Like many, I was ecstatic to hear that Nocturne HD would finally have a release date on May 25th. SMT III Nocturne is a cult classic JRPG, and it rightfully deserves the Remaster treatment. With the announcement of the release date, Atlus has also revealed two versions of the games for pre-order. The standard edition is priced at $49.99, and the Digital Deluxe edition is priced at a whopping $69.99. A fair amount of players, including me, have shown concern over the prices and if the port’s quality matches the price.
If I were to give you the short answer, I would say it depends. There’s no denying that Nocturne is an amazing JRPG, and many long-time fans and newcomers would enjoy this title. However, there are a few problems with the port’s quality and the pre-order bonuses that are worth mentioning. Let’s take a deeper look into what we know so far about Nocturne HD and decide whether or not it’s worth buying at its full price.
Nocturne HD was released on October 29th of last year in Japan. Since its release, there have been reports on the technical issues of the game. Frame rate issues, lag, and other similar bugs were reported at launch, most of them being geared towards the Nintendo Switch version. Atlus was made aware of the technical issues and announced that future patches would fix said issues. Since that announcement, there have been updates to the game, and some of the technical issues have been fixed. However, there are still reports of issues within some versions of the game.
While the technical problems aren’t game-breaking, it’s concerning that such bugs would still be present to this day in the Japanese version. It doesn’t give me faith that the bugs would be completely patched out when it releases in the west. I don’t expect Atlus to make it perfect, but I do expect the bare minimum if we’re spending $50 or $70 on a remaster littered with issues. However, it’s possible that the Steam release could allow for fans to mod their own fixes to the base game. It might be worth waiting for a steam sale or a mod to fix most of the issues for PC players.
Overpriced Deluxe Edition?
The Digital Deluxe Editions offer players the chance to play the game four days early with all the DLC included. Some of the content may have some worth for fans, but it’s hard to tell with others. A BGM pack that adds songs from past SMT games is a neat addition for long-time fans of the series. One of SMT‘s greatest strengths is its soundtrack and how it really captures the atmosphere of each game. I personally would have liked some soundtracks from some of the spinoff titles, but it’s good that they’ve included the majority of the main series.
DLC, such as the map packs for EXP and money grinding, has a varying amount of worth. It could be useful for new fans that would like an easier time with the game. As for long-time fans or players that desire a challenge, I can’t really recommend it. The Deluxe Edition also includes a new easy mode, but from what we’ve seen so far, it’s most likely free add-ons regardless.
One of the biggest selling points of the DLC packs would possibly be the Maniax pack with includes Dante from the Devil May Cry Series. Just like with the map packs, the Maniax pack may have a varying amount of worth. It’s well worth it for fans of Dante, but that’s about it.
To be completely honest, the Digital Deluxe edition isn’t worth the price for the majority of players. $70 for DLC that doesn’t offer much in terms of value. However, if you truly want to play the game early, then there might be some incentive towards buying the Deluxe edition. Another detriment is that the pre-order bonus is only for digital copies, offering no incentive towards physical owners.
Comparing the Original
It’s worth mentioning that the original Nocturne is still playable and offers none of the previously listed issues. If you still have a PS2, you could buy a copy for around $20 online. (As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.) If you have a PS3 and are looking for games to buy before the PSN store closes, Nocturne is also available for purchase. The original game has aged rather finely over the years and even includes content such as Dante in the game.
This option is difficult to recommend for every player, especially when the PSN store has closed for the PS3. However, I still believe it’s worth mentioning the original releases and using it as a comparison to the Remaster. Remasters and Remakes are meant to improve upon the game, offering new experiences for both new and old fans. I can’t deny that Atlus has offered options for new players to jump in, but there’s hardly any incentive for older fans who played the original. One way to add incentive could possibly be more story content or even just a new difficult mode or challenging map pack.
Is Nocturne HD worth the price? If you’re a new fan and don’t have a PS2 or the PS3 store has already closed, then I would say it’s worth buying the Standard Edition. SMT III Nocturne is still worth playing, and it’s great that the game can be enjoyed on more platforms. The Digital Deluxe edition offers little value to the player, and the current quality of the port doesn’t match the $70 price tag. I’m still excited for the port as it could potentially bring more Atlus games such as Persona 5 Royal to other systems. It can also whet fans’ appetite as we wait for more news on SMT V that was announced for worldwide release this year.
What do you think? Is Nocturne HD worth the price? Are you planning to get the Deluxe edition? Let me know in the comments below.