It has been four years since Shin Megami Tensei V‘s teaser back in 2017. Until recently at E3 2021, Atlus and Nintendo finally gave us a release date and gameplay footage. It was arguably one of the best highlights in Nintendo’s E3. SMT is an amazing series, producing iconic games that are well-known among JRPG fans. It’s thanks to this series that we were given amazing spin-offs such as Persona, Digital Devil Saga, and Devil Survivor.
So why does it matter? I’m sure some of you may ask what’s the big deal about SMT V and its upcoming release. I would argue that the game’s potential success could benefit many fans. Let’s discuss why it’s beneficial to not only mainline fans but to fans of Persona and the other spin-off titles.
Focus is finally back on Mainline
There’s no denying the overwhelming popularity of SMT’s spin-off series, Persona. Persona 5 is certainly a masterpiece among many fans and is one of the most influential JRPGs of the past decade. Persona 4 continues to get re-released and there are countless fighting games, dancing spin-offs, and crossovers related to the title. It seems safe to assume that Atlus would refuse to let go of their current flagship series, leaving mainline SMT to remain niche, making longtime fans envious and tired of the spin-off’s success and Atlus’ milking.
Fortunately, Atlus managed to surprise many of us by finally revealing more information and concrete release date. Nocturne HD revitalized interest in the older titles, bringing them to modern consoles. It’s that interest that will give the series staying power. It will no be forgotten under the shadow of its more popular spin-off. Then it wouldn’t be so unreasonable for fans like myself to hope for other sub-series like Devil Survivor to return.
I doubt that it would manage to garner the same popularity as Persona 5, but it has the potential for the same amount of influence. It gives us fans hope that more mainline titles will continue to be released in the future. In turn, it allows Atlus to have both Persona and SMT in the spotlight, giving equal treatment to both series. That alone can satisfy the majority of fans, new and old.
More Megaten on the Switch?
It has been a constant wish for fans of SMT and Persona to see more ports making it to the Switch and other platforms. From Joker’s inclusion in Super Smash Bros to Persona 5 Strikers being multiplatform, it’s easy to understand the appeal for Persona 5 on the Switch. The same could be said for older SMT titles and spinoffs that are becoming more difficult to obtain. Many of the 3DS games go for around 70$ to 90$ on Amazon and are going to get more expensive with the 3DS being discontinued.
More ports allow for more exposure to newcomers and for current fans to have more accessible options to collect older titles. In turn, it will give the series more staying power, as explained earlier.
Perhaps we could look forward to more SMT on the Switch if Nocturne HD and SMT V perform well. Atlus seems to be growing more comfortable with the idea of adding more ports with Persona 4 Golden‘s Steam release last year. It’s difficult to tell if we’ll see games such as Persona 5 or older entries on other systems, but the appeal is certainly there.
More Worldwide Releases from Atlus
It has been well over a decade since mainline SMT was on home consoles. The majority of the mainline and spinoff games following Nocturne found their home on handhelds, particularly the Nintendo 3DS. While entries such as SMT IV and Devil Survivor earned praise from fans and critics, they weren’t able to gather as much appeal compared to other JRPGs at the time.
It didn’t help that SMT IV had a shaky international launch with Europe not receiving the game for well over a year after Japan and the US’s release date. Fortunately for SMT V, it won’t have that problem with being a worldwide release, which is a first for the series.
If SMT V succeeds, this can set a precedent for future Atlus games to have worldwide releases. It’s important to know this since JRPGs still struggle to have localizations. Western fans and many more miss out on games that end up only released in Japan. If Atlus continues this precedent, then all fans of SMT and its spin-offs will be able to experience their titles with ease.
In conclusion, there’s plenty of reasons for fans to be hopeful for the game to be successful. From what we’ve seen so far in trailers, I have hopes that it will be a solid title, and being on the Switch could raise the potential for it to sell well. What do you think? Are you hyped for Shin Megami Tensei V? Let me know in the comments below!