There’s a reason last month’s one-two punch the Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne HD announcement and the first Shin Megami Tensei V announcement in three years, both set to come out stateside next year, set the internet ablaze! Those of us who’ve made the reverse leap from Persona back to the mainline SMT franchise know that it’s particularly high concept and difficult series that you either adore or give up playing in the first few hours when you realize it isn’t anime enough. Nocturne in particular is regarded by many as the franchise’s best or at least the game with the most satisfying artistry.
These new Nocturne HD screenshots leading up to an earlier October 2020 release here in Japan show off how impressive its style always was and the irreplicable atmosphere it eminated. Remember, it’s not like this game is being remade in the engine they’re using for SMT V, it’s just a 1080p upscale with minor touch-ups of the original. Yet look at the cut above from the opening area; The light peering through the window’s, our protagonists’ glowing skin, and the spacious emptiness of the hospital all come together to form what the kids these days call a ‘vibe.’
The Playstation 2 and Gamecube era of games had one significant advantage of the world of the modern triple-A game: Graphically you could get much more distinct than the first era of polygon gaming yet, because photo-realism was still years away, art style and visual creativity still had to do a lot of the heavy lifting. While the jump into modern HD rendering is welcome, we’re not sure gaming ever needed to get that much better than what we see above as Nocturne HD looks great while remaining visually distinct.
Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne HD comes out October in Japan and sometime next year in English.