For many gamers today who have heard of Japanese videogame developer Atlus, they might say that their favorite titles from the company are the “Persona” series. The franchise’s five main games plus multiple spinoffs in over 20 years have seen players guide characters supernaturally manifesting various mythological heroes, creatures and even deities from their souls. Such is the pervading popularity of “Persona” with the mainstream gamer community that earlier Atlus titles such as “Shin Megami Tensei” (of which “Persona” itself is a spinoff of) are either forgotten or relegated to portable gaming platforms instead of consoles. That changes next year.
That is because, as Yahoo News reports, the latest installment of Atlus’ original flagship franchise “Shin Megami Tensei” is coming out in 2021 for the Nintendo Switch. The iconic game console developer revealed this during their latest “Nintendo Direct mini” on Monday, July 20. This was an online presentation of upcoming game updates from their partner software developers. The big newsmaker of the multiple announcements during the “Direct mini” was “Shin Megami Tensei V,” to be released on a (hybrid) console some 17 years after the last one, “Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne” (NA-localized version) on the PlayStation 2 in 2004.
Atlus started the “Shin Megami Tensei” series on the Super Nintento back in 1992, as a soft franchise reboot of the original “Megami Tensei” games on the Family Computer. The early installments remained only in Japan, with the lack of English versions being attributed to the dark themes and supernatural elements of the plot, mainly involving the characters aligning with either divine or infernal factions and portraying the light faction (including Judeo-Christian angels) as over-controlling figures. Not until “Nocturne” on the PS2 did the franchise reach western shores, only for the “Persona” series to steal its thunder several years later.
Part of Nintendo’s previews includes a teaser trailer for “Shin Megami Tensei V,” starkly contrasting in terms of visual and audio. The trailer follows presumably the main playable character, a seemingly ordinary high school student, living in an ordinary world that is about to be changed forever. Franchise regular character Lucifer himself gives a narration about how God is dead, causing Tokyo to be reduced to a wasteland with the hero under attack by demons. Just as the fallen angel asks (the player) what path he would choose when the Creator is gone, the hero is rescued by a figure that resembles the main character of Nocturne, who then cryptically offers the MC his hand.
While the simultaneous worldwide release of “Shin Megami Tensei” on the Nintendo Switch will not be until next year, Atlus also adds that they are releasing an HD Re-master of “Shin Megami Tensei Nocturne,” also on the Switch as well as the PlayStation 4, coming 2020 to Japan and the rest of the world 2021.
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