The E3 2009 Shin Megami Tensei Interview Part 1

By Spencer . June 12, 2009 . 5:18pm


During E3 I caught up with Atlus and discussed all things under the Shin Megami Tensei umbrella. We’ll start with the localization of Shin Megami Tensei: Persona which comes out in North America on September 22.


What is the localization going to be like?


Nich Maragos, Editor: Hopefully, it’s going to be in line with the Persona 3 and Persona 4 localizations. Which, you know, were very natural sounding and authentic to modern youth. It’s also going to be authentic to the original Japanese version. Characters keep their original names. Personas keep their original names. It’s going to be set in Japan this time.


Are you going to have any jokes about the PS1 translation hidden in the script?


NM: We don’t have any jokes about it, but there are a couple lines fans of the PS1 version might particularly remember. We made sure to preserve a couple of those.


Will this have voice acting? I know the Japanese version didn’t include it, but it seems like something your fans want.


NM: You know we did add voice acting to the anime scenes. The regular event scenes remain as is and of course the battle dialogue as well.




Since Sony officially revealed the PSP Go, does Atlus plan to release a downloadable version of Persona on the PlayStation Store?


Yu Namba, Project Lead: We can say for sure that there will be a UMD version. I don’t know if we will be releasing it simultaneously digitally on the PlayStation Store.


NM: Plans for that are up in the air, but for the UMD version will come with the two disc soundtrack.


We’ve heard about the Snow Queen quest, but for those who don’t know can you explain what it is?


NM: Early on in the game there is a hidden path you can take. If you do these steps in the right order you can access an entire 30 hour quest that basically replaces the main quest. You have to lift the curse that has plagued the Snow Queen mask.




How are the load times?


NM: They are definitely shorter than in the original version. In fact I think Shoji Meguro, the Director and Composer, specifically when he was recomposing the soundtrack said he tried to keep the music a certain time to keep the load times short.


YN: The battle sequences are already sped up from the original PS1 version, but I think there is a skip function as well to make them go even faster.


NM: You can choose to turn off the Persona summoning animations.


What’s going on with Growlanser?


YN: It’s doing very well in Japan right now. Over here, we really don’t have any plans at this moment.


The second part of the interview focuses on Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor. It escapes from lockdown on Monday.

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  • Nekobo

    Nice interview. Hopefully if this sells well they’ll port Innocent Sin and Eternal Punishment, too.

  • Anon

    Sounds good.

    Though, I want Growlanser so much it hurts. Please Atlus.

    • Philemon

      I wouldn’t worry about Growlanser too much ;)

      • B.K.

        You should worry about Growlanser. Atlus has shown that they don’t care much about the series.

        • QBasic

          For good reason. D:

          • MadMirko

            Very good reason. :|

      • Claves

        Why shouldn’t anyone worry about it? :o

    • Ereek

      Indeed. Reading about Persona PSP is interesting, but the whole “No plans for Growlanser” bit ruined my enthusiasm for the interview.

  • Volcynika

    I needs me some Devil Survivor action stat!


    (Good stuff about Persona PSP though)

  • Looks pretty interesting.
    I’m curious about Shoji Meguro’s job re-composing the soundtrack, I’m not a big fan of what he’s done in the latest Persona games, but let’s see how everything turns out in this one.

    • QBasic

      I can tell you…it won’t be changing your current mindset in the least.

  • I’m really looking forward to this… but, I’d really like Growlanser too. I bought Generations recently, but I’m reluctant to start on number two even if the stories aren’t directly related. :P

    • Fonic

      They are though. Grow2 is a direct sequel to Grow1. Lots of returning playable characters and such. Grow3 on the other hand is much less related though it does make reference to the first two.

  • ShadowYuri

    I’m very disappointed in you, Atlus! (about Growlanser, btw)

    Nice interview though.

  • lostinblue

    Since they asked for growlanser in a persona interview I wish they had asked for persona 5 (wii please), the possibility of smt wii, the possibility of atlus ports for other platforms (persona 3/4 on the wii with 480p and 16:9 in order to build up hype for a persona 5 wii? yes please), atlus lacking inhouse wii support and if they’re gonna address it and stuff. that said, not that persona 5 wii will happen, sadly Atlus appears to only want to do quick cash-ins with low budget “let’s play doctor” games on the wii; which sucks.

    As for this… I’ll buy it, but most of all I want the prices of the original psone version to drop

    • geosaferi

      Do you import games? Not to say I’m not a fan of the Wii, but I’d much rather have high profile games go to a system where I can import easily on such as the PS3, rather than the Wii which requires you to jump through hoops.

      • lostinblue

        I do, all the time (last week I imported Arc Rise Fantasia). It’s quite easy to play imports on the Wii actually.

        Also, Atlus is not a company with budget for HD games, neither can they compete with graphics and so they shouldn’t. Plus, do we want OMG FINAL FANTASY GRAPHICS or do we want HOLY SHIT PERSONA 4 TOOK 17 MONTHS TO DEVELOP? I’ll take the later, any day; solid tech that doesn’t push boundaries leading to relatively short development times and cost efective development just the same. hell yeah. (shame Atlus seems to have gone stupid lately and strayed from their original strategy)

        They should instead keep their PS2 development pipeline and move on to the Wii instead of going bollocks. The point of the ease of importing (which on the wii can be made without hardmodding, unlike ps2), is like saying that if the Xbox 1 was region free last gen that Atlus should have released Persona and their games there instead of PS2. PS2 was market leader, it’s where the money was.

        • Malek86

          I still say that right now, the money seems to be on PSP and DS (at least in Japan, I mean), and especially the PSP lately seems to be making a name for itself as a platform for RPGers. That’s probably where they should be heading to. I think they could easily adapt their PS2 assets for PSP development: similar architecture, after all. So the jump shouldn’t be traumatic, and would allow them to keep making games without delay. As for the DS, well, development on DS doesn’t cost much, and brings high returns.

          And they are both naturally region free, which is always a plus for gamers.

          • lostinblue

            you’re right regarding DS (specially DS, you know… Wii sells more software on a weekly basis than PSP), but I bet a raidou plushie as they aren’t going there with Persona 5 or SMT4.

            When it comes to home platforms only the Wii is viable in japan (and PS2 is still viable compared to PS3/X360), with PS3 surviving just barely once in a while… and X360 not existing. Of course there’s FFXIII, but Wii has DQX and lower development resources. (read: Atlus has nothing to win from HD development)

            Anyway those two platforms (PSP/DS) could be logic choices to some extent, just as the Wii, and arguably all of them deserve the support with proper entries for the series, the others though… it’s just stupid and some match in heaven made by someone with money to burn.

    • You know Atlus USA can’t answer questions like that about Persona 5 or anything that their parent company in Japan would announce first right?

      • lostinblue

        I know, but they could be fed feedback and perhaps clarify their strategy on the platform a bit; because I’m sure they know more regarding those questions than we do. Plus, if they had some big plans for the platform, which they don’t they’d at least have a glimmer in their eyes when talking about it or be able to hint at something. Thing is… there’s nothing, zero, niltch.

        Of course I wasn’t expecting any announcement of any kind though… even because I’m pretty sure they have nothing AAA (Persona/SMT) in development for it that isn’t spin-off with some gameplay no one asked for (on-rails sindrome or similar ridiculous approach), and low budget by their own standards. In short… low budget pet projects to make money quick to invest elsewhere…. Like the Trauma Team game is. Meanwhile their real workforce is elsewhere… ignoring the platform.

        I for one am not pleased with the support I’m smelling from them (as a developer, not a publisher), hence why I wanted a clarification from them. Do they plan to support it, or no? and Trauma Center 3 doesn’t count as support in my book. hence why I, as a Wii owner wanted to know from their mouth if I should even care.

        • You’re kinda lucky Atlus is even supporting the system at all.
          The N64 mostly just had Snowboard Kids and one RPG (Orge 64)
          The Gamecube only had cubivore (a Nintendo project) and Go Go Hypergrind.

          I’m sure there will be more Wii games from them though. Just dunno here, it’s like to blame them for something they aren’t known for here or something.

  • Malek86

    I’d really like to know where Atlus is going with the SMT series. For a while now, they seem to be focusing on Persona and Devil Summoner. Don’t they have any other projects in mind?

    Well, but Devil Survivor is kind of an oddball, I guess. How did it sell in Japan?

    • Ereek

      VGChartz says .13m, but I have a hard time trusting their numbers.

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