Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance Review – A Masterful Rewrite

    A brilliant Megaten title that hones and perfects SMT V in nearly every way.

    Nearly three and a half years after Shin Megami Tensei V graced the Nintendo Switch, Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance arrives as the Apocalypse-style game that many have hoped for. However, Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance is so much more than that, as it’s a game that greatly builds on top of SMT V and rights the wrongs of the original game in many ways. This game manages to subvert expectations with its storyline, and the breadth of content makes it one of the most comprehensive Megaten experiences to date.  

    From the moment I saw the opening movie, I knew Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance was going to be quite different. The Canon of Vengeance story starts off very similarly to the original story (Canon of Creation). Players become a student at Jouin High School in Tokyo, stumble into the Netherworld (Da’at), and fuse with the Proto-fiend Aogami to become a demigod known as the Nahobino. It doesn’t take much exploration in the first open-world area, Minato, to see the twists that the story takes. 

    Yoko Hiromine, a skilled mage from St Marina Girls’ High School, joins Nahobino and his schoolmate, Yuzuru Atsuta, when one of the monsters enlisted by the vengeful Qadištu appear. This chance encounter and the decision players made near the beginning of the game sets the stage of the Canon of Vengeance, an alternate timeline that runs parallel to the original.

    Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance Greatly Expands SMT V’s World and Characters

    Despite Shin Megami Tensei V’s excellent combat, fans were left wanting more in 2021, especially with the story and content offerings like subquests. ATLUS delivers in spades in Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance, with many new subquests, returning demons from past Megaten games, brand-new demons, expanded and new areas, even more incredible music tracks, and additional skills and features. Moreover, Da’at feels more like a cohesive world this time around, thanks to the amount of demons that Nahobino can interact with.

    The sense of wonder that Megaten games bring with their unique, apocalyptic, and mystical environments is back in Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance. The new Shinjuku area is a shiny example, and it’s massive, to say the least. The scope of Shinjuku is far bigger than that of other areas, so players can expect to spend many hours venturing through its many sectors. Fortunately, the new Magatsu Rail system streamlines backtracking into areas in search of Miman, relics, demons, and treasure chests. Nahobino can zip from one Magatsu Rail point to another, and doing so can help players reach many of the new areas.

    One of the biggest upsides of Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance is its emphasis on character development. Players do not only have human party members throughout most of the story, but Nahobino interacts with these characters very frequently in Canon of Vengeance, raising their overall importance in the story. It’s clear that the game’s narrative was a key aspect that ATLUS wanted to hone and ensure was well written, and I believe that effort paid off immensely in an intriguing and surprising storyline that gives weight to each character and their choices. 

    Press Turn – Perfected and Strengthened

    The franchise’s signature Press Turn System is better than ever, thanks to adjustments and a whole host of new abilities, including several new Magatsuhi skills. As a result, Normal difficulty feels easier this time around, but players are still free to choose Hard difficulty for a challenge. Of course, Normal still presents a challenge with certain boss fights, but those wanting to play the story and fuse demons as they come will enjoy this difficulty.

    With more than 270 demons in the game, there’s a wider range of demons to use in a multitude of party compositions, and the Essences they carry can also give Nahobino a greater pool of skills to choose from. Nahobino can utilize many of these brand-new skills by using new Aogami Essences, along with some from a few select sources further into the Canon of Vengeance playthrough. A SMT protagonist’s arsenal has never felt better, as all the new options greatly affect combat in a positive and fulfilling way.

    The level cap increase to 150 and Nahobino’s new form build on top of the power fantasy, allowing Nahobino to become stronger than previously possible. Further, several new Miracles are available, giving Nahobino even more leverage in combat. These Miracles include an increase in Magatsuhi gained in combat, the ability to an increased chance in gaining the first turn in a field encounter, and yielding greater success in demon negotiations.

    Plethora of Features

    Thanks to the new features and improvements, including the save anywhere feature, I greatly enjoyed taking my time exploring Da’at, seeking out new demons, and searching for items and subquests. The average playtime for Canon of Vengeance is 80 hours, but I well exceeded this and made it to over 120 hours due to the sheer amount of content and features.

    The world of Da’at feels more alive, so the new Sky View feature definitely came in handy when trying to figure out where some of the demons I want to recruit are. This feature was also helpful in trying to see where specific items lie in Shinjuku since this is an all-new area. The helpful Estoma skill, which can be obtained as a Miracle, ensured I wasn’t ambushed while on my adventure, too. 

    One of the most intriguing features added to Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance is controllable demons, which are limited to subquests found throughout the game. These subquests allow players to control a demon, talk to other demons, and reach a certain objective. The rewards are usually really great, too, ranging from Glory to a new demon companion. 

    Another new feature is the Demon Haunt, acting as a sort of rest area for Nahobino and his companions, both demon and human. This feature is one of the most impactful, as it allows Nahobino to grow closer with his demons, resulting in stat boosts and helpful items. Occasionally, a new event with Aogami or a subquest may appear, so Demon Haunts are definitely worth visiting. 

    Nintendo Switch Performance

    Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance’s multiplatform release was much needed, giving players (and myself) the smooth 60 FPS performance we enjoy. The Nintendo Switch release is still limited to 30 FPS, but I still found this version enjoyable due to its clean and clear visuals and portability. 

    Issues that affected the original SMT V are still present in the Switch version, however. This includes long load times upon loading up a save file or using the leyline founts to go to a different region of Da’at. There are some occasional stuttering and hitches, and I also found that some dialogue may take a few seconds before it actually shows up in the dialogue box as well.  

    Despite the Switch version’s flaws, I still had a great time playing the game because these issues didn’t affect my playthrough often. The game’s performance is typically steady in combat and exploration, but ATLUS should still release patches to address the lingering performance issues. 

    Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance Delivers and Caters to Longtime Megaten Fans

    By the very end of my playthrough, I realized that Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance is not only the definitive version of SMT V, but it is a second chance. This RPG is a rewrite of SMT V that beautifully creates one of the best Megaten entries in the franchise. The latest SMT title meets and exceeds the standards of SMT entries before it by telling a compelling new story, offering dozens of hours of new content, and improving the franchise’s combat system to its best iteration yet. 

    Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance 'An Ideal World' Trailer

    All the new features of Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance greatly improve the quality of life, making it an even more enjoyable game than its predecessor. It’s clear that Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance is a labor of love from the SMT development team at ATLUS because every single hour of the Canon of Vengeance showed that the team listened to all the feedback that players have had in the past few years. Megaten is truly back!

    Disclaimer: ATLUS provided a Nintendo Switch copy of Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance to Final Weapon for review purposes.


    Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance is a near-perfect version of Shin Megami Tensei V with a brand-new storyline and nearly a hundred hours' worth of new content. The Canon of Vengeance story corrects many of SMT V's faults while making the game's world feel even more intriguing and unique. All of the new features compound together to make an even more fulfilling game, making this the definitive version of SMT V.
    Soul Kiwami
    Soul Kiwami
    Raul Ochoa, a.k.a. Soul Kiwami, is the Managing Editor of Final Weapon and a Games Writer at Game Rant with four years of writing and editing experience. Raul is passionate about the Japanese gaming industry, and he's a huge fan of Nintendo Switch, PC hardware, JRPGs, and fighting games. business email: [email protected] | Muck Rack:

    Latest articles

    Latest Articles

    Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance is a near-perfect version of Shin Megami Tensei V with a brand-new storyline and nearly a hundred hours' worth of new content. The Canon of Vengeance story corrects many of SMT V's faults while making the game's world feel even more intriguing and unique. All of the new features compound together to make an even more fulfilling game, making this the definitive version of SMT V.Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance Review - A Masterful Rewrite