Review by Shinlong
"The Coolest RPG on the PlayStation"
Persona 2 is one of the best RPGs I've played on the PlayStation. I mean, this game is really cool. I don't think it's better than Chrono Chross, but it has a particular brand of innovation that's missing in today's RPGs.
This game has some decent graphics. Now, if you are a casual gamer that was lured in by Final Fantasy's awesome graphics YOU WILL NOT BE IMPRESSED. The 3-D backgrounds are pretty good, but the sprites that make up the people are not as well detailed as they are in Breath of Fire or Suikoden (not quite). The battle graphics are no better, so don't expect calling your Persona to look like a summoning spell in FF8 (a mixed blessing?). The people walk with a jerky motion, and that just blows. Some folks like it, but I've been spoiled by Capcom's 2-D games (Breath of Fire and Megaman especially)so it gets me irritated. The backgrounds are good, though, and pretty well detailed. Oh, and the overworld (or overcity in this case) view really is pitiful. Luckily, graphics don't make the game, and if you're not like the casual gamers mentioned above, you'll see past the exterior.
This game has some of the coolest music ever. It's not your standard RPG music, but this is not your standard RPG, so it fits the game well. Every track is just greatness. I can't think of a better way to put it. There are scenes where the people talk (the voice acting is pretty OK, but don't expect Metal Gear quality) and the demons all have their own noises that they make when you contact them. It's pretty cool: when they are happy they make a different noise from when they are angry at you. I like it.
At first, they may seem annoying because they aren't your standard RPG battles. But as you go on, there's so much depth to the battles that you get addicted. The contact system is sooooooooooooo cool. You can contact demons, and if you make them happy or interested 3 times in a row, they'll give you some tarot cards and the battle ends. You can then use the cards to make yourself another Persona in the Velvet Room. You need a certain Persona to attack some of the bosses weaknesses. For example, in one dungeon, the boss might need to be hit by earth attacks, and in another he might need to be hit by fire. You need to exploit these weaknesses, so you have to make contact to get the Personas to kill the bosses. Of course, your initial Persona will get the job done, and some bosses are weak against your team's first Personas, but not all of them. I rather like these battles. They aren't as good as Chrono Chross's, but they are pretty good.
OK, now we are at the meat of the game. The story is good. Very good. It's actually quite original. The setting is in contemporary Japan, and you play as Maya, who gets a Joker threat...and that's all you'll hear from me. Let's just say the story involves serial killers, a man of power, and the Taiwanese Mafia. I know, it just sounds good! It's not you standard story that usually sounds like a broken RPG record. It's actually a serious, mature RPG, not a game starring a bunch of young brats stuck out in the middle of nowhere. This story alone is a good enough reason to give this game a test drive.
WAIT!! There's more! Before you play this game read the manual. It'll come in handy because this game has a lot of depth. I really like the rumor system (rumors become reality), and quite frankly the dungeon dwelling is delicious. Now be warned, this game has quite a lot of dungeon dwelling, so if you like other aspects of RPGs (like exploration), your options may be limited. However, chances are they storyline will keep you glued.
That's it! This game is very innovative and if you like RPG's I recommend that you play this game. You might fall in love.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 04/16/01, Updated 04/16/01
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