Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne HD Remaster DEALS
Persona series having the wind in its sails since the international release of Persona 5 Royal, Sega brings out Shin Megami Tensei from the closet. If the license is much less known than Persona in the West, it remains cult in the land of the rising sun. This is how Shin Megami Tensei III Nocturne HD arrives; a remaster of the episode released in 2005 in our regions. The right opportunity for a full fringe of players to discover this universe?
Like the Persona series, we embody a high school student who can be given the name you want in an introduction of a few minutes. Shortly after, we wake up covered in strange tattoos in a city of Tokyo in the grip of major social unrest. The Apocalypse, or rather the Conception, knocks on the door, and the city and the world are about to be razed from the map, no more and no less. Our high school student transformed into a half-demon will therefore have to find out who is behind the Conception and choose between rebuilding the world or completing its destruction.
We will not unveil more scriptwriting elements, the story playing an important role in the game’s atmosphere. Just know that if the first hours of play are used to lay the foundations gently, we quickly witness a rise in the importance of the themes discussed.
Suppose the Atlus game was a small revolution at the Playstation 2, tipping the series into the era of 3D. In that case, the software today accuses the weight of the years, although the developers have strived to carry out the small facelift required, HD remaster requires. We, therefore, find the same coarse textures made of flat colors and cinematics in 4: 3 format in the original resolution. The sets seem pretty empty, and even the world map has remained in its original state, always offering us this rather unsightly cursor as a character.
Fortunately, the character models have received special care. The ergonomics of the software are in keeping with it, and there is a certain heaviness and rigidity in the movements of the character as well as the navigation in the menus. Despite this relative laziness on the graphic side, Shin Megami Tensei III remains a game with atmosphere. The artistic direction, particularly dark and depressing, is still in effect in 2021. Those nostalgic for the PS2 aesthetic will be delighted.
Rooted in its time
Shin Megami Tensei III is also dungeons for the first time modeled in 3D. However, unlike a Persona, these are not generated randomly, but all done “by hand.” The result is an extremely tortuous level design, where it is sometimes difficult to navigate.
And as “old-fashioned” JRPGs often rhymes with “random fights,” the latter come to chop the progression, especially since they are commonplace. The followers of the “leveling” will be in heaven, the others less. A leveling that quickly turns out to be mandatory when you start to tackle the bosses and the sometimes enormous difficulty peaks that go with it. The “auto combat” mode, with a simple press of the x key, saves time, but we recommend that you use it sparingly. Dungeons are therefore not a walk in the park but rather a test of endurance, where the slightest misstep can quickly prove fatal. Enemies hit hard and don’t give any gifts.
In their great kindness, the developers have all the same disseminated teleportation terminals through the dungeons allowing us to return to heal our small team. The addition of a quick save system that can be loaded at any time and the ability to switch to easy mode even in the middle of a fight also allows neophytes to reduce their pain. But let’s face it: Shin Megami Tensei 3 remains a “hardcore” game.
As for the game system, fans of the series will once again be on the conquered ground. The turn-based, which has since proven its worth, is still in the game. Therefore, it is necessary to find the weaknesses and resistances of each enemy, play buffs and debuffs to choose the blows which one will carry, and adapt its strategy. Each fight, therefore, requires real preparation and should not be taken lightly.
The monster capture and fusion component also occupy an important place in the gameplay. Our hero can talk to demons but also control them. Monsters can join our ranks, provided that we give them the right item or that we choose the right dialogue to bait them. Once the operation is successful, it will be possible to summon them to fight alongside us and merge them to obtain new demons and new skills. Therefore, we find a very rich system that will delight those who like to spend hours finding the most “opti” component.
The world after
Unlike other games of the genre, Shin Megami Tensei 3 is a title that integrates 100% the word “role” in the concept of JRPG. Therefore, the app plays a lot on the roleplay side, with a much less Manichean aspect than it seems. We quickly discover that in this universe, there are no good guys or bad guys. As actors in the reconstruction of the new world, we have to make choices and alliances that are sometimes fraught with consequences. These moral choices will all impact the course of the game and its end, which will differ depending on how we play (six alternative endings are available). Let it be said: we do not come out of a game of SMT III unscathed, as the game can be heavy and distressing on the philosophical and moral level.
Shin Megami Tensei III remained the game when it was released sixteen years earlier: an old-fashioned, dark, demanding JRPG with a deep game system. For the neophytes, these remaster, although a little lazy on the form, can constitute a pretty entry point. For hell or heaven, your choice.
Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne HD Remaster
A somewhat lazy remaster, Shin Megami Tensei III Nocturne HD remains an interesting remaster for those who want to discover the series or those who are nostalgic, the special atmosphere of the software and its solid game system being perfectly preserved.
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