Review by Limit Break

"Another masterpiece that continues the tradition of excellence in the Persona series"

Atlus is by no means the best company out there. They've had some bad games, and some good games, for sure. But where they really stand out is with this series, the Persona games. And Eternal Punishment is no exception. This is one of their greatest games, and I'll tell you why.

First, the most impressive is the fact this game is a sequel itself. This series has been masterfully linked together, the plots of the games intertwine at points, but again, Atlus was there. This game has been well done, so you don't need to have played the other games to know what's going on. But for those fans of the series, there are returning characters, and little surprises here and there that make you smile as you say to yourself ''I remember that!''. Old characters return, and many, many other things as well...

Now, the story itself is again excellent. All I can say without spoiling it terribly, is that it's about a group of adults who learn to summon their other selves from within, their ''personas''. Something goes awry, and rumors become reality, and it's your task to set the wrong right. The game does a great job of adding detail and emotion to the characters, and some of the things they say are deep enough to make you think about your own life.

To add to the great story, it's gameplay is through the roof. Easy to learn controls, a rotating camera are just the beginning. Where this game really shines is it's innovative battle system. There are so many ways to end a fight, no two battles ever end up quite the same. The contact system is probably the biggest innovation, where you can negotiate instead of fight. This can end the battle many different ways including running in fear, it can make them attack you, and it can end up in negotiating a contract. Basically, when you have a contract with a monster and enter battle with the same type later, you can open up negotiations again with them. If you make them pleased again, you can learn rumors, get items or spell cards, which are used to create new personas. Well, mom always said to use your words, right?

The graphics in this game are good, but nothing too special. The sprites are detailed enough, and the profiles are well done. But this games music is wonderful. It will move you, it will make you feel the atmosphere around you. This game has some of the best music in an RPG ever, and it's definitely worth leaving the volume on for this one. The sound effects are sound effects, really, and the voices in battle are at times annoying (although Ulala can be funny as hell).

Another high point in this game is it's replay value. There are 2 different routes you can take through this game, and an optional dungeon, which opens up more as the game progresses. On top of that, after playing through both paths, the EX dungeon opens up, which is much bigger than anything else in the game, and allows you to pick and mix the party of your choice. Awesome replay value that gives yet one more reason to play this game.

This game might not be for everyone, as it can be quite hard at times. This is definitely not a game for beginners. The combat system might also seem a little intimidating, but it's easily learned in a few battles. It's also meant for a more mature audience, as it has some violent themes and a little profanity.

Bottom line, this is an excellent game, well worth shelling out the cash for. You'll get your money's worth with this one. A fantastic storyline, a great soundtrack and tons of replay value make this one a game to remember.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 07/16/01, Updated 07/16/01

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