Lately Amazon.ca seems to be shipping out all their games in padded mailers instead of their classic cardboard boxes. Which is fine for a good 90% of the games they sell. However games like this come in a rather flimsy paperboard box that contains the game and soundtrack. Both those parts aren't exactly the same size/shape, so there's a fair bit of empty space in the box. Needless to say, it get's quite easily squished in the mail. So if you're picky like me and want the whole package in new condition, what you receive may be unsatisfactory. I had Amazon send me 2 copies, and both were fairly seriously squished. I ended up sending both back to Amazon, and walked over to my local EB and bought a new/mint copy for $1 more than I would've paid here...
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62 of 65 people found the following review helpful
Great Game for Niche Gamers and Loyal Atlus FansSept. 29 2011
- Published on Amazon.com
Format: Video Game
This is definitely not an easy title to review considering that this game will greatly appeal to some and will be hated by others. If your first experience with the Persona series was from Persona 3 or 4 then there is a chance that you may not enjoy this entry into this unique Shin Megami Tensei spin-off series. You may also not enjoy this game if you are not a fan of long in-depth RPGs.
The reasoning behind my strong warnings for this game isn't because there's a problem with the story since it's actually pretty well done. Like other reviewers have stated before me the plot takes place in a contemporary setting and follows the exploits of a group of high school students that are trying to put a stop to the plans of a being referred to as Joker. Essentially, Joker is making every rumor being spread around come true which is causing all kinds of havoc. I haven't beaten the game so I can't tell you how deep the plot of the entire game is but trying to put an end to rumors becoming reality is the initial premise.
Okay, now onto the "problems" with this game. I put the word problems in quotes because the possible "problems" with this game will actually be appealing to some and will be off-putting for others. First and foremost, for those that don't know this is a remake of a PS1 game from 1999 that was never released in the United States until now. It was the only entry in the Persona series that wasn't and because this is a remake of a PS1 game there are some shortcomings associated with this game. For starters, aside from some really nice anime and CG cut-scenes the graphics in this game are not up to par with today's standards by any stretch of the imagination. They are very low grade 32-bit and while some old-school gamers may find this graphical style to be nostalgic most casual gamers that grew up with the last generation of consoles (GC, PS2, X-box, etc) will be turned off by this graphical style. The other possible shortcoming that this may possibly have for some people is that like a lot of retro RPG's, information isn't spoon-fed to the player. If you don't have a walkthrough handy with this game it is possible that there will be quite a few occasions where you'll be wandering around for and hour or two trying to figure out where to go next.
Alright, now onto the next "problem" with this game which is the actual gameplay. At it's core this game is a dungeon crawler that uses a turn based battle system with quite a few twists. The best way I can describe the battle system in this game is by saying that it's a mixture of the battle systems in Pokemon and Final Fantasy. Like most turn based RPGs Persona 2: Innocent Sin gives the player the option to fight demons using regular attacks or using other skills. The attack command simply has a given character attack a demon with their weapon of choice whereas the skill command allows the character to attack a demon or group of demons using one of their Persona's numerous skills. A Persona in the Persona series is simply a demon under one of your characters' control. Each character in the game has a Persona from the get-go but you'll want to get more Personas because the Personas the characters in the game start with can only get so powerful. The Personas increase in rank as you use them while your characters level up in the usual RPG fashion by simply defeating enemies and gaining experience. When a character's Persona reaches its maximum strength capacity it is indicated by them reaching "Rank MAX." When this happens it is generally a good idea to get a new Persona for that character and how to go about doing this may be where certain people may be turned off while others will be overjoyed that the game uses the negotiation mechanics that were a trademark in older Shin Megami Tensei games.
Aside from the option to fight enemies the game also gives the an option listed as "Contact" in the initial battle menu. In short this option allows you to use a character in your party to negotiate with the demons for spell cards, items, and information. What you really want here are the spell cards since they allow you to summon new personas. There are many different types of spell cards and the kind of spell cards a given demon will yield is determined by that demon's arcana such as Lovers, Strength, Chariot, Fool, etc. The different Personas you can summon are determined by the kinds of spell cards you have. For example if you want to summon Pixie you need X amount of Lovers cards or if you want to summon Poltergeist you need X amount of Devil cards. Now back to how demon negotiation works. Each character has 4 different character-specific ways they can negotiate with demons and these different negotiation methods can be anything from dancing to discussing what it means to be a man. The demons will react to these actions by getting angry, happy, scared, or eager. The ways the demons react will determine whether or not the demon will give you something or attack with hostility which in essence grants them a preemptive strike in battle.
The demons may also ask a given character questions and the answers to these questions will also cause the demons to react in one of the four possible ways listed above. And that's pretty much all you need to know about demon negotiation. The only other unique thing in the battle system in Persona 2: Innocent Sin are the fusion spells. A fusion spell is an attack that is caused by using certain skills in a certain order. Once a fusion spell is used it is stored in a list of fusion spells that can be accessed through the initial battle menu. This is so you won't have to worry about using those skills in the same order again if you wish to pull of a fusion spell you did in the past. And that's the battle system. Phew that was a lot of typing.
Now while the battle system in Persona provides the player with a lot of options it might make the player feel torn between fighting demons and negotiating with them. Some people may love having to make this decisions while others may find it frustrating to have to manage when they negotiate and when they fight. I should also add that the encounter rate in this game is quite high and all these options for each battle can really cause each one to drag out. This ultimately makes every dungeon a multi-hour affair and many people may not be willing to spend the time enduring long battle after battle in order to just progress the story but like always, some people may love this. Now I'm playing this game on "Easy" mode simply because I'm assuming that I would have to deal with a greater possibility of my party getting one-shotted on the "Normal" difficulty setting which has happened to me in other Shin Megami Tensei games such as Digital Devil Saga.
Onto the final aspect of the game I wish to talk about which is the music, and all I can say about this is that it's awesome. The game gives the player the option to switch between the original PS1 soundtrack and the remixed soundtrack which was made exclusively for the PSP release so you really can't lose here. Unlike the PSP port of Revelations Persona, Persona 3 for the PS2, and Persona 4 for the PS2, all of the music is instrumental for the most part instead of having the J-pop style. The music in the game spreads across multiple genres from energizing electronic rock to beautiful piano-focused tracks.
In conclusion I think Persona 2: Innocent Sin is a great game for those that like dungeon crawlers and a psychological story that takes place in a modern day setting. The developers really put a lot of work into this remake including the new soundtrack, new cut-scenes, and a new Quest Mode. I recommend this game to anyone who is a fan of old-school RPGs, a fan of the Shin Megami Tensei franchise, or open-minded. ROCK ON ATLUS!!!
PS: I am open to all criticism especially since this was my first review. Hopefully it wasn't too painful to read lol.
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Your life depends on rumor...Sept. 23 2011
- Published on Amazon.com
Format: Video Game
After leaving a rumor filled school one day, you decide to pick a fight with some punks from another school... & start getting attacked by their "Personas", Or other self. After 3 persona are introduced, everyone faints & has the same dream of meeting a man with a white butterfly mask. After waking, only you, a girl, & one of the punks seemed to have noticed anything during or after the fight & fainting spells, So you all decide to make a bet. Rumor has it that anyone who calls their own number will have any wish granted by one called "Joker"... what better way to check (or ask) if the strange dream you shared is real? And it Is true... One can have any wish granted...At a price. What happens if you don't answer fast enough? Your erased from all memory & become A life-less, Dream-less, shadow of what you hoped to be... (in short: you just died). And it happens the Joker isn't content killing only the 3 who played his (her?) game, & It's got a special Revenge planed out just for you... but what did you do to make it so ticked-off? as far as you know, your "Innocent" of any crimes, So it'll let you off for now... at least until you remember your "Sin". (Yes, that Is a bad pun. just ignore it).
now here's the odd addition to the game play: RUMORS The before mentioned Joker also seems to be able to make rumors become truth. Rumor starts that your school emblem is cursed, pretty soon all the students still wearing one are now bed-ridden or covered in bandages. If you start a rumor that the old lady at the ramen shop sells weapons if you order a special dish... she just says she doesn't... But get the rumor to spread some more, go back to the shop & say hello to a (FREE) sword, leather gloves, & a ...guitar case?. Spreading or suppressing rumors has major effects in this game, so to keep favorable rumors around, you need to bribe the cops, & to get rid of ones that aren't too helpful, normally requires you to win a fight against Joker's peons.
Persona 2 is closer to the first persona then 3-4. Some of the characters are from the 1st game, & the old school in 1 is also mentioned. The graphics & maps are much the same as 1, but you can now walk diagonally indoors(like in 3/4).
Demons are harder to recruit. It has the first game's gauge (the box that shows if their happy, mad, etc.), but it now takes more encounters to recruit or get stuff from them. Negotiations also are a bit... different. Example: you can have a character start dancing to impress a pixie... suddenly 3 lights come on, the background music starts playing a special tune,& said character will dance & start talking! (Its more time consuming... but still kinda neat).
Battles are also different: the demons don't just stay off to one side as you continually set them all ablaze from the other. they now come after you!(It's like the Devil Survivor game). So unlike 1,3, or 4, this may actually require strategic thinking (instead of just keeping track of weaknesses). Your people are now mingling in a crowd of demons, so you can try to surround one for a unified attack (the order & attacks you choose may get a special 2-on-1 Persona attack), or you can just concentrate on the one devil that's trying to get away. But spells that affect a area might not be able to hit that one + all the others enemies at the same time.(I'm sill going to set them all on fire somehow, Bwa-ha-ha!)
The game is so far, so good. But if your new to this series a little extra advice... or warnings(depends on you): 1) MAKE SURE TO GET THE SOUNDTRACK! After awhile, the music from the Persona games just keeps on playing over & over in your head, so just give in & play the soundtrack 24/7 too (the soundtrack to P4 is also great, play that one too=) 2) you may suffer urges to beat up pixies after hearing the battle themes. This is normal (at least I hope it is...). 3) When in doubt: set it on fire (It worked through most of Persona 3/4, & in Shin Megami Tensei Nocturne, Devil Survivor, & Demi-Kids. It'll work now too). And 4) Wanting to use "Hee~Ho!" in everyday sentences after meeting a Jack-Frost, Pyro-Jack, Black Jack, King Frost, Or any other members of the snowman's family is normal... (& your family will eventually get use to it after 1/2 a year)... Hee-ho!
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Finally the US gets a remake of a classic JRPG !!Jan. 10 2012
- Published on Amazon.com
Format: Video Game
I'm a good way into the game now, so I figure I might as well write a brief review.
First of all... if you are well versed on RPGs, then immediately set the difficulty on Hard. It will not actually be 'hard' but there will be a slight bit of challenge in battle. On 'normal' the battles are easy and excruciatingly boring. Even on hard, the baddies will usually hit for 1-6 damage unless they use a powerful Persona ability.
Okay. First thing I noticed was that the music is amazing. I'm talking about some of the best music in a handheld video game period. The music is a more modern rock-centric style. Lots of guitar, some distortion, but all really high quality and very catchy. The music fits the setting very well. There are also some fun little additions such as an actual classical piano piece (Debussy I believe) that plays in the Velvet room (it plays after the first piece ends). Battle music is fast paced and works well without being too repetitive.
Graphics are a pretty standard PS1 port style. Though some areas have been tweaked, overall the flow is a lot smoother than PS1 and the camera can be rotated to eight points. The characters are standard 2d PS1 style sprites (think Xenogears) and the field is isometric 3-d. Battles take place on pretty boring and bland fields with some swirling, sinister looking 'clouds', but you're really focusing on the action I guess.
Installing some of the data onto the memory card really speeds up loading times. Especially the battle loading speeds. Before installing you had to wait 3-8 seconds for battle to start once you saw the white flash. With installation, the load is about 1-3 seconds. Also speed in battle has improved. There is no real slowdown when contacting demons or executing attacks like before installation.
Battle is simple turn based, yet is fun. Encounter rates are high-ish. There is a FFX style turn indicator on the right so you can plan out your attack. You can change your turn order, but often this pushes the demons' attacks higher on the turn order. If you interrupt battle to re-input commands, then the turns start at that person's turn. It's still turn based, but this allows some customization. Especially useful for Fusion spells.
The real fun is in making contact with demons in order to gain cards, pacts, money, items, or information. You select a character or multiple characters and have them perform an action towards a demon. My favorite would have to be Tatsuya's impression of a fighter jet. I recommend NOT using a guide since it's fun to see demon's get angry and call you names, or become frightened and cower. I even found that despite getting a demon to become 'eager' and give me valuable cards, I would later get that demon riled up in order to see their reaction. But remember, if all you do is contact demons and gain cards and pacts, then you won't level up. So you have to beat some up at some point!
Summoning and using Persona's is a lot of fun, and this is where the game really shines. Each character can use one Persona at a time. You gain a level up bonus that is unique to each Persona. To get new Persona's, you collect Tarot cards and trade them in at the Velvet room. Using different Persona's gives access to different techniques as well as different Fusion spells (important spells combining 2+ Persona techniques to unleash a more devastating attack - very useful in those tough boss battles). Often a character's regular attack is ineffective, so using Persona's is mandatory. As you use Persona's they gain ranks and eventually gain more abilities. You can trade in maxed out Persona's for items or cards when you are done and then summon a new version of that Persona (using your cards though) and get them to max out again. A useful way to gain items or stats.
The story is top notch and will keep you interested. There is a TON of dialogue and lots of interesting character interaction. The characters are all pretty interesting and you really get a feel for their personalities and even can sympathize with them. The story doesn't seem really outlandish once you get into it. Basically this Joker person is going around and making peoples' wishes come true. This is through the use of rumor. When a rumor gets going, it actually becomes true. So there is a rumor that Seven High's school emblems are cursed... and then they actually do become cursed. Some rumors help your party too. Such as a rumor that you can spread about a Ramen shop selling weapons, or another shop being a mafia fencing operation, or a secret labyrinth on the second floor of a night club that houses some good items. So spreading rumors can be beneficial, though often you have to make a choice as to which you spread (the shop sells good weapons at fair prices, sells amazing weapons that are expensive, sells average weapons for cheap, etc... then the shop will sell the selection indicated by which rumor was spread).
So for a deep and complex game with a great story, interesting characters, and a wonderful remixed soundtrack, go with this! I got the special edition with the soundtrack and I am happy I did.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
NostalgiaJan. 5 2012
- Published on Amazon.com
Format: Video Game
I'm one of those rare people who have played the Persona games in order. While I played this version originally in a different form, I enjoyed this one much more (especially since I can actually understand the dialogue...) Playing this game really brought me back to why I enjoy the Persona series as a whole (I personally find the most popular--P4--to be a bit of a letdown in comparison to the others...), but it's not without its flaws.
PROS: -Interesting and deep story. -Unique characters with intricate relationships. -It's not always about duking it out with monsters--you can chat with them, too. -Cameos from characters in the previous installments is a definite win!
CONS: -I really hate the random monster encounters. -There are a LOT of dungeons to crawl through in succession, which can get boring at times.
PSPMay 16 2014
- Published on Amazon.com
Format: Video Game
One of the few games worth owning on PSP, its sad really the system had so much potential. Maybe the Vita will do better........oops Guess not.