Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne HD Remaster Developer Comments on Original Game’s Negative Feedback, Preserving Identity

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As announced previously, this week’s issue of Weekly Famitsu magazine #1652 (August 13, 2020 issue) includes a feature on Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne HD Remaster with new information.

Details from the Famitsu feature for SMT III: Nocturne HD Remaster have been leaked. Part of this feature is an interview with Atlus director Kazuyuki Yamai, who discusses the focus on preserving the original game while improving graphics and adding new character voices.

Update (2020-07-29): Added details from Famitsu feature.

Shin Megami Tensei III Original Release Reception

  • When the original version [of Shin Megami Tensei III] was released, the content and setting had changed drastically from Shin Megami Tensei II, which resulted in a downpour of rude comments on a huge message board that was becoming popular at the time. The staff were very shocked to see the criticisms coming at such an alarming rate.
  • After a while, the positive comments from those who took the time to play the game slowly started to increase and, after the release of Maniax, it started to even be called a “god game.” Yamai found it so impressive that he couldn’t believe his eyes.

SMT III: Nocturne HD Remaster Development

  • The game’s development is currently 90% finished.
  • Yamai believes there have been many requests from fans to revive SMT III for a long time, and they’ve been thinking about how they can provide a way where many people can play it, since the original game has been priced at a premium at retail, unwillingly from them. [During last week’s live stream, Yamai mentioned that Atlus surveys always had many requests for an SMT III remaster.]
  • The developers are trying to subtly and unobtrusively improve the game’s visuals.
  • The developers were very particular about respecting the original work in the process of remastering it. They strongly felt that they shouldn’t do anything to compromise that. As he said in a live stream held last week, Yamai compares the work to the delicate process of rebuilding a shrine.
  • To ensure that the original game was thoroughly reproduced for the current generation platforms, the development team asked that the QA department (the team responsible for objectively looking over quality) join them from the middle of development, and subsequently spent a long time with them.
  • There are many differences between hardware that is more than 17 years old and today’s hardware. Not only when it comes to performance, but such things as data processing methods and areas of expertise. Trying to shift old data as it was will therefore not maintain how the original was, or it won’t shift at all. There are more than 4,500 elements which have been fine-tuned, and Yamai is proud that things were refined to such a considerable degree.
  • The character voices make the dialogue more memorable and they enhance the drama more than expected. The scenario itself has not been altered in any way, and the voices can be turned off.
  • The “MERCIFUL” difficulty setting is a benevolent one that allows the player to defeat difficult enemies with a simple series of button presses. It will be available as free DLC.

Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne HD Remaster  will be released for the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch on October 29, 2020 in Japan, China, and South Korea. The game will be released in the West in Spring 2021.

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