I have been a big Persona fan for a very long time. The stories and characters involved, along with a deep and customizable upgrade and battle system, had me hooked. Persona 4 is one of my favorite RPGs to ever be released, and luckily, the story of the Midnight Channel Investigation Team is not over just yet. They, along with Persona 3’s Specialized Extracurricular Execution Squad (the cast of Persona 3), get transported to an alternate reality, and must find a way out.
At the very beginning, players choose which side they want to be with. The team players choose will determine who they will be interacting with. So, going with the Persona 3 team, players will interact with Junpei, Mitsuru and the others, while choosing the Persona 4 team will have Yukiko, Chie and even Teddie in their party.
Price I’d Pay: $49.99
For those who have played an Etrian Odyssey game before, they will be in familiar territory. Much like that dungeon crawler, players will move their party through a series of maze-like areas in a first person mode. Battles occur when moving a certain number of spaces, with a counter showing when the next battle may occur.
Mapping out my tour.
The bottom screen of the 3DS houses the map of the dungeon and current floor. Just like the Etrian Odyssey games, players can create their own maps with multiple tools at their disposal. Shortcuts and other points of interest can be placed on the map for future reference. Exploring the entirety of a floor will allow the player to open a large chest with special gear and items, so exploring will result in rewards.
Battles take place in a first person mode as well, with emphasis on the formation of the party – keeping striking characters in the front row while having ranged and heavy magic users in the back row. Utilizing the Persona’s battle system a bit, players can exploit an enemy’s weakness to do extra damage, as well as knock them down. Knocking down multiple enemies can result in an All-Out Attack that will damage all the enemies in the battle. Replacing the “One More” ability is the “Boost” ability. Now, hitting an enemy’s weakness will boost the attacking character, and allowing them to use a special attack without using SP or sacrificing HP the next turn.
Persona fusion dance.
Every party member can equip Sub-Personas that can boost stats and offer up new abilities to use in combat. Each will level up along with the character and can learn even more abilities. Players looking for more than what they have can go to the Velvet Room to fuse and combine Sub-Personas to create new and more powerful ones. Just like the original games, it is addicting.
When outside of the labyrinth, players can interact with their party members, turn in found items to craft new weapons and armor, and fully heal the party. It can get expensive, so grinding for levels as well as money and materials can help out.
Along with the features of the Etrian Odyssey games comes along the difficulty of them as well. The game is no cake walk by any means, but there were a few times I died and had to reload a checkpoint that may have been an hour ago. It can become frustrating at times, but it is best to play it safe. Trust me.
The voice talent is all back from the past games, and it needs to be said how well done it all is. Persona games have always had a great knack for well written dialog and line delivery, and Persona Q is no exception. The story is full of mystery, the characters are all fleshed out and I found it to be very enjoyable.
Anyone who has played a Persona game before has fallen in love with the music, even if they didn’t want to. I can safely say I still hear the battle theme from Persona Q as I’m writing this. The great thing is, it all changed depending on the cast I chose to play as. It’s small things like this that make it feel like more than just a spinoff game.
3DS owners looking for a new RPG to dig into will find a fantastic one here. Persona fans shouldn’t think twice about picking this up. It truly feels like a sequel to Persona 3 and Persona 4. The production value and game play are really well done, and very enjoyable. It may be slightly difficult, but it is still a fun ride, and seeing all my favorite characters from P3 and P4 together again was a great reunion. RPG fans will have a great time with Persona Q. It really feels like a new game, and not just some quick cash in game. I highly recommend it.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.