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Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance Review – Worth Revisiting Again

Shin Megami Tensei V was a significant benchmark for the franchise, moving beyond its handheld roots. The game felt ambitious, incorporating familiar elements and mechanics from the Shin Megami Tensei series while successfully transitioning to a modern setting. It was enjoyable at launch, but there was always some disappointment regarding its performance on the Nintendo Switch hardware. The game seemed restricted by the hardware, preventing the visuals from being fully realized.

I was thrilled when Atlus announced Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance for PC and consoles. Although it was promoted as an expanded version of the base game, the main appeal for me was the opportunity to play with improved performance on new hardware. I was particularly excited to see how it would perform on a handheld device like the Steam Deck OLED. After spending considerable time with the game, it feels like the best iteration of the Shin Megami Tensei series to date, featuring a new story path, additional content, quality-of-life improvements, and enhanced performance.

One of the first changes that returning players will notice is the new opening, which is crucial as it introduces the new story path. Depending on the choice made here, players will either follow the original story path (Canon of Creation) or the new one (Canon of Vengeance). I chose Canon of Vengeance, having already experienced the base game. This new path revisits many scenarios from the original but also introduces new elements such as boss battles and characters. For those who played the original game when it was released in 2021, this serves as a nice refresher while offering new content to explore.

The main character in Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance is a high school teenager who discovers the power of the “Nahobino” and becomes involved in a war between two realms. This storyline is familiar to fans of the franchise, centering on the fate of the world hanging in the balance. While the story initially follows the same path as the original game, significant changes are introduced after the midpoint, including new characters like Yoko Hiromine. Set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland with a grim, dark tone, the new Vengeance story path adds a new threat into the mix with the group known as Qadistu.

Though the story offers more depth this time, the locations remain largely unchanged until the end, resulting in a sense of repetition for those who have played the original story path. However, the new boss fights, increased enemy variety, and the introduction of a new party member are welcome additions that expand the world of Shin Megami Tensei V with additional context. After spending over 50 hours to reach the new ending, I found the experience highly satisfying. While the original story path is still worth exploring, playing through the game twice might be too much for some players. Starting with Vengeance by default is perfectly fine.

The combat system continues to focus on gathering demons to build a strong party, with guest characters joining the party at specific points in the story. These guest characters, however, lack customization options, making them less appealing compared to the player’s customized party and demons. Players have full control over their party and demons, allowing them to learn or forget skills as needed, but this level of control is not available for guest characters. Nonetheless, these guest characters serve as fan-service moments in the story and can lead to some epic encounters.

Shin Megami Tensei V was already a challenging game, and I found it even more difficult with the addition of Canon of Vengeance. The game demands a carefully curated party for boss battles, as engaging in fights without proper preparation can be perilous. Learning the weaknesses of enemies is crucial for navigating some of the toughest battles. Vengeance introduces new types of demons that can be acquired through the fusion system, which can make the late-game grind more manageable. This also encourages players to explore locations thoroughly, barter with demons to invite them to their party and emphasize their strongest skills.

The newly added region in Vengeance is difficult to traverse and, although it appears late in the game, it is packed with new types of side content. This region also expands the in-game lore, offering fresh challenges for fans who have already completed the original game. I enjoyed my time in this world, but I must admit that the difficulty felt somewhat unfair at times. Fortunately, I had a well-prepared party of demons to handle any challenges that came my way.

The developers have also expanded the lore with new mechanics like the Demon Haunt. This addition offers a unique twist by allowing players to interact with any demons in their party through a special hub. Players can gift items to demons and learn more about them in this new area. I found this to be a pleasant distraction from the main story. The writing and humor in this section of the game are always engaging, and tying these elements to the mechanic of improving bonds with demons provides a nice incentive to spend time in Demon Haunt.

Overall, Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance builds upon the base game with new content, improved performance, and deeper lore. While the difficulty can be daunting, the quality-of-life improvements and additions make it a worthwhile experience for both returning players and newcomers.

Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance Game Information

  • Price: $59.99
  • Publisher: Sega
  • Developer: Atlus
  • Platform: PC (Reviewed)
  • Disclaimer: A review code was given by the publisher


Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance expands the base game with new content, improved performance, and deeper lore. Despite the challenging difficulty, the added quality-of-life improvements make it a rewarding experience for both returning players and newcomers.

Total Rating

Ali Haider

Ali Haider loves to dabble in multimedia projects. He has a passion for editing and managing YouTube videos and loves writing in his spare time.

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