Shin Megami Tensei 5 Review

It’s been a long time since the Shin Megami Tensei series saw a proper mainline entry in the series. The third Shin Megami Tensei game served as a revitalization and modernization of Atlus’ flagship JRPG franchise. Shin Megami Tensei 3: Nocturne brought the main line of the series to a full 3D art style for the first time, along with multiple gameplay and design tweaks that not only gave the game a wider appeal, but satisfied also to existing fans. The latest entry in the series, Shin Megami Tensei 5, aims for a similar renewal goal for the franchise: While the fanbase of 2021 is far different from 2003, the fifth game admirably achieves this goal. . Now that a certain other Atlus JRPG series has exploded in popularity with its own fifth entry, Shin Megami Tensei 5 has more eyes on it than any previous game in the franchise. Atlus clearly understood this with an ambitious goal: Shin Megami Tensei 5 is a high-budget installment that brings together all the various gameplay improvements repeated in Shin Megami Tensei 4, along with revised design similar to the renaissance of Shin Megami Tensei 3. Becoming Nahobino and building a new world is an enjoyable journey worthy of the name Shin Megami Tensei. New and returning fans will find a lot to love in Shin Megami Tensei 5. shin-megami-tensei-5-nahobino Coinciding with the opening of Nocturne, Shin Megami Tensei 5 also begins with an apocalyptic, earth-shattering disaster that thrusts Tokyo 20 years into the future. The main character, a student at Jouin Academy, is nearly killed by demons before meeting with another god-like being to form Nahobino. Described as “not human, or demon,” the protagonist is tasked with shaping this new world, making choices and forming alliances with various powers and principles that will affect the future forever. Shin Megami Tensei 5’s narrative wastes no time getting players settled into their new godlike occupation. A brief introduction gets players into dungeon crawling at the start of the game’s 50-60 hour runtime, however this play time can easily exceed 80 hours based on factors such as side quests and completing the demon compendium . That said, the aspect of SMT 5 that has drawn the most obvious comparisons to Nocturne is its story. While the characters of SMT 5 themselves don’t have compelling backstories, their motivations and the questions they ask Nahobino are both macrocosmic “reasons” that will decide Tokyo’s fate. The introduction of narrative choice is a gentle and steady burn, making the player’s choices within this world begin to feel like their morality has been challenged enough. shin-megami-tensei-5-abscess Set in this brand new Netherworld known as Da’at, Shin Megami Tensei 5 is easily one of the most striking games in the entire franchise, and for good reason. Da’at’s design emphasizes a colorful yet dark world, accentuated by a high-contrast art direction that varies in visual identity as the game continues to unfold. Paired with a great soundtrack and ambiance that also merits comparisons to Nocturne, venturing into the world and environment of SMT 5 rarely gets boring. Sepia-toned barren deserts give way to bright and oversaturated forests, all accented by dark corners and crevices just begging to be explored. Shin Megami Tensei 5’s Netherworld encourages players to explore its beautiful world as much as it asks players to admire it. Using a fully 3D open world format, for the first time in Unreal Engine 4, players explore the skyscraper-filled desert that once formed the Tokyo metropolitan area. It may not be the deepest or most complex open world found in an RPG, but compared to previous games in the franchise, it’s a big step up from the narrow hallways. Excellent open world design, paired with no random encounters and demons to be seen in the overworld, underscores the fact that SMT 5 rewards players for exploration more than any previous entry. RELATED: Every Game Before Shin Megami Tensei 5 shin-megami-tensei-5-combat-abscess-boss Exploration usually involves discovering resources (old world relics, resources, Macca, and Glory currency), but is often enhanced by discovering demons and combat. The Press-Turn battle system returns, and is for the most part, functionally similar to previous Shin Megami Tensei games. SMT 5 also introduced Magatsuhi skills, a dimensional super ability that varies between demons. Players can activate the Magatsuhi skill to make each subsequent attack a critical hit, force ailments on all enemies, or launch a powerful Almighty attack for bonus damage. However, like everything else in SMT, demons also have these abilities and players need to take that into account. The combat doesn’t quite reach Nocturne’s notorious difficulty, but Shin Megami Tensei 5 certainly comes close, much to the game’s benefit. The systematic complexity of the demon’s strengths and weaknesses still abounds in this entry, but it provides the tools (on Normal difficulty) at a steady pace where the balance between grinding and progress is not disturbing. The variety of demons, in both affinities and skills, allows for a lot of manual customization and min-maxing that JRPG players who prefer a higher level of combat complexity will greatly appreciate. to be satisfied. shin-megami-tensei-5-fusion-jack-frost Powered by World of Shadows, the demonic fusion in Shin Megami Tensei 5 is easily the best example in the history of the series to date. Dyad Fusion, Reverse Fusion, Reverse Compendium Fusion, and Special Fusion all end up giving the player all the tools necessary to build the best possible party. While skill inheritance is no longer random, Essence Fusion allows players to specifically inherit more skills with demons. Many of the quality-of-life improvements from Shin Megami Tensei 4, framed in a system similar to SMT 3: Nocturne, streamline SMT 5’s demon fusion system into an important and rewarding tool of – development. shin-megami-tensei-5-nahobino-skills-essence-fusion It’s also a way for players to customize Nahobino’s skillset as well, eschewing Magatama from Nocturne for a system that allows players to inherit other demons’ abilities and affiliations to shape their playstyle. In addition, players will learn various “Miracle” permanent buffs, which can vary anywhere between the extended capacity of the demonic party, to increasing the skill “potential,” which is a new permanent system strengthens a chosen affinity for Nahobino. The enemy quickly becomes a perfectly malleable blank slate, allowing players to stamp whatever defensive role they choose on Nahobino, and build their demon factions around them. Really, the only possible detractor from the gameplay experience of Shin Megami Tensei 5 is the game’s performance on the base Nintendo Switch. While the impact on gameplay is negligible, SMT 5 rarely has a steady 30 FPS during open world exploration and some instances of combat. The game’s art style and effects take this into account and mask the framerate issues well, but during busy cutscenes and battle sequences with heavy particle effects, the game slows down noticeably. That said, no serious performance issues occurred during the game’s runtime, so it’s just a minor visual annoyance. shin-megami-tensei-5-aogami-nahobino However, minor performance gripes aside, Shin Megami Tensei 5 is still great on Nintendo Switch. Returning fans, especially those with a love for SMT 3: Nocturne, will thoroughly enjoy the fifth entry. New players and fans of JRPGs alike will find a lot to love in this entry as well. SMT 5 acts as a true modernization for the Shin Megami Tensei franchise, adjusting and adjusting the visual and gameplay design in a way that remains traditional and progressive. Atlus takes a huge step forward with Shin Megami Tensei 5, and for the most part, it nails all the aspects that make it a stellar entry in the long-running JRPG franchise. Shin Megami Tensei 5 will be released on November 12, 2021, for Nintendo Switch. Today Technology was provided a digital copy for the purposes of this review. MORE: Atlus Composer Shoji Meguro’s Legacy: Persona, Shin Megami Tensei, And More

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