Persona Q: Shadow of The Labyrinth
Developed By Atlus
Developed By NIS America
” Per…So…Na ”
Persona Q follows the stories of either the SEES team from Persona 3 or The Investigation Team from Persona 4. Following a school festival the team from either Persona game manages to get trapped in a mysterious world, here the teams meet Zen and Rei, 2 mysterious people who can fight shadows without the use of a Persona, they also have a case of amnesia, either the SEES or the Investigation Team offers to help them recover their memories so they can help the teams escape the mysterious world.
Overall when compared to the Persona games, Persona Q has a pretty average plot, especially when compared to persona 3, however as with all Persona games the cast of characters really help the plot along, regardless of which campaign you choose, however the new characters introduced in this game are incredibly dull, Zen is just a boring tough guy character only focused on protecting Rei who is completely obsessed with food to the point of it being annoying, of course this does change eventually as the game progresses but it still doesn’t change how annoying it is at first.
Persona Q is a mix up between the Persona and Etrian Odyssey series, which I have to say works perfectly. The basic gameplay (Exploration, Combat Etc.) is more based off the Etrian games in that the game is very much focused on exploring dungeons and trying to make it to the end, like the Etrian games, the dungeons are traversed in a first person perspective, all while drawing a map to keep track of where you are going (You can change the settings to have the map drawn automatically) I mentioned once in my Etrian Odyssey Untold review that I loved the feature of drawing my own map and this game doesn’t change my mind at all, I still find the map drawing system as fun and addicting as I did before. The combat pretty much follows the same style as the Etrian games but with some added features that make brings the game a bit closer to the persona series, firstly all enemies have weaknesses such as Cut attacks, Fire and Light Etc, this brings the different characters which you can choose into play, for example Yukiko has a mix of Fire and Healing spells, where as Aigis and Chie are Physically based characters, this lets you decide which path you would like to take and how your team will operate.
Another feature this game has is Persona fusion, by winning battles, eventually you will get a persona card that you can equip to a character to give them the skills that the cards hold (for example giving Yosuke, a primary Wind user the ability to use Electricity) or if you have multiple cards you can fuse them together to create a stronger Persona card, this is the type of customization is just what an RPG should have and is the reason I love the Persona series. I should mention that this game is INCREDIBLY hard, Atlus is known for making hard games and this game is no exception there was quite a few times where I felt tempted to drop the difficulty but with a little perseverance I managed to get through in the end. Defeated enemies also drop materials which you can sell in the shop to unlock different pieces of equipment which is pretty vital to avoid dying, I should also mention that these materials can also be found by exploring the dungeons to find power spots which reward you with special materials.
The soundtrack of the game for me was pretty disappointing most tracks were pretty dull when compared to the main Persona or Etrian games, some however were great, the battle theme for both campaigns mainly Persona 4’s campaign was in my opinion better than most other battle themes from the Persona series, as well as the F.O.E theme being pretty good also. Voice acting wise the game is pretty much perfect only Zen and Rei under perform for me, they even managed to keep Fuuka’s voice actress from Persona 4 Arena as the one from P3 was incredibly poor.
Compared to most games on 3DS, Persona Q doesn’t really have the best visuals but when compared to Etrian Odyssey Untold, this game is a big improvement, Anime Style cut-scenes look great and the game even has some normal scenes where you see the characters in their 3D models, Dungeons look pretty nice, as well as having a pretty good variety to them. Finally this is another game that you are stuck in menus, apart from exploring dungeons there isn’t really much to do, you can’t explore Yasogami and that made me pretty sad, even if they let you explore it in first person I would be happy, the lack of exploration when outside of dungeons really made me wish I was playing Persona 3 or 4.
The Lasting Appeal
Persona Q is a pretty long game overall, firstly don’t go in expecting Persona 3’s or 4’s length, however go in expecting a lengthy game in general and you’ll be fine, the game can take anywhere from 60 to 80 hours depending on how hard of a time you have, grinding or just plain taking your time, for me it took 71 hours which is fantastic as its much longer than most RPG games that I play usually, however I don’t know why I have this feeling but this game doesn’t seem that repayable, usually with other Persona games I want to replay the game immediately after completing it but here for some reason that isn’t the case.
Persona Q: Shadow of The Labyrinth is a great fusing of 2 great RPG franchises, the gameplay should have Etrian fans right at home while the story will ease Persona fans into the experience, graphics are appealing especially when compared to Etrian Odyssey Untold, however this game is not perfect, first the story while fun isn’t the best when compared to Persona 3 or 4, same with the soundtrack, finally I also feel that this game is better for fans of Etrian Odyssey than Persona, I do understand that it is a cross over style game but I feel that the jump is easier to make if you were a Etrian fan instead of a Persona fan, but that’s just my opinion.
My Score – 8/10
- Very fun combat
- Dungeon exploring is enjoyable
- Appealing Graphics
- Great Length
- Good Mix of Persona and Etrian Odyssey
- Soundtrack is pretty dull
- Story is average
- The game can feel unfair at times
- No exploration when outside of dungeons
Persona Q: Shadow of The Labyrinth is available now on the E Store for the 3DS. Thanks go to Reef Entertainment for supplying the game and the assets used in this review. Be sure to let me know what you thought of the review in the comments section below and be sure to stay tuned to UGNN for all your gaming news and reviews and remember to follow us on WordPress, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Reddit & YouTube.
Review By Jonnie Dixon