Shin Megami Tensei, I had no idea what kind of a game it was. I was just another user that liked to jump on the bandwagon, and pick up whatever was the latest and greatest game on release day. At that time, there were only two games on release in the US, and Shin Megami Tensei was one of them. It was a great game, but it wasn’t until many years later, after the release of Persona 3 and Persona 4, that I really started to get into the series. Shin Megami Tensei is a series that has developed its own following over the years, and it is now one of my favorite games of all time.
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