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Forgotten Treasures – Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne

Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne

SMT: Nocturne or, what I like to call Devil May Cry: Nocturne, is a traditional, turn-based JRPG that deals with mature content. Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne casts the player as a nameless high school student with an unhealthy interest in the occult. Unfortunately for him, his hobby results in him getting caught in the “The Conception,” an event that signals the end of the world as he knows it.

Luckily the silent protagonist escapes death, and Lucifer himself transforms him into a demi-fiend (heart of a human, body of a demon) and he is then given a great power to arm him in his journey. This JRPG also built a strong cult following because of it’s deep recruitment system, fun combat, and a unique crossover with Capcom’s Devil May Cry.

Hit the jump for more information on Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne and its crossover with Capcom’s Devil May Cry.

SMT: Nocturne’s combat system was deep; you could recruit your enemies if you wanted to.

The game’s battle system was old-school turn-based JRPG fare with a bit of a Pokemon flair to it. Players along with his/her party can take on a myriad of demons types. What set Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne from other PS2 JRPG’s at the time was that players could actually sway enemy demons to join their party through conversations and negotiations. Successful negotiations resulted in less opponents and an increase in the player’s personal demon army. These conversations/negotiations range from bribes and gifts as well as philosophical debates. Some of these demons that join the player’s army may even evolve into new forms on their own or fuse with others to form even more powerful beings.

The more demons the player recruits to join his army, the stronger he becomes. This of course comes at a price and he becomes the target of the famed demon hunter Dante (of Devil May Cry fame). Dante is tasked by a nameless benefactor to hunt down and kill the protagonist and his party. As one of the most difficult enemies in the game, players will have to defend themselves from Dante’s occasional deadly encounters.

Dante’s here, and he’s bringing Ebony, Ivory, and Rebellion with him.

At a certain point in the game, players have a choice of playing through the optional Labyrinth of Amala dungeon quest; there they are given a chance to persuade Dante to join their party. Depending on player’s choices throughout the game, Dante will help or hinder his cause. As well, each of the player’s choices follow one of several ideologies which will ultimately determine the fate of the entire world.

Here what publisher Atlus had to say about Dante’s addition to the Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne cast:

One of the staff members in Japan, who happened to be a big fan of the DMC series, came up with the idea of including “Dante” from Capcom’s in an upcoming “SMT” game. At first I thought it was a crazy idea, but realized that Dante is a “devil hunter” and this might actually work out and presented the “Nocturne” game concept to Capcom.

Before we presented the idea, we created a movie with Dante in it, so that Capcom would have a better understanding of how we would like to incorporate Dante in our game. The movies is the scene where Dante jumps off of a building and lands behind the main character with guns drawn. We used strategy guides and other reference materials to create the movie. It turned out great and we were confident that Capcom would like it. Just as we thought, they loved it and the rest is history.

A very difficult game to find, Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne is a forgotten classic for the PlayStation 2. Box stores never carry it, so players interested in the game should get it from Amazon or eBay. It’s guaranteed to give players hundreds of hours of solid gameplay and replayability. The demon collection meta game really sets it apart from other JRPG’s from the PS2 era. Definitely recommended.

(I originally wrote this for SonyRumors.Net)

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About janhutchings

Canadian Game Industry Blogger / Contributor for @Sonyrumors & @ShogunGamer / Communications and PR Professional. Voice of Canadian and Indie Gaming. http://jtmgames.com/

Posted on November 20, 2012, in Forgotten Treasures and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I love everything about this game – the art, the interesting tactical style of gameplay, the demon designs, story, music, everything. There’s never a dull moment in Nocturne.

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