Review by Greatest One

"The only drawback of this game is its difficulty"

Nowadays, almost all RPGs follow basically the same blueprint. The hero is uncertain about his past and future, he meets a girl who he has to save once or twice and there is a bad guy who wants to destroy the world. However, Persona 2 is a completely different RPG and a breath of fresh air.
In Persona 2, you are asked to investigate a series of strange murders at a local high school. Once you do that, you discover something totally shocking that will change the way you see yourselves. The story is presented very nicely in anime format and has some dark themes like voodoo and such.
The battle system is very unique and very involved. Not only can you do the standard attacks and magic, but you can also talk to the monsters in hopes of increasing your overall power. The basis of the game is that humans have alternate Personas which are usually the monsters you meet. Once a human has contacted a Persona, you can summon this Persona in battle to help you. To acquire new Personas, you need to get tarot cards of the various classes of monsters. once you have enough tarot cards, you are allowed to summon these Personas. The way you get these cards are by talking to the monsters and making them happy or interested in you. You can even make contracts with the monsters, so they will give you items or money the next time you meet them instead of fighting. One cool thing about Personas kis that you can combine some of their attacks which result in really strong attacks called Fusion Spells. Since there are a lot of personas in the game, there are a huge number of Fusion Spells, too.
Another cool thing about Persona 2 is the rumor system. The world of Persona 2 is a strange place where rumors tend to come true. Thus you can spread rumors to help you in the game and they end up coming true. But you need to hear these rumors first. You can hear rumors from the internet, talking to rumormongers or some of the monsters you fight. For example, you might want to spread a rumor that the local bar sells weapons. Now you can go to the bar and buy your weapons from there.
The one drawback in this game is that it is unnecessarily difficult. Training before every boss battle is a must and that too doesn't guarantee you a victory. Sometimes you may have to fight bosses 8 or 9 times before winning. At least, the game allows you to save wherever you want, which is really helpful.
Other than this complaint, Persona 2 is a great game and an excellent RPG.

Graphics: 8.
The in game graphics are in general pretty good, although they tend to get a little blocky sometimes, Xenogears style. The anime scenes are great, but there are too few of them.

Sound: 9.
I love the music in this game. Most of the songs are dark techno beats which suit the game perfectly. The scenes where there are voice acting are done very well too.

Gameplay: 7.
The game is very involved and you can do a lot of things. The battles do not get boring which is a plus since you need to train so much to combat the difficulty.

Replay Value: 7.
The game is quite long, but the difficulty may stop you from playing again. However, you can play again using your souped up characters to get more personas and the ultimate fusion spells.

Overall: 8.
This is a great addition to the RPG genre dominated by the fantasy stuff. The futuristic and mature themes make it a must have for any RPG fan.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 03/19/01, Updated 03/19/01


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