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Shin Megami Tensei III Nocturne HD Remaster, a remastered re-release of Shin Megami Tensei III Nocturne Maniax Chronicle Edition for the PS2, was released in Japan for the PS4 and Nintendo Switch on 29 October 2020.

In this article, we take a look at HD Remaster, and how its graphics compare to Maniax Chronicle Edition’s.

We used the PS4 version of HD Remaster, and a copy of Maniax Chronicle Edition running on a PS2 slim routed through a 720P HDMI upscaler for this comparison.

Also see: Review- Persona 5 Strikers​

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From the intro: The text and the object in the background are crisper in HD Remaster.

 

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The title screen: The HD Remaster version has brightness turned up so that the demons in the background are more visible.

 

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The difficulty selection screen: Again, the brightness has been turned up, making it easier to see the background.

 

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Yuko’s introduction: The effects have been toned down, improving visibility.

 

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Entering Yoyogi-Koen station: Textures of posters and signs on the wall are visibly crisper, but the textures themselves have not been changed, with smaller text remaining illegible. The difference in the fonts used is especially noticeable in the character “公”.

 

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The protagonist checks his phone: Brightness has been turned up, depth of field is noticeable on the station attendant and his booth, the light on the ceiling has effects to make it look like it is actually emitting light, and the message box is noticeably more transparent allowing the player to clearly see what is behind it.

 

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Hijiri’s introduction: Everything is brighter, the yellow tint on the world is toned down to some degree, and the magazine and sign in the background now have legible text. The magazine’s proportions have also changed, suggesting that it might be an entirely new asset remade from scratch. More space available on the screen also allowed the dialogue to be displayed in one line instead of two.

 

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The world map, pre-Conception: Everything is significantly crisper and clearer, and icons are brighter, improving visibility. The colour of the text indicating the current location was changed from yellow to white.

 

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Hikawa’s introduction: The red tint in the original version has been removed entirely, and the room is slightly brighter, allowing one to make out details that were not previously visible.

 

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The roof of the hospital: The sky has been changed drastically, with the dull grey sky of the original now having a bright blue tint making it look like a clear summer day. The texture on the building with the red sign, which had windows getting cut off at the top, has been corrected. The hospital’s sign has been completely redone.

 

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The FMV of the Conception: FMVs in HD Remaster remain in 4:3 and are of noticeably lower graphic fidelity than the rest of the game, seemingly reusing the original videos. The FMVs do, however, still seem to be higher in quality than the original version’s.

 

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The mysterious voice asking the protagonist to seek out a Reason: Effects seem to have been toned down a bit, allowing for one to see more details in the environment, and a slight blue tint has been added.

 

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The mysterious child: The scene is brighter, with details such as the buttons on the child’s coat a lot clearer. The change in lighting has also resulted in a shadow across the old lady’s chest not present in the original. The child’s eyes are also seem to look brighter.

 

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The awakening of the Demi-Fiend: The background is brighter, resulting in some things that were visible in the original being not visible in HD Remaster – the portion preceding this with the Demi-Fiend’s silhouette also has the hospital bed no longer visible – and depth of field is noticeable on things in the background.

 

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The first battle in the game: The environment is noticeably brighter, while the glow of the enemy itself is noticeably darker.

 

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The mysterious old man: The scene is considerably brighter, improving visibility, and there are noticeably less shadows. The old man’s hair still clips through his jacket.

 

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The player’s first ally, the Pixie: The scene is brighter, and the yellow tint has been toned down, while a blue sheen has been added to the glass in the background. Text is center-aligned, as opposed to left-aligned in the original.

 

Overall, it can be said that HD Remaster has greatly improved graphical fidelity, and visibility has been improved, allowing the player to see a lot of details that were hidden in the original version. On the other hand, the general atmosphere has been changed in many areas, making the game look brighter than the original; whether or not these changes are acceptable would be susceptible to one’s individual tastes.

 

Read about how Atlus sought to recreate the original game on modern consoles in this interview:

Shin Megami Tensei III Nocturne HD Remaster: Director Interview

 

What do you think of the HD Remaster graphics? Let us know in the comments below!

Shin Megami Tensei III Nocturne HD Remaster will be released in the west in 2021

 

 

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1 COMMENT

  1. Nice comparison, thank you!
    Hm..I don’t know, judging from the screenshots the change in colors and brightness sure have changed the atmosphere of the game quite a bit and not for the better I’m afraid.
    Reminds me of the Dark Souls Remastered version.

    What this should have been in my mind is a technically modernized revisit of the original, something that makes the fans go: “Yes, I don’t feel like going back to the PS2 version” but this is now a situation where both games are viable as well as flawed options. Bummer.

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