Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance Review (Switch)

It’s been practically three years now for the reason that launch of the unique Shin Megami Tensei V and as is custom at Atlus, the compulsory enhanced re-release (full with a brand new storyline centered round a brand new woman) has now come to all fashionable platforms within the type of Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance. Boasting a full-length, alternate storyline and a number of gameplay and steadiness changes, SMTV: V is definitely the definitive model of an already glorious entry within the long-running collection. If you’re in any respect a fan of SMT, Persona, or JRPGs normally, you owe it to your self to select this up on the earliest alternative.

Captured on Nintendo Switch (Handheld/Undocked)

For this evaluation, we’ll be focusing extra on the additions and changes being made to the core SMT V expertise with this launch—in the event you’d wish to get a extra detailed analysis of the underlying gameplay mechanics and such, we’d encourage you to learn by way of our evaluation of the 2021 model, which nonetheless largely applies right here, as properly.

Now, let’s briefly go over precisely what this launch is. Atlus sometimes does an enhanced model of its hottest video games a number of years after their preliminary launch, normally with some contemporary story content material and steadiness tweaks that reply to complaints in regards to the authentic model. Previous releases, resembling Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey Redux, Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology, Devil Survivor 2 Record Breaker, or Persona 5 Royal normally tacked this further story content material on to the tip or sprinkled it in alongside the outdated storyline. What makes SMT V: V a little bit extra particular, then, is that reasonably than merely providing an ‘addendum’ to the unique plot, this model brings a full-length plotline that you may select from as an alternative of the unique.

SMT V: V begins a lot the identical manner as the unique launch did, however mere minutes into the beginning of the plot, issues diverge into new and fascinating territory. In a weird dream sequence, you’re introduced with the spectral type of a younger girl whereas a disembodied voice tells you that she “cannot be allowed to exist” and gives you a alternative. If you permit her there, the world’s destiny will proceed because it was meant to, however in the event you select to take her hand, she’ll change into actual, and the world can be set on an unplanned and unknown path. Ultimately, that is the place you select whether or not you wish to comply with the plot of the unique launch of SMT V (referred to as “Canon of Creation” right here) or the brand new “Canon of Vengeance” story.

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Captured on Nintendo Switch (Handheld/Undocked)

Should you select to save lots of the woman, she is quickly launched as Yoko Hiromine, a prim and mysterious Devil Summoner who agrees to accompany the Nahobino on his quest to find out the world’s future amid the ageless struggle between regulation and chaos. Yoko is a succesful warrior with a quiet darkness to her, and her energy is a welcome asset as you’re confronted with a charismatic new gang of antagonists that decision themselves the Qadistu. The Qadistu provide up one more fascinating perspective on the character of reality within the unusual world of Da’at, and so they change into more and more extra central to the story as occasions steadily diverge from the unique plot in ever extra vital methods.

We had been followers of the divisive authentic plot of SMT V, nevertheless it’s powerful to argue that Atlus’ second crack at a narrative right here isn’t an enchancment. In some ways, it looks like this was the story the builders wished to inform the primary time round—Yoko was deliberate to be a part of the unique launch earlier than being minimize partway by way of improvement, and her addition to the core forged right here feels natural and prefer it fills a spot that wasn’t beforehand obvious. Perhaps most significantly, it looks like this new plotline focuses a little bit extra on the interactions between the varied human characters, making this narrative simpler to attach with than the considerably barebones plot of the primary launch.

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Captured on Nintendo Switch (Docked)

While we’d encourage all gamers who decide this as much as begin with the Canon of Vengeance storyline, we would nonetheless counsel taking part in by way of the Canon of Creation sooner or later, too—it could really feel inferior, however experiencing each offers you rather more appreciation for what they every carry to the desk. Plus, in the event you consider the 80-hour runtime for both path and a number of endings, that’s a lot of SMT V content material to burn by way of in the event you’re hooked on the powerful and interesting gameplay right here. Suffice it to say, it’s going to take you fairly some time to lastly run out of stuff to do.

Aside from the story, numerous gameplay and high quality of life enhancements have additionally been made to streamline the expertise additional and make it general extra pleasurable. For instance, now you can save anyplace on the faucet of a button, reasonably than having to attend to search out the following Leyline Fount. This helps to chop down on a number of the run-backs for powerful encounters, and makes it a lot simpler to keep away from shedding a ton of progress in the event you occur to get jumped by an enemy who lands a crit that our bodies you in a single shot.

Da’at remains to be simply as pleasurable to discover and platform round because it ever was, and to assist in traversal, there are actually grind rails strategically positioned all through the wasteland to assist expedite journey. Some of those are instantly apparent and a few must be found first earlier than they present up in your map, and we loved how they increase on the present map by giving entry to new areas whereas additionally making it usually faster to backtrack. Often, you’ll unlock a brand new rail after taking ‘the long way’ round a collection of obstacles to make it simpler to journey to and from the summit.

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Captured on Nintendo Switch (Docked)

The Demon Haunt is one other huge addition, supplying you with the reasonably cute alternative to spend time speaking to and constructing relationships along with your numerous recruits. After a demon has been touring along with your celebration for some time, they’ll ask to talk with you, and you’ll then select to acknowledge their request at a chill hangout spot accessible from any Leyline Fount. You can then trade items or discuss to them, and after the dialog, the demon will normally get a stat enhance. Sometimes even the Nahobino will get some direct boosts, too. It’s no Social Link system, however we nonetheless appreciated the hassle to push you to view demons as greater than finally expendable belongings. At the very least, the Demon Haunt gives a pleasant breather from the pervasive stress of the remainder of the journey, whereas the gameplay advantages these exchanges provide can assist offer you that edge to beat a boss encounter you’re hung up on.

Such additions apart, gameplay is in any other case a lot the identical because it was within the authentic, which was glorious. You discover the huge, creepy wasteland by doing all your goofy Naruto-run, Press Turn remains to be among the finest turn-based battle methods ever made by way of its strategic and interesting method to buffs, weaknesses, and switch economic system, whereas recruiting and fusing demons stays a compelling and addictive party-building mechanic all through the entire expertise. Even if the more durable problem might be off-putting to some, there’s not often a boring second all through both story given the wealth of aims and gameplay choices. Everyone has their very own tastes on the subject of JRPGs, nevertheless it’s powerful to argue that SMT V: V gives something lower than a sophisticated and considerate gameplay expertise.

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Captured on Nintendo Switch (Handheld/Undocked)

Much like with earlier Atlus re-releases, a key factor to recollect about SMT V:V is that that is nonetheless largely the identical sport that got here out a number of years in the past. Sure, it’s obtained an all-new storyline and a raft of gameplay and steadiness tweaks that make it general a superior expertise, however these of you that weren’t enthused by the gameplay loop and problem of authentic launch gained’t discover a lot right here to vary your thoughts. On the opposite hand, in the event you did like the unique launch—and even in the event you simply had a number of criticisms that held you again from actually entering into it—this sport is made for you. Atlus is eradicating the unique sport from retailer cabinets to interchange it with SMT V: V, and it is comprehensible why, as this new model nearly fully nullifies that first launch by way of all of the additions, changes, and authentic content material.

Something which notably did not enhance for this re-release is the efficiency, which nonetheless isn’t unbelievable. Though every part runs at considerably constant 30 FPS, asset pop-in and fuzzy decision is par for the course right here whether or not you’re taking part in in docked or handheld. SMT V: V remains to be a visible miracle on the Switch and positively looks like a sport that has no enterprise operating on such humble {hardware}, nevertheless it’s clear that Atlus needed to push the Switch so far as it may go to get efficiency to the appropriate although not spectacular state it’s in.

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Captured on Nintendo Switch (Handheld/Undocked)

This is a little bit disappointing, as we had been hoping that a number of extra years of Switch improvement expertise would result in Atlus discovering methods to squeeze higher efficiency out of this one. On the opposite hand, it looks like we’ve reached the purpose the place there merely is not rather more that builders can moderately do with the restricted {hardware}, particularly contemplating that SMT V: V is constructed on an off-the-shelf engine with Unreal 4. If missing visuals or decision are an enormous problem for you in your video games, we’d counsel you skip the Switch and decide up one of many variations accessible on different {hardware} platforms, in case you have entry to any of them. SMT V: V is an alright expertise on Switch so far as efficiency is anxious, nevertheless it scarcely feels just like the definitive model of this launch.

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