The Persona franchise has been pretty successful in the west even though they sometimes don’t get released until a few years after our eastern friends. But the wait is usually worth it. I personally have always enjoyed the series, so when I found out about the Persona Q2:New Cinema Labyrinth have come to the west finally I simply just could not wait to fire up my 3DS and take a look at what the latest title has to offer.
Developer: Atlus, Deep Silver
Thanks to the publishers for the review code.
I played Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth when it was released back in 2014. The title was good and I enjoyed it very much. I did think that the game was slightly too long and the characters felt a little wooden and the story did drag out a little, but otherwise I enjoyed playing it and was a great addition to the Persona Series.
Fast Forward 5 years and we have Persona Q2, which when I first fired it up felt familiar as it opens with the cast from Persona 5. After a trip into the Mementos (which if you played Persona 5 you will be familiar with) Morgana somehow manages to get the Phantom Thieves stuck in some extremely strange movie theatre. It is here the gang meets two new people, the manager of the Theatre, Nagi and a young girl called Hikari.
The majority of the gameplay has been carried over from the original Persona Q. This includes the combat mechanics, the way you move through the game world step-by-step and the use of Personas on each of the characters. But of course as this is the second title there is new stuff added.
The main change is how the side quests are handled. Instead of the request-style system found before, this one uses a ticket based system, appropriately as this is based in a movie theatre. The tickets work the same way by transporting the player to another part of the level to complete the quest that is required. Once you have completed said quest, you get transported back to your home base.
For each quest you complete you get an award. These are new to Q2 and called Unisons. This allows for group members to perform a combination attack and inflict more damage on enemies. The skill cards are handled differently to the previous game too. This time around they have been paired up with Fusion Sacrifices which is where one sub-persona is sacrificed to power up another. The areas that you explore are slightly smaller and less puzzle heavy. There is still a lot of hours in this game and will last you for a good 60-80 hours.
The storyline is focused around Hikari who is in the same position as the other Persona’s, stuck in the movie theatre. As you play through the story unfolds and learn a lot more about this character story and how she got to this point. The only minor point I would say is that the cast of characters is so massive that many of them are overlooked and don’t get much game time.
Being a big Persona fan I always welcome playing new games in the franchise. I enjoyed playing Q2 and I would recommend it to fans of the series. I won’t advise it for people who haven’t played Persona Q or Persona 5 as it will be a bit hard to pick up and play as they won’t know the initial cast or the mechanics. But fans pick this up and dust off your 3DS.