What they say: Venture back into the realm of Persona. This time, the story revolves around Maya Amano, a budding reporter from a teen magazine. One day, she is sent to investigate the recent murders at “Seven Sisters High School.” These murders are said to be linked to the “Joker’s Curse”, a bizarre ritual that calls upon a demon to grant you your wishes. During her investigation, she is led down a path of darkness which will ultimately lead her to the truth about this twisted world called Persona.
What I say: The first Persona is a special title to me as it was the first RPG I ever completed. Once I heard there were two sequels coming I was naturally quite excited. But due to content issues the first Persona 2 title, Innocent Sin, was not released in the US. So with a heavy heart I skipped Persona 2: Eternal Punishment at the time of its release. Many years passed, and Persona 2: Innocent Sin finally came to the states on the PSP. I bought a unit just to play it. The “lost” Persona game was finally released but by now Persona 2: Eternal Punishment was quite hard to find and expensive when you could. And now Atlus has brought Eternal Punishment to the PSN and I can finally complete the series.
Now if all you have played is Persona 3 and 4 (And you SHOULD play them, they’re fantastic) you might find Persona 2 a little jarring. This game has a different feel and tone. Persona 3 and 4 were about the links between players and the other characters and NPCs through social links, but Persona 2 did not have that just yet. So there is very little interaction beyond your group you assemble. But the game more than makes up for that with a more in depth demon negotiation system (which makes it more like other Shin Megami Tensei games) and forming character bonds to increase negotiation techniques.
In addition to the various dungeons you encounter over the course of the game, there are several optional dungeons and rare persona to find. Doing these can help you power level or get a powerful new Persona. Also of note is the Rumor system. By going to “rumormongers”, hearing and spreading rumors you can change things in the game like make rare Personas appear to changing what shops offer what. You have to effectively manipulate this system to really open up the game and advance.
The storyline is quite good, and while it does help somewhat to have played Innocent Sin, the game is fully understandable and enjoyable without it. But be warned if you do intent to play Innocent Sin, the ending is revealed within this game. So spoilers and all that. This game takes place in an alternate reality from Innocent Sin but Maya remembers certain aspects of it and constantly deal with Déjà Vu. Add in Tatsuya from the Innocent Sin who remembers everything and Maya feels she must carry on and solve this case.
The graphics are rough as a cob but that is to be expected as this is a PSOne game. They get the point across and you can still see the great character and demon design. This is the original US translation from 2001 and as such it does not completely line up with Innocent Sin but it’s obvious who everyone is and you can follow along just fine.
I am truly glad Atlus has brought this to PSN and I sincerely hope more Shin Megami Tensei are coming to Playstation Network.
Persona 2: Eternal Punishment is available on Playstation Network and is playable on your PS3, PSP, and PS Vita.
Would you like to win a PSN download voucher for this great game? To enter just friend @adarkerimage on twitter then drop me an e-mail with your twitter name at dennis (at) adarkerimage.com. Friday April 12th at 8:00 PM EST I will draw a winner. Winner will be notified by e-mail and posted here!
Update 04/12/2013: Sorry for the delay but the winner of the Persona 2: Eternal Punishment code is…
Congratulations! Thanks to everyone who entered and of course to Atlus who provided the prize. Look for another great giveaway in the next few days!