Shin Megami Tensei 3 HD Remaster in the test: return with flaws

Shin Megami Tensei 3 HD Remaster in the test: return with flaws

Shin Megami Tensei 3 HD Remaster in the test

With Shin Megami Tensei 3 Nocturne HD Remaster, developer and publisher Atlus is releasing a JRPG classic from the PS2 era on home consoles and the PC. Anyone who knows Persona will quickly find that the series is set in the same universe as Shin Megami Tensei. So we recognize many of the demons that we also meet in the Persona series. Here and there we are in Tokyo as we know it from the real world. But nothing is normal here, because, as mentioned, you not only meet rows of demons here, shortly after the game starts, the end of the world is heralded.

Table of contents

1 The nameless half-monster 2 Alone decisions meet 3 demons, 4 everywhere Tokyo, but in scary 5 A worthy remaster? Thus our game world is a destroyed and torn apart Tokyo. Will we survive in this city full of demons and whether the trip is worth it at all?

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The nameless half-monster

We often find ourselves for hours in dungeons with this or a similar structure.

Source: PC Games Our hero, whom we can name ourselves, is actually a normal student in Japan. In the search for our teacher, Ms. Takao, whom we want to visit in the hospital in the run-up to the disaster, we already get some clues about unnatural occurrences. Some of the passers-by whispered about demons, others about protests. Here we also get to know important characters who become relevant later in the story. Among other things, an editor who works for a magazine that deals with cultism and two classmates who seem completely normal at first. Before we have a chance to settle in in the metropolis and get to know our friends better, the end of the world is heralded with a cutscene.

The bosses not only create a terrifying impression, they also have a lot to offer.

Source: PC Games Too bad: The short history, during which we hardly get to know our classmates, unfortunately means that we are almost indifferent to their fate, as we cannot find time to connect in the rush to expand them. Being told that they are our friends is not enough for deep emotion. But there is not much time to reflect, because a strange girl transforms us into a half-demon by means of a parasite, a type of creature known in the game world as a "half-monster". Why it does this, who is responsible for it and whether we can save ourselves or even the whole world, we only find out during the course of the game. Again and again we meet characters who reveal to us more about the now destroyed game world, how it works and why things are the way they are, until the puzzle comes together to form a picture at some point. How we get the individual story fragments, however, turns out to be a bit tedious. Between the interesting scenes and dialogues that explain important aspects, there are always passages that last for hours in which nothing happens in terms of the story Shin Megami Tensei 3 Nocturne HD Remaster played: Impressions from the new edition of the cult RPG in the preview for PC, PS4 and Nintendo Switch. PC NSW PS4 0

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Making decisions alone

With a level-up we can adjust our values ​​as we wish.

Source: PC Games Since we are the protagonists alone and only carry our demons with us, finds there is also no character development within the group, except for the literal development of our creatures. So that we are alone has positive and negative aspects with it. Because another point in the plot is decisions. So we are not influenced by other characters in our decisions, but some scenes feel a bit lengthy, without any conversations or interactions with companions. So a few times we find ourselves faced with difficult choices, where we have to think hard about how to choose and which side to take. These answers are responsible for which of the many possible endings we end up seeing. On the other hand, there are pseudo-questions far more often, where it doesn't matter what we say, because the result remains the same.

Demons, everywhere

We should in negotiations with opponents fail, they don't always react very nicely. Source: PC Games The battles in Shin Megami Tensei 3 are turn-based. First our entire team attacks, then that of the opponent. Here it is always important to consider which different roles we need in our team, because unlike other JRPGs, in which we can simply level ourselves up to the indestructible killer machine, in Shin Megami Tensei this only helps a little. If we don't take advantage of the opponent's weaknesses, we'll quickly find ourselves in front of the game-over screen. But one looks at this one way or another often. For example, when you meet a strong, new opponent for the first time, whose mechanics you don't yet know and who catapults you mercilessly back to the last checkpoint. That can be tiring, as save points can be found regularly, but not always before really tough arguments. Here we are helped by the demons who always fight by our side. Since we don't have a fixed team with us, but only different demons, we have a huge pool of available competitors.

If we buy the deluxe edition, we can meet Dante in the game and play him for win our team. Source: PC Games There are two ways to get these: First, we can negotiate with them in battle to persuade them to join our group. For this we need a different tactic depending on the opponent, which never makes the conversations boring, as the character traits of the demons also have to be taken into account. Second, there is the possibility of demons merging. Each of the creatures can be fused with another to create a new monster. So even the weakest monsters can be combined into a high-level companion. For this purpose, abilities can be "inherited" during the merger, i.e. they can be adopted for the result. This allows an unbelievable depth in the composition of our team, which is unlikely to be found in any comparable series. Because that's not enough, we as the main character are able to use the so-called Magatama. These magical stones help us to channel the powers of other demons and thereby gain new skills and status bonuses. In addition, we can distribute earned skill points and freely select skills obtained through various Magatama, including spells.

Tokyo, but in creepy

Dramatic story dialogues like to take place in no less dramatic locations . Source: PC Games The new, destroyed Tokyo can still be recognized in many places as the iconic metropolis. The city was torn apart and thus divided into different play areas. We move from area to area via a classic overworld. When we arrive at the scene, we always get wind of the fact that a certain group has spread out there and set up camp. The areas could have been designed a bit more interesting, because despite the recognition value compared to the real template, they are usually just empty areas filled with a little fog. Most of the time, however, we are in dungeons anyway. The first impression always makes them look interesting, but in the end we find ourselves in long corridors with an endless number of junctions that look the same throughout.

To find your way around here, nothing is popular but everyone look at the map in the menu for a few seconds. After all, all kinds of puzzles loosen up this routine. The puzzles are actually relatively challenging and varied, but the often hours-long lack of a change of scenery in the dungeons ensures a loss of fun here as well. Behind loading zones, away from the aisle and puzzles, NPCs are always waiting for us in small rooms. The conversations with them do not contribute to the world building or to the story. The joy of playing is unfortunately severely clouded by all these negative aspects.

A worthy remaster?

We use the blue pin to move back and forth on the overworld to visit the various locations. Source: PC Games Shin Megami Tensei 3 Nocturne HD Remaster scores above all with unique gameplay, demon mechanics and a tricky and interesting story. There is also a cool soundtrack, but unfortunately there is a problem with it. On the PS2, the background music had to be qualitatively compressed due to hardware limitations, but on the soundtrack CD, which has been available for a long time, all pieces can be heard in a better, clearer version. Unfortunately, Atlus decided to use the worse version of the soundtrack in the remaster as well. New for this are the English voiceover and the German text translation. Both are convincing, the English voices always fit all characters and please with emotion. In addition, the game was upscaled to HD. The cut scenes, however, look the same as before and would have urgently needed new animations.

Some of the opponents are designed quite disgusting, while others steer in a rather funny direction. Source: PC Games They even only run in 4: 3, which limits the immersion a little when the full screen changes to the other format. To our amazement, there are even frame rate drops in the remaster. If we use an attack with more elaborate animations, if many opponents appear at once in a fight or if a lot happens in the background during an in-game story sequence, the frame rate drops significantly. That doesn't limit you in terms of gameplay, as we are dealing with a turn-based and not an action role-playing game. In view of the almost 20 years that the title has under its belt, this technical flaw cannot be excused. With a game that charges full price, you can expect more trouble here.

If you want to prepare for the also announced Shin Megami Tensei 5 with the remaster, you can go to Playstation 4 from May 25th Plunge into the apocalypse, Nintendo Switch and on PC via Steam.

My Opinion

By Yannik Cunha

Author A good game, but a disappointing remaster Shin Megami Tensei 3 Nocturne is an excellent game; I would say that if we were in the year 2003. The story is wonderful in and of itself and has many twists and turns, but often nothing happens for long stretches until you are covered by an information bomb. In addition, the playful structure is very exhausting. On the one hand, there is the breeding of demons, which is a lot of fun and allows individualization and kept me going all the time. The whole thing triggers strong Pokémon feelings in me, but with a lot more depth. The dungeons on the other hand were a test of patience for me halfway through the game. This is probably due to the hardware limitations of the PS2, which made such a design necessary in the original. However, my expectations of JRPGs have increased over the years. Measured against current games, SMT 3 simply cannot keep up here. I would recommend the remaster to fans of the series. Everyone else should think twice about getting the game, especially considering the high price. Shin Megami Tensei 3 Nocturne HD Remaster (PC) 7/10

Graphics - Sound - Multiplayer - Shin Megami Tensei 3 Nocturne HD Remaster (PS4) 7/10

Graphics - Sound - Multiplayer - Shin Megami Tensei 3 Nocturne HD Remaster (NSW) 7/10

Graphics - Sound - Multiplayer - Pros & Cons Interesting story Demanding level of difficulty Room for tactics thanks to demon mechanics Excellent translation Some decisions with effects ... .. Most of them, however, completely irrelevant Boring dungeons Sometimes unfair Technical difficulties, despite remaster More pros & cons ... Conclusion The given potential is unfortunately not exhausted.

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