Shin Megami Tensei 3 Nocturne is one of those games that I’ve heard a lot of advantages of, but I’ve never actually gotten around to playing. Now, using the HD remaster on PC, PS4, and Switch, I finally had the opportunity to read this 17-year-old RPG that individuals love a lot. My time using the HD remaster of Shin Megami Tensei 3 Nocturne was interesting, to say the least. There’s a lot to like here, but ultimately, it’s still a 17-year-old PS2 game that actually hasn’t had much work completed to it. I like Nocturne, however i wish the remaster was a little more in-depth than it actually is.
The remastered version of Nocturne does have a few notable improvements over the original. There’s now full English and Japanese voice acting, which is very congratulations. Skill inheritance is no longer random, so that you can pick and choose which skills to pass through onto newly fused demons. There are new difficulty settings to help make the game more available for casual players. The suspend save feature enables you to save and quit everywhere hanging around. These are all heavily appreciated additions which make the game much more convenient to experience, but that’s the extent of the new features put in the remaster.
Textures and models have been slightly touched up, as well as the greater degree, this is just an easy upres from the PS2 version of Nocturne. Prerendered cutscenes still play in their original format, and they’re noticeably unnatural next to the game’s new HD coat of paint. They keep up with the 4:3 aspect ratio and don’t appear to be upscaled at all. The background music is incredibly compressed, which is a shame since the tracks are really good. Some textures are fairly low resolution too, and the lack of detail in the environments causes it to be harder of computer must be to navigate Nocturne’s maze-like dungeons which are already simple to get lost in. For any $50 rerelease of a 17-year-old PS2 game (having a $70 deluxe edition), I truly might have appreciated something more than a slight HD facelift, specifically for a game title that's loved by a lot of.
Despite my issues with the remaster, though, the game just kept pulling me in deeper and deeper. This is a fantastic RPG at its core, and it (mostly) holds up. Beyond early 2000s JRPG tropes like a high encounter rate and maze-like dungeons consisting of copy and pasted corridors, Nocturne stands the test of time fairly well. The sport comes with an incredibly unique atmosphere. Nocturne’s rendition of post-apocalyptic Tokyo is very not the same as the rest of the post-apocalypses of the gaming world. There aren’t a number of other people in the ruined hellscape that was once Tokyo, and also the few ghostly spirits and demons that remain don’t cash to say for you. It’s an indifferent, barren world. An unrivaled feeling of otherworldliness permeates Nocturne. Things are simultaneously familiar and foreign, and also the feelings of uneasiness never quite go away.
The game doesn’t waste whenever getting started, dumping you right into a dungeon inside the first hour. The outlet hour of the game quickly outlines the primary cast of characters, throws a lot of proper nouns like Conception and Magatama to you, after which lets you loose in post-apocalyptic Tokyo with more questions than answers. It’s a great deal to take in at first, but this confusion is really a major power within the plot. The game dumps enough detailed information online on you at the same time, and the urge to find out why things are happening is a very compelling reason to explore. It’s a very simplistic plot at first glance, but things slowly start to unravel as the game drip feeds you plot points over the course of the sport. Nocturne has a good story, but it’s definitely a slow burn that lets dungeon-crawling go ahead and take front seat for most from the game.
There’s lots of combat in Nocturne, and also the game’s battle system is deceptively simple. The Press Turn system gives your team and the enemies four actions they can perform prior to the end of their turns. However, exploiting a weakness or scoring a critical hit will only consume 1 / 2 of an action, essentially granting you eight actions per turn should you play your cards right. However, certain actions like missing an attack will consume two actions, and all of these rules apply to the enemies too. This means you can absolutely steamroll several demons by exploiting their weaknesses, but the same can happen to your team within the blink of an eye. It’s a simplistic combat system at first glance, but there’s an underlying layer of strategy within the Press Turn system that keeps battles interesting. It also encourages buffs and debuffs to improve your allies’ critical chance or evasion, making support skills just as useful as offensive abilities. It’s deeply satisfying to decimate demons before they can even begin their first turn, which satisfaction prevents the hours of dungeon-crawling from feeling too monotonous.
Because having the correct abilities is really vital that you success, party composition can be quite important. The series’ signature demon negotiation system is contained in Nocturne, even though it’s not as deep as it is in newer titles, recruiting demons to build your dream team continues to be as compelling as always. Your character can speak with any demon and convince these to join your group as long as you execute a small favor for them or pay them enough money. After that you can fuse demons together to create new ones, passing skills along to create more efficient allies. In the remaster, skill inheritance is no longer random, meaning you can actually pick and choose which skills to pass on during fusion instead of just dreaming about the very best. This change brings the fusion system more consistent with its implementation in newer games, also it saves a lot of time and frustration. You may also build your own character in a number of different ways, upgrading the best stats whenever you level up and equipping Magatama that allow you to use different skills. If you’re really into dungeon-crawling and developing a powerful party that may crush any weakness, then there’s a great deal to enjoy in Nocturne.
Shin Megami Tensei 3 Nocturne is a superb RPG, there’s no doubting that. Fans and critics alike love the original release, and fans from the original will absolutely adore the remastered version. In its current state, however, Shin Megami Tensei 3 HD Remaster is a full-priced barebones remaster of a 17-year-old PS2 game that’s starting to show its age. The brand new quality of life features that were added to the sport like voice acting and the suspend save feature are appreciated, but this remaster falls flat in comparison with other recent revivals of classic titles. Still, the sport itself holds up for the most part. There aren’t many other games enjoy it, and fans from the genre will appreciate its distinct style. Shin Megami Tensei 3 Nocturne remains a good JRPG even today, but the remaster could have gone a little further at this price point.