Megaten megathread

Since the Nocturne remaster drops today and because there‘s talk about just how much Persona 5 sucks popping up all over the forum, why not give these games their own thread to match FF and DQ? At least I couldn’t find one, please ignore this if there is one already.

I will start off by saying I've wanted SMT3 on my Switch for years and will get the remaster, despite what people are saying about sound compression. Hope I won't regret it!

I just got the Nocturne remaster in the post. My first intro to Megaten was Persona 4. Since then I‘ve played P3, P5 and Strikers and always wanted to give the original series a go. Looking forward to it a lot, I’ve always loved the art design. I've also got the Digital Devil Sagas and the first raidou game on PS2 to play after this.

i am mega-ready

for it's tonal problems i don't think persona 5 completely sucks mechanically, there's some fights which feel like a chore but it's not the worst game I've ever played. I say, rationalising my 100+ hours spent in it...

Yeah I realized it's kinda bad to start a thread negatively, and will say I played the heck out of P5 when it came out and I can absolutely see why people would think fondly of it even though I was kinda irritated with it.

Mainline SMT can be really refreshing after Persona though, I find, since they're absolutely not talky and much less rigid in terms of structure, at least on the surface.

DDS duology is cool and seems under appreciated.

Does anyone have a recommendation re the SNES games? Been meaning to play them for a while now...

@yeso#31348 I played SMT1 on that ill fated iOS release of all things and enjoyed the heck outta myself.

SMT 1 and 2 are “free” on the Super Famicom Online Switch service. Outside of that it‘s basically translation patch and roms if you can’t read Japanese (I don‘t think the iOS release is still available, but I don’t have an iPhone so who knows). They‘re both very good console Wizardry clones and some of the best looking and sounding games on the SNES, but if you’re not into first person dungeon crawling then Nocturne is the best place to start. There‘s also if… which no one likes, but did pave the way for the Persona series, and some SRPGs that I haven’t played but heard are good. Iirc only the second has a fan made translation patch.

that’s a good tip re …if so I’ll start with the plain old SMT SNES vers

I had my MegaTen start with Persona 1 on the PS1, so I probably have a different set of expectations from the series than a lot of folks. As for my favourites, I really love SMTIV and IV Apocalypse for the 3DS, both Persona 2 games (at last check they were available on PSN still), and SMT: Strange Journey, both its original version for the DS and the Redux version for the 3DS. I don‘t have a lot to back up my love for Persona(s) 2, I think I just came across them at a good time, but IV and Strange Journey are both really excellent entrees in the mainline series, and they’re both super accessible, so I highly recommend them (Apocalypse is something of a commentary/companion piece pseudo-sequel to IV, so I wouldn‘t start with it). I might give SMT 1 and 2 a try on SFC Online and hope that my preschool child’s Japanese language comprehension is good enough to play them!

EDIT: I completely forgot to say that I'm interested in finally playing Nocturne too! I somehow missed it in the PS2 era.

I'm a little mixed on the later Personas. They're absolutely gorgeous-- especially 5-- but 3 seemed great the first time I played it but I couldn't get back into it later on when I picked it up for the PSP, 4 never really clicked for me at all, despite so many folks loving it, and 5... well, I got irritated by its 1990's era queer phobic bits and didn't really enjoy it.

Huh, it's occurring to me that a whole bunch of the RPGs I've enjoyed over the last little bit are descendants of Wizardry! I'm not sure I would have expected to end up being the 'Wizardry Dungeon Crawler' person here at IC, but here we are!

Gonna throw my hat in and suggest the DS / 3DS Devil Survivor games as worth investing in. Good time, anime, end-of-the-world japes all in a tactical RPG(s). The 3DS versions have bonus scenarios off the top of my head but the DS originals are good if you‘re not super invested. I’d personally recommend the first one over the second, only for the reason that I felt I had to cheese through a few of the later scenarios compared to the first.

One kinda left-field recommendation is Strange Journey. I know a lot of people weren't too keen on its story / morality system and its dungeon designs but in terms of challenge, atmosphere, and dungeon-crawly-chunkiness I think it's up there as one of the best - there's some real good times to be had if you want to get your teeth into something a bit more oppressive.

Strange Journey is excellent. I had no idea it was widely disliked! It came out at a time when the default mode for RPGs was wide and expansive and I really enjoyed it for going in the complete other direction. Oppressive is very much the word.

Just played an hour or so of the SMT3 remaster and loved it. Just wonderful art and style.

I haven‘t played an SMT game before but I’m looking to start either Strange Journey Redux for 3DS or the Nocturne remaster on Switch. Any general tips for a complete neophyte re: which to start with (leaning toward nocturne) or how to approach the game? I have a loose understanding of the gameplay, but one consistent unhelpful comment I hear is that they are difficult, so anything that would reduce the risk of completely bouncing off would be great.

@kory#31423 the general mechanic for smt is buff debuff exploit. If you can exploit a weakness (physical/elemental attacks) do it because it’ll give a bonus. Debuffs and buffs same as any RPG but they are pretty much required to get through later fights.

@kory#31423 They‘re difficult in the sense that they can kill you quickly if you’re unlucky, and they‘re harsh about HP and mana, but it’s nothing you can‘t handle by just playing it safe the way you would in any RPG: save often, stock up on consumables, don’t waste your MP on weak enemies.

Otherwise the thing you need to learn is just the press turn battle system. Basically: exploit weaknesses to get extra turns, and make sure you use status effects, buffs and debuffs even in random encounters when necessary.

When choosing your party comp (and fusing demons) the most important thing to pay attention to is skills and elemental strengths/weaknesses, not attributes. You never want to spend too much time in a dungeon, or against a boss, with a party comp that keeps losing you turns cause they exploit your weaknesses.

Basically: it can be punishing but it's fairly consistent and built around a couple of simple mechanics.

Dang, @Auberji said everything I said much more succinctly

@kory#31423 Out of those two I would definitely start with Nocturne. SJ Redux is a bit more welcoming than the original but is hard as balls whereas Nocturne, whilst hard is also a bit easier to digest at the start.

My biggest tip for all SMT games but especially Nocturne is that buffs/debuffs **really matter** so use them. One of the earliest bosses was infamous for being extremely difficult if you didn't use them (oh, hi subtle tutorial) and a lot of people gave up on the game without engaging with the battle system properly. Don't get me wrong, it's still difficult even if you engage with it and use the correct counterskills, and you will probably die / curse when it happens but it's at that moment for me when everything just clicked.

They're all hard games no matter how you look at it but my other tip is to use your magatamas (collectable/ equippable passive buffs/debuffs + skills - only one equippable at a time) wisely as they will often save you in areas where there are enemies with instakill skills. I think that the remaster has a save-anywhere feature so this should be less of an issue than the original but worth bearing in mind. Similarly its important as the game goes on to build an MC and party that can passively counter as many elements as well as dish them out in order to exploit the brilliant press-turn system (exploiting a weakness / critical hitting gives you an extra turn and missing / countering an elemental weakness makes you / enemies lose a turn).

Also no spoilers but keep the pixie that you get at the start, and keep track of which demon(s) you fuse them into (and their descendants) for a cool, missable reward.

@kory#31423 I think Nocturne might be a good choice because they’ve added in more difficulty levels. I’d recommend being open to drop the difficulty down if you run into a wall (or just to start with) because this whole series tends to be pretty punishing. I’m pretty sure you can change difficulty at will on most of the more modern games.

I‘ve played Nocturne and IV, of the two I ended up liking Nocturne more, though I’m glad I played IV first because it had a better introduction and smoother on-ramp into the series‘ tougher mechanics. The new Nocturne remaster has some of those I heard (manual skill assignment in demon fusion and easier difficulty) so I can’t wait to see so many people new to the franchise experiencing the melodramatic myth with the rest of us!

P.S. post your favorite demon designs in this thread

@kory#31423 echoing recommendation for nocturne. And everything everyone said about buffs/debuffs, exploiting weaknesses (and avoiding being vulnerable yourself), and item use and mgmt being critical