Shin Megami Tensei 3 Nocturne HD Remaster Review

There’s a very intentional beauty to the dynamic Atlus has created between its two biggest JRPG franchises, especially in how they relate to and build off each other. While Persona takes macrocosmic ideas and grounds them in social issues, Shin Megami Tensei always takes on a broader philosophical challenge. That’s never been clearer in Shin Megami Tensei 3 Nocturne HD Remaster, a formative game for Atlus that received a very faithful remaster, for better and worse. Carrying some welcome and very useful changes in both form and function, Shin Megami Tensei 3 Nocturne HD Remaster retains the spirit of the original release, with sparse but important changes that make it worth the investment. . Important gameplay enhancements add significant quality-of-life improvements to Nocturne, but those expecting any sort of above and beyond performance upgrades over the original may be disappointed. This is Shin Megami Tensei 3 Nocturne as fans remember it, both literally and figuratively. Nocturne Nocturne’s story begins with “Conception,” a devastating disaster like many other examples in the Shin Megami Tensei games before it. Tokyo collapses in on itself, becoming a spherical entity known as the “Vortex World,” where almost everyone has died and Demons roam the apocalyptic ruins of society. Players are infected with a parasite to become the Demi-Fiend, half human and half Demon, and thrust into apocalyptic survival mode. This is when players can immediately realize where Shin Megami Tensei 3 Nocturne’s cult-classic status comes from: Learning to survive in the post-apocalyptic wasteland, gathering Demons to fight alongside your main character powered by Magatama, it all ends with the players taking on the role. a harbinger of the new world. Get various “Reasons” to shape the new world, whether it’s from the player’s friends, their teacher, or greedy others looking to fill a power vacuum; it’s the Demi-Fiend who can create (or destroy) this Vortex World any way they want, though not without a lot of effort and time. Exploring the labyrinthine world of Nocturne can be a bit tedious and confusing, but it’s worth noting that this deliberate design speaks to the game’s themes. Although exploring endless parallel corridors can be dull at times, Nocturne’s environment deliberately instills a sense of isolation in players. This is only exacerbated by the game’s strange, horrible environments, although the mileage may vary for players depending on their preferences. The philosophical nuance in Shin Megami Tensei 3 Nocturne is not lost in 2021, even 18 years removed from its original PS2 release date. Forcing uncertain moral conundrums on the player with no objective “right” answer is what makes Nocturne’s storytelling almost timeless. The addition of full English/Japanese voiceover in Shin Megami Tensei 3 Nocturne HD Remaster only enhances the atmosphere of the game. JRPG fans looking for a philosophically unsettling story, with branching ends and enough player agency to guide that story, should not skip Shin Megami Tensei 3 Nocturne HD Remaster. RELATED: Shin Megami Tensei 3 Nocturne HD Remaster Preview: A Familiar Concept of Demons shin megami tensei nocturne hd remaster battle Fans of turn-based strategic combat will also love Shin Megami Tensei 3 Nocturne HD Remaster in particular, as the changes to the gameplay mechanic are most impactful here. Those who have never played a Shin Megami Tensei game, or Persona fans who are interested in the series, will likely know that Nocturne has a reputation for being very difficult. That’s still true in the latter half of the game, but significant changes to Demon fusion and skill, making build optimization and party composition more manageable. Players are able to recruit and fuse Demons to form their party, but in the original release of Nocturne, skills gained through fusion were completely randomized. Now, in Shin Megami Tensei 3 Nocturne HD Remaster, players can choose skills inherited through fusion, making the optimized Demon fusion more convenient. Additionally, auto-battle moves faster, ie grinding through certain areas/battles/etc. could be more streamlined for players. The beginning half of Shin Megami Tensei 3 Nocturne HD Remaster isn’t too shabby, but the difficulty in the latter half of the game is where things really take off. Nocturne’s remaster also offers several accessibility features, including giving players the freedom to switch to the new “Merciful” difficulty at will. Nocturne HD Remaster also has a Suspend Save feature that allows players to set a one-time save state anywhere in the game that will be deleted on reload. It can’t be abused, but it’s good for those who need to exit the game quickly without a save point. shin megami tensei 3 nocturne remaster As much as Shin Megami Tensei 3 Nocturne HD Remaster gets right, there are some decisions on the technical side of this remaster that are almost confusing. Nocturne’s remaster overhauled and increased the resolution of all rendered 3D characters, environments, in-game cutscenes, and UI elements, but the upgrades were lost from there. Shin Megami Tensei 3 Nocturne HD Remaster still runs at a locked 30 FPS, pre-rendered cutscenes and images are still in the 4:3 aspect ratio, and there are some minor visual oddities going on in certain in-game interactions such as opening chests or talking to NPCs. Most notable is the game’s soundtrack, which still features the compressed audio from the original PS2 release in 2003, despite the soundtrack itself being released separately in higher sound quality. None of these are game-breaking issues, but they are confusing choices that are no doubt intentional, especially for Nocturne’s remastered form. Nocturne still retains its incredible atmosphere despite these decisions, but these aspects certainly pale in comparison to the remaster’s other improvements. shin megami tensei 3 nocturne remaster preview Returning to this essential Atlus JRPG a decade after its original release, Shin Megami Tensei 3 Nocturne HD Remaster has never been more accessible. Nocturne is unabashedly old-school, in both a good way and a not-so-good way. The gameplay tweaks and options allow for decent customization of the experience, but some of the omissions in this re-release are a bit glaring. It’s not perfect, but as long as players can adjust to its simple edges, there’s a fantastic old-school JRPG in Nocturne’s remaster full of quality-of-life changes that make it worth playing. in 2021. Shin Megami Tensei 3 Nocturne HD Remaster is released on May 25, 2021, for PC, PS4, and Switch. Today Technology was provided a PC code for this review. MORE: Judgment Is To Yakuza What Persona Is To Shin Megami Tensei

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