Lately I've been interested in Persona video game series, since Persona 5 Royal got released. I decided to write some articles about the series in general and this article is about how I first encountered in Persona games.
Persona 2 Innocent Sin Characters
The first Shin Megami Tensei (the parent franchise) wasn't a Persona game. It was the first title of another sub-series: Devil Survivor for the Nintendo DS. I liked Devil Survivor's story, and even though the battles were hard and unforgiving I enjoyed the game tactical battle system. What I liked the most however, is how monsters from myth were brought into a modern day Tokyo. The main characters used COMP, a special device that summons the monsters, but they didn't know its origin and why it could do so.
Even before I played Devil Survivor, I heard about a game called P3P, I didn't know anything about it despite how it frequently got in the TOP 10 list of a magazine I used to read which had 2-4 pages about video-gaming every week. It's not until years later that I learned why Persona 3 Portable was regarded this highly by that magazine.
So, the first Persona game I played was Persona 1. I used to play games on emulators very often as a teenager. Persona 1 was one of the latest games I got to try for PS1 and I didn't get too far in the game, playing it just for an hour or two.
"I dreamt I was a butterfly..."
I didn't play Persona 1 enough to form a judgment on it. It lacked any quality of life improvements of the later games in the franchise and I heard the story only gets good 30 hours in! The opening however stuck with me for a while: "I dreamt I was a butterfly." To be fair it was a quote not a statement original to the game, but you can't get any more philosophical than to start your game with that.
Persona 2: Innocent Sin
P2 Protagonists: Innocent Sin (left) & Eternal Punishment (right.)
So, my brother's friend from the college had a modded PSP and he gave us some of his games to play on emulator. It was the first time I encountered some franchises like Fate/Extra. While the best game of those was DanganRonpa, I believe Persona 3 Portable and Persona 2 Innocent Sin were the second and third best respectively.
I played around 15 hours of Innocent Sin and got attached to the characters, (Maya for life!) I stopped playing after getting stuck at one area, then life happened and couldn't get back to it.
I loved the characters and ideas of Persona 2 way more than the game itself, I thought the enemy encounter rate was a nightmare, and I easily lost my way in the dungeons. The game is as unforgiving as Persona 1. I guess ATLUS were doing a great job at creating hard to beat RPGs.
The main plot idea is: "Rumors magically come true." It's an amazing idea~ I wish more games/stories use it as a plot element.
Persona 2 is a game I really want to go back to, especially since I only played the first game in this sub-series Innocent Sin. I haven't even touched the sequel Persona 2: Eternal Punishment, which I believe is equally good if not better.
After Persona 2...
I got both Persona 2 and Persona 3 Portable at the same time when my brother's college friend gave us a collection of PSP games. I didn't play Persona 3 until I decided to stop playing Persona 2 for reasons mentioned above.
I have a lot to say Persona series from P3 to P5R, so I'll make this a two-part article. Stay tuned for more about Persona as I have a bunch of articles planned for the franchise!
So, what do you think?
Are you interested in the franchise? Have you played a Persona or any of the Shin Megami Tensei game? What were your opinions on it? If you enjoyed reading this tell me so, I'm patiently waiting for your comments!