Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne Maniacs - Review  

Shin Megami Tensei Nocturne
by kupomogli

Moderate - Hard
40 - 45 hours


Rating definitions 

   The third title in the Shin Megami Tensei series, and other than a few spin-off titles of the series like Persona or The Demon Slayer, this is the first of the series we've seen in the states unless you like to import.

   Visiting a hospital in Tokyo to find his friends and teacher, the main character witnesses the conception, which is the destruction of the world. Changed into a demon by being ingested with Magatama, you eventually find out that the destruction was caused for the planet to be reborn. As for the storyline though, there really isn't much throughout the entire game other than long explanations on why the conception occured as well as a good amount of character development.

It's the monster mash. It's the monster mash.

   Starting the game out alone, you really don't get any other main characters for allies. You do however have the ability to get recruit the demons you fight by talking to them. Up to three demons can help you in battle at once, with the main character having the ability to switch out characters by summoning others traveling with you. During the battle you have four turns to use, where using an enemies weakness or passing a turn only ends up using half a turn, while if an enemy is strong and voids, reflects, or absorbs damage inflicted to it, then you end up using two turns. Due to how the battle system works, you need to remember what weaknesses and strengths each enemy has.

   During the game you'll find different types of Magatama to ingest, allowing the main character to learn a huge array of abilities, however, the main character as well as other demons can only have eight abilities at a time. While other demons can't learn as many abilities as the main character can, there is the ability to fuse two different demons, which allow the demons to retain a random selection of abilities while changing into a more powerful demon. Sacrificing another demon will allow the new demon to recieve abilities from that demon, as well as start on a higher level than it originally would. Having almost 200 different demons to choose from, each with different weaknesses and skills, it will take a bit of customizing in order to get the best party.

   There are quite a few sidequests throughout the game, ending up in letting you fight a good amount of secret bosses and getting extra Magatama. An area called Labyrinth of Amala can also be attempted, which is just one long sidequest of a dungeon, where you can fight a few bosses by getting through it, and even have a chance to recruit Dante, a demon hunter from the Devil May Cry series.

I'm pretty sure this isn't DMC. I'm pretty sure this isn't DMC.

   As for graphics, this title has some of the best graphics I've ever seen. The characters and demons throughout the game are cel-shaded and they've done excellent work at it, while the dungeons have great lighting effects. The only problem is that most of the dungeons seem the same and really not much difference in detail given to each of them. Just like the graphics, the music throughout the game is just as good, a different track being used just about everywhere you go. Most of the music played throughout the game is rock, being done exceptionally well on the battle themes and boss battle themes. The localization as well is done good, everything coming out clearly and no recognizable spelling errors in the game.

   While it wasn't anywhere near the best game I've ever played, it's been one of the best RPG's I've played in a long time. If you enjoy RPG's at all I'm pretty sure anyone would enjoy the title, and while the gameplay concept is a little different, I'd also recommend it to those who enjoy the Dragon Warrior Monsters series.

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