A beautiful metropolitan city.. . High school students, and their crazy superstitions.. . A gruesome, masked serial killer.., and one extremely wicked corporation. All of a sudden, things aren't as nice as they used to be... Nope, this isn't John Grisham's newest novel, no sir! This, is the twisted world of Persona 2!
The newest addition to the "Revelations" series is without a doubt the best, and my personal favorite. Music, graphics, story, everything has been improved since the original. RPG fans, prepare yourselves for one hell-of-a unique experience!
As Maya Amano, a young female cub reporter for the teen magazine "Coolest", it is your assignment to investigate what exactly the heck has been going on with the students recently down at Seven Sisters High. Lately, the high school had been rocked with a series of bizarre, and rather gory serial murders. Students say that if you call up Joker, the murderer, on his cell phone, he will come and kill whoever you don't like. After this point though, the story becomes so twisted and, well, weird! that I couldn't even explain it if I wanted to!
The characters in this game, Maya (the quiet hero), Ulala (the fiery lingerie' designer), Katsuya (the moralistic cop), Baofu (the reclusive tap buster), Tatsuya (Katsuya's younger bro, and a damn mysterious kid!), and Nate and Ellen (the rich kid and the model) really make the game what it is. Their each own unique personalities and chemistry are illustrated so well through the game, you'd think that they were actual people! Also, for having such a dark and spooky storyline, you'd think the characters would in turn be kind of somber too right? Well , that's where your wrong cowboy, cause' they make for the most entertaining and humorous cast of characters you ever will see! Also, a nice addition is that the personalities of each characters can be used in battle.
As for the graphics.. well , they almost remind me of Breath of Fire 4, but darker, and less animated. Character movements look stiff and odd, and the dungeons are twisted multi-level mazes that all look the same. Though the graphics other than that are fine, still, this is probably the only downside of the game.
The best aspects of game play in Persona 2 are entirely original and I must say, highly entertaining. For one, the rumor system, in which the game revolves on, you can spread rumors about various things, people, or events that changes the way the game unfolds, and can even add an extra couple of areas on your map. This gives the game's replay value a very high mark in my book because no two games will ever be alike. Another, is of course, personas. Personas are the demons, monsters, gods and angels that live in everyone's soul. They are released upon being summoned, or by complete accident. Some are bad, and some are good, though even the bad ones are helpful.
Each character in the game starts with his or her own persona. Personas are equipped onto a character and will boost stats and let you use spells. Personas don't gain levels like the humans will, but they can go up ranks until about 8. Each rank up, their stats will increase and they may learn a new spell. This makes the equipped characters stats raise as well, and allows them to use any newly learned magik. Also, if a persona gets strong enough, and is used enough, it may mutate into something completely different and new!
The score in Persona 2 also is a big plus for the game play factor. It sounds like spooky, bassy, trance-dance music with a pinch of classical thrown in for effect. It's sound was so good, I even considered listening to it outside of the game! In addition, it never once fails to set a scene's mood.
The battles, for the most part bare the same look as the rest of the game... plain. except the phsycadellic backgrounds, which are a nice touch. Granted, the battles don't LOOK special, they actually hold one of the funnest little systems in the game, the "contact" system. This is where each character's personality goes into effect. Instead of being limited to simply beating the tar out of monsters, single or partnered up, characters can convince, flirt, offend, flatter, and even scare the little suckers into giving you money, hints, items, rare rumors or tarot cards. It's fun to get demons all riled up and see their reactions! Truly a ground breaking aspect of the game.
In just about every aspect, Persona 2 is an extremely fun, and original game. It's definitely worth playing, especially for those of you who are getting sick of the traditional "spiky-haired, sword wielding hero who saves the world" type of RPG. Just a warning, but don't make any plans for a good week if you happen to get this game.