Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance is What Definitive Versions Should Be Like

Shin Megami Tensei V is the latest mainline installment in the renowned Japanese occult RPG series of the same name. Originally released on November 11, 2021, the base game garnered critical acclaim and strong sales despite launching only for the Nintendo Switch. 

In April 2022, Atlus proudly announced that Shin Megami Tensei V had surpassed 1 million copies sold worldwide, a remarkable achievement that propelled the series’ total sales to over 19 million units.

The enduring relevance of the Shin Megami Tensei series is evident in its fifth mainline entry. Many elements introduced in Digital Devil Story: Megami Tensei, the first game in the series, have become staples and are still used and loved by many fans today. 

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Demons are a central element of the series, allowing players to interact with and recruit them as party members. These demons have varying personalities, all of which factor into convincing them to fight for you by giving them gifts or saying things they will want to hear. Negotiate successfully, and you’ll gain powerful new allies along the way.

Fast forward to today, and developer Atlus has launched Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance, a definitive version that not only includes additional new content but is also available on multiple platforms, including PlayStation, Xbox, and PC.

This definitive version promises an array of new features, ensuring that even those who played the original game will discover fresh content to enjoy. With its imminent release, a wider audience now has the opportunity to delve into this captivating JRPG that has built a loyal following.

Shin Megami Tensei V for Vengeance

One of the main draws of Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance is the addition of a brand-new storyline, which returning players can look forward to. As if the original playtime of nearly 100 hours wasn’t enough, this new standalone storyline effectively doubles the figure, offering players great value and entertainment.

In Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance, players will be presented with a choice between two distinct story routes at the beginning of the game. The first route, the “Canon of Creation,” follows the original game’s storyline, where players will embark on a captivating journey after getting caught in a tunnel collapse on the way home from school. As they find themselves lost in an alternate desert version of Tokyo, Da’at, the protagonist, who has become the Nahobino, is drawn into the battle between gods and demons.

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On the other hand, a brand-new story route called the “Canon of Vengeance” awaits players. In this scenario, the Nahobino takes on a new appearance, and a character named Yoko Hiromine makes her mysterious debut. The specifics of Yoko’s role within the Canon of Vengeance remain a mystery, but she will be an important character who will affect how the Vengeance storyline plays out. Along with visiting new Da’at and dungeons like the puzzling labyrinth, Shakan, this new storyline is packed with intrigue and mystery.

The Canon of Vengeance delves into narratives that were not the central focus of the original game. While the original story revolved around an Ox God, who was said to subjugate the Snake God in legends, this new route provides a fresh perspective, allowing players to experience events from the viewpoint of the oppressed worshippers of the Snake God. The themes and characters have been fleshed out more, ensuring that the Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance experience is a fulfilling one.

Notably, four demons collectively known as the Qadištu, serve as antagonists in the Canon of Vengeance. The group includes the leader, Lilith, along with Naamah, Eisheth Zenunim, Agrat bat Mahlat, and a servant named Glasya-Labolas. They are formidable opponents, but the Nahobino and the rest of his recruited demon allies are surely up to the task!

The more, the merrier!

In Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance, new demons designed by Masayuki Doi will be introduced. Some of these demons will be returning from the Shin Megami Tensei series, bringing the total number of recruitable demons to over 270. Players have the opportunity to interact with these creatures and embark on a memorable journey as they see the storyline come to completion.

shin megami tensei v vengeance demon navigator

One of the demons you’ve probably seen is the Nahobeeho, a Jack-Frost type that resembles the Nahobino. Along with wielding a blade, Nahobeeho also uses ice-based attacks to bring the fight to other demons. On the other hand, another new demon is Efreet, whose specialty attacks are extremely effective against demons with a weakness for fire-based attacks.

Other new demons that can be seen in Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance are the Karasu Tengu, which excels in force skills and can use Masukunda, which can decrease all enemies’ hit/evade power. Another is the Hare of Inaba, which can use Masukukaja to increase all allies’ hit/evade power.

To facilitate interactions with the demons you recruit during your journey, a new hub called the Demon Haunts will be added. In Demon Haunts, players can converse with their recruited demons, offer them gifts to improve relationships, and potentially enhance their stats. Additionally, guest characters (including other humans) may also appear in Demon Haunts.

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Photography enthusiasts will be pleased to know that Free-Camera Mode/Photo Mode will also be available in Demon Haunts, allowing players to capture images of their demons.

On the battlefield, players will encounter a new type of demon known as Magatsuhi Demons. These formidable opponents drop valuable Incense when defeated, an item that can enhance demon stats. Handling these demons while roaming the world will be something to look forward to, and should be a good change of pace and challenge that aims to keep players on their toes at all times.

Skillful combat is key

In Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance, combat introduces a feature called Magatsuhi Skills. During battle, players can accumulate Magatsuhi energy, which they can then use to perform these skills. The specific Magatsuhi Skills available depend on the composition of your demon party. For instance, a party with Greek Beasts or Angels will have unique Magatsuhi Skills at their disposal, or even another combination, such as having both Pixie and High Pixie in your party.

These features alone prove to be another layer of strategy during combat, as party compositions are more important than ever. 

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For players seeking a break from the grind, the Auto-Skill feature comes in handy. Unlike the original game’s Auto-Attack, which only uses standard attacks, Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance introduces the Auto-Skill option. With this feature, your party will automatically use skills that target the opponent’s weaknesses. This quality-of-life improvement enhances the overall gameplay experience.

Quality of Life for the best experience

Lastly, Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance offers an upgraded experience due to numerous quality-of-life improvements across all facets of the game. From combat to exploration and even replayability, Vengeance is truly the definitive version of the game for both fans and newcomers.

First off, you are now allowed to save anywhere. This is definitely a big and welcome change to the base game, as previously you were only allowed to save along Leyline fonts. It’s a gameplay element that’s sure to come in handy on your journey due to the inherently difficult nature that the Shin Megami Tensei series is known for.

In terms of combat, you can now possibly experience consecutive battles in a row when multiple enemies are present in the field. It can be rather risky, but you can earn more experience and Macca as rewards for your bravery. Level scaling has also been adjusted, where damage by level difference is more moderate, allowing lower-level players to defeat strong enemies with the right tactics. 

Shin megami tensei v vengeance virtual trainer

After clearing Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance by meeting certain conditions, a new ‘Virtual Trainer’ mode will be added when you start a new game, allowing you to fight bosses you have encountered in the past.

Other additions and adjustments also apply to exploration, like the Sky View, where you can view your surroundings from way above the ground. You can now also place landmarks in your chosen locations and even toggle on/off map icons individually for easier navigation!

It is clear to see that Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance is not just an ordinary title. Atlus has included all previously released DLC, and they’ve also gone above and beyond the usual industry practice by adding several quality-of-life features that make the overall experience easier for newcomers to appreciate but also more exciting for series veterans.

The Canon of Vengeance storyline alone immediately doubles the expected playtime, giving unprecedented value to this title. With new twists, new characters, and new challenges that lie ahead, starting a new game in Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance will indeed feel like a new game that is worthy of your time.

Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance is now available on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series, Switch, and PC.

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