Welcome to my very first, and certainly not last, video game review. This particular game that I will be rambling about, is one that I not only enjoyed playing greatly, but consider it #1 in my list of Top 5 games, Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth. Developed by Atlus for the Nintendo 3DS, the game is a spin-off of the Persona series, and is unique in that the battle system employed, was taken from the Etrian Odyssey series, as well as using the map drawing system from it as well. The game brings together the cast from Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 and 4, into a world located in a pocket of time and space that was never meant to exist in the first place.
I will not go into the story too much, as that should be something left for those who wish to play the game, to experience on their own. Instead, I will talk about the game mechanics, and my thoughts on the story itself. First, let’s talk about the story. I honestly enjoyed the story, even after playing both the Persona 4 side and the Persona 3 side. It was great to be able to see events I already saw, from a different prospective, and even add a bit to the cutscenes I originally saw when I played the Persona 4 side first. Although I wasn’t too fond of the character design team’s decision to focus on one particular characteristic for certain characters, I also loved the fact they gave character development to other characters that they did not receive in their original games.
Despite the fact this game is effectively, non-canon to the main plotline of both games, that still doesn’t change the fact that this game was a joy to play and go through. Which brings us to the game mechanics. The battle system was similar to the ones I was used to from Persona 3 and 4, but I was able to quickly adjust, as the battle system was turn-based in a sense. Turn order was based on a character’s Persona Agility stat, with each character having their own unique Persona they could summon. Exploration-wise, perspective was in first-person, but the motion was linear, which made it easier to navigate. While exploring through the labyrinths, on the bottom screen, a map of the current maze could be drawn out as progress through the dungeon was made.
Though most would find it tedious and boring, I honestly enjoyed it, as the map drawing made navigating easier, and especially gave me something to concentrate on while going through a particular labyrinth full of jump scares, which I am not fond of, as I am easily scared by things that suddenly jump out at you. Although not a mechanic, I can’t end this review without at least talking about the music. I loved almost every track that played in the game, and the opening theme to the game is amazing in itself, having brought together the two singers who did the opening themes for Persona 3 and 4 respectively, in a duet. If you are not interested in playing the game, I at least urge you to listen to the tracks. Go on Youtube, search up Persona Q OST. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Overall, while this game has it flaws and points that could be fixed, it is a great game, though hard to find, having released back in 2014, though Amazon will have a few copies. If your interest has been piqued, or you are a fan of the Persona series like I am, I hope you do end up playing it, that you enjoy it as much as I did.