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Persona 2: Eternal Punishment - Review

Not your generic RPG platter

By: Ahmed Saad


Review Breakdown
   Battle System 9
   Interface 9
   Music/Sound 9
   Originality 9
   Plot 9
   Localization 10
   Replay Value 8
   Visuals 8
   Difficulty Hard
   Time to Complete

40 - 60 hours/quest

 
Overall
number
Criteria

Title Screen
 

   If like the majority of readers out there you may not want to play this game opting instead to play Rpgs like Final Fantasy 9 and Chrono Cross..but by doing so you will be missing out on one of the most pleasing and rewarding Rpg's since Chrono Trigger .....

   Persona 2: Eternal Punishment is part of the Megami tensei series , a series noted for it's mature nature , just be prepared for one of the best rpg's out there...

   Persona 2 : Eternal Punishment's battle system is like a melting pot of battle systems .. it has the magic system of Final Fantasy 6 , The Movement and team ups of Chrono Trigger , the strategy of Suikoden , and the involvement of Chrono Cross .

   You have two choices of battle systems. One is to set a strategy to your characters and let them do their stuff until you decide to change, and the other is to set the strategy once each round of attacks is over . What makes the battles such a joy to play is the fact that your characters are always jumping around the screen attacking , screaming , calling personas to attack with magic, taking blows, screaming at the enemies and attacking in rage you actually feel like your characters are alive. But the two innovate features in the battles are your personas *more on that later* and the contact system : The contact system is a system in where 1-3 of your characters make contact with a demon ,including: talking to the demon , flirting , blackmailing , or even wire tapping the demons phone .. which eventually leads to one of 4 reactions depending on the personality of the demon ( and they have loads of personalities) If the contact ends with the demon scared it will run away and the battle will end without you gaining anything if the contact ends while the demon is mad the battle will commence and the demon will usually get an inital hit if the contact ends with the demon happy you will get the chance to forge a contract if your levels are high enough which on meeting the demon again will give you the chance to either obtain money , items , or information , if the contact ends with the demon interested you will obtain Tarot cards which allow you to summon personas .

   Personas are summoned when your levels are high enough and when you have enough tarot cards from your contacts ,however some personas require special items to summon them which are usually obtained from side quests or Npc's. Most personas are based on legendary figures thus each persona has it's own spell list and it's own strengths and weakness thus altering the strength and weakness of the character with the persona equipped accordingly . There are around 200 personas so it'll take a while for you to get them all . another extra is the ability to unite persona spells to form some truely spectacular attacks on enemies called fussion spells , fussion spells are initiated by spells cast in certain order the first time it happens you have no control over your characters as they just unite their spells but from there on you can choose when to cast the fussion spells from your strategy . Some fussion spells are spell specific some are persona specific but finding them is up to you as fussion spells depend on when and what you cast.


blah?
Boogie down!  

   Unlike most rpg's Persona 2 has a unique map system you don't have to trek across endless lands to reach a town . Your map consists of a couple of locations to zoom into then a couple of locations or npcs to reach and shops are hurdled together... no random battles on map screens!! Plus equiping your charcters , checking personas , spells and characters is easy thanks to the simple menus.

   The sound in this game is incredible , the music fits the mood of the game perfectly , the music is so good you'd want to import the sound track for this game . The sound of your characters when you initiate a battle or your characters screaming battle cries, calling personas or screaming when defeated during battle ,or when you decide to retreat from battle ,Your characters talking during certain segements in the game (usually before boss battles) pulls you closer to your characters in a way most other Rpg's can't touch. The sound effects of your attacks and your persona attacks are impressive so are the individual sounds of your enemies during attacks ,contacts or while they're casting spells. Overall the sound is highly regarded as some of the Best music and SFX i've heard in a long time.

   Persona 2 pushes away from the usual me too status of most rpg's by having a mature feel to the game , you're not playing to save the world you're playing to solve a mystery . Battles are immersive and original ( in the melting several games together) and all sorts of different experiances make for fun and original playtime. leveling up however is like all rpg's except that when you level up the persona equipped increase a certain ability(strength,agility,technique..etc) .

   The most Interesting and original aspect of Persona 2 is the rumour system by learning rumours and spreading them you change the world around you accordingly , you can learn rumours from various rumour mongers , from Npc's or from contacts with Demons . you can make characters appear , obtain personas , buy weapons , initiate mini- quests , all by spreading rumours.


Cutesy or Realistic Name
Brightly coloured.  

   The most important aspect of Persona 2 is the plot ,Persona 2 has great character development you end up caring about these characters , going through their weaknesses ,witnessing their rage , saddness , love , and hate , and watching them eventually mature for the better much like any one of us. this is a very mature plot . Unlike the usual fantasy settings ( bad guy gains power gets girl wants to destroy world) You play the Role of Maya Amano a female reporter for a teen magazine going to investigate some bizarre murders known as the Joker killings in a near by high school , only to be caught up in the middle of a world gone mad in which rumours become reality needless to say (i don't wanna ruin a great story) expect alot of murders ,betrayal , swearing ,and x-file type mysteries . My only gripe with The story is that although Persona 2 Eternal Punishment tries it's best to tie up any loose ends involved with Persona 2 : Innocent Sin ( Japan Only) you really end up wanting to know what happened in Innocent sin , but that really has almost nothing to do with the story of Eternal Punishment so it won't ruin the experiance but ATLUS please release innocent sin!

   The translation in Persona 2 is of excellent quality characters talk like you and I , there are no funny misunderstandings because a character talks like a hindu monk , and accents and different forms of language are represented perfectly.

   The graphics While 2d are sure to make your 3d adjusted eyes to wonder what ever happened to 2d, characters move fluidly , have tons of animation , and look great . leave your characters alone for a while and they'll start fidgiting , in battles your characters attack animations are fun ..but they do get repetitive after a couple of battles. your characters are 2d sprites against a 3d world .. so the camera can be rotated much like grandia .Overall the graphics are great to look at ..but are lacking compared to the graphical masterpieces like Final fantasy and Chrono Cross .


doot
You chat a lot.  

   My only gripe with this game is that the difficulty is insane , battles are frequent and tough and bosses are insanely hard but by equipping the proper personas you can have an easier time in battles however it's saving grace is that you can Save anywhere which makes the game slightly easier.

   Persona 2 : Eternal Punisment Is a great game with 3 different quests *2 slightly different one bonus* each taking a minimum of 40 hours, tons of personas to summon , tons of mini quests , tons of side games , tons of fussion spells to descover , tons of enemies to contact and tons of secrets to discover you won't finish it quickly and you'll enjoy every minute doing so.

   Overall Persona 2 : Eternal Punishment is a great Rpg , worthy of standing high up with the final fantasies and dragon quests of the gaming world . It's innovative plot and features will have you screaming at the scream saying it's about freakin time! If you're sick of all these me too , save the world beat the bad guy rpg's then you'll find no better alternative to the world of Persona 2.







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