Persona Q: A Persona Game In Name Only

By Ethan . November 24, 2014 . 1:01pm

What is it that made Persona 3 and Persona 4 so good?  Was it the social links that tied characterization to role-playing stats?  Was it the way the games incorporated the passage of time and schedule management to invest the player in the virtual worlds?  Was it that the games largely focused on normal people dealing with relatable problems?  Was it the seductive illusion of returning to high school to be the coolest person in the class that everybody likes?

 

The reason I found myself asking this question is that Persona Q may have the Persona brand and characters attached to it, but it does absolutely none of those things listed above.  There are a lot of reasons to like Persona 3 and Persona 4, and there are a lot of reasons to like Persona Q, but they aren’t the same reasons at all.

 

Not that Persona Q should necessarily be beholden to slavishly imitating the games it draws from, but at some point I feel like if you call a game Persona and put Persona 3 and 4 characters on the box then maybe the game inside ought to appeal to people who loved those games?  I worry that a lot of Persona fans might be in for a shock if they just pick this up off the shelf.  Persona Q is a first-person dungeon crawler that can be punishingly difficult both in combat and in terms of the trap laden dungeon layouts.

 

The gameplay loop basically looks like this:  Go to a dungeon to map it and fight enemies and if you’re lucky find the stairs to the next floor down.  Once your inventory is full of loot or your SP runs dry you teleport back to base.  At base you sell your loot, buy any new weapons/armor that become available, pay to heal up, fuse some new persona if your protagonist leveled up, and then go back into the dungeon.  It’s a formula as old as the genre itself.

 

There are optional conversations between characters that unlock at regular intervals through the game, but the key word there is optional.  Persona 3 and 4 were remarkable for taking those sorts of moments and tying them back into the rest of the game.  In Persona 4, when you go talk Kung-Fu movies with Chie, you might level up your Chariot social link and get access to an awe inspiringly powerful new Persona.  In Persona Q, if you talk with Chie about Kung Fu movies… that’s it.  Then it’s dungeon time again.

 

Changing the focus away from the narrative to a more mechanics-driven RPG might not be so alienating if the story that exists is good though.  Unfortunately that isn’t the case.  It’s the curse of the crossover that nothing much can happen since all the major character arcs are reserved for the original works that characters come from.  In Persona Q, this means that Yukiko’s struggle with defining herself independently of her family’s expectations is out, being oblivious and having giggle fits is in.  Teddie struggling with his humanity/identity is out, Teddie hitting on girls is in.  Junpei’s dichotomy between disliking the bad guys but relishing the opportunity to be a hero is out, Junpei being a gigantic doofus is in.

 

It’s like that all around.  The characters aren’t misrepresented exactly, the traits they have in this game are indeed drawn from the original works, but most of the interesting growth and nuance to them was lost in the transition to the crossover.  The game is set in an alternate dimension where time is slowed to a crawl, and that unfortunately reflects the storytelling overall.  The story didn’t even begin to grab my attention until almost 40 hours in.

 

Events do speed up some towards the end of the game so if you’re invested in the Persona extended universe Atlus has been developing with their radio dramas and fighting games and dancing games and whatever else, this does have some content for you.  But it’s all locked behind hours and hours of simplified versions of beloved characters getting up to hijinks that don’t build towards any big ideas and treacherous labyrinths that push back far more than dungeons in Persona ever did.

 

I realize that this reads pretty negatively, and I want to reinforce that I do like Persona Q quite a bit.  But would I recommend it to a Persona fan just because they’re a Persona fan? Ultimately no.  The character interactions are tertiary to the core experience and mostly insubstantial.  The social link and time management systems that set the original games apart are gone.  The dungeon and combat mechanics are so unlike the original games as to almost put this game in a separate genre entirely.

 

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a quality dungeon-crawler, this game is absolutely what you should be playing. It doesn’t even matter if you’ve played Persona, it’s so good I think the substance stands on its own without the crossover window dressing.  I wrote about the game from that perspective here.

 

Food for thought:

 

1. The conversation 37 hours into the game that finally began to pique my interest in the narrative.  It was between Yukari and Fuuka.  Talk about two characters I didn’t expect to be elevating any stories ever.

 

2. Technically if you wanted to you could crank the difficulty down to minimum and turn on auto mapping if you really just wanted to catch up with the Persona 3 and 4 characters without dealing with the Etrian Odyssey game underneath.  But I’m not sure that “and if you really don’t like the game you can make it so meaninglessly easy that you basically don’t need to worry about the mechanics at all” is sound grounds for a recommendation.

 

3. Despite the promise that you can roll with a party of your favorite characters from Persona 3 and 4, that isn’t really how it works.  A team of my 5 favorites would probably be Chie, Kanji, Shinjiro, Akihiko, and Junpei.  But those are all front line fighters and you need to have your protagonist (another front line fighter) in the party at all times.  So effectively my party was a silent protagonist, two of my favorites, and then two back line fighters who filled in my elemental and healing needs.

 

4. It’s a nice touch that whichever protagonist you choose at the beginning of the game remains a silent protagonist and voiced dialogue is only given to the other one.  This made it really easy to step back into playing as the blue haired Persona 3 protagonist and feel like I was playing as me from my old file all those years ago.


Read more stories about & & on Siliconera.

  • Jorge

    So excited for this! Can’t wait for Amazon to send my copy. And what has me even more excited is I’m getting the Persona themed 3DS!

  • Slickyslacker

    I like this level of insight and criticism.

    Persona Q is undeniably an Etrian Odyssey title wearing the clothing of its progenitor series – held together by sinews of Persona that have been passed down to it. A game with every accroument of a spinoff/crossover, that is practically incomparable to what it originates from.

    Gameplay is apparently one aspect aimed for the most retention of: namely, the acquiring and fusing of Personae, cohesion of character and Persona growth, down to battle elements such as the “Burst” system, which embodies the twists on traditional RPG combat that Atlus is recently striving for.

    As a whole experience, from what I’ve gathered on the game, and reading into what Ethan gathered from his review copy, Persona Q tries longingly to hold together the character-based story progression which defines mainline Persona, but falls short. Little meat of character development is brought to bear until Persona Q’s denoument, delivering the excitement of resolution. Waiting until the terminal hours of a game for outstanding enjoyment is disappointing, to say the least.

    Sure, I’ve had my Premium edition pre-ordered for a while, but Persona Q is definitely one title I’ll be backlogging. Mostly because of the fact that I’ve yet to play through any version of P3, and only own P3P.

    • HonoraryCMC

      Good choice in P3 title. If you have played P4 you will feel a lot more at home with P3P, it is the only P3 game where you have direct command over your entire party. The story elements however are displayed as a visual novel with no character models to give more weight to the scenes. I really did enjoy P3P though personally, but since I did play P4:G first, going back I didn’t like how Social Links with members of the opposite sex don’t give you a date option and just forces a relationship.

      • Slickyslacker

        Yeah, I’ve only played through P1 (huge letdown for me), and vanilla P4. My plan for P3 is to pick up FES for a male MC playthrough, then play through P3P as the female MC.

        Persona 4 is still a difficult beast to grapple with. As I’ve stated in earlier discussions here about the game: I seriously dislike murder mysteries, and the extra content in P4G simply isn’t enough to beckon me towards playing it.

        • 6810

          P2 is much better than P1. I too was disappointed by the first game. What annoys me about both is that seemingly arbitrary decisions early in the game severely affect development of a certain character, path to the “true end”.

          And with no New Game+ in P1 – no real incentive to go back (unless you’re a masochist and enjoyed the almost totally random “contact” system [I ended up printing off a cheat sheet for easy reference] and the clunky as hell combat system).

          I started at P3P and played vanilla P4 (PS2 classic). I love the latter two games. There are some fun retcon moments in P3P too when you play the female MC…

  • Tiredman

    You know, I felt the same way when they released persona 2, and the other shin megami games before persona 3. I felt somewhat betrayed by persona 3. It is a fun game, but it took away a lot of what I liked from other shin megami games, even persona 2. It added this social link system, which I kind of still don’t like. But the game grew on me as I got further in, though it wasn’t the social link system that did it. I liked the stories in there, but I would of rather of not had that system and just had those stories be side quests.

    • JeySigma

      It’s the whole time management/progress and social link building that made Persona 3 and 4 popular IMO. If persona 3 was like Persona 1 and 2, it wouldnt be special and I really doubt the Persona series would have been popular right now.
      I for one embrace the big change between P2 and P3

  • SetzerGabbiani

    The game is essentially taking Persona 3/4 and going back to the first-person roots of the series from which Etrian Odyssey is derived anyway. I know for a fact that I like Persona and EO, so I will be picking up my copy tomorrow. As long as the gameplay mechanics are solid, this is a winner in my book.

    Putting it another way, this is what Persona 3/4 might have been had they continued with the systems/layout of Persona 1 and 2. Not a bad thing for me personally…for the rest of the Persona community, well…

    • mckun

      Only makes me annoyed that I can’t have P1/P2.

      • God

        Those games were properly finished, so i didn’t mind not hearing anymore about them or their characters… Until they started milking P4 like no tomorrow.

        • mckun

          I would accept that if P2 wasn’t mentioned in P3. Even if it’s off base and not canon it still reminds me that there isn’t anything else with P1/P2 while P3/P4 are being milked (and was forced to be linked together even though there wasn’t a big connect between them in the original game.)

          No animu, no movies, just a PSP remake.

        • machomuu

          P3 as well. Persona Q, a movie series, and the Persona 4 Arena series; The only thing P4 has that P3 doesn’t is Dancing All Night.

    • Zeik56

      There’s no way the series would have gone this way as a natural evolution of P2. That game was way more of a traditional JRPG than even P3 and P4. P2’s dungeons may have been annoyingly labyrinthian, but it was not a dungeon crawler.

      But even P1 wasn’t that much of a dungeon crawler. That game was already an attempt to modernize SMT. They carried over a lot of SMT, but they were already trying to move the series away from that. I guess it’s a little ironic then that PQ is now taking its queues from the types of games that even predated the original SMT.

  • Anime10121

    Wait…so if I pick Minato, he wont speak for the entire game :/

    I dont want to have to play as Yu and his merry band of Scooby Dooer’s (still love ya Yukiko/Chie) in order for Minato to have a personality :(

    • mckun

      If it makes you feel better Yu is the same way lol.

      • Anime10121

        Im fine with Yu not speaking :P but considering Aniplex is seemingly refusing to dub the Persona 3 movies, this is about the only way I’ll ever hear Minato dubbed…

        • God

          Meh, i prefer his voice in Japanese, his english voice gives too many fucks.

    • Strain42

      If you makes you feel any better, you can’t use the names Minato Arisato or Yu Narukami in this game because you only get 6 letters each for first and last names. The best you could do is Yuna Rukami.

      …I’m not sure why that would make you feel any better, I’ve just been trying to let people know about that ahead of time so they can start thinking of alternative names. I guess Makoto Yuki and Seta Souji are both available.

      • Anime10121

        I’ll probably just roll with Minato Arisa and Yu Naru or some other such :p

    • Shippoyasha

      Yu and his group does seem to have a more of a serious edge now that Yu is in a speaking role though.

  • notentirelythere

    Tbh, I’m glad to hear all of that gameplay info. I’M ALSO GLAD that I can change the difficulty at any time. TIME FOR -HARD-
    I’m WAY disappointed that the characters don’t carry over any of that nuance… like, for me, the most fan service would be getting to join up with the post-S. Link level 10 cast and see how they’re doing, and if their new paths/ways to cope are holding up for em. Get somea that FULLY REALIZED CHARACTER INTERACTION. All the cutesy jokestuff being the focus is like eating bonito flakes out of the bag with a spoon.

  • Attribule

    “But at some point I feel like if you call a game Persona and put Persona 3 and 4 characters on the box then maybe the game inside ought to appeal to people who loved those games?”

    Not necessarily, because this is a spin-off title. It’s a spin-off, therefore it uses aspects of the games that came before it, and it’s titled Persona Q – not “Persona 3+/Persona 4+”. Also, who’s to say this game *doesn’t* appeal to people that loved those games? Will it appeal to everybody? No, but that’s the nature of spin-offs or sequels in general.

  • Teddy

    It really annoys me when people spell Teddie as “Teddy”. Please fix that.

    • JeySigma

      you cant really blame them for “correctly” spelling an originally misspelled word.
      You sound like a reverse-grammar nazi lol

      • Teddy

        Well it’s a name, not a word. Typos are understandable, but that particular one just happens to be a pet peeve of mine because of all the times people have thought that I’m named after that. I’m happy they fixed it.

  • Jero

    I’ve seen a lot of people complain about this game, and this is the reason (they usually just complain, as if they didn’t know why).

    This game is not a Persona, but it’s not an Etrian odyssey either, so instead of pleasing both sides it pleases neither. And that’s a problem. It’s way too experimental. I hope future entries will get better.

  • Kaitou21

    So essentially it’s everything I would be expecting from a typical crossover? Nice! Looking forward to my limited edition copy come in the mail tomorrow.

  • Spirit Macardi

    It has Yuri Lowenthal, Johnny Yong Bosch, Vic Mignogna, Sam Riegel, Liam O’Brien, and Laura Bailey… That’s more than enough to justify the purchase to me!

    • Finally someone with who has the same reason of playing this game like me. Persona 3 and 4 are actually my least favorite entries of the 4 games, but that VA cast alone will help me trudge through it.

  • NeptuniasBeard

    To be fair, Persona 3 was also a persona game in name only

    • Money?Muney??All my luveee!!!

      Indeed lol.the difference between PErsona 1 and 2 with 3 and 4 is so huge.^_^

    • LightZero

      Exactly. By that same logic P3 is a Persona game in name only due to it being different from P1/P2. If anything this game is more of a Persona game at least in the same vein as the original trilogy than P3/P4.

    • NeptuniasBeard

      Awww, why so many downvotes :(? I didn’t mean it in a negative way, just stating that P3 was a pretty big departure from its predecessors. Not that it’s a bad thing. I actually prefer P3 and P4

      • LDM

        My best guess is that the downvotes came from people who probably took what you said the wrong way. I knew what you meant, however, it could be worded better. It sounded like you were one of those “Elitists” who bashed P3/4 in any given chance. (like some of the posters here).

        • NeptuniasBeard

          Yeahh, I gotta learn to right out the whole statement. The full statement being “To be fair, Persona 3 was also a Persona game in name only, and it was fantastic”

    • Tom_Phoenix

      Personally, I think Persona 4 is the one that would qualify as that. While certainly a departure from the first two (well, three) games in the series in some ways, Persona 3 still preserved the dark atmosphere and close ties to mythology that are characteristic of Persona and the SMT meta-series as a whole.

      By comparison, P4 was an enormous departure in tone and feel and whatever connections to mythology it had were both minor and rather poorly rationalised.

      • Shippoyasha

        Eh. I don’t see a reason to knock both games. Both P3 and P4 are an evolution of the series into its own identity after all. And I don’t think it was poorly rationalized in both games personally. The Izanagi/Izanami is a very well known mythology in Japan and it’s great they went into that dynamic in that game.

      • revenent hell

        I kind of agree with you here.

        I think they were probably attempting a lighthearted and happy ending feel to please the general populace since most people tend to like a “known” happy ending when completing a game. I have no idea really why they went that rout but I can honestly say P4 was my least favorite Persona game.

        Though I do disagree about the mythology standpoint. It did for the most part stay true to that. Its a creative story and is fantasy in it s nature, the inconsistencies in this matter do not bother me much if at all do to the fact that there were very few that took place and do to creative license I don’t expect all there mythology to be 100% accurate. Though I find for the most part they are.

        • NeptuniasBeard

          “I think they were probably attempting a lighthearted and happy ending feel to please the general populace since most people tend to like a “known” happy ending when completing a game.

          Really? I thought people liked everything in their stories to be all dark and depressing these days…

    • Harry Potter

      it’s both P3 and P4 the old ones has no social links more like monster negotiation

      • NeptuniasBeard

        I know, but by the time P4 released we already had P3 so the change wasn’t all that big a deal anymore. P3 was also quite popular and became the new face of what it meant to be a Persona game. To some people’s… disappointment.

        • Harry Potter

          there is a downgrade too in P1 and P2 all the persona users are all wild cards while the P3 and P4 only has one and that is the MC’S

          • NeptuniasBeard

            Well that’s going into YMMV territory. I ain’t even gonna touch that one

    • Yan Zhao

      I think its because P3 was one of the more successful one that most people played, so it became kind of the standard, which P4 followed suit.

    • [S]unjay

      Can’t you say the same for Persona 4?

  • DragKudo

    Persona Q plays like the first Persona game and other Megaten games. So no its not only a persona game in name.
    Strange Journey, Soul Hackers. :( I’m going to go cry now

    • Harry Potter

      yes it plays like that but the battle system is !

    • Harry Potter

      persona 1 battle system is not like that

    • Zeik56

      Persona may have been first person, but it was almost nothing like EO in its overall structure. Persona was still a pretty traditional JRPG.

  • Was already skipping this despite being a big SMT fan (Interestingly I don’t care too much for the main series but love all the spin offs). Straight forward dungeon crawlers usually just bore me; Etrian Odyssey included. Unfortunate that all my fears were confirmed in this.

  • César H. Sandoval
    • Harry Potter

      Shinjiro: what do you want to eat?
      Koromaru: arf! arf! arf! arf!
      Shinjiro: oh! you want a hamburger!
      aigis: no Koromaru-san want’s Beef bowl

      akihiko: Yeah!

  • CleruTesh

    Thank you for confirming what I had already suspected. I will definitely pass on this one. The charcters I love plus an awesome chibi art style made me want to buy this. But ultimately, I never got into Etrian Odyssey, and I play Persona primarily for the socializing and story aspects. (And that’s P3 & P4, tried P2 after falling in love with the others but hated it, never even tried P1)

  • Miles Swoger

    Was Siliconera really expecting Persona Q to be a game like Persona 3/4? Come on it’s a game based off of Etrian Odyssey so no way would they include Persona 3/4 elements besides Persona style combat/character selection. I’m getting the game regardless of this article’s negativity.

  • Anontastic

    This is an Etrian Odyssey game in the SMT Persona world, with a couple persona-inspired mechanics. I don’t think they’ve tried to really hide that, but it does feel kind of sneaky that nothing about the game’s presentation or promotion really does anything to let people know that upfront.

  • raygunner659

    There’s an Etrian Odyssey game for you; the story doesn’t kick in until you’re far down the rabbit hole.

  • Buitronthecrazy .

    thanks for confirming that this game has none of the features i hate from Persona.

    • Overlord Val

      I agree. I dislike the social link system because I’ve never got to make my own choices at all. I was forced to follow up the guide in order to get every links max. In this game, I can pick whatever I want without any major drawbacks.

      • Zeik56

        Playing with a guide to max all s. links is the worst way to play Persona. It’s unnecessary and pretty much ruins the experience. Those games are vastly more enjoyable when you just do what you want.

        • Overlord Val

          I can’t help but being a perfectionist when it comes down to jrpg…so not being able to max them can also ruin my experience…

    • SlickRoach

      Yeah, if they took out the social links and let me fight I’d enjoy the game a lot more.

    • revenent hell

      I didnt mind the high school life stuff but I am with you on the social links.

      I don’t think I would have minded them if they were separate from persona’s but they aren’t and thats what really made me detest social links. I cant even tell you how upset I was when they added it in P4 …

      • Zeik56

        Having them be connected to Persona’s is the whole reason they have any value to the game. Managing your S. Links to make stronger Persona’s is why the system is appealing and basically the whole reason the social part of the game works at all. If you disconnect it then the social part becomes pointless and there’s no longer any synergy between those two sides of the game.

        • Buitronthecrazy .

          sorry, but i find that boring, i want to fight and become stronger regardless of if i do the social thing or not.

    • Harry Potter

      what?! social link is the best feature of persona because of that you will know the characters better it’s like true life but i can’t do that in real life lol because i don’t have swag

      • Buitronthecrazy .

        is not my thing, it bores the hell outta me, i hate how in order to become stronger i have to do loads of social sidequests.

        • Harry Potter

          it’s not boring its like playing VN’S thats what persona is it focus more on story than gameplay its really different than megaten gamesk

          • Buitronthecrazy .

            what part of “is not my thing” you don’t get?

        • Harry Potter

          if you want grinding play persona 1 and 2

  • Hunts Rattata

    “The gameplay loop basically looks like
    this: Go to a dungeon to map it and fight enemies and if you’re lucky
    find the stairs to the next floor down. Once your inventory is full of
    loot or your SP runs dry you teleport back to base. At base you sell
    your loot, buy any new weapons/armor that become available, pay to heal
    up, fuse some new persona if your protagonist leveled up, and then go
    back into the dungeon.”

    That still sounds an awful lot like the dungeon-crawling half of Persona. And I can only assume that the dungeon crawling is more engaging than P3, since that was 95% boring, randomized floors.

  • Dysisa

    No shit: the article

  • AlphaSixNine

    Personally, I was never a fan of the Etrian Odyssey gameplay as well as first person dungeon crawler. And I admit that getting the game is mostly because I love Persona 3 and 4 and very curious to see how this cross-over plays out. I was in mostly just for the story and characters, I knew there won’t be time management and S-links in this that made me a fan of the series. But after playing PQ for 30 hrs, I ended up loving the gameplay anyway.

    Sure, I had a hard time at first getting used to it. First person dungeon crawling just wasn’t for me, but PQ manages to do it so well with the little additions, like the cast walking in front of you when opening a door, that I end up liking it anyway. It’s well done and it didn’t feel like you’re walking in a boring and static 2D world, but in a well done 3D environment with just the camera as your eyes. Labyrinths are well designed as well to give you some challenge.

    First person battle is the same, I never really liked it. But PQ manages to do it so well with the little details that it didn’t feel sluggish and boring like SMTIV was. It didn’t feel like your fighting paper-thin enemies with paper-thin characters, but a 3D battle with just the view mostly in first person. It’s also fun to hear the cast comment on the Shadows you fight lol.

    Oh and yeah, I got the game since the 19th and playing it ever since. Not sure why but I just found it on the shelf when I was getting my copy of GTAV and Project Diva 2nd, grabbed it and never asked any question why it was there already lol.

    • ThatGuy3190_7

      Thank you. Honestly, the writing had always been on the wall that Persona Q was going to be half Persona, half EO (after all, a few of EO staff worked on the game also), so I don’t understand why people are whining and complaining that there aren’t any social links in the game when it was never stated or suggested that there would be any.

      With that said, I’m not a fan of EO but I am a fan of the Persona series, so I’m curious how this will turn out for me.

      • AlphaSixNine

        If you’re not a fan of EO, then I suggest you turn on the Auto-mapping feature. It won’t exactly draw the map completely since you sill need to put icons for doors, stairs and stuff, but it’s a lot easier this way if you prefer not to worry too much about the mapping part. For some reason, I found the mapping part in PQ more enjoyable compared to when I tried EO: Untold, but maybe that’s because of the auto-mapping lol.

        • revenent hell

          Actually Playing Revelations Persona was what made me get in to Dungeon Crawlers and adore them haha.

    • Zeik56

      I’m not a big fan of the 3D jump-in attacks in a first person battle system. It looks awkward. I’d honestly rather they stick with true first person like EO or SMT4.

  • gk2012

    You actually need both main protagonists with you to level them, or else you’re going to be penalized later on for not bringing both of them with you.

    It’s a really shitty mechanic, to be honest.
    I already hate that I need to always have my chosen character to be permanently stuck in my team, but now I find out that I actually had to bring both of them.

    • CureMarine

      If this is true then PREORDER CANCELLED. I don’t want to have to bring P4Protag with me everywhere.

      • gk2012

        It’s entirely optional.

        But if you want to unlock everyone’s ultimate Persona, but you don’t want to bring the other MC with you, then be prepared to grind for hours just to get him to the required level.

        I was really too far into the game when I found out about it, and I had to grind for around 8 hours just to get him to the required level.

        …even though he already had the +100% exp on.

  • Aesma

    It might not be recommended for Persona fans but for main SMT fans and EO fans, it is an interesting game. The dungeons are quite fun, especially in the third dungeon.

    The puzzles are interesting. oh and the quests actually made you ‘need’ to read the story.

    • gk2012

      Just bring a bunch of Homonculi with you.

      I always carry 2 around when exploring, especially in the 4th labyrinth, where literally half of the mobs you encounter spam Hama and Mudo.

      • Aesma

        Haven’t got Homonculi yet. May I ask what are its materials?

        • gk2012

          You just need 3 Chrysanthenum. I think I got them from the 2nd map of the 4 labyrinth.

          One thing I love in this game is you only need to get the required materials once. They don’t get used up so you don’t have to backtrack and gather them again just to craft items you’d need. XD

          • Aesma

            Hahaha, that’s true… well… I’m at 2nd map of that labyrinth right now. But since I have a policy to grind until I can kill the FOE of that map, so I’m grinding at 1st map right now. Currently MC level 63 with Alice as Persona.

          • gk2012

            Wow, how did you get that high quickly. o_o
            My party is only level 62, and I’m already halfway through the final dungeon.

            And mind if I ask how you fused Alice? She never shows up when I do a Fusion Search, same goes for Black Frost.

          • Aesma

            Well… see, there is one gimmick in Persona games. If you ‘solo’ or use only few characters (In my case, 1. But 2 characters, MC and Naoto are good too) you get more experience.

            In 1st map of 4th dungeon, all enemies there are either no resistance or weak against Darkness. So what I do is fuse a Nebiros or Lilith with Mamudoon and Impure Reach (Increase chance of ailments, including instant kill). And just use Mamudoon at each enemies in the first floor using MC alone.

            For Alice, you have to fuse Uncle Red (Satan) and Uncle Black (Nebiros). She can get Impure Reach from Nebiros and after leveling up once, learn Die For Me! which can replace Mamudoon for grinding.

            All enemies I met in that dungeon (1st map that is), died in the 1st turn when I used Die For Me! + Impure Reach. In the 2nd map, there are enemies who null Darkness (That Dice thing), if you have Naoto or Persona with Mahamaon, they can use Mahamaon on anything that survives Die For Me!

          • gk2012

            Ah, that’s in Etrian too. I’m not into that kind of levelling , though. lol
            I want to always have everyone I use to be evenly leveled.

            And yeah, that’s how I leveled my other MC too. I just spammed Mahamaon and Mamudo on the 3rd floor.

            Since you’re only using your MC… Did you unlock everyone’s ultimate Persona yet? You need to get both MCs to 55 to unlock the request for it.

          • Aesma

            Hahaha… well, I want to use other characters but my main priority is to get my MC to level 73 or so to unlock Yoshitsune. For the ultimate Persona, not yet, my second MC is at level 49 or so. I’m planning to level him soon.

          • gk2012

            lol Looks like someone wants to wreck everything with that overpowered passive. :)

          • Aesma

            Yoshitsune is literally only there for Power Charge+Hassou Tobi+Passives.

  • Demicow

    Oh man, has this guy played any other Shin Megami Tensei games? Yes, this is a combination of Persona 3 and 4 but those games are the exception not the rule. While I wasn’t expecting MegaTen pasted on top of Etrian Odyssey, this isn’t a total departure from it’s Persona roots.

    • revenent hell

      I don’t think that’s what he means. This game is about those two games, with characters story ect,so naturally anyone would assume at a minimum the game would play as those two games did. Or even a little bit.
      Like I said I don’t think he is even remotely suggesting all Persona games should play like those two but given that this game is based off of them I think its logical to think it would play a bit like them. And it doesn’t.

      • Kumiko Akimoto

        That makes no sense, it’s a spin off. No one expected that. No one expects that. Spin offs.

        • revenent hell

          Its only considered a spinoff because its a meshing of P3 and P4.

          But in continuity with the games its related to it has a great deal in common. It might be a spinoff but its still in the series. Its not an idol game or really far removed from the genre’s those games come from so yes, I think a great deal of people would assume it plays even minimally like them.

          • Kumiko Akimoto

            It’s canon but it’s a spin off it’s not apart of the main gameline.
            It being canon doesn’t change the fact that it’s a spin off.
            Dancing all night was confirmed to be canon as well but it’s still a spin off.

            So no it’s a spin off I don’t even understand why this article was made.

          • revenent hell

            This article was made because its a game “review” as siliconera always puts up but considering how closely related the game is supposed to be to P3/P4 I dont understand how people think its ok to not be like them

          • Kumiko Akimoto

            This was announced as a spin off of persona. It’s not closely related as in it doesn’t impact or add any additional info to persona 3 or 4. It just doesn’t contradiction them hence why it’s canon.
            If you honestly expected a spin off to have exactly the same shit as the main line games despite the differencing in art style nd gameplaying then that’s your own fault.
            This makes no sense and I don’t know why this article was made.

          • Zeik56

            Because not everyone follow these types of games religiously. The article isn’t even claiming the fact that it’s different is inherently bad, it’s simply stating a matter of fact that fans of P3 and P4 may not enjoy this game if they’re looking for more of what those games offered.

            That’s what a review is for. It’s not a circle-jerk for fans to feel good about their purchase. A review is there to inform all potential buyers what they might be getting into, but especially the less informed. If you know exactly what the game is and you already made up your mind about it then you have no use for a review and you’re just being pointlessly contrarian.

          • Yagami Mao

            at least someone understand :).
            I like P3 P4 for social link element
            but I’m not into EO
            so this article helped someone like me to decice to buy the game or not.

          • Kumiko Akimoto

            I’m sorry but anyone buying this and not seeing the art change or the gameplay change by now is stupid to assume that it will be exactly like the main line games.
            A review should be unbiased and completely objective. There’s nothing objective about saying this doesn’t feel like a persona game because it doesn’t share some features.

          • Zeik56

            First of all, the idea of a unbiased and completely objective review is a falsehood. There’s no such thing. Reviews are opinions. Opinions are inherently subjective.

            That being said, stating that it doesn’t feel like a traditional Persona game because of all the radical changes is absolutely an objective statement. That’s even basically what you’re saying yourself. Even with P3 and P4 characters in it it’s a very different game. That’s simply a statement of fact.

            Your argument literally makes no sense.

          • Kumiko Akimoto

            That would be an objective opinion if the game was meant to be apart of the mainline games. This game was presented as such and it clearly has a completely different atheistic to the mainline games.

            It makes no sense to say something like “It doesn’t feel like it’s apart of the series” instead of saying “This is a spin off so don’t go in expecting it to be the same”

          • Nix da

            Its like being dissapointed that Arena wasnt a RPG.Its a different game.

          • revenent hell

            It may be a different game but considering how it is so close to P4 and P3 I think its quite valid to think it would have similar gameplay aspects here and there… Frankly P3 and P4 could have been dungeon crawlers in there own right alone for how the dungeons worked and if you took out the social links and school time stuff.

            Its a different game but really its not. And no its not the same thing as being “disappointment” that arena is a fighting game and not an rpg. From the get go people knew it was a totally different genre and was a fighting game. This really isnt all that far removed from P3 and P4.

            Frankly I don’t personally understand how people don’t think it shouldn’t have game play similarities.

          • Nix da

            Strangly most people knew that this was an EO game and not a Full Persona game. But it has similarities. The Battle ,charakters music,Dungeon Crawling. I dont understand how people even remotly think this is somewhat like p3 and 4 after they saw the Graphic style. Beside its just a spinoff to make money not more or less. I for one enjoy to see the p3 cast again thats enough for me.

      • CureMarine

        Yeah, they would if they were retarded. It’s a spinoff game. Only a retard thinks “Well shit just because it has the same characters means this spinoff has the play the same as the others! XD” God 3/4 fans are the worst.

        • revenent hell

          You really lack intellect of any form and your comment just proves what an ignorant person you truly are.

          Yes, people are retards because they have an opinion about a game that isn’t the same as yours… Real good logic there buddy. Its people like you that just continues to prove why sterilization should be mandatory for the majority of the populace.

          And if you were even a tiny bit literate you would have read I didn’t say the game had to play the same but it wouldn’t be a far off opinion that it would have similar game play elements here and there…

          God you are a a prize. I feel bad for your parents.

  • revenent hell

    Haha when I made the comment early on in Persona Q’s life that its only EO with a Persona paint job I think I pissed a lot of EO fans off but it was obvious from the beginning this was the case.
    That’s why I found it hard when trying to decide if I should buy it or not….Its still hard on me even though I did pre order it I still kind of don’t know if I actually still want it. I am NOT an EO fan I am a Persona fan and from the beginning I knew this wasn’t a Persona game…..
    Even though the game will probably be good I don’t think it was ever intended to play out like a Persona game, frankly I think they just wanted to sell EO games and decided the fan base of Persona would do that so they got together to make it work…
    Aw I feel like cancelling my order now.

    • Harry Potter

      i buy Persona Q for the story but i don’t like EO gameplay though

      • revenent hell

        See I think I would love EO gameplay. I would even play them if I didn’t think they where ugly….

        And I pretty much only pre ordered this because it was announced as canon to P3 and P4 stories….. Otherwise I would have ignored it because before that announcement was made I had no intention of buying this game. The chibi style of art I have always found horrible in games and not one I have ever liked.

        • Harry Potter

          i agree with you man i even buy dancing all night because its canon lol its like…. atlus: buy our games it’s all canon except the persona trinity soul anime because its horrible xD

          • revenent hell

            I draw the line at those games though.

            I don’t care if it is canon. I don’t like rhythm games at all and I wouldn’t play it so it would be a waste of money that I just wont do.

          • Harry Potter

            me its just for collection but ill try the gameplay though because project diva was good

          • MinakoArisato

            It also looks nice to have a lot of “PERSONA” games in a shelf… Doesn’t matter what Persona it is.

  • Kumiko Akimoto

    You could say the same thing looking at persona 1 and 2 to persona 3 and 4. Lol.

    • revenent hell

      Again I don’t think hes mentioning this do to the fact that it plays entirely differently but because given that this game is based off of P3 and P4 with story and characters one would assume it would play even a little bit like the games it is taken from and it does not.

      Like playing any game that has a series one would assume part two would somewhat play like part one you know?

      • Aesma

        Objection, this is not a part two or part one. If a game like Persona Q is considered as ‘sequel’, one would assume that Persona Arena have Social Link and RPG genre. One might also assume that Dancing All Night will have Social Link.

        This is a spin-off (of a spin-off, but I digress), with a different genre/gameplay at that. One cannot assume that it plays ‘a little bit like the games’.

        • revenent hell

          I didn’t say it was a sequel, I said same series. Its in the same series and in the general same genre hence I think a lot of people would expect it to roughly play as its “parent” games because they themselves could be and for the most part have dungeon crawling aspects as well.

          Its really not a far flung assumption given that.

          This is not a game in an idol,action or fighting genre Its a dungeon crawler which is not that far removed from what Persona 3 and Persona 4 played out as. They may not be exactly the same but the difference is indeed minimal.

          • Aesma

            Same ‘series’, same ‘genre’, Persona 1 and 2, Persona 3 and 4. Shin Megami Tensei itself with Persona.

            All I can say is, Atlus HAS changed their series’ gameplay many times. While it would surprise those who are new to Atlus games (or those who only like Persona 3 and 4), it certainly wasn’t surprising to people who played many Atlus games.

            …in a way, it is similar to people who complained about SMT IV’s difficulty compared to P3 and P4.

          • revenent hell

            Ive played all Persona/Smt games released in the US so while I understand what you are saying I doubt highly you are even trying to understand what I am. And I am not even saying this to be an asshole, I am just saying it because it is not such an unheard of thing to think people would think game play styles would or might be similar.

            This game ” Persona Q” is indeed closely related to P4 and P3 so much so that the developers claim it as canon to them, this is also incentive to
            assume it would have even minimal aspects of P3/P4 gameplay because shock of shockers most spinoff games of a different genre completely aren’t considered canon to the main games they come from.

            Ive already said that this game isn’t far
            removed from the genre of its parent games so it wouldnt be that difficult to assume it would have aspects of them in this one. It has
            the stories and characters and its considered canon so overall I can see how people would think there would be some similar game play aspects in
            it as well

            I don’t know why its so hard to accept that people might and would expect some similar game play style here in PQ.

          • Aesma

            I understand that people have different expectations. However, the reactions to Persona Q just reminded me of how Persona 3 and 4 fans react to SMT IV and the subsequent ‘This isn’t like Persona!’ whines that came from them. So I was a bit emotional here, sorry about that.

          • revenent hell

            Ah, no worries, if you read my post below I could see why someone would think I am just trying to argue or something.

            I have loved every Persona/Smt/ Devil Survivor/DIgital Devil/Raidou game I have played and all have played pretty much bits and pieces differently from one another from a gameplay perspective (I myself detested Social Links in P3 and hated that they added it in P4).

            But here for PQ I think it quite easy to assume the game would play like them… Hell I did and was greatly irked to find it didnt. Especially with how they made it that everyone can change their persona’s. At a minimum I don’t think that is right even a little bit considering they dont have that precious ability in their respective games when they took place…Ah I am ranting now…

            Its not change with gameplay that is a problem its that a lot of things really shouldn’t have been with it being so closely related and all or some things should have stayed similar.

            Personally I don’t expect any Persona/SMT game to be the same game play wise but for cases in this particular games case I think it should be similar at least by a little bit.I think anyways.

          • mckun

            SMT IV was hard?

            Persona 3/4 confirmed for casual types /s

          • Aesma

            Yeah, I think I saw one or two saying that SMT IV was too difficult.

            …honestly I’ll say that it was the easiest main SMT games I’ve played.

          • mckun

            People should play Devil summoner Raidou on devil mode. Good times.

            I personally thought that Persona 4 was the easiest RPG I played next to Final Fantasy Advance 1.

          • Aesma

            Persona 4 was easy. Persona 4 Golden is easier. …very much so…

          • mckun

            Never played P4G so I have no comment on that. But still people consider SMTIV hard? HAH.

          • Zeik56

            Honestly I thought SMT4 was harder than Nocturne. (On normal anyway.) SMT games have a bad habit of being extremely exploitable and making the latter half a cake-walk, but Nocturne was one of the worst in that regard. Even the final Amala Labyrinth bosses and Lucifer were a total joke with minimal preparation.

            While SMT4 definitely got easier as you progressed, I found most enemies and bosses put up more of a fight. (Beelzebub actually felt like a fight.)

          • mckun

            I think it depends on the person.

            Devil survivor 1 was the first SMT game after SMT2 Persona 1 back in the day for me. There was some parts that were difficult but with thinking I got past them without a guide. Hell I got the demon ending without a guide!

            I couldn’t play Nocturne without a guild because I had a shitty build LMAO.

          • Zeik56

            Admittedly, Nocturne is a game that can screw you over pretty hard if you have no idea what you’re doing and make bad gameplay decisions. Although I consider that more an issue of poor game design than legitimate difficulty.

          • mckun

            That’s pretty much Raidou on devil mode. You can make poor decisions on top of the game breaking handicaps such as all enemies do triple damage/you only do 1/3 damage.

        • DragKudo

          Ultimax has sort of social links,
          Don’t hurt me.

          • Aesma

            Hmm… there isn’t any in the ‘main story’ mode, right?

  • I’m actually fine with it being an EO game with Persona skin. I love EO, and now I’m debating whether to get EO 5, EO2 remake or PQ… So many games, so little time.

    • KuroNathan

      Well there’s going to be soem time before EO 5… EO2 is coming out in a 6 month window I think so pick between EO 2 remake and Persona Q?

      • I don’t know if I’ll get burned out for playing too much of the same game. Right now I’m dead set on getting PQ, so it’s either EO2 remake or EO5 next, but I’ll probably go with EO2R, since it has 2 modes.

  • Harry Potter

    i buy this game for story because i love Persona! even i don’t like the gameplay

  • Shippoyasha

    I think it goes without saying that one really should have played P3 and P4 to get the most out of the character/story fanservice in this game. Of course it isn’t like a Persona game because it truly is a spinoff in every sense of the word, right down to the entirely different development house making this game. Though the interdimensional/canonical allusions are very interesting, one really needs to have experienced P3/P4 to get it.

  • Lusankya

    Wait, what? It was always clear that Persona Q is going to be a crossover of Persona 3/4 and Etrian Odyssey.
    And btw. it’s not just an EO game with a Persona skin, as there are many gameplay elements not found in the EO series like Personas being the source of your skills, persona fusing, the weakness system, the quest system etc.

    • KuroNathan

      as ethan explained in his previous article, there’s a lot of persona combat mechanics fused into the EO style but non-combat things like social links and meaningful character interaction got cut

      • Benderisgreat

        But it’s not a Persona game, it’s an EO game, which, let’s be honest, has none of those things. EO is just… not as good as P3/P4.

        • KuroNathan

          Dem fighting words. Well it’s two completely different game genres so I don’t think it’s fair to compare the two, apple and oranges deal.

          • Benderisgreat

            Maybe, I guess? It’s weird when they take one thing and slap a different coating on it, though.

  • Harry Potter

    Persona Q = EO
    Persona dancing all night= just dance

    • CureMarine

      *Project Diva

      • Harry Potter

        yeah it has same engine as project diva f

  • Harry Potter
    • Harry Potter

      i will praised this game it this happens

    • AlphaSixNine

      I wish Atlus made it possible to choose MShe… ;.;

      • Harry Potter

        hope we see her in other game everyone love’s her including me lol best MC in persona series

        • CureMarine

          That’s not Tatsuya.

          • Harry Potter

            hmm…. ok

    • Zeik56

      I’d honestly be way more interested in this game if she was in it instead of Minato. I bet her interactions with the cast would be 100x more interesting.

    • MinakoArisato

      This picture is awesome!
      I got really surprised, because of how original this looks.

      • Harry Potter

        yeah because PQ art style is really simple that it looks like the real thing i really want to happen it though

        • MinakoArisato

          I would want her playable in Ultimax too. But well, I hope there will be a FeMC in Persona 5…

          • Harry Potter
          • MinakoArisato

            I know that one^^
            After all, it would be totally cool. But everyone is going with their canon-things and stuff…

          • resuri

            I know how you feel. Only few changes in FeMC route, no major changes in storyline wise mind you and then *wham* “purist” would slam you with non-canon stamps all over the place.

          • MinakoArisato

            Like a DLC-character hast to be canon in the first place…
            And again, I can’t really understand how Theodore is canon while she is not. Its not that I hate P-Studio for it, but well, I till miss it a lot. Then again, as a DLC character, it would be possible to be a easy-mode-wrecking-machine like Margaret, which I don’t want.

          • Guillermo Oliva III

            Wow, she looks awesome and is she really in it? I do not play Persona 2D fighting games :3

          • Harry Potter

            this is fake xD looks real huh

          • Guillermo Oliva III

            aaaghh~ ….. that is a shammer~ :S

          • Yes, we need Fem protag in Ultimax!
            Maybe one day??
            And yeah, not even gonna bother with 5 if it’s just another male fanservice fest, haha.

          • MinakoArisato

            Wow thats pretty harsh xDD
            I mean, it would really be a shame, thats right, but I don’t think I could pass on a major Persona title.

          • Well, it isn’t that I want to pass up a Persona title! ;A;
            It’s just that I found most of the female characters in 4 to be really unbearable and I tried so hard to play it and I don’t want to put myself through that again ._.

          • MinakoArisato

            I see. Well lets hope for the best.

    • resuri

      Me want! =) Wish they would consider

    • CureMarine

      I hate FeMC… /: Her route completely ruins the feel of the game if you ask me. The worst part about her is that she’s featured in Main character fanart while Maya isn’t. That’s bull man.

      • Harry Potter

        please explain why she ruins the feels of the game?

      • resuri

        I would also like to know how she ruin the feel of the game. There were no changes aside from the different social links and how the cast interact with her.
        Everythings the same to me. :/

        • zuuum

          I think what CureMarine means is her personality. FeMC has a social butterfly personality where Minato/Makoto is the exact opposite. Minato/Makoto’s personality works much better with the theme of the game. Though I don’t hate FeMC or anything, but it does make the game feel differently… (Oh and Shinji of course…)

          • resuri

            I do understand that some people would view them through a visual perpective that certain personality should fit a certain theme for the game.
            What I appreciate about P3P was whether the MC looked like a social butterfly or an aloof person, the theme would equally fit both personalities in real life or in-game.
            Also what happen to Shinji is a choice not a requirement so I don’t know what’s the fuss is about.

      • Benderisgreat

        True. I miss the P2 crew. It’s like they don’t even acknowledge those games existed.

        • 65daysofstatic

          I agree. This game could have seriously been amazing if it had incorporated the main characters from all the Persona games instead of just those from P3 and P4. As it is, I’m still excited to play Persona Q eventually, but it isn’t the must-buy I was hoping that it would be.

          • Benderisgreat

            Maybe if they make another mashup using the Tactics Ogre engine….

        • mckun

          It’s probably because the storyline was made by a different guy than P3/P4 so they don’t want to mess with that.

      • Zeik56

        I couldn’t disagree more. FeMC was so much more interesting because she actually has some personality. She feels like an actual character, and not some generic blank slate.

        I know that’s weird to say given that they’re both silent protags, but it all comes down to the dialogue choices you’re given. The difference between her dialogue options and Minato is like night and day. I actually gave a shit about FeMC as a character, unlike Minato.

        Not to mention she has way better S. Links options overall. (Shinji’s S. Link is probably the best of either character.)

      • Maria Francisca Mena

        I also disagree, the first time I played P3 was in PS2, and I find the lack of SL with your party an horrible idea, I didn’t feel connected to them and I care less about them than in P4. Then I got the P3P and I played as a female MC and the game was already better.

  • CureMarine

    “Was it the social links that tied
    characterization to role-playing stats? Was it the way the games
    incorporated the passage of time and schedule management to invest the
    player in the virtual worlds?”

    This post is so directed at Persona 3/4 babbies its not even funny. We all know Persona 2 is the best Persona game. (Not saying 3 is bad, but still.)

    • NeptuniasBeard

      IDK about “all” I found P2 to have some pretty boring gameplay. Cool story tho

  • Well, I like Etrian Odyssey, and I haven’t managed to really get into Persona (I prefer regular SMT and its other variants)…. so… this all sounds good tbh. :)

    It sounds like this is the Persona equivalent of “Pokemon Mystery Dungeon”. i.e. not much like Pokemon (actually I think PMD games have a better story than Pokemon), and more accessible to ordinary gamers than regular “Mystery Dungeon”.

  • Herok♞

    “treacherous labyrinths that push back far more than dungeons in Persona ever did.” Persona(The first game) had plenty of bite to it, in the duengeons I remember the game got pretty brutal later on, so my question is how does this game compare to that one overall since I found the First Person gameplay to be a return to that style, with a slightly different battle system.

  • I can have a party without any of the annoying characters I hate having to be included in it.
    All I ever asked for.
    I finally get to play with the P4 boys I like, seeing as how I couldn’t play P4 itself with no fem protag option and when the girls were so…grating.

  • mckun

    The more you know facts:

    Persona 1/2 were not made by the same people who did Persona 3/4 so if you want blame someone or something blame the guys who did P1/P2 for not going back to Atlus about those games or at least back seating for any more future games with Naoya/Tatsuya/Maya and co. Atlus stated that they did not want to mess with their work. If you don’t know people in Japan take other people’s works seriously, unless it’s doujinshi or they are scumbag Steves (because doujinshi has different copyright laws and most creators consider it a form of publicity/attention/ultimate fan appreciation.)

    Atlus was in debt due to previous incidents so they needed a safety net and P3/P4 became that due to being popular in Japan (to the point that they were four-five weeks on pixiv in terms of artwork rankings for months,) so blame Japan for P3/P4 for being milked.

    Jun is gay and Tatsuya is bisexual
    Yamato is a pansexual yandere

    They had a voting in Japan about what characters to be in P4AU but I don’t know the voting results >.>;

    • ZEROthefirst

      Cool story

      • mckun

        Hey I was bored as hell.

    • ThatGuy3190_7

      This is all true but it’s still sad that most fans will still whine and complain about the lack of Persona 1/2 and Persona 3/4 being “milked”. I mean, Persona 3/4 never had a definite ending and had always left room in the story for expansion.

  • SobriK

    So, I’m super late to this post (damn you, Thanksgiving travel!) but I was really looking forward to it since I enjoyed the first review/impression of PQ as an Etrian Odyssey title.

    I think this was an amazing idea for a feature – splitting it up into two different perspectives – and you did a really great job of staying balanced and couching your opinions in term of the perspective you were coming from.

    In short, more features like this – please :)

Video game stories from other sites on the web. These links leave Siliconera.

Siliconera Tests
Siliconera Videos

Popular