Something I like to do fairly often is break out of my old PS2 and play some older games. Well, that’s kind of a lie. I never have to “break out” my PS2, because it’s pretty much always hooked up unless I need to hook something else up to the TV. The reason for this is simply because there are more games I want to play for the PS2 than any of my current generation consoles. One particular franchise that keeps me playing my PS2 is Atlus’ Shin Megami Tensei. In fact, Nocturne is the game currently keeping me tethered to my PS2.
The recent news that Atlus USA will be bringing the PSP port of Persona 2 to North America has made me particularly happy. Of any SMT games I’ve played, the Persona series has been my favourite. Since I started with Persona 3, I didn’t really have a chance to play the first two games, but with these PSP ports I can. With this latest announcement, it seems like a good enough time to detail my journey through this franchise.
There will probably be massive spoilers for some of these games.
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 was one game that took me a very long time to get into. When I initially tried it, I was almost immediately turned off by how different it was. It wasn’t until much later that I decided to give it another chance and try to get used to the differences. I did, and today, Persona 3 is my third all-time favorite RPG.
In fact, I already wrote a lengthy review of this game. So, go ahead and check that out if you’d like. Or, you can continue reading this post, which will basically be a summary of said review.
Persona 3 takes place in the real world. You’re a high school student, and you’ve recently moved into a new town. Shortly after arriving, you are awoken from sleep one night when a monster appears on the dorm’s rooftop. The monster is soon revealed to be a “shadow” – a mysterious creature that only appears during the Dark Hour. The Dark Hour is a “hidden 25th hour” than only a certain few people can experience. In addition to the shadows that appear, the world itself has an eerie green glow to it during this hour. On top of that, the nearby school transforms into a gigantic tower that reaches toward the heavens, known as Tartarus. You and your friends decide that the answers behind the meaning of the shadows, and the Dark Hour must be hidden inside Tartarus. Through the course of a story that spans across several months, your team periodically enters the elusive tower to unlock the meaning behind these mysteries.