Shin Megami Tensei IV Programmer Fueled By The Thought Of Making The #1 3DS RPG

By Spencer . August 10, 2012 . 12:46pm

smt1aShin Megami Tensei: Nocturne programmer Satoshi Ooyama says people tell him Nocturne is the number one RPG for PlayStation 2.


Ooyama is now working on Shin Megami Tensei IV as the main programmer. While he’s developing the game he’s giving it his all hoping to get comments that Shin Megami Tensei IV is the number one RPG for Nintendo 3DS.


Ooyama also worked on Catherine and Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey. So, if you want to get him fired up tell him you like those games too.

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  • imaguni

    I want to stay somewhat objective and not get TOO hyped up but Nocturne is one of my favorite games ever…

  • SirRichard

    Given that the competition is basically only Bravely Default right now, they have a pretty good chance of doing that, I daresay.

    • Göran Isacson

      Well there IS Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance too, but that’s more of an action-rpg and I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that Nocturne told it’s story better than 3D did, so… yeah, you got a pretty solid point there.

      • SirRichard

        I had actually forgotten entirely about KH3D, that’s also a fair competitor. And I guess that Dragon Quest game, though DQ games aren’t exactly plot-heavy or anything. Still, the competition is few in number, they could do it.

        • DQ game? Do you mean DQM? I srsly hope we get that game. Stupid SE. >_>

        • Jack Oz

          DQV, DQVII, and DQVIII say hello. 

          • SirRichard

            Compared to other JRPGs? Not really, no. Not saying that they’re bad (DQVIII was one of the best things on the PS2), mind you, but not particularly plot heavy compared to, say, Final Fantasies from the same consoles.

          • Rogerrmark

            DQVII indeed has amazing character development,and I particulary like the story,although it’s simple. But the character development is one of the best,imo. So much dialogues.

            Just wished SQENIX or Nintendo translated Terry’s Wonderland for 3DS,but I don’t have too much hope,either :x

      • Jason Ryer

         its not as great as it should been. the flow motion system is weird the triple ds pull you from the game and you spend as much time with the nintendogs aspect of the game as you do actually grinding b- /c+ so far.

        • Göran Isacson

          I personally think that flowmotion works, if only because I never felt like it outright detracted from the gameplay. It gave you a way to quickly traverse the stages and meant you weren’t bound to first finding High Jump, then double-jump, then Glide then Superglide etc.

          I do agree on the “nintendogs” aspect though, because I never really saw the point of it. It felt like it was different for the sake of being different, a feature they added so that 3D would stand out from the other games, and overall it ended up being a timesink that never really felt validated in its existence for doing something truly gamechanging. I will concede that it had two points- I found some of the Dream Eaters so adorable that I could pet them for as long as it took for the game to arbitrarily(?) decide that they should receive new natures and commands, and I do like how they limited your buffs depending on what Dream Eater you took into battle. It made the game a little more challenging than Birth By Sleep where you eventually had every buff ever and could steam-roll everything in your path, but that’s mostly a plus to me because I’m a sucker for punishment. So yeah, I’m probably hand it a B myself.

      • LightZero

        Indeed although I mainly KH for the gameplay. And it delivers in spades. 

    • AuraGuyChris

      I hope that doesn’t imply BD is not a worthy competitor.

      • SirRichard

        Of course it doesn’t, BD’s looking great. It all depends on what SMT IV ends up like, given that we’ve seen most of BD’s basics by now.

  • SolidusSnake

    “Ooyama also worked on Catherine and Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey. So, if you want to get him fired up tell him you like those games too.”

    What’s his contact info? I’d love to tell him personally what I think of his work (Spoiler alert: it rules).

  • OneOkami

    It isn’t my #1 PS2 RPG, but Nocturne is, to this day, absolutely the #1 Shin Megami Tensei i’ve played (among both core and spinoff titles).

  • Kris

    At the moment, Atlus is competing against itself (Etrian Odyssey) in terms of great 3DS RPGs, right? 

    Well, I suppose there’s Fire Emblem as well, which I’ve heard is also great. Still, I hope they accomplish their goal!

    •  But i liked Nocturne  but Etrian Odyssey…. <.< I DON"T KNOW WHO TO CHOOSE!!! but yeah let's see if he's not talking the talk :3

    • Jason Ryer

       yes they are devil hackers and etrian are the only good games beyond brave and project x zone. kingdom hearts was blah and fire elbem dont know much on. not sure where to label ex troopers.

      • Both DH & Etrian look good. Brave looks amazing. PxZ not so much. I don’t understand your KH hate? It isn’t that terrible. And FE is amazing trust me. Play some of the others and you will understand it’s greatness. ExTroopers looks less like an RPG. More of an action.

  • personablaze

    There can never be a ture number 1 rpg for the ps2,People all have there number 1 ones(Mine is P3Fes),But as a SMT game Nocturne is great,I prefer DDS 1&2 over it though.

  • Blesmi

    Nocturne is, in my opinion, the best RPG. It excels at everything it does and gives you an experience that is hard to ever forget.

  • $30632660

    Nocturne number 1 rpg on PS2? Hahahahahahaha.

    I’m interested in hearing about who these “people” are.It sounds like people that work with him.

    • SolidusSnake

      Yeah I know, I don’t really buy that people think it’s *only* the best PS2 RPG. It’s obviously the best console RPG period.

      • Nemesis_Dawn

        No, the best console RPG is Suikoden II. But yeah, on the PS2, nothing is better than Nocturne.

        • PoweredByHentai

          I would argue against Suikoden 2 being the “best” console RPG largely because of how weapon upgrades factor into the game.

          Forgetting to upgrade your weapons just before you fight Luca Blight is a sure-fire way of getting a game over in the f-ing game.  This is considering that you have 3 party chances to take him down (first 2 are optional, final one must end in victory) plus a one-on-one duel where your damage output will be even more abysmal if you forgot to upgrade your goddamn weapons.

          That’s an f-ing gamebreaker situation right there.

          • Nemesis_Dawn

            To me, it speaks to how prepared you have to be for anything that may occur in the game. When playing a Suikoden title, upgrading your weapons has always been the highest priority for me. Of course, I played 2 after having already played 3, 4, and 5, so maybe I knew what to expect, strategy-wise, more than someone who had just come from Suikoden I. 

            But I actually really enjoyed that I had to make sure more than just a typical party was strong enough to fight. In games like Suikoden or even Chrono Cross, they can give you 108 characters, but most people will only use about 6 of them, at most. The fact that you actually HAVE to have more characters than you normally use strong is a positive to me, not a negative. A game being hard is not a bad thing. Nocturne is a pretty hard game too. That’s one of the things I liked about it.

          • PoweredByHentai

            I missed out on Suikoden 1 so my first play-through of Suikoden 2 was done completely blind without any idea of what to expect.  Of course, that made the duels incredibly frustrating because I had no idea what each bastard line was supposed to correlate to.  Back then, the internet was still on dial-up and accessing GameFaqs was a pain in the arse; even so, GameFaqs at that time wasn’t as complete as it is now.

            I know all about having to rotate characters and upgrading as many of them as possible as well, largely through painful trial-and-error.  Even if you have power-leveled your characters, your field army still sucks and a lot of those strategic combat turned out to be total BS.  How the F- does my cavalry of both Red and Blue knights get defeated by a no-name sword infantry unit?

            Hence why I really cannot say that Suikoden 2 was the “best” RPG of all time. I love the story but that game’s gameplay does NOT qualify it for “best”.

            Want to know which games qualify for “best” RPG of that period? Parasite Eve, Final Fantasy 6 and 7, Legend of Dragoon, Xenogears and Grandia. Want to know the name of SRPGs that qualify for “best”? Final Fantasy Tactics, Front Mission 1 and 3, and Fire Emblem Genealogy of War. I don’t appreciate it when games don’t bother to at least give a primer on how some aspects of its gameplay is supposed to work.

            Suikoden 2’s largest failure was basically not explaining to me why I can’t kill f-ing mage infantry with ANY f-ing unit including my f-ing hero unit or any other unit for that matter. You would think that something as important as having overall strategy and positional play in an SRPG would warrant a quick explanation on what beats what like the primer/quicknote that EVERY OTHER SRPG gives.

            One more thing, Nocturne is great not because it is a hard game, but because it is a pretty fair game. The game at least gave the players a heads up on its various mechanics.

          • Nemesis_Dawn

            The only game from your list that I’d say might be as good as Suikoden II in that list is Xenogears. Otherwise, they’re not bad games, but they don’t match how perfect everything in Suikoden II is. And I beat it without using Gamefaqs. It’s been a couple years, but I really can’t understand why you had so many problems beating it when I didn’t. As I said, maybe it’s because I had played all the other Suikodens by then, so all the strategies and duels were second nature, by then.

            I actually feel a bit bad for you, not having played the game with a Suikoden I save, because that enhances the story greatly.

    • Jack Oz

      *Raises hand*

      Even if you didn’t think so, nobody can say it wasn’t a great game. It had everything you could want from a challenging RPG.

    • Yikes!  I almost cut myself on how *edgy* this post is

  • Safros9

    Eh…. I wouldn’t even put it in my top 5. Some people saying it’s the number 1 rpg of PS2 means nothing, there will always be people who think that a certain RPG is the best. All games have their dedicated fans.
    And Bravely Default is going to give it some serious competition in the RPG department.

  • OscarV7

    Can’t really say he’s wrong. Nocturne – or “Lucifer’s Call” as it’s called in Europe – was my first SMT rpg, and it completely blew my mind. Before that I had mostly played Final Fantasy rpgs, and I’m not going to badmouth those as I enjoyed them and will continue to buy the core Final Fantasy titles in the future, but Nocturne was a whole different experience alltogether.

    I’m glad I bought the game on a whim, as due to this game which lead me to the other Atlus titles in this series (Digital Devil Saga, Persona!, Devil Survivor) has made the SMT series my favourite RPG franchise……ever.

  • DesmaX

    I still feel guilty for not playing Nocturne on the PS2…

    I hope they release it on PSN

    • Jason Ryer

       same here but with all the legal bs from dds it might be ps4 before that happens.

    • Solomon_Kano

      Same. I believe it’s being released on PSN in Europe, so hopefully Atlus will follow suit.

  • Ninten

    Well, if Shin MegaTen 4 can surpass Nocturne, then wow.

  • Dyne

    well aiming for number one RPG on the 3ds will not too hard for now but i hope he does make a game that will last the 3ds for some time to come.

  • Niyari

    Nocturne is my favorite PS2 RPG as well. >:)

    The excessive random encounters can be pretty tiring and unforgiving in some of the dungeons, but the atmosphere of the game is still unrivaled.

  • kylehyde

    Atlus wants the crown for the best RPG on 3DS and I really hope that they can achieve this. Nothing more satisfactory than an ambitious team.

  • Spirit Macardi

    This sounds interesting. The man has some lofty goals, but considering Atlus’ track record I won’t be the least bit surprised if he succeeds.

  • Just make it play and feel like all the other SMT games. Then this will be the #1 3DS RPG.

  • Atlus already has No.1 RPG on the vita,  they’re aiming for 3ds, c’mon release Persona 5 and you’ll have the top rpg on ps3 too

  • Nicolas Vasquez

    would it be too much if i tell the guy i love him?

  • Tales_of_Master

    NeED…THaT…TR#[email protected]…*THUD* If SMT IV and Soul Hacker get localized, my life will be complete. Hurry up Atlus.

  • Alexander Aubert

    considering atlus staff, and his history. shin megami tensei iv will be awsome

  • JazzWithAttitude

    I loved Catherine!I loved Strange Journey!I never plaiyed Nocturne!

    • kupomogli

      You’re doing yourself a major disservice for not playing Nocturne.  If you’ve never played Digital Devil Saga I’d recommend playing those as well.

      Those three games are easily the best in the SMT series.  Opinion only, but an opinion that is shared by many of the fanbase who didn’t start playing at Persona 3.  This might sound like elitism, but not trying to be.  Persona 3 is a good game, so if it’s good and its your first, they might feel more of an attachment to that game if they were to play a game like Nocturne afterwards, a game which isn’t character driven like the Persona games are.

      • JazzWithAttitude

        i Only playied P3,P4 this year, my PS2 is broken so i got one from my friend
        I am crazy to play nocturne but the son of a bitch take the PS2 before i had the chance :))

  • I wish Motomu Toriyama was this fired up.

  • Ooyama!

  • Budgiecat

    Please make a SMT for PS3 using Catherine level graphics

    • Hello. You look like you’re new here. Please read our posting guidelines before you post any further:

      • Budgiecat

        thanks. How long have you been here?

        • Psst. He’s the mod. And he’s also one of the people who write the articles here.

    • SteveThompson1

      Yea, comments like these are only going to fuel fanboi wars, which nobody wants. I’m sure persona 5 will be ps3/4 so I say let the 3ds have smt 4.

      • Budgiecat

        Well I was just reading the part that said “if you want to get him fired up” ; so I think that if he made a PS3 game that would be greatly appreciated and so if he’s reading this that might fire him up imo. I dunno….nothing wrong with having another SMT on PS3 besides 3DS

  • SteveThompson1

    The more SMT I get the better. Really is one of the best AAA jrpgs out there. 

  • klkAlexar

    It’s good to see them so hyped that they are going a bit delusional. I do like Nocturne, but I wouldn’t call it #1, unless they are talking about just Atlus games. Anyway, wasn’t P3/P4 more popular? Going by the popularity votes, I would say one of those is #1 instead of Nocturne. 

    • LightZero

      Nocturne is a bit more respected by the more core fanbase. Those who actually like other megaten titles besides P3/P4. P3/P4 appeal more to casuals. 

      • At least he said it was considered as #1 by other people (mostly, Japanese, I guess). Still, I prefer Digital Devil Saga and Persona 3 when it comes to PS2 SMT games. I have yet to try out 2 Devil Summoners games on PS2.

    • Setsu Oh

       delusional is a bit harsh: aim for the sky reach the tree tops

  • TruSpindash

    I love Catherine and Strange Journey, and I am also enjoying the copy of Nocturne that I just picked up. Needless to say I have high expectations for this game.    

    • z_merquise

      I’ll be out-on-topic for this one but your avatar, that’s Gwendolyn of Odin Sphere, right? Do you have the full image of that artwork?

      • TruSpindash

        Yes it is, Here you go.

  • kupomogli

    He wants to make the number one 3DS RPG?  For how long, because anything remotely good is going to be better than anything that’s out right now.

    If it’s SMT3 quality in story, graphics, and overall gameplay, it’s safe to say it’ll be the best and if it happens not to stay the best, then it’ll be one of the best.

  • LightZero

    I like hearing developers being motivated to make the best possible game. It makes me looking forward to seeing their labor. Nocturne were great. I hope SMT4 is in third person too although I would like to see a more story like in SJ instead of a more minimalistic style of Nocturne. Either way I look forward to SMT4. 

    • Setsu Oh

      i just hope they dont go and put persona on 3ds too. this game would have bumped up the psv sales…..well…

  • Christopher Nunes

    I love Catherine and Nocturne! ^_^
    Never played Strange Journey before though.

    However I look forward to SMT4! It’s going to be great!

    • Setsu Oh

       i actually really enjoyed double cast and some others, it is too bad i ‘m really not feeling it for the whole puzzle game in catherine. from what i saw and heard it seems unnecessarily difficult

      • Christopher Nunes

        It’s tough, but it is really fun! ^_^
        I feel a sense of accomplishment when I beat the puzzles, especially the Babel ones.

  • Juuu

    I like this guy’s passion. I’m glad to see he’s not shaken by the stigma that’s been tossed around by some outlets of “RPGs aren’t good on handhelds” or “SMT is meant for consoles.” He’s still passionate about the project and wants to make it the absolute best, and that is a GREAT goal to have. I’ll be interested in seeing the results! :D Considering Catherine exceeded my expectations in every way, I think I’ve got a lot to anticipate. c:

    • Setsu Oh

       i dunno for nocturne but dds, thats an handheld product to me. so dissappointing in char dev and story.

  • I also love the boner devil in Nocturne and of course Catherine.

  • SetzerGabbiani

    Speaking of Nocturne and DDS 1 & 2….the prices have been cut from 29.99 to 19.99 on Amazon and Gamestop.  No real reason to not pick up those amazing games if you have the funds and a still functioning PS2.

  • Domii

    Although I briefly played Nocturne, there are still vastly superior RPGs on the ps2 imo. DQ8, Persona 3, and well the one in my avatar come to mind. 

    • Crok425

       If you didn’t finished it don’t post an opinion… finish it first, post later.

      • $30632660

        You missed the point, if the game wasn’t enjoyable in the brief time Domii played Nocturne, it wouldn’t be enjoyable throughout the rest of the game.

        And there are other great rpgs on the PS2 that deserve the title, specifically Dragon Quest 8.

  • This man isn’t just great, he is a genius.

  • keithmaxx

    It’s nice hearing this from the main developer; we can only look forward to this with excitement and hope that it comes out to surprise us all pleasantly.

  • Rogerrmark

    I hope it turns out to be better than Nocturne or SJ,or at least on the same level. SJ was better in most aspects compared to Nocturne,imo, but I confess that I particulary don’t like first person dungeon crawler exploration too much…they could make an option to change this,like they did on Nocturne,where you could alternate between  first and third person,after beating it…although this feature could include the battles too(on Nocturne,it was just while explorating,if I remember) and be unlocked since the beginning.

  • Looking forward to it, guess ill go get a 3ds then

  • Juan Manuel M. Suárez

    If it makes it to the West, wouldn’t it be the #1 3DS RPG by default? Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think there’re any RPGs for the system in the West (granted I consider Zelda to be an action / adventure game rather than an RPG)~.

    • Lightthrower

      You’re right, the only two notable RPGs are ports, so they don’t count (Tales of the Abyss and Devil Survivor). 

      • Ladius

        I wouldn’t say they don’t count, especially considering one market never had a chance to enjoy the first releases of both games. Tales of the Abyss is still an extremely competent game despite its age, too.

      • folkensabre

         ports or not, good games are good games. I also get the feeling everyone is forgetting that we’ll be getting Fire Emblem next year too.

    • Anime10121

       Kingdom Hearts says hi :)

      Oh and even if they are ports, Devil Survivor OC’d and Tales of the Abyss are both VERY good RPG’s, so hopefully SMT IV will be able to top any of those three, because that would mean its REALLY good :P

  • Ladius

    Nocturne surely was a good game, but I think a lot of jrpg players would question it being the “best on PS2”. Not that I have a candidate for that position, it’s simply a matter of having tons of good to great games created to convey wildly different offerings in terms of gameplay, story and art direction, without any single one being “the best”, aside from subjective tastes. Even in the Atlus fanbase many gamers prefer DDS1-2 to Nocturne, aside from the Persona 3-4 fanbase that often never even tried other Atlus PS2 jrpgs.

    Regarding 3DS, Fire Emblem Awakening seems fantastic, Tales of the Abyss is still a wonderful game (being a port doesn’t mean it isn’t one of the strongest jrpgs released on handhelds, not to mention Europe never enjoyed the PS2 edition) and Bravely Default looks promising, so it isn’t like that platform hasn’t its share of good jrpgs, aside from the differences between their subgenres.

    • Lightthrower

      The problem though is that yes there’s RPGs, but will they be translated? We’re not even getting Beyond the Labyrinth! We all remember the Xenoblade/Last Story debacle on the Wii… will NoA learn from their past mistakes?

      • Solomon_Kano

        Beyond the Labyrinth is out of NoA’s hands anyway. The deal with Xenoblade was that Nintendo was slacking on their own game, right now the only 3DS RPG they can do anything about is Fire Emblem.

  • Nocturne had such a good atmosphere in it, and it was actually challenging.
    not just buttonmashing. 

  • Jesse Thompson

    Guess I’ll throw my 2 yen in here as well.  Nocturne was an awesome game, I thoroughly enjoyed it, to include it’s difficulty level.  How many of us gave “Hard” a shot and died to the first enemy in the game in the first turn?  Player Miss, Enemy Crit, Crit, Game Over.  I lul’d pretty hard at that.  However, calling Nocturne the best…that’s a steep order to fill.

    The “best” will always differ from person to person, magazine to magazine.  I personally found DDS 1 to be a far more engaging story than Nocturne, though like I said, I very much enjoyed Nocturne.  Is Nocturne a must-own for any jrpg lover? Definitely.

    For me, best would on the “PS2” would probably be Valkyrie Profile 2 as my favorite game of ALL time was Valkyrie Profile.

    With all that said, I’m eagerly anticipating SMT IV and Persona 5.  And yes, I was into Persona before it was “cool”. :P

  • Jirin

    That’s a good goal.  I do consider Nocturne the #1 game on PS2.  And Catherine is top ten for PS3.

    Won’t happen without four character battles and press turn.

    • Dantis

       And third person! And Kaneko art!

  • Jack Oz

    Nocturne was most definitely the best game ever in all of human history. :)

  • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World

    While i can’t said that Nocturne is my favorite rpg on PS2, i can said it is probably one of the best rpg there.^_^ And it is nice to see a game developers that feel confident and strive for the best there.^_^

  • Swaggermuffin

    This is a cocktease. WHEN WILL WE GET INFORMATION ON SMT IV.

    dammit ooyama stop playing with my heart

  • Ferofax

    I definitely loved SJ. Maybe it’s a bit of a reach to say they’re the best on the platform, but I’d generally agree that they’re the best in their specific genres on the platform.

  • Reno Evangelista

    Best in some aspects.

    I think as a whole game, Persona 4 was actually the best RPG of the PS2. It had a lot of weak aspects, but because the whole was so much more than the sum of it’s parts it shined a lot brighter than Nocturne and Persona 3.

    Nocturne just didn’t tell an interesting enough story. This was the same issue with SJ. The gameplay is leaps ahead of P4, but it lacks the emotional gravity that grants more value and thus more memorability to the pushing of buttons.

  • Lucifer’s Call (Nocturne) & Persona 3 are widely
    considered by fans to be the best in the franchise so to beat them would be
    quite the feat, here’s hoping they do. About time that platform got a good game
    that’s not just a Nintendo remake.
    Chances are it won’t come over here in the UK though & since the 3DS is regain
    locked (great job Nintendo) I won’t even be able to Import it like I needed to
    do with Strange Journey.

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