Video Game Review: Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne

Featuring Dante from the Devil May Cry series.


Garrett Gage

The box art for Nocturne. The game is rated M for blood, intense violence, language, and sexual themes.

The Apocalypse. Many people have thought of how the world’s light will be snuffed, though the most common one is by nuclear bombs. In Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne, the world does end, but not as one might think. Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne is a turn based RPG that hits all the right notes, even with its minor and few shortcomings getting a 4/5. It’s definitely worth it.

In this game, the playable character is a Japanese high school student who goes to visit his teacher with his friends in the Shinjuku Medical Center. After a series of events, a cataclysm known as “The Conception” occurs and the world as we know it is destroyed, humanity is just about wiped out and the earth is now overrun with demons. However, there is still hope, as the player turns into the demi-fiend, a half human-half demon hybrid, and is picked to decide how this world is reborn.

To be honest the story, although interesting beyond compare, isn’t emotionally compelling to get invested in. Characters feel stiff and are just there to advance the game into the next really fun and challenging boss fight.

Although the story and characters are not the strongest, the trademark Shin Megami Tensei combat more than makes up for it. In order to get demons the player must find them on the battlefield and add them to their team. The demi-fiend must negotiate with the demons and give them what they want and then they decide if they want to join his ranks. If the player’s stock of demons is full, they can either get rid of them or take them to the Cathedral of Shadows where they’ll be fused with one another to create a new demon.

At the start of combat the player will be given four turns, one for each party member, but that’s when Nocturne’s brilliance shines. In this game demons will have resistances and weaknesses which help with the Press Turn System. If a demon is weak to fire and the player uses a fire spell, they’ll deal extra damage and one of the turn icons will brighten up, signifying they have another turn to use, meaning there is eight turns in total if weaknesses are exploited or if critical hits are landed. This small but interesting mechanic adds a whole new layer of strategy to this turn based combat, making sure every turn counts.

With this great gameplay, the music follows suit. The game for the most part has very rock oriented music for the battle themes, while atmospheric ones for the overworld.

Even with high praises, this game does have a few shortcomings. Most dungeons in this game don’t look all too interesting, and some near the end of the game drag on for hours longer than they should. Although the game can be challenging, players can easily break the game with a few select demons, making even the final boss pathetic.