While common in Japan, pre-order bonuses are uncommon in North America. Sometimes we get free posters or downloadable content, but art books? Rarely. The first art book came out last week with Eternal Poison and the other art books have similar texture. If you haven’t held one Atlus’ art books feel more like strategy guides than the hardcover Persona 3 or Ar Tonelico art books. I know glossy paper and a soft cover doesn’t look as nice on a coffee table, but it’s hard to complain since these are freebies. Also, these art books are more meaty than the Art of Persona 3 book.
The Luminous Arts book has art from both Luminous Arc games. Flipping through the art book I was reminded of the Luminous Arc 2 brochure Marvelous handed out at TGS last year except the Luminous Arts book has many, many more pictures mixed with character profiles.
Out of the three art books the Persona 4 one is by far the best. Since Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 was developed in house at Atlus they had more access to concept art and unlike the Eternal Poison art book you get to see a lot of sketches. The Persona 4 Visual Data guide has sketches and final art for all of the main characters. It’s interesting to see how some characters like Yukiko, the shy inn manager, developed. There are two pages of alternate concept designs dedicated to Yukiko alone. Atlus also added in unused enemy designs which are neat to look at, but I want to warn you don’t look at the Persona 4: Visual Data when you first get it. There are tons of spoilers, key turning point spoilers, revealed in the pages so tuck it away on a shelf and open it after you beat the game.
It might be too late to get the Eternal Poison book, but if you’re fast you can still get Luminous Arts which is bundled with Luminous Arc 2. Here are some extra pages of the book to check out.
Images courtesy of Atlus.