|Developer(s)||Atlus, Arc System Works, CAVE, Lancarse, Multimedia Intelligence Transfer, Nex Entertainment, Sega|
|Creator(s)|| Kouji Okada |
|Platform(s)||Android, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, Game Gear, iOS, Microsoft Windows, MSX, NES, Nintendo DS, Nintendo 3DS, PC Engine, PlayStation, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation Vita, Sega CD, Sega Saturn, SNES, Virtual Boy, Wii, Wii U, Nintendo Switch, Xbox, Xbox 360|
|First release|| Digital Devil Story: Megami Tensei |
September 11, 1987
|Latest release|| Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth |
November 29, 2018
Megami Tensei,marketed internationally as Shin Megami Tensei (formerly Revelations), is a Japanese media franchise created by Kouji "Cozy" Okada, Kazuma Kaneko, Ginichiro Suzuki, and Kazunari Suzuki. Primarily developed by Atlus and currently owned by Sega, the franchise consists of multiple subseries and covers multiple role-playing genres including tactical role-playing, action role-playing, and massively multiplayer online role-playing. The first two titles in the series were published by Bandai Namco (then Namco), but have been almost always published by Atlus in Japan and North America since the release of Shin Megami Tensei . For Europe, Atlus publishes the games through third-party companies.
A media franchise, also known as multimedia franchise, is a collection of related media in which several derivative works have been produced from an original creative work of fiction, such as a film, a work of literature, a television program or a video game. The intellectual property from the work can be licensed to other parties or partners for further derivative works and commercial exploitation across a range of media and by a variety of industries for merchandising purposes.
Kouji "Cozy" Okada is a Japanese video game producer and director. Beginning his career in the early 1980s with stints at Universal Technos and Tecmo, Okada went on to become one of the founders of Atlus in 1986, as well as co-creating the Megami Tensei and Persona series of role-playing games. After leaving Atlus in 2003, Okada formed the studio Gaia, which he led until its dissolution in 2010.
Kazuma Kaneko is a video game artist and game designer for Atlus. While working for the same company, he has also done freelance work for Capcom and Konami, designing Dante and Vergil's Devil Trigger forms in Devil May Cry 3, along with the Inhert and Lloyd designs in Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner. He is best known for his work in the Megami Tensei series of video games.
The series was originally based on Digital Devil Story, a science fiction novel series by Aya Nishitani. The series takes its name from the first book's subtitle. Most Megami Tensei titles are stand-alone entries with their own stories and characters. Recurring elements include plot themes, a story shaped by the player's choices, and the ability to fight using and often recruit creatures (demons, Personas) to aid the player in battle. Elements of philosophy, religion, occultism, cyberpunk, and science fiction have all been incorporated into the series at different times.
While not maintaining as high a profile as series such as Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest , it is highly popular in Japan and maintains a strong following in the west, finding critical and commercial success. The series has become well known for its artistic direction, challenging gameplay, and music, but raised controversy over its mature content, dark themes, and use of Christian religious imagery. Additional media includes manga adaptations, anime films, and television series.
Final Fantasy is a Japanese science fantasy media franchise created by Hironobu Sakaguchi, and developed and owned by Square Enix. The franchise centers on a series of fantasy and science fantasy role-playing video games (RPGs/JRPGs). The first game in the series was released in 1987, with 14 other main-numbered entries being released since then. The franchise has since branched into other video game genres such as tactical role-playing, action role-playing, massively multiplayer online role-playing, racing, third-person shooter, fighting, and rhythm, as well as branching into other media, including CGI films, anime, manga, and novels.
Dragon Quest, published as Dragon Warrior in North America until 2005, is a series of Japanese role-playing video games created by Yuji Horii and his studio Armor Project. The games are published by Square Enix, with localized versions of later installments for the Nintendo DS and 3DS being published by Nintendo outside of Japan. With its first game published in 1986, there are eleven main-series games, along with numerous spin-off games. In addition, there have been numerous manga, anime and novels published under the franchise, with nearly every game in the main series having a related adaptation.
In Japan, some games in the series do not use the "Megami Tensei" title, such as the Persona sub-series. However, English localizations have used the "Shin Megami Tensei" moniker since the release of Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne in 2003, with the exception of more recent Persona games. Most of the early games in the series were not localized due to them being on Nintendo platforms, which had strict guidelines about religious subjects and topics in the west at the time.
Persona, also known as Shin Megami Tensei: Persona, is a video game franchise developed and primarily published by Atlus. Focusing around a series of role-playing video games, Persona is a spin-off from Atlus' Megami Tensei franchise, and was originally based on the high school setting of Shin Megami Tensei If.... The first entry in the series, Revelations: Persona, was released in 1996 for the PlayStation. There have since been five further main games, with the most recent, Persona 5, being released in 2016. Numerous spin-offs have also been developed. The series takes its title from beings summoned by characters in battle, manifesting from their psychological persona.
Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne is a post-apocalyptic role-playing video game for the PlayStation 2. It was developed by Atlus, published by Atlus in Japan and North America, and by Ghostlight in Europe. It is the third entry in the Shin Megami Tensei series, the central series in the Megami Tensei franchise. Multiple versions of the game have been published: the original version was published in Japan by Atlus in 2003, while a director's cut was released in 2004 in Japan. The director's cut was localized and released in North America and Europe in 2004 and 2005 respectively.
The first installment in the franchise, Digital Devil Story: Megami Tensei , was released on September 11, 1987.The following entries have nearly always been unrelated to each other except in carrying over thematic and gameplay elements. The Megami Tensei games, and the later Shin Megami Tensei titles form the core of the series, while other subseries such as Persona and Devil Summoner are spin-offs marketed as part of the franchise. There are also stand-alone spin-off titles.
Digital Devil Story: Megami Tensei refers to two distinct role-playing video games based on a trilogy of science fantasy novels by Japanese author Aya Nishitani. One version was developed by Atlus and published by Namco in 1987 for the Famicom—Atlus would go on to create further games in the Megami Tensei franchise. A separate version for personal computers was co-developed by Atlus and Telenet Japan and published by Telenet Japan during the same year. An enhanced port for the Super Famicom by Opera House was released in 1995.
Megami Tensei/Shin Megami Tensei
Two entries have been released for the Famicom: Digital Devil Story: Megami Tensei in 1987, and Digital Devil Story: Megami Tensei II in 1990.The two titles are unrelated to each other in terms of story, and each introduced the basic gameplay and story mechanics that would come to define the series. Two entries were released for the Super Famicom: Shin Megami Tensei in 1992, and Shin Megami Tensei II in 1994.
The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) is an 8-bit third-generation home video game console produced, released and marketed by Nintendo. It is a remodeled export version of the company's Family Computer (FC) platform in Japan, commonly known as the Famicom, which was launched on July 15, 1983. The NES was launched in the test markets of New York City and Los Angeles in 1985, with a full launch in the rest of North America and parts of Europe in 1986, followed by Australia and other European countries in 1987. Brazil saw only unlicensed clones until the official local release in 1993. In South Korea, it was packaged as the Hyundai Comboy and distributed by Hyundai Electronics which is now SK Hynix; the Comboy was released in 1989.
Digital Devil Story: Megami Tensei II is a role-playing video game developed by Atlus and published by Namco for the Famicom. An enhanced Super Famicom port was developed by Opera House and released by Atlus in 1995. The second entry in the Megami Tensei series, the gameplay features the unnamed protagonist exploring a post-apocalyptic wasteland, battling and recruiting demons as they are pushed into taking part in a conflict between the demonic forces of Lucifer and the army of the One True God.
The Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), also known as the Super NES or Super Nintendo, is a 16-bit home video game console developed by Nintendo that was released in 1990 in Japan and South Korea, 1991 in North America, 1992 in Europe and Australasia (Oceania), and 1993 in South America. In Japan, the system is called the Super Famicom (SFC). In South Korea, it is known as the Super Comboy and was distributed by Hyundai Electronics. The system was released in Brazil on August 30, 1993, by Playtronic. Although each version is essentially the same, several forms of regional lockout prevent the different versions from being compatible with one another.
After a nine-year gap, Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne was released in 2003 for the PlayStation 2. Its Maniax Edition director's cut was released in Japan and North America in 2004, and in Europe in 2005. The numeral was dropped for its North American release, and its title changed to Shin Megami Tensei: Lucifer's Call in Europe.The next entry, Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey , was released for the Nintendo DS in 2009 in Japan and 2010 in North America. Shin Megami Tensei IV for the Nintendo 3DS was released in 2013 in Japan and North America, and a year later in Europe as a digital-only release. Another game set in the same universe, Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse , was released for the 3DS in February 2016 in Japan. Shin Megami Tensei V is in development for the Nintendo Switch.
The PlayStation 2 is a home video game console developed and marketed by Sony Computer Entertainment. It was first released in Japan on March 4, 2000, in North America on October 26, 2000, and in Europe and Australia in November 2000, and is the successor to the PlayStation, as well as the second video game console in the PlayStation brand. As a sixth-generation console, the PS2 competed with Sega's Dreamcast, Nintendo's GameCube, and Microsoft's Xbox.
Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey is a role-playing video game developed by Atlus and Lancarse for the Nintendo DS. The game is the fourth entry in the Shin Megami Tensei series, which forms the core of the Megami Tensei franchise. It was released in Japan in 2009, and in North America in 2010. An enhanced port for the Nintendo 3DS, Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey Redux, was released in Japan in 2017, and was released internationally in 2018 by Atlus in North America and Deep Silver in Europe.
The Nintendo DS, or simply DS, is a dual-screen handheld game console developed and released by Nintendo. The device released globally across 2004 and 2005. The DS, an acronym for "Developers' System" or "Dual Screen", introduced distinctive new features to handheld gaming: two LCD screens working in tandem, a built-in microphone, and support for wireless connectivity. Both screens are encompassed within a clamshell design similar to the Game Boy Advance SP. The Nintendo DS also features the ability for multiple DS consoles to directly interact with each other over Wi-Fi within a short range without the need to connect to an existing wireless network. Alternatively, they could interact online using the now-defunct Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection service. Its main competitor was Sony's PlayStation Portable during the seventh generation of video game consoles.
In addition to the main series, three Shin Megami Tensei spin-off games exist. The first is Shin Megami Tensei If... , released in the same year and on the same system as Shin Megami Tensei II.The second, Shin Megami Tensei: Nine , was released for the Xbox in 2002. Originally designed as a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), it was later split into a dual single-player and multiplayer package, and the single-player version released first. The online version was delayed and eventually cancelled as the developers could not manage the required online capacities using Xbox Live. A true MMORPG, Shin Megami Tensei: Imagine , was released for Microsoft Windows in 2007 in Japan, 2008 in North America, and 2009 in Europe. Western service was terminated in 2014 when Marvelous USA, the game's then-handlers, shut down their PC Online game department. Its Japanese service ended in May 2016.
Persona is the largest and most popular spin-off from the Megami Tensei series.The first entry in the series, Megami Ibunroku Persona (originally released overseas as Revelations: Persona ), was released in 1996 in Japan and North America. The first Persona 2 title, Innocent Sin , was released in 1999 in Japan. The second game, Eternal Punishment , was released in 2000 in Japan and North America. Persona 3 was released in 2006 in Japan, 2007 in North America, and 2008 in Europe. Its sequel, Persona 4 , was released in 2008 in Japan and North America, and in 2009 in Europe. A sixth entry in the series, Persona 5 , was released in Japan on September 15, 2016, and was released in North America and Europe on April 4, 2017, to critical acclaims. In addition to the main Persona games are spin-offs, so far focused on Persona 3 and 4: the canon spin-off Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth , two fighting games Persona 4 Arena and its sequel Arena Ultimax as well as the crossover fighting game BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle , and rhythm game Persona 4: Dancing All Night . While Persona 3 and 4 used the Shin Megami Tensei moniker, it was dropped for the Persona 4 Arena duology and Persona 4 Golden as it would have made the titles too long to be practical.
Aside from Persona, there are other spin-off series covering multiple genres. After the release of Shin Megami Tensei II, Atlus began focusing work on building spin-offs and subseries that would form part of the Megami Tensei franchise.The Devil Summoner subseries began in 1995 with the release of Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner . It was followed by Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers in 1997, and two prequels set in 1920s Tokyo and revolving around demon summoner Raidou Kuzunoha: Raidou Kuzunoha vs. The Soulless Army and Raidou Kuzunoha vs. King Abaddon .
Shortly after Nocturne's release, a duology titled Digital Devil Saga (Digital Devil Saga: Avatar Tuner in Japan) was created based around similar systems to Nocturne, and was also intended as a more accessible gaming experience. Two tactical role-playing games have been developed by Atlus for the DS under the Devil Survivor moniker: the original Devil Survivor and Devil Survivor 2 . Both have received expanded ports for the 3DS. Other subseries include Last Bible , a series aimed at a younger audience and using a pure fantasy setting; Devil Children , which was inspired by the popular Pokémon series; and Majin Tensei , a series of strategy games. Two notable stand-alone spin-offs are action spin-off Jack Bros. ; and Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE , a crossover with Intelligent Systems' Fire Emblem series. Also, in the Atlus fighting game Groove on Fight , a devil summoner summons demons which are the same ones that have appeared in the Shin Megami Tensei series.
Several titles in the franchise have received anime and manga adaptations: Persona 3 received both a four-part theatrical adaptation ( #1 Spring of Birth , #2 Midsummer Knight's Dream , #3 Falling Down , #4 Winter of Rebirth ),and a spin-off series titled Persona: Trinity Soul . Persona 4 received two adaptations: Persona 4: The Animation , based on the original game, and Persona 4: The Golden Animation, based on its expanded PlayStation Vita port. A live-action television series based on the original Devil Summoner was broadcast between 1997 and 1998. Devil Survivor 2 also received an anime adaptation of the same name, while the Devil Children series received two anime adaptations. Multiple Shin Megami Tensei and Persona titles have received manga and CD drama adaptations. Action figures and merchandise related to Persona have also been produced.
Despite most games in the series taking place in different continuities, they do share certain elements. One of its defining traits is it being set in a contemporary urban environment, specifically modern-day Tokyo. Post-apocalyptic elements are a recurring feature in settings and narratives.This choice was originally made to set the game apart from other fantasy-based gaming franchises of the time, as modern day Tokyo was rarely seen in games as opposed to versions of it from the past. The Persona series takes place exclusively within this setting, spanning a single continuity and mostly focusing on the exploits of a group of young people.
Shin Megami Tensei II is one of the notable early exceptions to the series' common setting, as it is set in a science fiction-styled future despite still including fantasy elements.The Last Bible series also shifted to a full fantasy setting. Two more recent notable departures were Strange Journey, which shifted the focus to Antarctica to portray the threat on a global scale, and Shin Megami Tensei IV, which included a medieval-stage society existing separately from a modern-day Tokyo. The Devil Summoner games take the form of modern-day detective stories as opposed to post-apocalyptic settings.
The series title translates as "Rebirth of the Goddess": this has carried over into the current Shin Megami Tensei series, which has been officially translated as "True Goddess Metempsychosis". The word "Metempsychosis" refers to the cycle of reincarnation that ties into many Megami Tensei stories. The reborn goddess of the title has multiple meanings: it refers to a female character in each game that could be interpreted as the goddess, and is also representative of the drastic changes a location undergoes during a game.The concept of reincarnation was also included in narratives and gameplay mechanics to tie in with these themes. The series' overarching title has been truncated to "MegaTen" by series fans. Originating in Japan, the abbreviation has become a common term for the series among its fans.
The gameplay in the series has become notable for its high difficulty, along with several mechanics that have endured between games.A key element present since the first Megami Tensei is the ability to recruit demons to fight alongside the player in battle, alongside the ability to fuse two different demons together to create a more powerful demon. Equivalents to these systems appear in the later Persona titles. The game's most recognizable battle system is the Press Turn system, first introduced in Nocturne. The Press Turn System is a turn-based battle mechanic governing both the player party and enemies, where either party are rewarded an extra turn for striking an enemy's weakness. A Moon Phase System or equivalent, in which phases of the moon or changes in the weather affected the behavior of enemies, is also featured in multiple games.
The layout of the first two Megami Tensei games were noticeably different from later games: Megami Tensei used a 3D first-person perspective, while Megami Tensei II used a combination of first-person 3D displays for battle and top-down 2D displays for navigation. The change was suggested by staff members who did not want players getting lost in a large 3D environment. 's battles along with navigable 3D environments.The 2D/first person viewpoint continued until Nocturne, which switched to a third-person perspective. This was done due to a condition similar to car sickness called "3D sickness" with first person shooters in Japan at the time: the developers wanted something for players to focus on. A first-person perspective was reintroduced in Strange Journey, and incorporated into IV
Each title focuses on the extraordinary invading the ordinary world, though the two main Megami Tensei series focus on different things: Shin Megami Tensei focuses more on the main protagonist gaining the power needed to survive in a world ruled over by tyrannical deities, while Persona focuses on interpersonal relationships and the psychology of a group of people.That protagonist is generally male within the Shin Megami Tensei titles: while a female lead or the ability to choose a lead's gender is not out of the question, some staff feel that Shin Megami Tensei lead roles are better suited to a male character. Throughout its lifetime, the series has incorporated elements of Gnosticism, various world mythologies and religions including Christianity and Buddhism, early science fiction, Jungian psychology and archetypes, occultism, punk, and cyberpunk. The science fiction and fantasy elements are brought together and unified through the use of philosophical concepts, enabling a blending of concepts and aesthetics that might normally clash.
The stories of the core Shin Megami Tensei titles frequently include fighting against a tyrannical God.The method of story-telling in the series can involve traditional use of cutscenes and spoken dialogue (Persona, Digital Devil Saga), or a text-based minimalist approach that places emphasis on atmosphere (Nocturne). A tradition within the core Shin Megami Tensei series is to focus on a single playable character as opposed to a group. Alongside other recurring characters is Lucifer, the fallen angel who stands against God and is portrayed in multiple forms to represent his omnipotence. Since Megami Tensei II, the series has used a morality-based decision system, where the player's actions affect the outcome of the story. In Megami Tensei II, the alignments were first defined as "Law" (the forces of God) and "Chaos" (the army of Lucifer). In future games, an additional "Neutral" route was included where the player could reject both sides. Selected games have been thematically or otherwise linked to a particular alignment. Shin Megami Tensei II, due to events prior to the story, focuses on the "Law" alignment. For Nocturne, all the characters were roughly aligned with "Chaos", which was done both to bring variety to the series and allow the development team more creative freedom. Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse is restricted to a "Neutral" alignment while still having multiple endings. The three-tiered alignment was used in Strange Journey, and continued into Shin Megami Tensei IV.
The Megami Tensei series began life as a media expansion of the Digital Devil Story series, a set of science-fantasy novels written by Aya Nishitani during the 1980s. (女神転生, lit. "Reincarnation of the Goddess"), provided the title for the original game, while the game's story was based on both the first book and the third book Tensei no Shuuen(転生の終焉, lit. "Demise of the Reincarnation"). The game was developed at Atlus and published by Bandai Namco (then Namco). Although they wanted to incorporate as much of the original story as possible, the limited capabilities of the Famicom made this goal nearly impossible. The game proved popular in Japan, and effectively launched the Megami Tensei franchise, with its more ambitious direct sequel following in 1990. During the development of Shin Megami Tensei, which was driven by the concept of a Super Famicom game with the company's brand on it, the team slowly decided that they wanted to break the then-current gaming status quo using its aesthetic and content. Despite this attitude, the staff considered Shin Megami Tensei to be a remake of Megami Tensei II. In many of these earlier games, staff members at Atlus had cameos.The series' creators were Kouji Okada (credited as Cozy Okada in English), Ginichiro Suzuki, and Ginichiro's son Kazunari. The first book in the Digital Devil Story series, Megami Tensei
The majority of the Megami Tensei series is developed by Atlus' R&D Department 1.Other developers have been involved with the series: these include Multimedia Intelligence Transfer (Last Bible series), Lancarse (Strange Journey), CAVE (Imagine) and Nex Entertainment (Nine), and Arc System Works (Persona 4 Arena). Most of the games up to 2003 were handled by Okada, but when he departed to form his own company Gaia, Kazuma Kaneko became the series' creative director. There are two main writers in the franchise: Shogo Isogai and Ryutaro Ito. Ito first worked on Megami Tensei II, joining the team after development to write the script, along with working with the script and being part of the debug team. Isogai's first work for the series was the script for Shin Megami Tensei II. The next entry If... was also written by Ito, and designed as a departure from the grand scale of previous games, instead being set within a cloistered school environment. His final work for the series was the first Devil Summoner. Isogai also worked on Shin Megami Tensei II and If..., and later worked on multiple Devil Summoner games, Nocturne and Strange Journey. The music for the first five main Megami Tensei titles was composed by Tsukasa Masuko. For Nocturne, Shoji Meguro, who had done work on earlier spin-off titles, was brought in. He later became well known for his work on the Persona titles.
The Shin Megami Tensei and Persona art styles have been defined by two different artists: Kazuma Kaneko and Shigenori Soejima.Kaneko had a long history with the series, having done some work on the original Megami Tensei titles. His first prominent work for the series was on Shin Megami Tensei, who worked on both the sprite art and promotional artwork for the game's characters and demons. He was also responsible for suggesting many of the game's darker features, defining the series' eventual identity. Before designing each demon, Kaneko looks up his chosen subject to get their mythological background, and uses that in their design. Many of Kaneko's demon designs were influenced by both creatures and deities from world mythology, and monsters from popular culture like Godzilla. Alongside working on Shin Megami Tensei II, If... and Nocturne, he also did character designs for the first three Persona games. Kaneko's style has been described as "cold [and] stoic", evolving into that state over time to keep the artwork as close as possible to the in-game render. He states that he mainly does line drawings for the artwork. He starts his artwork with pencil, and then scans them onto a computer so other artists can work on them digitally.
Soejima's first work for the series was as part of the digital coloring team for the first Devil Summoner. He later had minor roles in artwork and character design in the first Persona and Soul Hackers. He later did the secondary characters for the Persona 2 duology, and was also part of the team checking over the PlayStation ports of the first three Shin Megami Tensei games, as well as minor work on Nocturne.Soejima was chosen as the lead designer for Persona 3 by Kaneko, as Kaneko wanted the younger staff members to gain experience. Persona 3 proved challenging for Soejima as he needed to refine his drawing style and take the expectations of series fans into account. He would go on to design for Persona 3 FES and Portable, Persona 4, and Persona 5. Soejima's drawing style is recognized as being lighter-toned than Kaneko's work on the Shin Megami Tensei games.
Other designers have also worked on the series. For Nine, the developers wanted to have a new style to suit the game's original vision, so the characters were designed by animator Yasuomi Umetsu.Another designer for the series is Masayuki Doi, who had made a name for himself with the Trauma Center series; and designed the main characters for Shin Megami Tensei IV . Inspired in his work by Kaneko's designs, he created the main characters' clothing to be a blend of Japanese and western fashions while incorporating design elements from the Star Wars series. For the Devil Survivor games, Atlus were aiming to appeal to a wider audience and reinvigorate the Megami Tensei franchise, hiring Suzuhito Yasuda as character designer for this purpose. Some monsters in the second Devil Survivor were designed by manga artist Mohiro Kitoh.
For a long time, the Megami Tensei franchise was not exported to western territories despite there being a recognized market. The original reasons were the heavy religious themes and symbols used, which were considered taboo in western game markets, and Nintendo's strict content guidelines for overseas releases.Later, many of these early works were prevented from coming overseas due to their age, which would have put them at a disadvantage in the modern gaming market. Early entries on the PlayStation were also blocked by Sony of America's then-current approval policies. The first title in the franchise to be localized was Jack Bros.; the first role-playing game in the franchise to receive an overseas release was the first Persona game. This was done to give Atlus' North American branch a flagship RPG franchise that could compete with the likes of Final Fantasy , Suikoden and Breath of Fire . According to Okada, the naming of creatures and enemies was adjusted from the main series and original Japanese release of Persona to make it more acceptable for an overseas audience. Though it managed to establish the franchise overseas, the localization was a taxing task due to a small staff and the need to change multiple aspects to suit a North American audience, including removing references to Japanese culture and changing one character from Japanese to African-American. The first Persona 2 title, Innocent Sin, needed to be passed over due to shortage of manpower and the fact that development was focused on the second title, Eternal Punishment.
Nocturne was the first release in the Shin Megami Tensei series to be released overseas.After the release of Nocturne, Atlus' overseas branches decided to add the Shin Megami Tensei moniker to future releases within the Megami Tensei franchise to help market the games. Despite many of the original games not bearing the moniker, it ultimately worked in Atlus' favor as, regardless of title differences, the games chosen for localization were all part of the larger Megami Tensei franchise, and using the core Shin Megami Tensei moniker kept all the titles under a single banner. Before this decision was made, the series was given the localized title Revelations, used for the first Persona and the first Last Bible. Later, changes to titles were made to make them less unwieldy, such as with Raidou Kuzunoha vs. The Soulless Army. Called Raidō Kuzunoha vs. The Super-Powered Army in Japan, the title was altered as it sounded "goofy" in English. By the time Strange Journey was in development, the franchise had a strong presence overseas, so the team created Strange Journey with localization in mind: the two aspects actively linked with this were the game's setting in Antarctica as opposed to modern-day Japan, and the fact that it was not given a numeral. Starting with Shin Megami Tensei IV, the company decided to actively promote the franchise overseas to North America, Europe and mainland Asia. After 2016, due to Atlus USA's merger with Sega of America, Sega took over North American publishing duties, although the Atlus brand remained intact.
In general, Atlus publishes Megami Tensei games in Japan and North America, but as they lack a European branch, they publish titles in the region through third-party companies such as Ghostlight and NIS America.Their latest partnership, after their deal with NIS America ended with the publication of Odin Sphere Leifthrasir , was with European publishing firm Deep Silver to publish multiple titles in the region, including Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse and Persona 5. Atlus has occasionally published titles digitally in Europe.
Prior to its popularity in the west, the game was a major franchise in Japan, having sold over four million copies by 2003. million copies, bringing total franchise numbers to 21.7 million (including DL of free-to-play titles ) units.By October 2018, the Megami Tensei main series has shifted approximately 12.4 million packaged and digital copies (including DL of free-to-play titles ) of games worldwide. In addition, the Persona sub-series has sold 9.3
Japanese website 4Gamer.net referred to the series as one of Japan's biggest role-playing franchises. 's Matt Coleman mentioned Nocturne in the article "A History of Console RPGs", referring to its content as "challenging stuff for a genre that used to be all about princess saving and evil cleansing".UGO Networks writer K. Thor Jensen cited the first Megami Tensei game as the first successful use of cyberpunk aesthetics in video games, saying that the series' mix of science fiction elements and the occult "create a truly unique fictional cyberpunk world". Nintendo Power has noted that Atlus always mixes "familiar gameplay" with surprising settings when creating games for the series, citing Persona, with its "modern-day horror stories" and "teams of Japanese high-school kids", as the perfect example. The editor also added that Strange Journey followed a similar system, calling it a "science-fiction makeover" of the series. In an article about the interaction of Japanese and Western gaming culture, 1UP.com mentioned the Shin Megami Tensei subseries alongside Nippon Ichi Software's Disgaea series. Kurt Kalata wrote: "[They] may not be big sellers, but they've garnered underground success and attracted thousands of obsessed fans." GameSpot writer Andrew Vestal referred to the series as the third biggest RPG series in Japan after Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest . IGN
Digital Devil Story: Megami Tensei II and Shin Megami Tensei both appeared on Famitsu 's 2006 "Top 100 Favorite Games of All Time" audience poll at No. 58 and No. 59, respectively. RPGFan's "Top 20 RPGs of the Past Decade" list was topped by the two Digital Devil Saga games, followed by Persona 3 in second place, while Persona 4 ranked fourth place. Kalata, writing for Gamasutra, referred to Nocturne as one of the 20 essential RPGs for players of the genre. GameTrailers cited the Press Turn system as one of the best JRPG battle systems in existence, with particular reference to the version used in Shin Megami Tensei IV.
Alongside its critical acclaim, the series has garnered controversy both in Japan and overseas. 's boy-on-boy kissing's got nothing on this PS2 role-player's suicide-initiated battles or subplot involving student-teacher dating." GamesRadar included the series on its list of "Controversies Waiting to Happen", saying that the lack of public outcry was due to its niche status when compared to other series with similar content. Writing for 1UP.com in a later article, Kalata traced this use of controversial content back to the Digital Devil Story novels, which depicted violence and rape committed by demons, and said that "Such violence is not particularly rare in the land of Japanese animation, but it became even more disturbing in [Megami Tensei II]".Amongst the material cited are its demon negotiation mechanic, depictions of suicide and cannibalism, religious criticism, its use and mixture of Christian and occult imagery, political references, depictions of homosexuality, and its sometimes-strange demon designs. Specific examples have been cited by western journalists. The original release of Persona caused concern due to the title's religious implications. 1UP.com's 2007 game awards, which ran in the March 2008 issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly , Persona 3 was given the "Most controversial game that created no controversy" award: the writers said "Rockstar's Hot Coffee sex scandal and Bully
Revelations: Persona is a role-playing video game developed and published by Atlus. It is the first entry in the Persona series, itself a subseries of the Megami Tensei franchise, and the first role-playing entry in the series to be released in the west. Originally released for the PlayStation in 1996 in Japan and North America, the title was ported to Microsoft Windows in 1999. A port to the PlayStation Portable retitled Shin Megami Tensei: Persona was released in North America and Japan in 2009, and the following year in Europe. This port featured new cutscenes and a reworked English localization that was more faithful to the original Japanese version. The PS1 version was also released on the PlayStation Classic in 2018, this is also the first official release that Europe has of the PS1 version since its release back in 1996.
Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga is a duology of role-playing video games developed by Atlus for the PlayStation 2. They are a spin-off of the Megami Tensei series. The first Digital Devil Saga was released in Japan in 2004, North America in 2005, and Europe in 2006. Its direct sequel, Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga 2, released in 2005 in Japan and North America, and 2007 in Europe. The games were published in Europe by Ghostlight and in other regions by Atlus and its North American subsidiary Atlus USA.
Shin Megami Tensei If... is a Japanese role-playing video game developed and published by Atlus in 1994 for the Super Famicom. It is a spin-off from the Shin Megami Tensei series, itself part of the larger Megami Tensei franchise. Since release, it has been ported to mobile devices, the PlayStation and Microsoft Windows, and re-released digitally through Nintendo's Virtual Console service. The story follows a student of Karukozaka High School after their school is sucked into the realm of demons by a vengeful student's demon summoning spell going wrong.
Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers is a role-playing video game developed by Atlus. Forming part of the Megami Tensei series, Soul Hackers is the second game in the Devil Summoner subseries. Originally published by Atlus for the Sega Saturn in 1997, it was later ported to the PlayStation in 1999, and Nintendo 3DS in 2012.
Persona 3 is a role-playing video game developed by Atlus, and chronologically the fourth installment in the Persona series, a subseries of the Megami Tensei franchise. Persona 3 was originally published in 2006 on the PlayStation 2 by Atlus in Japan; the North American release of the game was delayed until 2007 due to issues with the publication of the official art book. Persona 3 FES, a director's cut version containing a new playable epilogue among other changes, was released in Japan in 2007 and worldwide the following year.
Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner is a role-playing video game developed and published by Atlus. Forming part of the Megami Tensei series, it is the first title in the Devil Summoner subseries. It was first released for the Sega Saturn in December 1995, and received a port to the PlayStation Portable in December 2005. Despite reports of it being planned for localization, neither version has been released outside Japan.
Persona 2: Innocent Sin is a Japanese role-playing video game developed and released by Atlus for the PlayStation in 1999. It is the second entry in the Persona series, itself a subseries of the Megami Tensei franchise, and acts as a sequel to the original Persona. The game was re-released in 2011 for the PlayStation Portable. The original version was not localized for western territories; however, the PSP version was released in North America and Europe under the title Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 2 - Innocent Sin.
Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Children, also known as DemiKids, is a series of role-playing video games primarily developed by Multimedia Intelligence Transfer and published by Atlus. It is a spin-off from Atlus' Megami Tensei franchise, and began in 2000 with the Game Boy Color games Black Book and Red Book. Five more role-playing games and three games in other genres were released until 2004, followed by no new releases until the 2011 social game Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Children. In addition to the games, the series has been adapted into manga, anime, and a trading card game, and two soundtrack albums have been released by First Smile Entertainment.
Shin Megami Tensei: Imagine, formerly known as Megami Tensei Online: Imagine, was a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) for Microsoft Windows personal computers. It is part of the Megami Tensei series, and was developed by CAVE under license from the series creator Atlus. Originally released in Japan in 2007, it was later released in North America in 2008, then in Europe in 2009. Imagine is set between Shin Megami Tensei and its sequel, in the aftermath of a war which devastated humanity and prompted the arrival of hostile demons split into two opposing factions: Law and Chaos. The player character, a Demon Buster, is tasked with interacting with and fighting the demons that infest post-apocalyptic Tokyo. The gameplay uses real-time combat in open environments similar to other MMORPGs, while carrying over the Megami Tensei series' recurring demon recruitment and fusion mechanics.
Shin Megami Tensei: Nine is a Japanese role-playing video game developed by Atlus and NexTech for the Xbox, and published by Atlus on December 5, 2002.
Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor is a tactical role-playing video game in the Megami Tensei series developed by Atlus for the Nintendo DS. It was released in Japan on January 15, 2009, and in North America on June 23, 2009. An enhanced port for the Nintendo 3DS, Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked, was also developed by Atlus and released in 2011 for Japan and North America while in 2013 for Europe.
Atlus U.S.A., Inc. is the US publishing branch of Japanese video game company Atlus, primarily known for localizing titles for both them and other third-party developers. Its first original role-playing title was Revelations: Persona on the PlayStation, described by staff as an attempt to break into the Western role-playing game market and establish the company's Megami Tensei franchise through its Persona sub-series.
Shin Megami Tensei V is a role-playing video game in development by Atlus for the Nintendo Switch. It is part of the Shin Megami Tensei series, itself a part of the larger Megami Tensei franchise.