Shin Megami Tensei: Persona

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Shin Megami Tensei: Persona
Persona PSP Logo.jpg
The logo of Shin Megami Tensei: Persona, the remake of the first game in the series.
Genres Role-playing game
Social simulation
Developers Atlus
Dingo (P4D)
Publishers Atlus (Main)
Koei (P3, P3FES Europe Only)
Square Enix (P4 Europe Only)
Ubisoft (P4 Australia Only)
Ghostlight (P3P, P2IS Europe Only)
NIS America (P4G Europe Only)
Platforms Arcade
Microsoft Windows
Nintendo 3DS
PlayStation
PlayStation 2
PlayStation 3
PlayStation Portable
PlayStation Vita
Xbox 360
First release Revelations: Persona
September 20, 1996
Latest release Persona 4 Golden
June 14, 2012

Shin Megami Tensei: Persona, known in Japan as PERSONA (ペルソナ Perusona?) is a series of role-playing video games developed and published by Atlus. The series is a spin-off of the Megami Tensei series which focuses on demon summoners. However, the Persona series centers around groups of teenagers who have the ability to summon facets of their psyche, known as Personas, into being. The game draws many elements from Jungian psychology and various Jungian archetypes. The first game in the series is called Megami Ibunroku (女神異聞録?) in Japan which translates to "Record of the Goddess' Strange Tales," denoting a side story or alternate universe. The series underwent a drastic change in design during Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 which introduced elements of simulation games into the series which was continued in Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4. Each title in the series utilizes a different method to summon Personas such as Evokers in Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3[1] and Tarot cards in Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4.[2] While the North American localizations of the Persona series all carry the Shin Megami Tensei label, the Persona series is actually a spin-off of the Megami Tensei main series. Persona 4 Arena is the first game of the series to drop the Shin Megami Tensei label for its North American release, reflecting Persona's status as a spin-off of the main series.

Titles[edit]

The series consists of two anime and film adaptations and eight games — six main games developed by Atlus, two enhanced versions of the PlayStation 2 game Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 titled Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3: FES and Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 Portable. Other remakes include a PlayStation Portable remake of the PlayStation game Revelations: Persona titled Shin Megami Tensei: Persona.

The second title in the series was released as two installments: Persona 2: Innocent Sin, released in 1999,[3] and Persona 2: Eternal Punishment, released in 2000.[4] Both games were released on the PlayStation. Only Eternal Punishment was localized and released in North America on the PlayStation. Innocent Sin was released for the first time in America on September 20, 2011 on the PlayStation Portable. Ironically, the PlayStation Portable port of Eternal Punishment was unable to be localized.

Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 represented a drastic change in design for the series, as it introduced elements of simulation games. The player controls a high school student, who attends classes during the day; after school, the player's character is free to engage in a number of activities, such as seeing a movie or spending time with a classmate. These actions all have effects on the game's combat, which takes place at night. A character can summon their inner-self persona by shooting themself in the head.[1]

A similar concept was applied on the fourth game, Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 but characters use Tarot cards rather than Evokers to bring forth their Personas.

Console games[edit]

Handheld games[edit]

Anime[edit]

Film[edit]

Common elements[edit]

Persona[edit]

In each game Personas are summoned differently and have different attributes though they are usually used for combat. In Revelations: Persona each character is allowed to have three Persona, more powerful Persona are acquired by fusing spell cards gained from enemy demons in the Velvet Room. These spell cards cannot be obtained by fighting demons, but instead require the player to communicate with them, a feature the game shares with games in the Megami Tensei series.[13] In both Persona 2 games, summoning Persona is similar to that of Revelations: Persona, however characters are limited to equipping persona according to their arcana. Philemon also transforms the main characters Persona into more powerful versions. In Persona 3, Persona are summoned by each member of the "Specialized Extracurricular Execution Squad" using an Evoker.[1] Each character's Persona also has its own set of strengths and weaknesses and belong to a major Arcana.[14] The Protagonist of the game is the only one able to carry multiple Personae which gives him access to a wider variety of skills than any other character.[14] From Persona 3 onwards, each party member's Persona will transform to a more powerful form after completing certain events in the game's story relating to that character. The Protagonist is unique in that he can carry multiple Persona and switch between them during battle, giving the player access to a new set of skills similar to that of Persona 3.[15]

Negotiation[edit]

In the spirit of past Megami Tensei games, which allow players to recruit demons to fight for them, Revelations: Persona and Persona 2 allow players to negotiate with enemies to gain money, items, or information. This is known as the "Contact" system. Contacts are performed during battles, and allow the player to skip combat entirely. To contact an enemy demon, the player selects a character to talk with the enemy. Each playable character has four unique methods of communication, such as praising the enemy or singing to them.[16] Every enemy, based on its specific personality, will give a different response to specific forms of contact. A demon will elicit one of four emotions: joy, fear, anger, or sadness. Generating enough interest in a demon will prompt it to give the player a spell card, used to create a Persona in the Velvet Room.[17]

In Persona 2, each playable character has a specific method of communicating with enemy demons. For example, The game's protagonist Tatsuya (in Innocent Sin), who is always silent, sometimes will make sounds like jets, a construction site, etc., Maya, who works for a teen magazine, will attempt to interview an enemy, while the character Ulala (in Eternal Punishment) will offer to read its fortune. In addition to using one character, the player may combine up to three characters to initiate a conversation as well. As with Revelations: Persona, demons have a set of personality traits which determine how they will respond to different methods of communication. The player can elicit four different responses out of a demon: anger, fear, joy, or interest. Triggering the same emotional three times will cause the demon to do something. An angry demon will assault the player, a scared demon will flee the battle, a joyful demon will give the player money or items, and an interested demon will give the player a number of Tarot cards, which can be used to create new Personas.[18]

Social Links[edit]

Social Links were only introduced in Persona 3 but are an integral part in the gameplay of that game and Persona 4. Social Links are the life as well as dating simulation elements of the game. In Persona 3, the player controls a high school student, who attends classes during the day; after school, the player's character is free to engage in a number of activities, such as seeing a movie or spending time with a classmate. These actions all have effects on the game's combat, which takes place at night.[1] In Persona 4, social links present the same benefit to the player. Social Links are friendships the Protagonist makes as the game progresses, each represented by one of the Major Arcana. When a Social Link is first formed, it starts at Rank 1, increasing over time as the Protagonist spends time with that person, until it reaches Rank 10. Social Links grant the player bonus experience when creating new Personas in the Velvet Room. Because level grinding is a very inefficient way of levelling a Persona, social links become a vital part of the game play. Social Links are also influenced by the protagonist's attributes, which vary depending on the game. In Persona 3, the protagonist's attributes are Charm, Academics and Courage. In Persona 4, the protagonist's attributes are Understanding, Diligence, Courage, Knowledge and Expression. They can be improved through various activities such as part-time jobs. These attributes in turn may also affect player's interaction in daily activities outside of Social Links.[19]

Velvet Room[edit]

The Velvet Room is a special room that is present in all Shin Megami Tensei: Persona games, it is usually manned by a person named Igor and its functions remains the same throughout the series: to fuse and strengthen existing Personas though the methods used are usually different each game. In Revelations: Persona a more powerful Persona is acquired by fusing spell cards gained from enemy demons.[13] In Persona 2, a more powerful Persona is acquired by fusing spell cards gained from enemy demons; however all characters have restrictions on which personas they can equip. In Persona 3, the main character is the only character who has access to the Velvet Room in which the player is able to fuse multiple Personas together to create a new, more powerful one.[20] A new Persona inherits several abilities from the Personas used to create it; in addition, it can gain an experience point bonus, based on the rank of the Social Link that matches the Arcanum of the Persona being fused.[20] The player is limited by the level of his character when fusing a Persona; the level of the Protagonist must be at least equal to the level of the Persona to be fused.[14] There is also a Persona Compendium which contains all previously-owned Personas; this allows the player to retrieve, for a price, an older Persona to be used.[20] In Persona 4, the functions of the Velvet Room are similar to that of Persona 3 with the exception of a number of new features. Each Persona is of one of the Major Arcana. Fusing Personas of an arcanum that matches an established Social Link will grant the Persona a bonus when it is created.[19][21] The bonus is greater based on the current rank of the Social Link.[22]

Development[edit]

In March 2010, the director and producer of Persona 3 and Persona 4, Katsura Hashino, told Japanese gaming magazine, Dengeki PlayStation, that he is beginning to develop the next game in the Persona series. He also mentioned that he "wants to add things that are being expected of the series and change things that can be changed within those boundaries."[23] In September 2009, Shoji Meguro, a member of Atlus, was listed in Sony's site as the producer on Persona 5 exclusively for the PlayStation 3.[24] However The Australian Classification Board seems to have confirmed a PSP version when it listed Shin Megami Tensei: Persona and "(PS3)". The date of classification is May 24, 2010, which could mean that Atlus changed it to being a Sony PSP game instead.[25] At E3 2010, a game in the series was announced for the Nintendo 3DS system; all that is known at this point is that it will be part of the Persona series - it is unknown if it will be a port, remake, or a new game altogether.[26] In August 2011, Persona 5 was officially confirmed to be under development, with Soejima, Meguro, and Hashino returning to their roles as art designer, composer, and director. However, Hashino stated to "wait for quite some time for Persona 5 to be released."[citation needed]In August 2012, it was confirmed that Shigenori Soejima had already submitted sketches for Persona 5 and that the game was in "full-speed ahead" development.[citation needed]

On November 24, 2013, as part of a countdown, Persona 5 was announced for Winter 2014, exclusively for the PlayStation 3. The rumored Persona game for 3DS was also revealed to be Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth, a crossover dungeon crawler game that features characters from Persona 3 and Persona 4. Another Persona 4 related game was announced, titled Persona 4: Dancing All Night and featuring gameplay similar to that of the Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA series.

Reception[edit]

Aggregate review scores
As of April 14, 2011.
Game GameRankings Metacritic
Revelations: Persona 79.79%[27] 78%[28]
Persona 2: Innocent Sin 92.00%[29] -
Persona 2: Eternal Punishment 83.83%[30] 83%[31]
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 87.36%[32] 86%[33]
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 FES 87.63%[34] 89%[35]
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 92.40%[36] 90%[37]
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 78.44%[38] 78%[39]
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 Portable 91.59%[40] 91%[41]
Persona 4 Golden 94.16%[42] 93%[43]

The Shin Megami Tensei: Persona series has received overall positive reviews with the more recent entries in the series receiving high praise for its improved battle systems which have been praised as "fluid" as well as strong storylines. It has also been praised for the integration of dating simulation elements into the series which has been extremely well received. GameSpy's Patrick Joynt praised the social elements the series calling them "almost universally fascinating" as well as saying that he "can't stress enough how well-done it is."[44]

Persona 3 and Persona 4 have been listed at or near the top of several "RPGs of the Decade" lists. In RPGFan's "Top 20 RPGs of the Past Decade" list, Persona 4 was ranked at fourth place, while Persona 3 was ranked in second place behind Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga.[45] In RPGamer's "Top RPGs of the Decade" list, Persona 3 was ranked at first place.[46]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d VanOrd, Kevin (2007-07-24). "Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 Review". GameSpot. Retrieved 2009-10-27. 
  2. ^ Anderson, Lark (2008-12-10). "Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 Review". GameSpot. Retrieved 2009-10-27. 
  3. ^ "Persona 2: Innocent Sin for PlayStation". GameSpot. Retrieved 2009-10-28. 
  4. ^ "Persona 2: Eternal Punishment for PlayStation". GameSpot. Retrieved 2009-10-27. 
  5. ^ "Persona for PlayStation". GameSpot. Retrieved 2009-10-27. 
  6. ^ "Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 for PlayStation 2". GameSpot. Retrieved 2009-10-27. 
  7. ^ "Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 for PlayStation 2". GameSpot. Retrieved 2009-10-27. 
  8. ^ http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost.php?p=91105106&postcount=1
  9. ^ http://www.gamerevolution.com/news/atlus-reveals-persona-5-for-ps3-22787
  10. ^ http://www.ign.com/articles/2013/11/24/persona-4-dancing-all-night-announced-for-playstation-vita
  11. ^ http://p-atlus.jp/pq/
  12. ^ ""Persona 3 The Movie #1" Slated for Next Year". Crunchyroll. 2013-07-30. Retrieved 2012-12-28. 
  13. ^ a b Katala, Kurt; Christopher J. Snelgrove. "Hardcore Gaming 101: Megami Tensei / Shin Megami Tensei". GameSpy. Retrieved 2009-09-28. 
  14. ^ a b c Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 FES North American instruction manual. Atlus U.S.A, Inc. 2008. pp. 26–27. 
  15. ^ Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 North American instruction manual. Atlus U.S.A, Inc. 2008. p. 19. SLUS-21782B. 
  16. ^ Katala, Kurt; Christopher J. Snelgrove. "Hardcore Gaming 101: Megami Tensei / Shin Megami Tensei". Retrieved 2009-10-04. 
  17. ^ "EsquE". "RPGFan Reviews - Persona". RPGFan. Retrieved 2009-10-04. 
  18. ^ Gerstmann, Jeff. "Persona 2: Eternal Punishment Review". GameSpot. Retrieved 2009-09-30. 
  19. ^ a b Anderson, Lark (2008-12-10). "Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 Review". GameSpot. Retrieved 2009-06-07. 
  20. ^ a b c Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 FES North American instruction manual. Atlus U.S.A, Inc. 2008. pp. 38–39. 
  21. ^ Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 North American instruction manual. Atlus U.S.A, Inc. 2008. p. 28. SLUS-21782B. 
  22. ^ Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 North American instruction manual. Atlus U.S.A, Inc. 2008. p. 11. SLUS-21782B. 
  23. ^ Brian Ashcraft (March 24, 2010). "Persona Developers Making New...Persona". Kotaku. Retrieved March 21, 2010. 
  24. ^ Brian Ashcraft (August 6, 2009). "Sony Cell Phone Site Lists Persona 5 Producer.". Kotaku. Retrieved March 21, 2010. 
  25. ^ Brian Ashcraft (May 26, 2010). "Persona Moved From PS3 to PSP?!.". Kotaku. Retrieved March 21, 2010. 
  26. ^ Michael McWhertor (June 15, 2010). "Nintendo 3DS: Every Announced Game Right Here". Kotaku. Retrieved August 10, 2010. 
  27. ^ "Revelations: Persona Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved 2009-12-03. 
  28. ^ "Revelations: Persona Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2009-12-03. 
  29. ^ "Persona 2: Innocent Sin". GameRankings. Retrieved 2009-12-03. 
  30. ^ "Persona 2: Eternal Punishment Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved 2009-12-03. 
  31. ^ "Persona 2: Eternal Punishment Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2009-12-03. 
  32. ^ "Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved 2010-12-21. 
  33. ^ "Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2009-12-03. 
  34. ^ "Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3: FES Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved 2010-12-21. 
  35. ^ "Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 FES Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2009-12-03. 
  36. ^ "Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved 2010-12-21. 
  37. ^ "Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2009-12-03. 
  38. ^ "Shin Megami Tensei: Persona Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved 2009-12-03. 
  39. ^ "Shin Megami Tensei: Persona Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2009-12-03. 
  40. ^ "Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 Portable Reviews". GameRankings. Retrieved 2011-04-14. 
  41. ^ "Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 Portable Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2011-04-14. 
  42. ^ http://www.gamerankings.com/vita/641695-persona-4-golden/index.html
  43. ^ http://www.metacritic.com/game/playstation-vita/persona-4-golden
  44. ^ Joynt, Patrick. "GameSpy: Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 Review". GameSpy. Retrieved 2008-04-18. 
  45. ^ "Top 20 RPGs of the Past Decade". RPGFan. Retrieved 2011-02-05. 
  46. ^ "Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3". RPGamer. Retrieved 2011-02-05. 

External links[edit]