Shin Megami Tensei V is NOT a Persona game, and that’s a good thing

Hey, Gamers! Since Persona 5 is my thing, I thought I would touch on some of the confusion surrounding SMTV as it’s coming out in a few days as I’m writing this – if this goes up when it’s meant to then it’s already been out for a few days! So, let’s get right into it!

EDIT: Hi, uh, Josh got me SMTV for our anniversary so if there is any misinformation, I will come back and correct it when I’m done with the game. I am loving it so far, and might do a follow up to this post on why it feels so different.

Shin Megami Tensei is its own thing. Like, completely. Persona is a spin off of Shin Megami Tensei, but not in the way that you might be thinking. It’s kind of like… if you like Mario or Nintendo games in general, and then you get Super Smash Bros. I think that’s a good comparison. They’re completely different games, right? Like, sure they have the same characters, but Mario is a platformer and Smash is about fighting. But they’re related because they have the same characters. So, to my knowledge, SMT is like the original, and Persona is the non-fighting spin off.

I haven’t played SMT yet. I want to, but I’ve been put off by its community. The thing linking SMT and Persona is the personas/shadows/demons, whatever you want to call them. Each one usually has a very long history in the franchise, and it’s super cool to actually look into it.

From what I can tell from what I’ve read (granted I haven’t read much because I do want to play these games) and what I’ve been told, Persona has a really cool thing where you can do the dungeon crawling and then you have the social sim part; SMT doesn’t have the social sim part. It has a heavy emphasis on the dungeon crawling part, and it’s significantly more difficult. From what I’ve heard from fans of the series, a lot of the mechanics make no sense (such as the negotiations).

So, Shin Megami Tensei and Persona are completely different games, linked by the idea of the personas/demons.

So, why is that a good thing?

SMT is a very old series, and the fact that Atlus is choosing to release a brand new game is great. The series started in in 1987 with the release of Digital Devil Story: Megami Tensei which shows how long the fanbase have been dedicated for. The latest release, which came out in October 2020, was a remaster of Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne which, while it’s always good to have a remaster… it would be better to have a new game. Which they’re finally getting! SMTV is great because Atlus are giving dedicated fans what they’ve wanted for years.

Since Persona has been more popular, Atlus has seemed to focus much more on that series. If you think about it, there’s been so many Persona games (which is shocking considering the first Persona game didn’t come out until 1996, almost a full decade after SMT). Like, not only do we have the main series games, we have things like Persona 3 Portable, Persona 4 Golden and Persona 5 Dancing!. I know there’s others, I just wanted to include examples from the most popular 3.

Shin Megami Tensei V shows that Atlus can return to its roots and improve. They can go back to old series’ and update it so it fits with other games that are going around right now. It shows that they can learn from the games that they’ve published over the past few years (such as Persona 5 Royal and Catherine: Full Body) to find out how to update their older series and to find out what people like/dislike.

Should Shin Megami Tensei V be compared to Persona 5 Royal? Hell no. Maybe in terms of graphics, but not story or gameplay. They are completely different games and therefore should be treated as such. People aren’t comparing Mario to Super Smash Bros or Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games, so why would they compare these games?

I will say my experience with the SMT community has not been pleasurable as a whole, but I am honestly so excited and hyped for them. I understand their anger and frustration, but I think taking it out on fans of Persona is a little too much. I am genuinely so hyped that they’re getting a new game and I hope Atlus learns from this experience and continues updating their series’ that have dedicated fanbases.

So, that’s it for this post, Gamers! Have you played Shin Megami Tensei? Have you played the new one yet, since this post is coming out just after its release? Let me know! I really do want to get both the remaster and the new one on the switch but I need a new SD card first. Please be mindful not to leave any spoilers in the comments, and if you liked this post, don’t forget to give it a ‘like’. If I got any information wrong, please know that it wasn’t my intention and I am happy to be educated as long as it’s done in a polite way. If you’re looking to watch someone stream, check out 2nerds_1game on Twitch where Josh and I try to stream as often as possible. See you next time, Gamers!

EDIT: I know I strictly use Persona 5 Royal images when talking about a game that isn’t like it and shouldn’t be compared with it, but Persona 5 Royal is my special interest and I don’t have many photos of SMT and am yet to complete the game I got a few days ago. I just wanted to acknowledge that I know it might come across as contradictory but I’m literally just using what I have, what I know and what I’m comfortable with.

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