Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne - HD Remaster
released on Oct 28, 2020
by Ghostlight Ltd.
A remaster of Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne
200X. Everyday life suddenly came to an end. Tokyo is transformed into a world of demons following an anomaly known as the "Conception". This is the story of our protagonist's journey through a changed Tokyo in his new body, and of he and his friends' trials and tribulations as they seek to recreate the world.
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I feel like in order to truly appreciate what this game is going for, you need to be a very specific person. I hate to say it, but I think that specific person is me.
This game can be really esoteric at times. From a plot that fails at being truly meaningful, to ragequitting game design, to the way everything looks and sounds so comically terrible it's astounding how this is considered a remaster. There's so many things that should make this a bad game, and there were so many times where I wanted to throw in the towel and call it quits.
But I couldn't. There were so many other things it had going for it that prevented me from walking away.
The atmosphere created by the level design and the soundscape quality of the ambient tracks is one that truly feels lonely and barren. The combat system is addicting, with a sense of fulfillment stemming from you planning a well thought out battle strategy. It makes a very grind-heavy game not feel as tedious as it easily could've been. The game embraces the absurdity of the human condition through its not-always-so-human characters, which isn't fully the point of the narrative but I love it when its sprinkled in in anything I'm experiencing.
SMT III is the kind of game that sucks you in. Once you've taken the bait, you don't really want to leave. It's a game that you can play and have your fill of it, but after a while you start to crave for it again, and then you play some more until you're satisfied, and the cycle starts all over again. You get warped into this hypnotic loop of floating demons and glowing terminals and scorched wastelands that you kinda forget your whole purpose is to help forge a new society.
There's so much more I could say, but I'd be rehashing what I've already touched on. I have grown a strange attachment to this, and I do hope that one day, I will muster the energy to revisit this complex creature of a video game again.
Hard until you play like the game teaches you
A neat RPG that really makes you work to progress. I enjoyed the fights, didn't enjoy the grind. Good stuff.
(This short review is tailored towards the HD remaster of Nocturne). Good old Nocturne, though I do believe the eerie, lone, and abstract nature is toned down with the very... VERY bright lighting engine used by this remaster, in some egregious examples I think it looks significantly worse than the PS2's unique lighting which sucks to say. After so many repeated playthroughs on emulator, PS2, emulator again. Replaying this version is.. not a bad way to start.. yet there is merit playing the original. (Plus you don't gotta pay an extra 10 dollars for Dante, thanks Crapcum). Also the music is still bit crushed to hell like in the PS2 version which ironically fit MORE on the PS2, hearing the low quality music with the higher resolution textures and presentation.. weird, very weird and out of place. On the PS2, it fits (and makes sense since it’s the fucking PS2). Not my preferred method of playing the game but one I would.. somewhat reluctantly recommend out of convenience to those who don't want to deal with emulators. At least you get Raidou without having to mod the base game. Even with manual skill inherent, if you have a method of playing the PS2 version then go with that one, that’s the way I played the game and still man.. that game gives me such a feeling of dread. I know it sounds like I have nothing positive to say about the remaster, and other than translation improvements to demon names and being able to choose what skills you can inherit which is hardly something that affected the game honestly.. I mean it’s still Nocturne so.
Despite how old this game and how dated some of the mechanics are this is genuinely one of my favorite games of all time. For a game originally released in 2003, this blew me out of the park. A must play in my book but does require a guide to get some of the endings youd want.
Should have played the original ps2 release of this game. While I loved the atmosphere, many different demons and characters, and music in this game, the combat does shine above all else. It isnt as hard as everyone says it is but the game lacks a tutorial that teaches you buffs and debuffs stack and the dungeon designs become boring after youve seen the third cave in the game. Enemies often crit you which can make you lose hours of progress thanks to the broken (in a good and bad way) battle system that spits in your face whenever it feels like.