Genre: Role-Playing (RPG)
Art: Anime / Manga
Published by: Atlus U.S.A.
Developed by: Atlus Co.
Platform: PlayStation (PSX, PS1)
Finally, a new millennium has come. And along with him appeared a new project that fans of role-playing games so long waited for, namely the creation of the Japanese company Altus Software with the mysterious name Persona 2. Altus Software is known as a producer of very good RPGs and simulators such as Orge Battle, Tactics Orge, Snowboard Kids and Persona: Revelation Series. To be honest, many of us are already fed up with endless Final Fantasy series from SquareSoft, especially since the company has become much less aware of the quality of the final product, stamping fantasies, commercials, once in six months, which led to the fact that the hit of her creations was clearly to fade away. I'm not saying that really good role-playing games should be created for a very long time (as it was with Zelda 64) and that the final success of the project depends on it. But you will agree that about fifteen years ago, when the prefix was a luxury item and everyone in ecstasy fired from the light gun on the ducks on the screen, the SquareSoft trick would have passed, but now it does not. Based on, perhaps, it is from this Altus Software and decided to create Persona 2, in which the team was able to implement a large number of original innovative ideas. As a result, we have an absolutely uncommon product, which, without appreciating all its merits, is simply unforgivable. From my point of view, the draft submitted to our court is a mixture of what we saw in Breath of Fire, Silent Hill and System Shock.
So, at first glance, Persona 2 does not represent anything particularly outstanding. Typical Japanese characters, no hint is the revolutionary nature of the graphic performance. But this is only at first sight. Having spent an hour or two in front of the screen, having studied the possibilities of his characters and getting used to the story, we understand the depth and attractiveness of Persona 2. The plot is really very intricate and intriguing, although at first it may seem a little boring and primitive.
On the city called Sumaru, someone sent a terrible curse, which, like the plague, is rapidly spreading. Moreover, a series of violent murders began. You have to understand all this cycle of mysticism and horrors. Speaking of horrors. Moments that are able to tickle nerves abound. Practically nowhere you can not feel completely safe. Numerous demons and monsters that inhabit the countless dark corners of the world Persona 2 will appear at the most unexpected moment for you and can impress even the most hardened players by their appearance. You begin your investigation as a journalist named Maya Amano, whose main task is to understand everything that is happening. To do this, you will go to a school called "The Seven Sisters", in which a series of regular murders took place. From the very beginning it becomes clear that supernatural forces are involved in all this. It turns out that the curse of the Jester is hanging over the city, the cold-blooded Joker will often appear on the way. It is worth noting that each of the characters has a "Persona". What is a Person? Persons are ancient mythical spirits, allowing the hero to use very strong magic. In addition, the world of Persona 2 differs from all that we saw before. In no other RPG did we have to go to the Internet cafes, fast food, to face the clandestine arms trade. No RPG was so close to reality. So you will not be bored!
One more strange enough, in my opinion innovation - Rumor System. Literally this translates as "The system of rumors". The fact is that in the world of people, rumors and dreams become reality. For example, you want you to have protection against monsters - so dissolve the rumor that a certain symbol is able to protect you from evil - and this will become a reality! I understand that for many of you this may seem utter nonsense now. Well, in order to listen to a wide variety of rumors, you just have to go to the sushi bar, where the Rumors Club is specially organized. If you yourself are too lazy to deal with this kind of gossip, you can simply hire for the money of someone who agrees to do it for you. In general, figuring out how this strange function works, you understand how useful it can be.
About the system of conducting battles. As in any other RPG, in Persona 2, the battles take up a bit of the most important place. But here the developers managed to show some originality. The fact is that with many demons you can not fight, but ... make friends! Yes, yes, it is to become friends! The fact is that when you meet with another demon, you will need to talk with him to begin with. Whether you become friends with him depends on who of the characters will negotiate with him. In this case, it is necessary to take into account the fact that absolutely every demon has a unique character: he can be shy or stubborn, and sometimes frankly insolent. If you disperse with him in an amicable way, then get ready for battle! It should be noted at once that unlike other RPGs in which you could not change the position of your chosen character during the battle, in Persona 2 you can move the hero during the battle anywhere - you have complete freedom of movement. Moreover, in Persona 2, during the battle, you can combine efforts simultaneously to three characters, which will significantly improve their fighting qualities. It is very important to fully explore the Fusion Spells, with which you can unite the forces of the Person. Well, of course, as in any other RPG, as you pass, you can improve your skills and make your PERSONS even more powerful. By the way, now we are able to create new spirits with the help of tarot cards obtained from demons. In total there are eighty variants of Persons. The stronger your opponent, the stronger the person will become after you defeat him. In addition, if you can make friends with another demon, then you will not only not have to fight with it, but he, in turn, will be able to help you even in the battle with the boss! So learn diplomacy! According to the creators of Persona 2, you need at least fifty hours to complete it, which is quite an impressive figure.
And now pay attention to the schedule. Unfortunately, Altus Software, apparently, decided that by inventing an extraordinary story, it will provide its project with unqualified success. But, alas, the role of graphics, she underestimated, and in fact its quality plays far from the last role in the general idea of the modern game. As a result, we have a frankly unfinished sprite animation and a dull 3D world around us. Only occasionally we can enjoy a truly impressive special effect. Same as it is sad, you can say about the sound. Neither outstanding music, nor even high-quality voice-over of characters - there is nothing in Persona 2. Initially, the project came out on the Japanese market, and, it seems, creating a product, the team from Altus Software rather focused on the Japanese audience. As a result, the company, dealing with localization in America, could not fully convey through the dialogues of characters the charm that was present in the original version. But, believe me, you probably will forget all this, as soon as you taste the depth of the storyline. It is also gratifying that the passage is not straightforward. You will constantly have to make decisions, on which further development of the plot will depend.
In conclusion, I want to say that the creation of Altus Software, most likely, will win the hearts of many gamers. Some of them, however, can scare off the fact that the plot unfolds slowly enough, the process of character development is a little delayed, and Persona 2 itself is more complicated than analogues. But if you still overcome all these difficulties, then, believe me, you will get a lot of impressions from this product. After a crazy world of fantasy and infinite magic, the world of Persona 2, in many respects very close to our reality, can make us look at role plays in a new way. Despite some flaws, I am grateful to Altus Software for having decided to give us such an unusual and original project. I sincerely hope that many of you will share my opinion!
- Use the map, select the Location where you want to go, then press the Select button and teleport to the desired location, regardless of level or "history". By the way, this trick does not work in some zones, in particular, in those where there are no enemies, and you always recognize these zones and immediately discern on the map (they are painted in green).
- To be able to look at the "full" map. Click the Start button twice, then use the map option to get the "full" map. By the way, you can use this trick together with the previous ones on different levels.
- During the fight, select the Persona Spell option. Select any spell you want, and then pressing the R1 or L1 button, scroll through the entire spell list. This will allow you to use even such spells that you have not mastered yet (Learned). This also includes some spells that can only be found by enemies or special characters. However, their use can cause the game to hang.