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 Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne

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PostSubject: Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne   Mon May 11, 2009 1:56 pm

This might be the best game on the PS2. !


- Being able to recruit enemy demons is a great idea

- Looks and sounds great

- Simply, deep and engaging combat system

- Pleasant exploration and story

- Bosses can be addictivaly fun

- Dante's here !


- Not a sign of voice acting

- Bosses are tough

Nocturne is a brilliant, stellar RPG which there is nothing on the PS2 before 2004. It is not flawless, but it manages to leave the normal role-playing genre, to create a very entertaining, more importantly unique RPG.

This game isnít much in the way of story, but it keeps you wondering and guessing. You get to name some of the characters including the main. Heís just an ordinary high-school student, until a day which he and his friends go to visit a sick teacher at the hospital. A deserted hospital means nothing good, and so it is proved, a big explosion destroys everything except the hospital leaving the main character with demonic powers after having a painful treatment. Now the world is filled with demons.

Combat system is simply, yet engaging. The best part of it is that you can ask enemies to join you. By using talk or seduce you can ask enemies to join you in exchange of something. But using seduces (only female demons use it) and if you tempt a male, he can join you without request. There are others such as trade and pest which are used to get items. When negotiate with demons, sometimes friendly demons come to your aid with their special skills such as intimidate, nag and persuade to make it easier. There are also a limited number of party members you can have at ones.

That is why the cathedral of shadows exists. In this place you can use demons, to get new better ones. When fusing the new demons inherits skills of the demons fused even if the demon is weak. Of course if your level is low, donít expect to get higher level demons. The more progress made, some updates are made to this place such as you get to view and register demons, view demons that is which you are able to summon. But they come with a price.

At the top right of your TV screen you must notice the sphere which its number goes from 0 to 8, from NEW to FULL. If you enter the cathedral when full, youíll be able to make a sacrifice along with the fusion to get additional power. When FULL demons become agitated and you wonít be able to talk with them.

Magatama are possibly the best idea Iíve seen in an RPG for some time now. But ingesting different ones, you can learn different kind of skills. Also making you strong against something and weak as well. These things also grant you additional power. When leveling up you can get skills from Magatama but you only have 8 spaces for skills that this feels rather limited. And when you level up you can choose which quality to improve, which regards strength, luck, magic, agility and vitality.

Ally demons also get new skills when leveling up. Of course they need to fight to get EXP. Some demons evolve, but unlocking all their skills, but very few do transform. You get direct control of your allies in battle. Demons have different elemental skills which involve fire which agi, ice is bufu, wind is zan, and thunder is zio. These hit one enemy but have a ma- before the element means hits all enemies. Well, these are weakest elemental skills but on in the game you get better skills. These require MP; some others require HP, such as Lunge, Heat Wave, which doesnít use MP but just HP, but one should be careful not to overdo HP skills.

If youíre lucky some demons will want to join your party, some when are about to die and others for an item. But it is more worth to ask, but some are cheap and others wonít listen since some will be focused on battle. Others after negotiating give you something in return and leave and others simply leave.

I didnít find Nocturne as a difficult game, though exploration is needed to level up. Exploration is fun and worth it if youíre going to find new allies. The only difficulty is bosses, which can be extremely punishing, and to make it worse you canít see their HP. Their attacks tend to be tough and if they use beastís eye or even worse dragonís eye they earn extra turns, which can make a boss fight last very long. There are some optional boss fights as well.

There is no voice acting to be found, which lessen the impact of the story. But that might actually be a good thing, because Nocturne is as good as it is. Soundtrack is great especially in some boss fights. The music fits perfectly. Sound effects are great and enemy cries or screams are impressive. On the graphic front it looks just awesome. Terrific level and demon design and thereís a lot of demons of different shapes and sizes.

Some might ignore Nocturne because of its level of challenge, but everyone you can sustain that level has to enough this game. If it is not for the gameplay, one can find something for enjoyable in the game. This is no Final Fantasy, thereís no love or what classic RPGs have, and this is one seriously awesome game. You must check this game out.


Graphics = 9.1

Looks great. Demon models are simply awesome. Level design isnít repetitive and everything looks great.

Music = 8.9

There is no voice acting but the music and soundtrack really stand out. Sound effects are good enough.

Presentation = 9.0

Load times shouldnít cause problems and the cutscenes with great production values make them shine. Art design is superb. Game Over screen sucks.

Gameplay = 9.5

The gameplay is very addictive even though its simplicity. Recruiting demons is a brilliant idea, there is ton of freedom. Well, you can just sneeze through a battle; you have to keep your guard up in order to survive. You can get all kind of demons except for bosses. And the AI is good enough to kill you. Tough bosses though.

Camera / Controls = 8.3

When free-roaming the controls are a little wonky, not like other RPGs. Camera is ok, just some minor problems which regards exploration. In battle it is good.

Story = 8.7

Lengthy and depth story. Itís more than just worth it playing through once, but does one really want to play it again?

Difficulty = 2 to be found

NORMAL and HARD, but the bosses are still tough and if you never played an turn-based RPG stay away from this one.

OVERALL = 8.9 / 10

This is my second review of this game, since before I had Luciferís Call which is practically the same game; itís just the European version with multi language. Still it remains an awesome game. Many should agree that Nocturne is one of those unusual RPG which in the end is an unusual great RPG.



Most of my reviews are taken from www.gamespot.com I shorten them and find the most important parts as their reviews are over 3 pages long which can be a burden to read and the screenshots are taken from the internet Wink
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