How can I get into Persona?

#1 Posted by Ramone (2959 posts) -

I, like many people on this, website watched and thoroughly enjoyed the Persona 4 Endurance Run. Not only were Jeff's and Vinny's comments hilarious but the game was genuinely funny and well written itself. This sparked an interest in me but I've never quite figured out how the hell I could get my hands on Persona easily and with relatively low cost. I live in the U.K meaning that the obvious option of downloading P3 FES on PSN is impossible (as far as I know at least), I also do not own a PSVita or a PSP (however I may be able to access one if needs be) and I no longer have my PS2. I am not against purchasing another PS2 but that should only really be a last resort. My questions are which Persona should I buy and on which platform? Also does anyone know if there is any chance of P3 being released on the European PSN store?

#2 Edited by Cloudenvy (5891 posts) -

Buy a PS2, get Persona 3 FES and Persona 4.

That's probably the cheapest way to do it.

#3 Posted by MikeGosot (3227 posts) -
@Cloudenvy said:

Buy a PS2, get Persona 3 FES and Persona 4.

That's probably the cheapest way to do it.

This. You can also get a PSP and play Persona 1, 2, and the best version of 3(IMO, at least.). But keep in mind that Persona and Persona 2 are very different from 3 and 4.
#4 Posted by Video_Game_King (35993 posts) -

Just get Persona 4. Or wait for Golden to come out and get that.

Online
#5 Edited by Cloudenvy (5891 posts) -

@MikeGosot said:

@Cloudenvy said:

Buy a PS2, get Persona 3 FES and Persona 4.

That's probably the cheapest way to do it.

This. You can also get a PSP and play Persona 1, 2, and the best version of 3(IMO, at least.). But keep in mind that Persona and Persona 2 are very different from 3 and 4.

Yeah, I just figured he was only interested in the "modern" Persona experience. That's how it is most of the time.

#6 Posted by Ramone (2959 posts) -

Thanks guys, I think I might just get a PS2 during the summer. Also congratulations on your insane amount of posts

#7 Posted by Ramone (2959 posts) -

@Cloudenvy said:

@MikeGosot said:

@Cloudenvy said:

Buy a PS2, get Persona 3 FES and Persona 4.

That's probably the cheapest way to do it.

This. You can also get a PSP and play Persona 1, 2, and the best version of 3(IMO, at least.). But keep in mind that Persona and Persona 2 are very different from 3 and 4.

Yeah, I just figured he was only interested in the "modern" Persona experience. That's how it is most of the time.

What are the main differences between the old and new Personas?

#8 Posted by ARTB (32 posts) -

I'm sure Persona 3 is out for PSP in Europe, it's on PSN in Australia and the Shin Megami Tensai games have the same publisher in both territories. That being said the PS2 Persona 3 Fes is a way better version so I would go with that anyway.

#9 Posted by MikeGosot (3227 posts) -
@Ramone said:

@Cloudenvy said:

@MikeGosot said:

@Cloudenvy said:

Buy a PS2, get Persona 3 FES and Persona 4.

That's probably the cheapest way to do it.

This. You can also get a PSP and play Persona 1, 2, and the best version of 3(IMO, at least.). But keep in mind that Persona and Persona 2 are very different from 3 and 4.

Yeah, I just figured he was only interested in the "modern" Persona experience. That's how it is most of the time.

What are the main differences between the old and new Personas?

The old Personas are more dungeon crawlers than the new Personas, if i'm not mistaken. The Old Ones also doesn't have the Social Link system. A great part of the new Persona fans says the first two games aged BADLY, but i really like them. Then again, i think SMT is better than Persona.
#10 Posted by Hailinel (23878 posts) -

@Ramone said:

@Cloudenvy said:

@MikeGosot said:

@Cloudenvy said:

Buy a PS2, get Persona 3 FES and Persona 4.

That's probably the cheapest way to do it.

This. You can also get a PSP and play Persona 1, 2, and the best version of 3(IMO, at least.). But keep in mind that Persona and Persona 2 are very different from 3 and 4.

Yeah, I just figured he was only interested in the "modern" Persona experience. That's how it is most of the time.

What are the main differences between the old and new Personas?

Well:

  • Persona and Persona 2 do not have Social Links.
  • Dungeon exploration in the original Persona is in first-person.
  • Persona and Persona 2 use a variation of the Megami Tensei demon negotiation system to acquire cards for fusion and other items, which is not as easy as the "Shuffle Time" mechanic introduced in P3 by a long shot.
  • Persona and Persona 2 do not operate on a day-by-day calendar.
  • Persona 3 introduced a new combat system based on the Press Turn system first seen in Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne. Persona and Persona 2 feature an older turn-based system that's slower-paced.
  • In Persona and Persona 2, all of the player's party members can visit the Velvet Room and equip multiple Personas. Only the protagonists in P3 and P4 are able to do this.
Online
#11 Edited by Cloudenvy (5891 posts) -

@MikeGosot said:

@Ramone said:

@Cloudenvy said:

@MikeGosot said:

@Cloudenvy said:

Buy a PS2, get Persona 3 FES and Persona 4.

That's probably the cheapest way to do it.

This. You can also get a PSP and play Persona 1, 2, and the best version of 3(IMO, at least.). But keep in mind that Persona and Persona 2 are very different from 3 and 4.

Yeah, I just figured he was only interested in the "modern" Persona experience. That's how it is most of the time.

What are the main differences between the old and new Personas?

The old Personas are more dungeon crawlers than the new Personas, if i'm not mistaken. The Old Ones also doesn't have the Social Link system. A great part of the new Persona fans says the first two games aged BADLY, but i really like them. Then again, i think SMT is better than Persona.

Even if I'm a bigger fan of the newer Persona's, I wouldn't say they've aged badly. They're just, as you said, very different games.

They might be worth playing through if you're super into the Persona lore, knowing about Philemon and all that.

#12 Posted by MikeGosot (3227 posts) -
@Cloudenvy: I shouldn't have judged the fans of the newer games that way, but i've seem so much hate towards Persona 2 that it's RIDICULOUS.
#13 Posted by ARTB (32 posts) -

@Ramone: 1 and 2 are closer to traditional JRPGs where you're going from one dungeon to the next doing side quests in the city along the way. They both still have an insane awesome story set around high school if that's you're main draw. But if you wanted to try them go straight to Persona 2 because it is way more refined and has a more interesting story.

#14 Posted by Cloudenvy (5891 posts) -

@MikeGosot: I wasn't calling you out or anything! I agree for the most part, I think it's because most people play the newer Persona's and then go in with the wrong expectations.

#15 Posted by Animasta (14648 posts) -

@ARTB said:

@Ramone: 1 and 2 are closer to traditional JRPGs where you're going from one dungeon to the next doing side quests in the city along the way. They both still have an insane awesome story set around high school if that's you're main draw. But if you wanted to try them go straight to Persona 2 because it is way more refined and has a more interesting story.

eternal punishment and innocent sin aren't really centered around high school.

Persona 2's combat aged badly (fuck the undersea ruins) but the stories of those two are way better than any other game Atlus has ever done. Heartily recommend

#16 Edited by MikeGosot (3227 posts) -
@Cloudenvy said:

@MikeGosot: I wasn't calling you out or anything! I agree for the most part, I think it's because most people play the newer Persona's and then go in with the wrong expectations.

Yeah, the lack of Social links was a big "WOW!" for me. I wouldn't be mad if they rebooted the series and turned every old Persona into the new type.
 
EDIT: I wouldn't be mad just to make the series more uniform or something. It's weird to not be able to recommend every game of the franchise, just because of wrong expectations.
#17 Posted by Animasta (14648 posts) -

@MikeGosot said:

@Cloudenvy said:

@MikeGosot: I wasn't calling you out or anything! I agree for the most part, I think it's because most people play the newer Persona's and then go in with the wrong expectations.

Yeah, the lack of Social links was a big "WOW!" for me. I wouldn't be mad if they rebooted the series and turned every old Persona into the new type.

god no persona 2's story is perfect on it's own and social links would completely ruin it.

#18 Posted by Ramone (2959 posts) -

I may as well ask here, are any of the other Shin Megami Tensei games similar to Persona 4/worth playing?

#19 Edited by Cloudenvy (5891 posts) -

@Ramone: Persona 3.

Everything else is probably too far removed from what you actually want.

@MikeGosot said:

@Cloudenvy said:

@MikeGosot: I wasn't calling you out or anything! I agree for the most part, I think it's because most people play the newer Persona's and then go in with the wrong expectations.

Yeah, the lack of Social links was a big "WOW!" for me. I wouldn't be mad if they rebooted the series and turned every old Persona into the new type.

I'd probably rather have them work on new games, heh.

Damn it Persona 5, release already.

#20 Edited by YI_Orange (1128 posts) -

@Ramone said:

I, like many people on this, website watched and thoroughly enjoyed the Persona 4 Endurance Run. Not only were Jeff's and Vinny's comments hilarious but the game was genuinely funny and well written itself. This sparked an interest in me but I've never quite figured out how the hell I could get my hands on Persona easily and with relatively low cost. I live in the U.K meaning that the obvious option of downloading P3 FES on PSN is impossible (as far as I know at least), I also do not own a PSVita or a PSP (however I may be able to access one if needs be) and I no longer have my PS2. I am not against purchasing another PS2 but that should only really be a last resort. My questions are which Persona should I buy and on which platform? Also does anyone know if there is any chance of P3 being released on the European PSN store?

Peronsa 2: Eternal Punishment seems really really interesting, but I couldn't get past the persona system. I hated it. and after completing a dungeon and moving onto the next story bit the enemies leaped ahead of me power so far it seemed like they were requiring me to grind. Unfortunately, I had to stop because of this.

Like others have said, just get 3 and 4. Personally, I was very turned off the PSP version of Persona 3. While the capability to pick a female main character is...cool(?) I don't like the implications of it. It kind of took away the sense that the guy you play in the original is important, especially things implied by "The Answer" in FES. I get that in the end it's all just an avatar for the player, but still. Also, I saw some story changes from being a female and one social link related one...spoiler, don't click if you haven't played Persona 3. I also don't like the point and click way of doing the maps. Sometimes walking around got annoying, but I liked it. So for me, the superior version is FES. Also, the AI can take a bit to get used to in Persona 3 since you don't directly control them. That said, you should play 3 first so all the improvements in 4 are nice as opposed to the annoyances in 3 being emphasized.

If you get Shinjiro to 10 he lives. Fuck that. I like him, but it's dumb that he lives. The only way I would be cool with this was if Ken died instead.

@Ramone: Edit - Others aren't really that similar. Most are a little more dark, story is a bit more implied(especially in the case of Nocturne). They tend to deal with post-apocalypse, or present apocalypse though. I believe Shin Megami Tensei translates roughly into "Rebirth of the New Goddess" or something along those lines.

Nocturne still have demon(persona) collection and fusing, but you use them for your party rather than summon them. It's a great game.

Digital Devil Saga 1 and 2 has set characters with something I guess similar to the Sphere Grid for gaining new abilities. Both these and Nocturne follow the same rough battle style.

Devil Survivor has demon collection. This game is a turn based RPG within an SRPG. It's easier to see than to explain. Highly customizable parties and interesting story. I never beat it because I didn't grind and got stuck on a fight.

There's more, but those are the ones I feel qualified to talk about. Out of them, DDS is probably my favorite SMT sub franchise aside from Persona.

#21 Posted by Video_Game_King (35993 posts) -

@Cloudenvy said:

Damn it Persona 5, release already.

Just understand that given the series tradition, it's gonna be nothing like Persona 3/4, from a gameplay perspective. Also, it's coming out in, like, 2014.

Online
#22 Posted by Animasta (14648 posts) -

@YI_Orange: I hate the system just as much as you probably do, but the story is so good that it doesn't matter.

Also, Innocent Sin is different in that you don't REALLY need to grind for personae. You get free persona from dudes (starting set, then customs, and then the evolved persona) and they're enough to carry you through the entire game (maybe get some persona in between customs and evolved, but that's optional). So consider that if you don't like the persona system.

#23 Posted by MikeGosot (3227 posts) -
@Cloudenvy: Oh, Persona 5 would be much better, what i meant was "If instead of doing the remakes they've done, they rebooted the old ones, i wouldn't be mad."
 
@Animasta: Well, the old ones would be always there for you to play it. I, at least, wouldn't be mad.
#24 Posted by Cloudenvy (5891 posts) -

@Video_Game_King: I very much doubt they'll be throwing out mechanics like Social Links and such, but we'll see I guess.

@MikeGosot: Oh yeah, for sure. As cool as The Golden sounds, I certainly could've lived without another Persona 4.

#25 Posted by Animasta (14648 posts) -

@MikeGosot said:

@Cloudenvy: Oh, Persona 5 would be much better, what i meant was "If instead of doing the remakes they've done, they rebooted the old ones, i wouldn't be mad."

@Animasta: Well, the old ones would be always there for you to play it. I, at least, wouldn't be mad.

You'd have to rewrite so much of it that it'd be easier to just create a new game.

#26 Posted by MikeGosot (3227 posts) -
@Animasta: That's true.
 
@Cloudenvy: Yeah, Persona is the Call Of Duty of Atlus. At that point they're just farming the same characters, because they know fans will buy. At least they are doing some different things, like the fighting game.
#27 Edited by YI_Orange (1128 posts) -

@Animasta: I really wanna not hate that game :(. I just got out of the burning museum(dumbest kids ever) and am on the part where Ulala went evil from rumors or got possessed or whatever. I love everything about the plot so far but god damn it can I not play that game. You need so many cards I'm not sure I ever upgraded my personae. I mean, the acquisition of contracts and cards and such is kind of cool, but I just hate the grind.

Also, the voice acting is soooooooo bad. Katsuya sounds like he was recorded in some dude's basement. It somehow makes yelling "I'll hear your excuses down at the station!" at a cockatrice more hilarious. uggghhhh god dammit I want to like that game.

#28 Posted by Animasta (14648 posts) -

@YI_Orange: which is why I'm saying you should play innocent sin instead of eternal punishment, because you don't really need cards

#29 Posted by Cloudenvy (5891 posts) -

@MikeGosot: Yeah, I'm cool with the fighting game though. Having a known developer have their way with a franchise known for completely different gameplay is something I'm a huge fan of.

As long as I get some new Persona I'm happy, I suppose!

#30 Posted by Video_Game_King (35993 posts) -

@Cloudenvy:

Did we see monster negotiations in Persona 3? What about first person, non-random dungeons in Persona 4?

Online
#31 Posted by MikeGosot (3227 posts) -
@Cloudenvy said:

@MikeGosot: Yeah, I'm cool with the fighting game though. Having a known developer have their way with a franchise known for completely different gameplay is something I'm a huge fan of.

As long as I get some new Persona I'm happy, I suppose!

As long as i get a new Persona, i'm happy. I don't like when a series that is supposed to change in every sequel (Like Final Fantasy, for example.) can't "abandon" a game. I get it, FFVII and Persona 4 are fun. You don't need to keep making more of them.
But... Dat fighting game looks sick.
#32 Edited by Cloudenvy (5891 posts) -

@Video_Game_King: Neither of those games became as popular as Persona 3 and Persona 4 did, that's why I'm saying they won't remove what many associate with modern Persona.

@MikeGosot: They're just going where the safe money is at, I suppose.

Yeah it does, though I'm afraid I'll just keep running into Chie over and over again when playing online.

#33 Posted by SlightConfuse (3963 posts) -

just poping in to say persona 2 is pretty great. also play digtial devil saga and nocturne

#34 Posted by natetodamax (19170 posts) -

I've really enjoyed Persona 3 and Persona 4. Whether or not it's worth buying a PS2 just for them is up to you, but if you're interested in Persona you should definitely play those two.

#35 Edited by mutha3 (4985 posts) -

@Animasta said:

@YI_Orange: I hate the system just as much as you probably do, but the story is so good that it doesn't matter.

it really, really does end up mattering.

its kind of hard to ignore what makes up, like, 70% or more of these games. I agree that P2 has a solid story, and I'm glad I trudged through it, but if you're unwilling to deal with 1998 JRPG bullshit I recommend you don't bother.

(also nocturne is more interesting storywise and actually fun to play. buy smt nocturne)

#36 Posted by Cloudenvy (5891 posts) -

@mutha3: I have heard horror stories about some of Nocturne, mostly the need to mindlessly grind. Maybe the person I was talking to was exaggerating.

#37 Edited by mutha3 (4985 posts) -

@Cloudenvy said:

@mutha3: I have heard horror stories about some of Nocturne, mostly the need to mindlessly grind. Maybe the person I was talking to was exaggerating.

The answer to this is probably yes and no.

Nocturne is tough as nails, merciless and very complex. It also rewards players who are able to dig into that depth and figure out its systems(meaning you can get through with 0 grinding if you know how to play).If you suck at jrpgs, though, and are the type of player who grinds past everything...whoo boy, you've pretty much got yourself hell in videogame form.

Persona 2 on the other hand is just kind of dumb and tedious in the gameplay department.

#38 Posted by Cloudenvy (5891 posts) -

@mutha3: Great, sounds like something I should play if I finally get into that Demon's Souls frame of mind and want to punish myself.

Oh yeah, I've experienced the frustrations of Persona 2 first hand.

#39 Posted by SlightConfuse (3963 posts) -

@Cloudenvy: its like dark souls where if you are not careful you can get fucked real bad. but as Mutha said if you put the peices together you can make it

#40 Posted by Animasta (14648 posts) -

@mutha3 said:

@Animasta said:

@YI_Orange: I hate the system just as much as you probably do, but the story is so good that it doesn't matter.

it really, really does end up mattering.

its kind of hard to ignore what makes up, like, 70% or more of these games. I agree that P2 has a solid story, and I'm glad I trudged through it, but if you're unwilling to deal with 1998 JRPG bullshit I recommend you don't bother.

(also nocturne is more interesting storywise and actually fun to play. buy smt nocturne)

considering I usually hate 90's JRPG bullshit (can't even play FFIX because the battles are too long), the fact that I keep playing despite it is also a factor. just got to the torifune/xibalba in EP, so hopefully I'm close to the end

also nocturne is nowhere near as good storywise, pleeeeeze.

#41 Posted by Soren (291 posts) -

@mutha3 said:

(also nocturne is more interesting storywise and actually fun to play. buy smt nocturne)

But yeah, the original games are pretty tedious, and even the PSP releases did little to address some of their more glaring issues. P2 probably has the strongest narrative of the bunch, but it's a bit of a chore nonetheless.

#42 Posted by Hailinel (23878 posts) -

@Animasta said:

@mutha3 said:

@Animasta said:

@YI_Orange: I hate the system just as much as you probably do, but the story is so good that it doesn't matter.

it really, really does end up mattering.

its kind of hard to ignore what makes up, like, 70% or more of these games. I agree that P2 has a solid story, and I'm glad I trudged through it, but if you're unwilling to deal with 1998 JRPG bullshit I recommend you don't bother.

(also nocturne is more interesting storywise and actually fun to play. buy smt nocturne)

considering I usually hate 90's JRPG bullshit (can't even play FFIX because the battles are too long), the fact that I keep playing despite it is also a factor. just got to the torifune/xibalba in EP, so hopefully I'm close to the end

also nocturne is nowhere near as good storywise, pleeeeeze.

They are both quality narratives with different focuses.

CAN'T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG?!

Online
#43 Edited by mutha3 (4985 posts) -

@Hailinel said:

@Animasta said:

@mutha3 said:

@Animasta said:

@YI_Orange: I hate the system just as much as you probably do, but the story is so good that it doesn't matter.

it really, really does end up mattering.

its kind of hard to ignore what makes up, like, 70% or more of these games. I agree that P2 has a solid story, and I'm glad I trudged through it, but if you're unwilling to deal with 1998 JRPG bullshit I recommend you don't bother.

(also nocturne is more interesting storywise and actually fun to play. buy smt nocturne)

considering I usually hate 90's JRPG bullshit (can't even play FFIX because the battles are too long), the fact that I keep playing despite it is also a factor. just got to the torifune/xibalba in EP, so hopefully I'm close to the end

also nocturne is nowhere near as good storywise, pleeeeeze.

They are both quality narratives with different focuses.

CAN'T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG?!

NEVER

@Soren said:

@mutha3 said:

(also nocturne is more interesting storywise and actually fun to play. buy smt nocturne)

But yeah, the original games are pretty tedious, and even the PSP releases did little to address some of their more glaring issues. P2 probably has the strongest narrative of the bunch, but it's a bit of a chore nonetheless.

Yeah, as far as the Persona series goes, 2 definitely has the most cohesive narrative(reminder:hitler and ancient mayan spaceships are involved. reminder 2:this makes sense in the context of the narrative). 3 and 4 make a lot of dumb mistakes and misteps and 1 is kind of uninteresting(I only vaguely remember some of the themes and the general gist of the plot. I have a pretty good memory when it comes to stories soooo.....). But I ended up liking 4 more because of the characters.

#44 Posted by Animasta (14648 posts) -

nocturne is the better game and has the better setting, but persona 2 still has the best story

fuck xibalba tho

#45 Posted by thegoldencat7 (1491 posts) -

Through the TV.

#46 Posted by coakroach (2488 posts) -

Persona 3 will be super familiar if you watched the endurance run, although personally I didn't enjoy the story/characters as much as those in Persona 4.

I'd go with that and then stay the hell away from Persona 2 until you've maybe checked out some of the other modern Shin Megami Tensei games, like Devil Survivor or Strange Journey.

While I havent played Persona 1 yet, i'm nearing the end (i think) of Persona 2 EP for the PSP and it is a completely different ball game.

The game mechanics are clunky and dated, but the story is totally worth it if you've built up a tolerance for wading through weird JRPG bullshit.

#47 Posted by Commisar123 (1790 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

Just get Persona 4. Or wait for Golden to come out and get that.

This is pretty much the best advice I could give

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