Shin Megami Tensei V, the fifth numbered game of the Shin Megami Tensei series, is a role-playing video game set in modern-day Tokyo. It will feature returning gameplay elements from previous games, such as the ability to fuse demons, along with new mechanics.
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This review contains spoilers
After binging the 3DS SMT games and the modern Persona trilogy during lockdown, I went into this game expecting an amazing experience. However, what I got was a middle of the road experience.
Combat is very fun. It's the classic SMT press turn combat system. One thing against it is the magatsuhi system. You have a small meter, and once it fills up you can do a certain effect such as healing or a big attack. The issue comes with the first one you get being guaranteed critical hits for that turn, and you probably won't switch to anything else for your playthrough. Demon fusion is extremely fun here. It has a great variety of demons to choose from, doing sidequests to get more special demons is always enjoyable. A great new mechanic is the demon source system, where demons can give you their source, which lets you give their moves to either yourself or other demons. This allows for even more customization and keeping certain demons long past the point of their supposed irrelevance.
Exploration is enjoyable. While many were against the more open world design compared to the more confined dungeons of previous games, I personally liked exploring the world and fighting demons within. One thing I would have liked to see is areas with stronger demons in opening areas, which would encourage players to go back and explore the maps. (Although there is an example of this if you go for the true ending) However, there is only one true SMT style dungeon within the game, and having one in between each larger hub world would be great.
The story is without a doubt the worst aspect of this game. Plot is explained in large text dumps in between hub areas, subplots such as Sahori and Yuzuru's sister don't really end up leading anywhere, and the game keeps making nods and hints towards Nocturne only to not do anything with them. The games alignment reps are some of the weakest in the series, with making the Law rep the boisterous and naïve personality usually reserved for Chaos, and Chaos being the quiet and collected personality of Law. Unfortunately, neither ends up really fleshed out nor do the rest of the demons except for Abdiel, who goes through an interesting Arc about truly accepting God's death. But overall, the story left me unsatisfied.
Overall, if you go in looking for a good gameplay experience you will probably be left satisfied, but the weakness of the story prevents me from giving a higher score
Going in to the third act. The story has been.. not good. The open world is starting to get a bit stale, why is everything the same biome?
However the combat is still stellar, the open world navigation is quite engaging. Catching Pokémon, er demons is becoming more involved as well.
I got into this game because Persona 5/Persona 5 Royal are my favorite games. The actual turn-based combat is incredibly challenging and rewarding, with great customization options for your party. I really loved the open environments as well and I found exploring them to be fun. The story is very lackluster though, and the game's actual performance has me wanting more since the Switch is a weaker console. The soundtrack slaps though.
Hours played: 165 or more
100%?: nope, got the neutral ending but still need to get the remaining ones