Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne
Shin Megami Tensei (SMT for short)
Megami Tensei (called Megaten for short in Japan) is one of the biggest console RPG series in Japan, second in popularity only to Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy. “Megami Tensei” literally means “Goddess Reincarnation,” and derives its name from the first game in the series, “Digital Devil Story: Megami Tensei”, which was based on the book of the same name by Nishitani Aya. (Aside from that first game, none of the MT/SMT games have anything to do with reincarnations of goddesses) The series is generally set in modern-day Japan, and is an “occult” themed RPG. The “occult” in Japan as it’s called is a subculture movement really into world mythology, ghost stories, alternative religions, and the like—slightly different than the connotations to that word most well-known in the West. The SMT games are more or less tailored to this subculture in their plethora of mythology references. There are no fewer than 8 Megami Tensei games, and substantially more if you count remakes or spin-off series like Last Bible and Persona. While extremely popular in Japan, the Megami Tensei games never came out in the West, partially because of their (generally) mediocre graphics, but more likely because of their subject matter—in addition to the occult undertones, the series was likely to offend a lot of Westerners’ religious sensibilities; the primary arch-villian throughout the canonical series has been YHVH, the Judeo-Christian god—whenever he appears in-game he is always portrayed as being a petty and sadistic despot, and his nemesis Lucifer usually is portrayed as a noble resistance fighter. Also the Megami Tensei titles are VERY “Japanese” and would probably seem somewhat foreign to most Western game players.