Party Chat: Shin Megami Tensei V

Party Chat is a series that occurs when the planets – and the gaming tastes of our staff members – align. Much like the Party Chat feature in Dragon Quest and the Tales of series, we gather the group together to discuss impressions, thoughts, and reactions on various topics surrounding the Switch RPG scene.

This week’s topic: Shin Megami Tensei.


Evan

EVAN HAS ENTERED THE NETHERWORLD

So I’m not all that far in, but I do have some first impressions as a fan of the series. First of all, to make a comparison:

Twilight Princess HD = Nocturne HD
Breath of the Wild = SMTV

In that both pairs are a great example of “this is how we used to do it, and this is how it works, now.”

Although Nocturne and V have way closer narrative similarities/premises, the gameplay and quality of life updates are so palpable/prescient here that you can’t help but think releasing them in the opposite order would have really hurt the former.

Gio

That seems like a good comparison.

Elias

I can see it from that perspective, easily. There’s definitely an evolution for V, and it’s a positive one. The freedom of movement, the large and open areas… It makes the game feel absolutely massive.

Evan

It does, although it’s still relatively linear, at least, in its opening moments. They’ve definitely broken down the series’s definition and concept of dungeon design.

Elias

Agreed! The ruined expanse of apocalyptic Tokyo feels very real this time, and I love that.

Rich

I only played the first hour, but I am really enjoying it so far and it looks much better than I was expecting considering everything they showed prior to release was the vast desert.

Ben

I’m late to the SMT party but I did enjoy what I played of Nocturne earlier this year, and have really enjoyed my 10 hours thus far in V. I’ve been surprised at just how much I’m beginning to enjoy this series after being so turned off by basically every Pokemon game since Gen 1.

Two entirely different franchises, of course, but the whole monster/demon catching concept is something that hasn’t really appealed to me in a long time. And I think one of the reasons I prefer it here is just how much flexibility many of the demons have, making technically “suboptimal” matchups still viable if you play your cards right.

I also really appreciate the nuance with the battle theme delivery. I love the fact that it hangs back and waits for an initial move to be made before it gets started. Such a cool concept that is really effective.

Kierra

SMTIV is the only SMT game I’ve played before this one, so I had a basic understanding of what to expect going in. But honestly, my expectations were immediately blown away. The aesthetics, from the character designs/models, the UI, and the music are so good. Soooooo good.

I’m only 6 hours in so I don’t know if the openness of the world will wear on me as I continue on, but I’m loving it so far.

It goes without saying that the battle system is still just as good. It’s rewarding if you play your cards right but punishing if you don’t take advantage of weaknesses.

I can happily say right now I haven’t been robbed out of all my money by demons demanding money and then running off. Fingers crossed though.

Evan

I’m playing on hard, and it is… very hard. I’m really feeling the bruises here and it feels like I’m chipping away at concrete. At around 7 hours of playtime, I still haven’t beaten the first boss…

Ben

Exactly why I didn’t choose hard!

Rich

this is my first SMT game, so i am going with casual, hopefully i don’t need to download the free baby mode DLC, but will see
also heard that causes issues if you are a multi-switch owner and not connected to the internet

Evan

Okay, final thoughts:
Beat the first boss through clever trickery and flexing my demon fusion skills, which felt very rewarding and highlights the usefulness and purpose of the Essence system- it’s essentially equipment! Getting the fast travel/quick retreat option opens up the game in a huge way, and the environment post-Tokyo Tower has some impressive size to it. This is a Monolith Soft-sized SMT game, and that’s extremely exciting to see.

Ben

Being able to use essences to adjust skills on anyone, as well as changing up resistances on the main character is invaluable!

Timothy

I’m playing on normal. This is actually my first SMT experience. I knew the story would have some dark, religious overtones and that was exciting. It hasn’t disappointed from that perspective! The learning curve has been extreme for sure. I was completely clapped by the first boss. Looks like I need to take some pointers from Evan and sharpen my demon fusion skills.

Ben

I’m playing on Normal also, and definitely failed at the first boss too. I’ve downed a few more since then, and have just come to accept that the first go at any boss is more about likely accepting defeat, but taking their strengths/weaknesses into consideration when attempting it a second time.

Timothy

It does have a Souls-esque feel from that perspective,doesn’t it? I legitimately thought the same thing.

Elias

Spyglass is the best thing in the game.
Spyglass is love, Spyglass is life.
I’m also very happy with the amount of demons and fusions available as you level. It really does give you the ability to put together a stronger team each time. Rare stat up drops can also be hoarded to keep a favorite demon relevant for a while. Neko Shogun 4 ever.

Evan

Yeah, but SMT is all about redesigning your team on the fly. That’s the best part! Say NO to Neko Shogun!

Elias

I WILL NOT.


Have you had a chance to play Shin Megami Tensei V yet? If so, what do you think so far? Let us know!

About the Authors

  • Ben T.

    Owner, Webmaster, and Content Creator. Lifelong RPG fan. Husband. Dog Dad. Beer Enthusiast. Weight Lifter.

  • Elias

    Elias enjoys petting all the animals in a game, stealing food from the homes of unsuspecting NPC's, and sleeping. She can commonly be found curled up with a book, cat in lap.

  • Evan Bee

    Editor. Writer. Occasional Artist. I love many obscure RPGs you've never heard of because they aren't like mainstream titles. Does that make me a contrarian?

  • Gio Pimentel

    Content creator for the SwitchRPG YouTube Division and co-host of the SwitchRPG podcast.

  • Rich

    Editor. Resident database wizard. Bringer of news and keeper of peace on Discord.

  • Timothy Taylor

    Writer/Father/ Carpenter graduate of The U of Alabama. I chose Pikachu over Eevee.Switch User name: TimmyDale. Currently playing: DBZ XV2, Bioshock Collection, Halo: MC Collection, Sense, FFIX

  • Kierra Lanier

    Writer. A huge fan of SRPGs, JRPGs, simulation games, and visual novels. Loves getting distracted by side quests in huge RPGs and romancing characters in dating sims.

Ben T.

Ben

Owner, Webmaster, and Content Creator. Lifelong RPG fan. Husband. Dog Dad. Beer Enthusiast. Weight Lifter.

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