Shin Megami Tensei 3 Nocturne HD Remaster cuts out the original Western version’s Devil May Cry Dante cameo and replaces him with SMT hero Raidou.
The recently released Shin Megami Tensei 3 Nocturne HD Remaster features a number of small changes to the original game’s formula, but the most visible is the replacement of Dante from Capcom’s Devil May Cry series, who was originally part of the non-Japanese PS2 releases, with the more obscure Raidou. Hero of Shin Megami Tensei’s Devil Summoner spinoff, Raidou is well known to series veterans and Japanese fans but is undoubtedly less familiar to the general public.
Shin Megami Tensei 3 HD was announced at a Nintendo Direct Mini in July 2020, alongside the reveal of the Switch-exclusive Shin Megami Tensei V’s 2021 release date. This latest Shin Megami Tensei release has a lot to offer JRPG fans, even as a remastered version of a game originally published in 2003. It’s also a game with a complex history, and this isn’t even the first time it’s seen a switch-up between Dante and Raidou.
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The original Japanese release of SMT 3 was followed by the revised Maniax version, which added Dante as a cameo. This is the version that ended up shipping to North America and Europe as Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne and Shin Megami Tensei: Lucifer’s Call, respectively. Publisher Atlus then shipped Maniax Chronicle Edition in Japan – a second version of Maniax bundled with Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner 2: Raidou Kuzunoha vs. King Abaddon’s limited edition, this time featuring Raidou.
Raidou Is More Fitting For Shin Megami Tensei 3 Nocturne HD Remaster
Shin Megami Tensei 3’s remaster has new features of a few varieties, but it’s primarily driven by improved graphics. The decision to include Raidou instead of Dante as a playable companion character is one of its few actual content changes, and while some may wish the better-known Dante was included by default, Raidou is the rarer of the two, having been limited to the Japan-only Chronicle Edition prior. He even comes with his talking cat, Gouto, and the pair do nothing to diminish the game’s cool factor, with ample style and bravado all their own.
Dante’s appearance in Shin Megami Tensei 3 seemed like a bit of a stretch – more an interesting collaboration between Atlus and Capcom than part of the actual game – whereas Raidou’s appearance is a more natural one for the series. For Western fans longing for nostalgia, a version of Dante slightly improved from the original can be downloaded in the Maniax Pack DLC, which sells for $9.99. Still, either character will serve players well enough in Shin Megami Tensei 3 Remaster, but Raidou brings an air of franchise legitimacy with him that Dante simply can’t.
Shin Megami Tensei 3 Nocturne HD Remaster is available on Steam, PS4, and Nintendo Switch.
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