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Persona Community Thread: The Butterfly Effect

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Dantis

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Apr 18, 2012
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Hello!

Welcome to the Persona Community Thread. This thread has been created as a place to discuss all things around and about the Persona series, both within its mainline games as well as various spinoffs and re-releases.

To get it out of the way, this is not a spoiler thread. so please

MARK YOUR SPOILERS!


UPDATE: We now have a Steam Community! Come and join us in talking about stuff!

http://steamcommunity.com/groups/PersonaGAF

DOUBLE UPDATE: Apparently we have an IRC channel now. Here is the address:

http://client01.chat.mibbit.com/?channel=#personagaf&server=globalgamers.net


What is Persona?


Persona is a series of Japanese Role Playing Games developed by Atlus, and a spinoff of the Shin Megami Tensei franchise. Each game focuses on a group of characters (Mostly high school students) who unleash a demonized version of their inner self (Called a Persona) to fight off evil. The main theme is confronting one's inner flaws, as well as a recurring theme of friendship and camaraderie.

There are five mainline Persona games, alongside multiple expanded re-releases and a fighting game spinoff. The first three games in the series (Persona, Persona 2: Innocent Sin and Persona 2: Eternal Punishment) differ greatly from the modern iterations in the series, due to both their age and a team of different developers.

The older games are closer to typical JRPGs, with their significance being due to their realistically developed characters, modern settings and dark plots.

The newer games emphasize their sense of style, and create a unique feeling through their art and music, alongside incredibly strong character-development. Another feature of the newer games is the emphasis on social simulation. Outside of dungeons, the player character lives an everyday student life, consisting of hanging out with their friends, going to school and getting a part-time job. Friendships are used to empower the character's Persona, and are strengthened through an event system called Social Links.

Thematically, the games are all very similar however, as they revolve around the idea of characters accepting who they really are, past what everyone sees on the outside. This often creates a more personal, bittersweet story than you generally see in videogames.


What makes Persona so darn good?


Everything. It's a series with a lot of heart, and all of it in the right place. The art is superb (Both in the old games and the new) and the music is unlike anything else out there, combining a huge number of styles and somehow melding them together to create an identifiable sound.

The characters are superb and the gameplay is incredibly forward-thinking, with an emphasis on slick and cool design.

Persona is approachable and moves beyond what you'd expect from a JRPG. There is no other experience within the genre needed nor a love of Japanese games and their stylings. If you are unsure, you should give it a try, as it will probably surprise you.

And if nothing else, it is truly unique. There is nothing like Persona.


If you want to play Persona...

Then the place to start is probably Persona 4 Golden for the Vita. It's an enormous, polished game, and is incredibly accessible. Alternatively, Persona 3 Portable is available for the PSP if you're not willing to make the monetary commitment for a newer title. If you don't have a Vita or PSP, there's also Persona 3 FES and Persona 4 for the PS2, which are both excellent games in their own right.

As an aside, the games all stand on their from a narrative point of view, so any game is a fine place to start, really.


The Persona Games:

Persona

Format: PS1, PSP (Re-release)

The first game in the franchise. A first-person dungeon crawler set around a group of high school students fighting demons in a twisted version of their own world. Later re-released for the PSP with an adjusted difficulty and entirely rearranged soundtrack by Persona 3 and 4 composer Shoji Meguro.

Persona 2: Innocent Sin

Format: PS1, PSP (Re-release)

The second Persona game is the first game to be set entirely in third-person. A group of high school students investigate a circumstance in which popular rumours are coming true. Later re-released for PSP with new gameplay and a rearranged soundtrack by Atsushi Kitajoh.

Persona 2: Eternal Punishment


Format: PS1, PSP (Re-release)

A direct sequel to Innocent Sin, and as such a continuation of that story. Later re-released on the PSP with an entirely new scenario and a rearranged soundtrack by Toshiki Konishi.

Persona 3

Format: PS2 (Persona 3 and Persona 3 FES), PSP (Persona 3 Portable)

The first modern Persona game by the current development team. A group of high school students seek to eliminate a 25th hour in the day in which the world becomes twisted and monsters appear. Later re-released on PS2 as Persona 3 FES, with a sequel story answering various questions about the original ending. Re-released again later for the PSP with a new female character, which heavily affects various parts of the game, such as the Social Links.

Persona 4

Format: PS2, PS Vita (Persona 4 Golden)

The most recent of the mainline games. A group of high school students investigate a series of murders that seem to be connected to a hidden world inside the television. Later re-released as Persona 4: Golden for PS Vita, featuring two new S Links, a new dungeon, various small minor events and lots of small tweaks.

Persona 4 Arena

Format: PS3, Xbox 360

A fighting game spinoff from Persona 4, developed by Arc System Works. Alongside the modes you would expect from a fighter, it includes a large visual novel-based story mode which takes place after Persona 4, and connects the characters of Persona 3 and 4.



The next game to come out will presumably be Persona 5. Little is known about it besides the fact that the Persona 3 and 4 team are reprising their various roles.


And that's all. Begin?
 

RS4-

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Feb 8, 2009
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I will always regret never finishing (and trading in) Persona 1. I think I was in the final set of dungeons. Didn't help that those shitty multi page memory hards were so unreliable.

Trying to finish up P4G, in the month of Sept.
 

Tamanon

Banned
Jun 10, 2004
81,821
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This isn't the subtitle I voted for. This thread is a sham.
Would you say "You're not me, you're nothing like me"?

I need to wrap up Innocent Sin eventually, only game in the series I haven't finished. I even busted out massive amounts of graph paper for Revelations Persona on the original PSOne!
 

Fragamemnon

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Jun 7, 2004
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I basically despise story-driven gaming, hate anime tropes, and am one of the most dispassionate people I know.

Persona 4 Golden still dragged me in hook, line , and social-link sinker. Fantastic game. I plan on playing P3 FES sometime in the summer.
 

Fluxdyne

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Sep 8, 2010
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OP should probably write a note that the PSP remake of Eternal Punishment is not localized yet. (And sadly it probably will never be...).

I have beat P4 and P3(The Journey), but I still haven't beat The Answer.
Can I play P4Arena safely or will it ruin The Answer's plot?
 

Squire

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Feb 6, 2011
26,542
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Los Angeles
OP should probably write a note that the PSP remake of Eternal Punishment is not localized yet. (And sadly it probably will never be...).

I have beat P4 and P3(The Journey), but I still haven't beat The Answer.
Can I play P4Arena safely or will it ruin The Answer's plot?
It will ruin The Answer, yes.
 

Trigger

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Sep 9, 2009
25,255
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OP should probably write a note that the PSP remake of Eternal Punishment is not localized yet. (And sadly it probably will never be...).

I have beat P4 and P3(The Journey), but I still haven't beat The Answer.
Can I play P4Arena safely or will it ruin The Answer's plot?
You should do The Answer first. There's one or two details that are pretty important.
 

Sophia

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Feb 8, 2008
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New thread is new, but now I have to mark spoilers. This makes me sad in a way. :(

Nice job with the OP, Dantis.
 
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