New Megami Tensei 3 Nocturne HD Remaster is a decent re-release of the stone-cold JRPG Classic

I don’t think it was as good as the PS1 and SNES, but it’s no exaggeration to say that the PlayStation 2 was a Japanese RPG killer console.

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There’s an endless classic-and no doubt many will first see two single-player Final Fantasy games on the console, amazing Dragon Quest, a pair of killer persona titles, Kingdom Hearts, and even Sony like Rogue Galaxy and Dark Cloud. Think about the jewels you made.But one of the best ever New Goddess Reincarnated 3: Nocturnal..

In the West, the Shin Megami Tensei series has always been a niche proposal. In the PS2 era, it was a game that was sold to a close audience of only Japanese game lovers. At that time, Nocturne’s biggest mainstream selling point was another Japanese game, the Devil May Cry cameo. The slightly ridiculous box sticker that advertised the cameo has become an internet meme.

But it’s slowly starting to change. The popularity of personas, which are essentially spin-offs of the core SMT series, is returning to those games. So now is a great time to remaster one of the best games in the series and the first game to go west to date.

No doubt – New Megami Tensei 3 Nocturne is a masterpiece like never before. It is a banger that is cold like a stone. It’s not as mainstream as Persona, but it’s almost the same as the P3 and P4’s contemporary PS2. However, Nocturne and the main SMT series are interestingly different from these games.

Personas are about the Slice of Life, where the supernatural intervenes in everyday life and generally exaggerates and puts a great spotlight on real-world problems. Nocturne is virtually the opposite. Your character, Demifiend, wakes up in an apocalyptic world, where the devil is basically the only ally you can trust. There are very few human survivors, far from unity.

Demon is the core of the action, and Demifiend recruits, fuses, and generally manipulates to build combat options, seemingly traditional, but in fact in a larger turn-based way. Thanks to the Press-Turn system that you can play, the level of depth is improved. This is a risk / reward mechanism that can cause or destroy any encounter.

The battle is challenging in a non-standard way of today’s accessibility-oriented JRPGs, which I think is at the heart of the game, for better or for worse. As an older school RPG, the strengths and weaknesses of the enemy, or the buff and debuff skills, aren’t the only build-dependent options. It is absolutely necessary to survive.

The story that draws you through the battle is powerful, but definitely more naive than a persona game. It’s a strange story in general, and it’s no exaggeration to say that it’s far from what you feel is easily related. It also often feels like the translations modified and improved for this remastered release are tense to really catch up with the various concepts that are casually thrown out. That said, there is a lot to ponder in this story. The story eventually boiled into a philosophical debate, forcing players to choose the idea of ​​matching themselves to get one of the multiple endings of Nocturne. This kind of game couldn’t have been classic unless the story stuck to landing. Strange and unique, SMT3 does just that.

so. Then the game is great. How about a remaster? Well, that’s not the exciting end of this bargain. It may be better to describe this as the original HD port rather than the HD reminder. Sega and Atlas seem to have done what they can, but in the end they faced a situation where they couldn’t change much of the ancient game without creating a major job. The result is a decent, compromised re-release.

The biggest and most obvious compromise is frame rate. Playing on any device, this nearly 20-year-old game never exceeds 30 frames per second. Of course, even laptops, most machines shatter this game, but with a 30fps locked ceiling. Non-real-time cutscenes are the standard definition using letterboxing, probably because the source files have been lost. Overcompressed sound is also a problem, but on PCs, mods have already issued the patch.

Visually, it’s a crisp, good-looking event. However, it’s not in the land of a complete model and texture replacement for Nier Replicant or Mass Effect. This is the same game that is displayed in higher resolution, but Nocturne’s art style is actually suitable for HD presentations. It brushes up really well – better than most games of this era.

Elsewhere, the SMT3 is smartly tuned and tuned for more comfort. In addition to various changes and additions that streamline certain processes that were frustrating in the original game, restore Dante’s cameo, provide alternative music tracks, and even add additional maps that can be used for shattering. There are several DLC options. There is also a free DLC that increases the difficulty. This is welcome for those who are really new to the brutal nature of the original. However, we strongly recommend that you play as intended as much as possible.

This is an HD remaster that needs to get into it with clear expectations. As I said, it’s more like an HD port than a real remaster, the price is pretty high considering it, and I’m also aware that the game launched at the full slate of the DLC. I will. However, this is also an all-timer high-quality, excellent re-release, and it’s no exaggeration to say the least. However, value conscious people may want to wait for the sale.

In addition, there is a DLC add-on featuring Dante from the Devil May Cry series. What should I not love?

New Megami Tensei 3: Nocturne HD Remaster has been released for PC, PS4 and Switch. Tested version: PC, code provided by the publisher.