Why is SMT Nocturne so obtuse?



  • I know it's 15 years old at this point but many of the design decisions in this game are just inexcusable. You will complete a dungeon or something and the game will give you ABSOLUTELY ZERO INDICATION of where to go next. Usually the way to progress the game lies with some completely random NPC, I can't understand what the designers were thinking. "At this point in the game we want the player to backtrack through the entire game going into every building and talking to every NPC". The game is literally unplayable without a guide. It's not like it happens a couple times, it happens after almost every story beat, of which let's be honest there isn't much of a story anyway.

    The dungeon design is infuriating, it's a game of guess where the developer placed the teleportation tiles that port you back to the start of a section. It's pure trial and error that adds nothing and makes the game a slog.

    Walk 10 paces to the north, teleport animation.
    Walk 10 paces to the east, teleport animation.
    Walk 10 paces to the west, 10 to the north, teleport animation.
    Walk 10 to the west, 10 to the south, 20 to the east, 20 to the north.

    A few dumb puzzles I'm okay with but they are so prominent it's difficult to overlook them. The press turn battle system is great but I feel like much of the rest of the game is intentionally annoying.

    Just to twist the knife one last time none of the music so far (60 hours in Amala temple) has stood out to me. The closest comparison Digital Devil Saga has a bunch of great tracks that I sometimes go back and listen to, but I can't think of any tune in Nocturne that I would want to go back to. Maybe it has a killer final boss or credits theme as I haven't finished it yet, but so far I'm really sour on SMT 3.



  • I beat Nocturne without a guide and without a whole lot of trouble in terms of progression. I also really liked the dungeons, I thought exploring them was fun and they each had interesting visual design and hook in terms of traversal. Apart from the later kalpa (which are optional) I didn't find them that obtuse or annoying.



  • It's been a while since I played Nocturne and I'm sure that I used a guide at points but I do generally remember enjoying the game, though not loving it.

    Without remembering specifics I would venture to say it is really just the type of design old SMT was based on for better or worse.



  • @tophatant123 said in Why is SMT Nocturne so obtuse?:

    I know it's 15 years old at this point but many of the design decisions in this game are just inexcusable. You will complete a dungeon or something and the game will give you ABSOLUTELY ZERO INDICATION of where to go next.

    False. You just need to talk to people.

    The dungeon design is infuriating, it's a game of guess where the developer placed the teleportation tiles that port you back to the start of a section. It's pure trial and error that adds nothing and makes the game a slog.

    False. There is always a pattern, you just need to find it.

    The press turn battle system is great but I feel like much of the rest of the game is intentionally annoying.

    Quit whining

    Just to twist the knife one last time none of the music so far (60 hours in Amala temple) has stood out to me.

    Not the game's fault.

    Git gud or go play Persona. Either way, quit whining.



  • I played Nocturne on release and can't say I really ran into any of the particular issues you're describing. My memory is fuzzy and I've honestly been wanting to play through it again, so I'm curious if I'd have some of the same complaints as you. The one thing I will say though is that I love the soundtrack to this game, especially because it came along with my game purchase. I remember some really good bus trips while jamming to that OST.



  • @sabotagethetruth I feel like there will be a Call of Duty game without guns before there is an SMT game with a bad soundtrack