Interview: Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance developers on their new approach

Find out what the folks at Atlus did to bring us one of the year's most exciting JRPGs.

Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance has already been out for a while now and in case you haven’t heard, we’ve been loving it. We got the chance to interview the Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance developers on what it’s like to revisit an already great JRPG and shake it up for modern systems. Here’s what they have to say:

For the new players of the game, should they play Canon of Creation first or could they just jump to Canon of Vengeance?

Players can jump into whichever route they’d like at the start of the game. Both the Canon of Creation and the Canon of Vengeance start similarly but have subtle differences. Once the protagonist returns to the real world from Da’at Minato, radical changes will start to take place, leading to completely different endings.

What inspired the decision to come back to SMT V with new features and improvements? Which ones do you feel would be the most exciting for new players and for returning players?

Our goal with Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance was to expand on the Shin Megami Tensei universe even further. Since the original game was so well-received and sold so remarkably well on the Switch, we felt that a multi-platform release would broaden its reach. However, we wanted to do more than simply make a port of the Switch version. Our aim was to turn it into the definitive way to experience Shin Megami Tensei V, so we added new content and revamped gameplay based on player feedback, resulting in the final product.

How did the team decide on the alternate storyline’s direction and integration with the original campaign? How does the experience of developing Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance compared to the original SMT V?

From ATLUS, we have several enhanced and evolved versions of original works, but Vengeance is significantly different from those previous ones. In Vengeance, we included two stories—the story of Shin V and a new story—so that even players who played the original can enjoy it from the beginning. In the newly added Vengeance route, the story starts to diverge from the original route little by little from the beginning, and eventually, it develops into a completely different story. Because of this, it has become too voluminous to be handled as DLC. However, we have crafted it so that you can enjoy the story with a fresh perspective as a new work.

What were some of the most prominent feedback/praises Shin Megami Tensei V got that affected the way you developed Vengeance?

Considering the feedback from those who played SMT V, the staff incorporated as many improvements as possible. For example, they made the trajectory of the afterglow displayed during quest navigation more intuitive to help players understand their location better. They also reviewed the probability of initiating a preemptive attack when striking an enemy from behind, as well as the damage adjustments based on the level difference between the player and the enemy in battles.

Do you have any messages for Shin Megami Tensei or JPRG fans?

The Shin Megami Tensei games have gained popularity for their unconventional take on deities and demons, as well as their dark and unnerving atmosphere. We hope that our fans in Southeast Asia enjoy Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance and the unique interactions in store for them!

Whether you are a JRPG fan or have a growing interest in the genre, Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance is definitely a must-play! The game is out now on Nintendo Switch, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and PC via Steam.