I haven’t yet gotten past Ikebukuro in the HD Remaster of Nocturne (I stopped after beating Daisoujou), so this’ll be a general overview of initial impressions until I beat more playthroughs. First the Cons, then the Pros.
Cons: The most annoying aspect about the HD Remaster is the weird black flicker after I open a treasure chest containing an item. It seems to have stopped once I got to Ikebukuro (so far) but it still was a noticeable drawback. I hope it doesn’t continue to happen. This was the biggest problem thus far. I checked both my PC and PS4 versions and they happened within both, so it wasn’t a case of a bad download, my hardware, or my Monitor. It’s barely perceptible, but still noticeable enough.
There was a strange moment where when I loaded up a save at the Ginza Underpass and went directly to the Item shop, the item shop’s music didn’t start-up. I decided to exit the shop and then re-entered; the issue seemed to be fixed by doing that. It was a one-off event so far.
The first event of meeting Thor in Ikebukuro ends-up seeming a bit goofy with the voice acting, the voice acted line of Isamu’s is still spoken after Thor hits Isamu and the hammer slamming into his body and subsequent Magatsuhi absorption scene is noticeably softer in noise than the PS2 version. Likewise, the lip flaps aren’t really synced with the voice work, but it’s . . . decent for the most part.
The Pros: The voice acting is amazingly done in this game and in the majority of cases, the syncing with the lips doesn’t really matter as the information is still being conveyed fine with the character models matching the tone and spoken lines of each scene.
The HD graphics are beautiful and I love the little details like the Magatsuhi flow in the Amala Network and Amala Labyrinth. It’s something I had always sorely wanted to see and I love that we can finally see it in all its splendor. I know its HD graphics of a PS2 era game, but I’m really loving the graphical upgrades touch-ups and finer details in a lot of the areas. Even formerly small spaces like the pathway to Gozu-Tennoh’s chambers has bigger space so we can see it fully. Demi-fiend’s model, the different areas, and Raidou in HD are just a pleasurable eyegasm all around. Love that we can Kaneko’s unique artstyle shine in this way, especially because it is Nocturne.
The graphical changes on the demons and even some of their effects in battle a mostly good so far. I’m loving the little details like Raiju’s movements in the air looking like an electricity zip when he’s stationary over his PS2 version. These little details really do help a lot.
I love the fact it was a redone script to be a much more faithful adaption of the original Japanese script. I could tell the differences immediately and I mostly welcome them. Some of the nuances of Nietzsche’s themes become more evident in the beginning and the uncensored language regarding the Menorahs actually being voice acted to be called Menorahs was surprising to me, but a very welcome change. I’ve heard they’ve even added the actual Christian Kabbalah prayer in the Baphomet side quest scene where Mara is summoned, but I’ve yet to see it for myself. It was a mostly unexpected pleasurable surprise. I didn’t know it would be a more faithful adaption until a few days prior. I’m very happy with the script changes thus far.