Persona Tagged Articles RSS Feed | Persona RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Face It: Persona 4 Is the Worst of the Trilogy Fri, 01 Sep 2017 11:45:49 -0400 Selandrile

Atlus's Persona series is among the most beloved franchises of all time. Well-known and with no shortage of fans, Persona games are almost a genre unto themselves. A very specific and successful formula is rigorously adhered to: live the life of a Japanese high schooler whilst battling representations of unconscious human thought during your free time.

As with any series, some entries in the Persona franchise have been better than others. And though different fans have different opinions about which one is best, Persona 5 is definitely a front-runner for that title. But which Persona game is the worst of the series? I'd have to say Persona 4.

The Beginning of Persona

Persona 1 and 2 are so removed from the last three main series games that they were not even born in this millennium. They are so different, in fact, that I personally don't consider them as really being part of the same series as the others. It would be like comparing games from different genres.

The PlayStation 2 saw the rebirth of the franchise with Persona 3 -- a game which would come to define what a Persona title was supposed to be. Simulating what it means to be a teenager, Persona 3 has the player balance their high school life, friendships, and story-related drama all within a set amount of time. Take too long, and it's game over. Waste time or be inefficient, and expect to miss out on content and be weaker for it.

While sometimes brutal, the time-management and life/story balance were monumental in the Persona series' game design. In fact, these elements proved so popular they continue to form the core of the series to this day. The latest in the series, Persona 5, has become a global phenomenon -- catapulting the Persona series from somewhat-niche into mainstream acceptance. This near-perfect game refined what worked, removed what didn't, and introduced new, exciting elements that both fit and enhanced the entire experience.

So when you consider these factors, what makes its immediate predecessor, Persona 4, the weak link in the chain? 

The Weakest Link

With Persona 3 being so groundbreaking and Persona 5 being so excellent, only Persona 4 remains -- making it the worst of the series. It's important to note that "worst of the Persona series" is hardly an insult. Even 4, with its many problems, is an excellent game in its own right. But I believe it's the true weak link for mainly one reason.

It cannot be denied Persona 4 took the successful formula of 3, yet completely abandoned its tone. Persona 3 remains among the darkest of games I have ever played 00 topped only by a few BioWare and FromSoftware titles. The dark visuals, suffocating atmosphere, and apocalyptic plot all contributed to Persona 3 being such a unique and wonderful experience. In this third iteration, the player witnesses an hour of time frozen where humans transform into coffins, tempted to emerge to their deaths. Each midnight, this horror unfolds. Blood rains from the sky and the city twists into a monstrosity reaching for the sky. And it's hard to forget that ending -- perhaps the most bleak of any game ever. The central theme of Death is quite apparent.

Persona 5, the newest title, is also dark and quite possibly the most mature of the franchise. Clearly 5 was made with an older audience in mind, as there is an abundance of swearing, criminal, and controversial elements, as well as complex psychological themes.

Characters each have their own lives, all filled with very real-world problems. Women are held back by an oppressive traditional society. Outcasts are shuttered away, never to be acknowledged. And everywhere the game's central theme, Betrayal, permeates. Authority figures abuse their power for their own gain and the strong feed off the weak. If you remove the supernatural elements Persona 5 would play more like a real-world documentary of the worst parts of our society.

Persona 4 stands in contrast to these, as it's sort of built on fluff. That's really how the game feels -- like light-hearted fluff. It's a bit contradictory when you consider 4's main plot is about finding a murderer. Any seriousness brought by the plot is utterly ruined by the presentation. Light comedy lurks around every corner. Characters bumble through their lives with wacky issues that need solving. Very rarely do serious elements get addressed -- and when they do, it's hardly an accomplishment.

One pertinent example is Kanji -- the thug whose sensitive and caring side is held back by society's need for men to be traditionally masculine. This is a wonderful character premise, but the game Kanji's characteristics as a lead-in to a "joke" about him being gay. It ruins the spirit of the message.

Bitter Beginnings and Dull Combat

Perhaps one of the most telling aspects of Persona 4 are the protagonist's backgrounds.

In Persona 5, the sharp and snazzy Joker is the victim of an enormous injustice. Framed for assault after stopping a man from attempting to sexually assault a woman, Joker's life is destroyed and he is forced to leave the region for one last hope at education.

Persona 3 has its blue-haired protagonist witness his parents burn to death in front of him -- forever traumatizing him and desensitizing him so much to death that he almost welcomes it.

But in contrast to these rich stories, Persona 4's blandly-drawn hero moves to the countryside to live with his normal uncle and niece because his parents are working overseas. And....that's it. Keep in mind this tonal difference is before the game even starts -- and nothing ever happens in the plot to complicate this premise or bring the game in line tonally with others in the series. 

This trend carries over into nearly every facet. Persona 4's characters in general seem weaker than the rest of the series. Contrast 3's Misato to 4's Teddy and 5's Morgana. Only one is a bundle of slapstick chibi humor.

The main plot is hardly as engaging or deep, either. Discover the mysteries of the midnight hour and the horrors within Persona 3. Fight society's corruption by forcing criminals in positions of power to admit their own crimes while working to rebuild your shattered life and explore another world in Persona 5. Or finally investigate who is throwing some people into a TV in Persona 4. When you hold these plots up against each other, the comparisons speak for themselves. 

As if that's not enough, combat in Persona 4 is a literal copy of its predecessor with no improvements. You'll see the same randomized levels, the same enemy types, the same attacks, the same "weapons", etc. While you could finally choose your party member's attacks, it never was as important as the desperate flailing to hit the enemy first before battle.

And I swear, if I ever have to hear Persona 4's battle music again I may self-induce deafness. It's chirpy, joyous, pop-esque battle theme really hammers home that this is a lighter game.

I admit that enjoyment is subjective, and there are those that do not want a dark Persona game. If that's the case for you, then 4 is the only game that you've probably enjoyed because the Persona series is by its nature a dark, dark series.

I don't have anything but respect for those that enjoy lighter games. Gaming should always strive to be more inclusive, because a larger audience means a healthier industry and more quality products. 

Persona 4 diverged from the usual Persona path and 5 pulled it back on. But during that detour, it was still a great experience. That's why I'm happy to say that while Persona 4 may be the worst in the series, it's still very good indeed.

Why Aren't We Seeing Movie Adaptations of JRPGs? Tue, 23 May 2017 11:00:02 -0400 Erroll Maas

Although most movie adaptations of video games are mediocre at best, they keep getting made year in and year out. Each time a new film is announced, fans get their hopes up -- but in their hearts, they know the adaptation (probably) won't do their favorite game justice.

Other than the infamous live action Super Mario Bros. movie, these adaptations are most commonly based on action games like Assassin's Creed or Far Cry, horror games like Resident Evil or Silent Hill, and even fighting games like Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat. More recently, we've seen these types of movies expand to other video game genres, from MMORPGs like World of Warcraft to adventure-platformers like Ratchet & Clank. And wouldn't you know -- there's even a Tetris film trilogy in the works.

So with all these new video game movie adaptations, why is it that there haven't been that many based on JRPGs? Since so many of them are narrative-driven and feature fascinating characters, it seems like JRPG series would be the perfect candidates for movie adaptations -- especially for animated films. Let's investigate!

JRPG Adaptations Work Best as a Series Rather Than a Single Film

Quite a few JRPGs have seen anime adaptations, with most of them being rather successful and not straying too far from their source material. Persona 4 had two entire anime series -- one based off of the original game, and another based off of the enhanced PlayStation Vita version, Persona 4 Golden. These anime series adapted the games almost exactly as you'd expect, with a few minor differences and added filler content that's based on parts of the game.

Persona 3 also has a series of anime movies, rather than an anime TV series. And like the adaptations of the other Persona games, it follows the source material closely enough while slightly altering and expanding a few things. This is one of the few (and most notable) JRPG movie adaptations in recent memory.

MegaMan NT Warrior, an anime series based off of the MegaMan Battle Network games, is another well done anime adaptation that borrowed material from a few different games in the 7-part series. The series takes quite a few liberties, though, with some original storylines. Although it may not be as direct of an adaptation as the Persona 4 anime, MegaMan NT Warrior still successfully recaptured many aspects of the MegaMan Battle Network series.

Tales of Zestiria is a more recent anime series based on the game of the same name. This series is a special case, since many fans would argue that the adaptation actually tells the story better than the original source material. Many JRPG stories are known for being somewhat convoluted to begin with, so an adaptation telling the game's story in a more understandable way without making any massive changes -- such as completely changing or leaving out significant characters -- is a rare feat.

These anime series work because they are able to cover a considerable amount -- if not all -- of the material from the games. JRPGs are rather long games, and are only getting longer as technology improves over time. Because of this, any JRPG adapted into a film would have to be split into multiple parts. And a lot of content would probably be cut out, if not completely changed. So that makes them far more suited to an episodic format for television rather than a multi-part film for the big screen.

That's why we've seen so many adaptations in anime series instead -- because they can split the length up into several story arcs and episodes. Persona 3, Persona 4, and Persona 5 are great examples of this. And with two of those games having already been adapted, it's likely only a matter of time before we see a Persona 5 anime TV series. 

JRPG Movies Are Usually Animated Supplemental Material

With the exception of the Persona 3 movie series -- and perhaps other similar ones -- movies based off of JRPGs are usually animated prequels, sequels, or general auxiliary material related to the game, which aren't necessary to watch if you just want to play it. And that doesn't bode well for being a blockbuster hit.

Tales of Vesperia First Strike, the  prequel movie to Tales of Vesperia, is a good example here. This prequel may help fans understand the story of the game better -- especially those not familiar with the stories in the Tales series -- but they can just as well play the game without watching it.

Another example is Final Fantasy VII Advent Children, the CGI animated sequel to Final Fantasy VII. This movie is also not a required watch for those who have played the game. Some fans actually completely disregard it due to Cloud Strife's characterization and the odd plot that seems a bit out of place, even for a movie sequel to a Final Fantasy game.

Even Persona 5 The Daybreakers isn't technically a prequel or sequel, but more of a sample of how the Phantom Thieves do what they do -- and a preview of how certain parts of the game works that's intended to intrigue players and anime fans.

The point of these examples is that, on the rare occasion movies based on JRPGs are made, they're usually animated additional material rather than full on adaptations of the games themselves. So even the fanbases that are passionate about these series don't necessarily have to see them -- and sometimes don't really feel compelled to. Outside those fanbases, these films have even less appeal. And that's not going to translate the volume of ticket sales that a studio would need to see in order to profit from making such adaptations.

Adaptations of Other Japanese Media Are Terrible

Let's be real for a minute. The lack of true JRPG film adaptations isn't just about the structure of JRPGs and how it doesn't always translate well to the big screen. There's also the fact that Hollywood seemingly can't produce a good film based on Japanese media (I'm looking at you, Ghost in the Shell.)

There have been plenty movie adaptations of various anime series and movies, in both America and Japan, which have ranged from decent to just plain awful. Since JRPGs are often formulated similar to anime series, why even take the chance? Technically, we already had one movie adaptation of a JRPG -- if you can even call it that --with Final Fantasy The Spirits Within, which was a massive failure in the box office and a huge disappointment to fans of the actual franchise.

Instead of expecting a proper adaptation of a JRPG from Hollywood, it would be wise to expect something more akin to Dragon Ball Evolution, The Last Airbender, or maybe even the upcoming live action Netflix Death Note series. Movies with bad acting, terrible effects, and a habit of not properly following the source material and changing things up a bit too much. This is definitely not what fans want, and many would be happy with no Hollywood adaptations at all rather than giving them the chance to dig into -- and inevitably screw up -- yet another beloved franchise.

But contrary to popular belief, shoddy adaptations aren't solely an American problem. Even Japan has had problems adapting its own anime and video games as well, although less frequently than Hollywood. 

The live-action adaptation of popular anime and manga series Black Butler was released to negative reception. Despite adapting the source material rather well -- other than changing the main character and removing half the cast -- this movie still managed to be a total flop. Which shows that even when an adaptation does some of the most important things right, it still may not be a good enough representation of the original source material to please fans or be profitable.

Hollywood Shouldn't, But Will Try Eventually Anyway

Frankly, it might be better not to adapt JRPG's into movies at all, unless they're animated movie series that don't stray away from the source material much -- like Persona 3. But these movies would likely be made in Japan rather than America, and even then there's no guarantee that they'll at all capture what fans want them to. There's something magical about JRPGs that filmmakers just can't seem to capture, no matter how hard they try. And that really says a lot about how unique these games and franchises really are.

This would have been a plea titled "Hollywood, For the Love of God, Just Don't Do It," but it's doubtful they would pay attention.

Just look at all the studios that fought over film rights for Pokémon recently --specifically for a Detective Pikachu movie which many fans agree would probably only be watchable if Danny Devito provided the voice of the electric rodent. So it's only a matter of time before Hollywood tries and fails at adapting game series like Persona, Tales, and Dragon Quest into live action features on the big screen.

For now, let's just hope that this article hasn't given them any ideas...

Atlus Thanks Western Fans For Playing Persona 5 Thu, 04 May 2017 15:22:31 -0400 Curtis Dillon

Atlus, the developer of Persona 5, has released a special thank you to fans in the wake of the game's hugely successful release in North America and Europe.

The game's long-time director, Katsura Hashino, penned the following special message:

As a developer, I’m very happy to hear that Persona 5 is being played by so many people overseas. To be honest, it’s really hard to gauge its popularity in the West when our team’s in Japan; we’re not able to see everyone’s comments and discussions. It’d be great to interact with the fans abroad, but sadly, I’m stuck in the development room slurping instant ramen (laugh). Persona 5 is a very “Japanese” story with some political aspects to it, so I couldn’t imagine how Western players would react to it. I did know, however, that Persona 5 was highly anticipated by gamers overseas even back when we were developing the game, so I was curious to see how its story would be received.

I’m going off on a tangent here, but I think that traditional Japanese superhero stories tend to be about fighting off invaders from outside their society, while Western ones focus on fighting against villains and misfits that come from within it. There’s a sense of society being responsible for creating this evil, and such a setting lets the audience’s imagination run wild, like “it could’ve been me.” For instance, doesn’t the Joker from Batman make some valid points that resonate with you?

Persona 5 is also a superhero story in which you fight villains that are born from within society, so I thought that it might be received differently than the previous entries. Of course, it could’ve missed the mark completely and been criticized for it, so my anticipation and anxiety were split half and half. Since the game just launched in the West, I’d like to look back on it at a later time, once I receive feedback from the Western audience—how their gameplay experiences were, what kind of things they felt, etc. I hope that the tale of Persona 5 will leave a lasting impression on everyone who plays it. No matter what kind of project I take on going forward, I love creating RPGs that are both moving and relatable regardless of cultural differences—in fact, I’m most interested in strengthening those aspects right now.

Last year, with the milestone of the Persona series’ 20th anniversary, I handed off the series development to my successors and announced the start of my new RPG project that takes place in a fantasy world. Be it a game set in modern day, like the Persona and Shin Megami Tensei series, or a game set in a new fantasy world, I aim to create games that provide an invaluable experience of reflecting on oneself through a journey, while roleplaying as characters that players can deeply relate to.

These efforts are only made possible thanks to the positive reception we receive from fans—not just in Japan, but worldwide—of the Persona series and Atlus RPGs in general. I appreciate all your support for the newest entry in the Persona series, and I hope that everyone will enjoy the new Atlus RPGs to come.

Persona 5 released on April 4 in North America and Europe, and has since sold over one million copies and received critical acclaim. Check out our ranking of all the games in the series, as well as why we reckon people will be talking about Persona 5 for a lot longer than Final Fantasy XV! Or if you need assistance during gameplay, check out all of our Persona 5 guides

Persona 5 is available now for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3. For all your Persona 5 news and extensive guide coverage, stay tuned to GameSkinny!

Ranking the Persona Franchise From Best to Worst Thu, 13 Apr 2017 08:00:01 -0400 Ty Arthur


Across a whole lot of genres and console generations, we just can't get enough of this oddball series that loves to fuse dating sims, monster raising, real life high school simulations, and JPRG combat.


With all these titles, you could lose yourself in Persona for countless hours before even diving into the other spin-off series!


What did you think of our listing, and how would you rank your favorite Persona games from best to worst?


Worst: Persona 4 Arena


Like the previously mentioned Ultimax, this is a fighting game spin-off, but it's not quite as polished or interesting as its sequel. It is notable for more of a heavy rock soundtrack than the other games in the series, whoever.


Frankly, other than the bigger focus on story and the presence of Persona characters, this isn't really ground breaking as a fighting game and can probably be safely skipped.


if you don't want to play a fighting game but want to know how this tale fits into the Persona universe, you can easily find all the story segments strung together at YouTube.



Persona Q


Persona goes chibi on this lone DS entry (for a look that I'm not crazy about) where the series managed to break away from Playstation to hit a Nintendo handheld for no apparent reason.


It also fuses characters from P3 and P4 into an alternate dimension taking place between those games, offering a new take on those familiar storylines and NPCs. How much you are going to dig this one depends on how much you like the handheld RPGs, as this is very much Etrian Odyssey meets Persona


Personally, it felt a little too familiar for me, and I'd have rather seen a completely different game with totally new characters, but if you can't get enough of the Persona 3 / 4 crews, then this may be worth it for you.



Persona 4: Dancing All Night


Wait, what the hell, there's a dancing rhythm game spin-off as well? Eh, after the fighting game, I guess why not just go with it?


Like with Arena and Ultimax, the bizarre PS Vita entry Dancing All Night has way more story than you'd expect from something in the same category as Guitar Hero and Dance Dance Revolution.


This one takes a minor character from Persona 4 and spins off in a new direction, taking the series into the world of J-Pop. Its more fun than you'd expect, but honestly I have a hard time taking this one seriously.



Revelations: Persona


I fully came into this list expecting to put this entry all the way at the top, having very fond memories of playing this as a kid. The totally different setting from your typical fantasy RPG set Persona drastically apart from the pack.


This was also definitely the first game I played where negotiating with demons before fighting was an option, with violence completely avoidable in many random battles.


Between the game starting with a bunch of kids messing around with summoning demons, and one character's fondness for explaining the flaws in Western religion's theology, I had to play this one on the down low when my religious parents were around -- which of course just increased its mystique.


While ranking these games I went back to the original PS1 edition and a sad realization dawned on me: this game has not aged well.


Though groundbreaking at the time, It's kind of difficult to play at this point due to the clunky controls, and some of the graphics (particularly when navigating outside or through the labyrinthine hallways of high school dungeons) are sort of spectacularly bad.


Some of those kinks are worked out with the '09 PSP port, although going that route also loses some of the charm of the original sounds and cut scenes.



Persona 4 Arena Ultimax


Wait a minute, this is... a fighting game? Unlike the super ill-fated D&D fighting game spin off, this one is actually worth playing for beat 'em up fans, although maybe less so for the Persona die hards who prefer a JRPG experience.


Oddly enough, this is actually the SECOND fighting game in the series, following the previous Persona 4 Arena. What sets Ultimax apart from anything else in the genre is that there's a whole lot more story going on here than you'd expect from a Street Fighter style game.


That could be good or bad depending -- good for Persona fans who want to see these characters, but probably bad for fighting game fans who don't want to read screen after screen of text.


This one's better than its predecessor, but at the end of the day anyone playing is going to have to  ask themselves: just who is the target audience here?



Persona 2: Eternal Punishment


This forgotten classic of the series was released at the very tail end of the PS1's life cycle as the PS2 was coming to dominance, so Eternal Punishment didn't make as big an impact as it could have were it released earlier in prime PS1 RPG time.


Eternal Punishment was still figuring out its various systems and hadn't perfected them yet, but was a big jump up from the original game. Its also interesting to note that it wasn't actually the second Persona game -- it was the third.


Previous game Innocent Sin didn't make it to the U.S. on the PS1 at all and in fact didn't arrive for North American audiences until 2011 on the PSP. Obviously, the story of Eternal Punishment could be confusing at times, since none of us had ever played its predecessor.


While it may have been a bit baffling at points, it was also incredibly dark (like Rule Of Rose dark) and will always remain with those who played through as kids and had no idea what they were in for. Horror fans will particularly note elements taken from the Cthulhu mythos, like a character named Nyarlathotep.



Persona 4


The position this game takes is really a matter of personal preference, and I suspect may have something to do with which game you played first and where you started in the series.


Some fans will fight to the death over their preference of Persona 4 to Persona 3 -- and vice versa. I'm more in that second camp that prefers the earlier game. Not that there's anything particularly wrong with this entry (note its high ranking in this list), but the characters, music, and style of 3 just edge this one out.


This one had a bit of a different tone than the previous games, being more of a murder mystery. It's also notable for taking the social link system from the previous game and expanding it even further.


While Persona 4 originally came out for the PS2 all the way back in '08, a remake titled Persona 4 Golden was released on the PS Vita in 2012, bringing the series back to the forefront in the long, long wait for Persona 5.



Persona 3 FES


This entry is when the North American audiences really started to take notice of the series, which had a cult following prior but really wasn't on the same level as anything like Final Fantasy.


Persona 3 is where the series hit its stride with managing relationships to increase rankings in various abilities and in splitting your time between monster raising, battling enemies, and being a high school student in the day. While more accessible than the earlier PS1 entries, Persona 3 is also notable for being quite difficult if you were trying to do everything.


Some of those requests from Elizabeth were incredibly hard, and there were a few boss fights that could easily wipe you out if you weren't holding a guidebook in your hands letting you know which specific Persona to be fusing ahead of time.


What always strikes me most about this entry is the incredibly memorable music that bucked the trend of what you'd hear in a typical JPRG. From the "baby, baby, baby, baby" of the combat music to the operatic take on the Velvet Room, you won't ever forget these tunes. Even the high school hallway theme had an electronic beat you can't get out of your head.


It wasn't all sunshine and gumdrops when Persona 3 was first released however, as the title caused some controversy. Characters point a gun at their foreheads and pull the trigger in a representation of the death of self to release a secondary inner persona. Needless to say, parents weren't stoked about imagery of teenagers repeatedly shooting themselves.



Best: Persona 5


The latest (and many are saying greatest) entry in the series was bestowed on Western fans a full half year after the Japanese market got ahold of it. It's been a tense six months for those of us longing for more Persona, but now that it's here, the wait was worth it.


We've covered the game extensively, and for good reason: Persona 5 takes everything that made the earlier games memorable and fun to play and cranked that all up to the next level.


This entry is incredibly stylized, and every single element of the game - from conversation to crafting to battles -- just constantly keeps that style front and center, with the themes of the story constantly woven into absolutely everything the protagonist does.


Part 5 is also easily the best instance of the time management aspect of the series, where you are trying to both be a successful student with interpersonal relationships, jobs, study time, etc. and a Phantom Thief hero battling Shadows at night. Blessedly, the game also doesn't take 40 hours to give you a story like Persona 3.



For those not familiar, Persona is a totally different beast altogether than other prominent JRPG series like Final Fantasy or Dragon Quest.


Frequently focusing on high schoolers on Earth rather than knights in fantasy worlds, the series is known for button-pushing dark themes and stories that delve into the metaphysical and the philosophical. Throw in monster raising and some light dating sim elements, and you've got the Persona franchise.


Here we're going to cover all the games from best to worst to let you know which titles are worth your time and which can be played later after getting to the good stuff first. "Worst" may be a bit of a misnomer however, as there really aren't any actively bad Persona games, even if some are clearly better than others.


We're trying to be as complete as possible in this list, but a few spin offs are getting left out, like the defunct browser game or several Japanese-only mobile titles. Although they are closely connected, we're covering exclusively Persona branded games here and not any of the Shin Megami Tensei or Devil Summoner titles.


If you go all the way back to the series beginning in the late '80s on the Famicom, there are just way, way, way too many to cover, and many of them never got English translations. For those who ever played them though, please feel free to comment with your favorites!

Investigating Igor: The Odd History of Persona's Strangest Character Sun, 09 Apr 2017 10:28:02 -0400 Erroll Maas

With Persona 5 now released worldwide, it's time to take the opportunity to educate players about the perplexing history of the series' most bizarre character -- Igor. Because this strange ally is much more than meets the eye.

[Spoiler Alert: This article contains some spoilers for the Persona video game series. Continue at your own risk!]

An Unusual Appearance, But A Useful Ally

To those who have never played any Persona games, Igor looks like some kind of manipulative evil villain -- or at least the creepy and dedicated butler of one. They would be partly right though, as he is a servant.

Despite his rather eerie appearance, Igor is the player's most valuable ally in every mainline Persona game.

Igor is a servant of Philemon, the entity which allows people to awaken their respective personas. Igor is technically a doll who was created by Philemon to help serve the main protagonists of each Persona game. Since he is a doll, Igor is somewhat fascinated by humans, and often asks thought-provoking rhetorical questions.

Although Igor does wish the best outcome for each main protagonist in the series, he will withhold important information until he feels the time is right to reveal it. Igor may seem omniscient, but he is only aware of different possible outcomes of each situation -- and even then he may not be aware of every outcome.

Throughout the series, Igor has been the host of an area known as the Velvet Room, a peculiar environment which exists in a realm somewhere between dreams and reality. Igor provides information to the protagonists about their powers, connections with other important characters, and possible events which may happen on the course of their adventure. Igor is also the creator of several other residents of the Velvet Room who appear throughout the series.

In every main game, Igor also helps with the fusion of personas to create more powerful ones, and has compendium in his possession which lets the player register personas so they can save that version for later in case they want to summon it once again to use it.

In Persona 4 Arena and Persona 4 Arena Ultimax, Igor continues his role as proprietor, but it is greatly reduced. In this game he is just the host of the character select screen, which takes place in the Velvet Room.

Otherworldly Voices

Mysterious Circumstances

Igor's original Japanese voice actor was Isamu Tanonaka, who voiced the character in Persona 3 and Persona 4Tanonaka died of a heart attack on January 13, 2010, at the age of 77. Although he only recorded lines for Persona 3 and Persona 4, his audio was reused for the fighting games (Persona 4 Arena and Persona 4 Arena Ultimax), the anime series (Persona 4 The Animation), the Persona 3 movies, and the end of Persona 5.

This in and of itself is rather strange, when you hear Igor's voice in some of these later franchise entries and know that the voice actor died long before they were ever created.

But what's exceptionally strange about this is that Tanonaka was not the only Igor voice actor to suffer a heart attack. Takeshi Aono, who played Igor in the drama CD Persona 2: Innocent Sin ~ The Errors of Their Youthhad a heart attack and stroke in May 2010, and died two years later of a cerebral infarction on April 9, 2012.

Most would say this is just a strange coincidence, due to the both voice actors being near the same age, but what if it were something more than that?

Given the somewhat dark subject matter of Persona games, especially in regards to the Death Arcana and Persona 3's theme of death, it's chilling that this was also the first Persona game where Igor was voiced.

Igor has plenty of intriguing dialogue throughout the game, but the quote which stands out is what he says cryptically after the player dies and gets a game over:

"Death is not a hunter unbeknownst to its prey, one is always aware that it lies in wait. Though life is merely a journey to the grave, it must not be undertaken without hope. Only then will a traveler’s story live on, treasured by those who bid him farewell. But alas, now my guest’s life has ended, his tale left unwritten…"

While Igor isn't a fully omniscient character, this quote weirdly fits the circumstances of his voice actors. The "guest" he's referring to is supposed to be the main protagonist, but could also be read as one of his voice actors, since in a sense they are a guest in voicing his character. Getting a game over is just one possible outcome out of many, but given that Igor's cryptic dialogue is sometimes foreshadowing future events, it adds an extra mystifying layer to these unexplainable occurrences

Also note how Tanonaka voiced Igor twice and died of a heart attack, while Aono only voiced Igor once had a heart attack, but passed away two years later of cerebral infarctions. It's quite unfathomable both of these voice actors around the same age suffered the same condition after voicing the same character -- especially when considering the first, who had more lines than the other, actually died from it.

Igor's current Japanese voice actor, Masane Tsukayama, also happens to be in his 70s, so let's hope he doesn't suffer a mysterious heart attack as he predecessors did.

Excessive English Voice Changes

Dan Woren was Igor's original English voice actor-- and similar to Tanonaka, some of his audio has been reused from time to time. In these western iterations, Igor has a calm and nonthreatening yet ghastly voice, which at times can sound comparable to a creepier version of Winnie the Pooh. In the Japanese version, Igor sounds more like a humble old man, which is rather appropriate given the age of the first two actors who voiced him.

Igor had new lines in the fighting game, Persona 4 Arena Ultimax, voiced by popular voice actor Vic Mignogna. This voice wasn't too much of a stretch from Woren's, but is noticeable enough.

The English version of Persona 5, just like its Japanese counterpart, had a completely brand new voice for Igor, which was a drastic change from the previous ones. Now voiced by Kirk Thorton, Igor has a much deeper voice to that aligns more closely with the Japanese version. However, this new voice doesn't seem to fit the character as well and can be hard to get used to if you're more accustomed to hearing Woren's version.

What Igor's English voice actors all have in common are that they are all relatively younger than their Japanese counterparts. It seems strange the voice would change, as Dan Woren is still alive and not retired, but his replacement for new lines may have just been a result of scheduling conflicts. Kirk Thorton may have been used as the new voice of Igor in order to match the new Japanese voice a bit closer.

But what if the real reason for the changes is to protect these talented voice actors from Igor's curse? While it's true that it has only been Japanese voice actors of Igor who have met a tragic fate, there's no available information about whether or not Igor's English voice actors have experienced any near-death experiences after voicing the character themselves. 

Reaching The Truth Of An Unsolved Mystery

While we don't truly know whether the deaths of Igor's Japanese voice actors were pure coincidence or a strange circumstance, we do know that the similarities are certainly perplexing. We may never know the true answer to the mystery of Igor, so for now just being aware of its existence is all we can do.

Atlus Made a New Studio Specifically for a New Franchise Wed, 21 Dec 2016 11:45:02 -0500 Danny21_2396

If there's one game company who isn't afraid of breaking new grounds with a game, Atlus is definitely one of them. Not being content with Persona and the Shin Megami Tensei series -- even after they've made many spinoffs to the franchises --  Atlus recently announced a brand new IP made by a brand new studio.

The game is currently labeled as Project Re Fantasy, which will be an RPG in a fantasy medieval setting. Studio Zero is Atlus' new production studio, led by Persona series' Director/ Producer Katsura Hashino, tasked with developing the game.

As the project is still new, not a lot of detail can be dug up, though we know who the key players in the Studio Zero team are. Aside from Katsura Hashino, the line-up is strengthened by artist Shigenori Soejima and composer Shoji Meguro. All of them are key players in the Persona franchise, so we can likely expect a heavy Persona-like feel in this game.

Apparently, Atlus will host a livestream over at Nico Nico Douga on December 23rd 08:00 PM JST to share more about the game.

Atlus' Director Naota Hiraoka and Katsura Hirano recently had an interview with the Famitsu magazine, where they shared a little bit more info on the game. Unfortunately, they have yet to specify details about it, such as the platform(s) that they're planning to release the game on.

Hiraoka said that the reason behind the new IP is that Atlus wanted the Persona series' staff to be more active, without having to be restricted within the Persona series. He also said that both Meguro and Soejima will continue to participate centrally in the Persona series.

Hashino said that the reason they chose medieval fantasy is because Atlus has always put an importance in making games contrary to the orthodox way of doing things. When fantasy was the norm, they made series set in the modern setting. Now that modern settings are popular, they're going back to older fantasy.

The studio also always had the idea of challenging the orthodox genre with something that only Atlus and its characteristics can do. Project Re Fantasy is the result of that idea.

Hashino also said that the cover illustration isn't necessarily the protagonist's illustration.

We'll keep you informed with more details as they emerge. Stay tuned!

Persona 5 Releases in Japan Next Week! Thu, 08 Sep 2016 09:00:01 -0400 ThndrMge

Persona 5, which experienced a massive spike in sales recently due to the delay of Final Fantasy XV, is one of the most hotly anticipated RPGs of the last five years. Fans of the series have been eagerly chomping at the bit to get their hands on any information they can, and that wait is finally over. Eight years after the release of Persona 4, Japan and China will finally have the next entry in the series on September 15th.

Set in modern day Tokyo, Persona 5 begins after our protagonist receives probation for assault on a stalker. He is transferred to the fictional school of Shujin High, and over the course of a school year he and his companions will awaken to their powers of Persona. Using their new found abilities they will explore the supernatural realm of "Palace" to steal the corrupt hearts of adults, and are given the dubious title of "Phantom Thieves of Hearts".

As with previous games in the Persona series the title focuses on supernatural elements, turn based combat, social simulation, and time and party management. It will feature the character designs of acclaimed artist and designer Shigenori Soejima, music by series legend Shoji Meguro, and is produced and directed by series veteran Katsura HashinoPersona 5 was first announced three years ago alongside three spin-off titles: Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth, Persona 4: Dancing All Nightand Persona 4 Arena Ultimax.

Persona 5 is scheduled to release on September 15th for PlayStation 3 in Japan and PlayStation 4 in Japan and China. Persona 5 will be released in North America and Europe on February 14th, 2017 for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. Until then, join me watching the amazing animated intro on repeat until the day the game comes out, won't you?

Persona 5: The Day Breakers Official English Release on Crunchyroll Sat, 03 Sep 2016 05:14:54 -0400 ThndrMge

Atlus U.S.A. and Crunchyroll, the popular anime online streaming site, has announced that Persona 5: The Day Breakers will be available on the Crunchyroll site with English subtitles starting September 3rd. This is the same day it will be airing in Japan, and several months ahead of the official release of Persona 5 in North America and Europe. It it unlikely that Persona 5: The Day Breakers will be available with English dubbing, making the Crunchyroll release is your best bet to watch it for now.

Persona 5: The Day Breakers is a tie-in prologue produced by A-1 Pictures for the highly anticipated RPG, Persona 5. It it uncertain exactly where in reference to the game that the anime will take place, or how much of the plot will be revealed or explained. It looks as if the Phantom Thieves of Hearts have already formed in the anime, which could mean the anime takes place after the introduction sequence of the game or could be a flash back of some kind. We'll have to watch and find out!

The game is set to release on September 15th in Japan and February 14th in the Americas and Europe for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4.

Persona 5 Set to Launch February 2017 in Western Release Wed, 10 Aug 2016 17:48:38 -0400 Glitchieetv

Persona 5, the latest installment of the acclaimed Japanese role-playing game, is set to release February 14, 2017, in Europe and all PAL Regions. Yes, that includes North America. Developed by Atlus and published by Deep Silver, this is the first title being released on console since the Playstation 2. Featuring the anime art style common to JRPGs as well as a soundtrack composed by Shoji Meguro, Persona 5 is a beautiful game.

Persona 5 revolves around a group of high school students who want to change the world by having everyone take off their “mask” that society forces them to wear. Possessing the power to go into people's hearts, they masquerade at night as the Phantom Thieves. This power comes from their Persona, the concept of self coined by psychiatrist Carl Jung.

Welcoming to veteran players and newcomers with its standalone story, premium editions are also available for pre-order as PS4 exclusives. The SteelBook Edition comes in a metal game case decorated with Persona 5 designs. The Take Your Heart Premium Collector’s Edition is where all the goodies are at, though. Not only coming with the SteelBook case, the Take Your Heart Premium Collector's Edition features the Persona 5 soundtrack, 4”/10 cm plush keychain of Morgana, a 64-page hardcover art book, school bad and collectible outer box. 

Persona 5 Opening Animation & Intro video revealed! Wed, 20 Jul 2016 03:40:31 -0400 CalendarV

Atlus, the developer of the Persona series, has uploaded the opening animation and video clip featuring the intro of Persona 5. Their newest RPG has players experience the life of a student, and the life of a "phantom thief".

In the stylish opening video created by Production I.G. they feature an acid-jazz like theme. The music is composed by Shoji Meguro, who composed songs for Persona 3Persona 4, and is working on Persona 5's soundtrack. It is sung by Lyn; who is a new vocalist for the series.

 The above video shows the intro of the game. It includes gameplay and animations from the first eighteen minutes, and features the game's tutorials in a bright casino environment.

Persona 5 will be released on September 15, 2016 in Japan, and February 14, 2017 in North America. Before the release, the prologue animation, "Persona 5 the Animation: The Day Breakers" will be aired.

We've already talked about some of the other new features, coming soon, keep with us for more info on the game's release this coming year.

RR-sama Review: Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE takes the stage! Wed, 22 Jun 2016 03:43:36 -0400 David Fisher

Announced in the January of 2013, Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE is the collaboration between Nintendo studio Intelligent Systems, and Atlus - the developers of the Shin Megami Tensei series. While it was originally advertised as Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem, the game has slowly taken on more similarities with the SMT spin-off Persona than the original series.

Tokyo Mirage Sessions in its final product is completely different from what some might have imagined when they first saw the SMT X Fire Emblem logo way back in 2013. Considering Nintendo's lack of experience in the RPG scene, is Tokyo Mirage Sessions a smash hit or does it lack what it takes to be a star?

The Plot

If you're looking for some sort of deep storyline, you won't find it in Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE. While there are some points where the game is critical of the Japanese idol industry, most of the game falls upon anime cliches. As such, there are few surprises in the plot other than the usual shounen/shoujo twists and turns.

The game's plot centers around Itsuki Aoi, and his childhood friend Tsubasa Oribe. Tsubasa is the survivor of an event known as the "Mass Disappearance" in which a number of talented artists -- and their spectators -- all disappeared (shocking, right?). It was after this event that Tsubasa decided she wanted to become an idol -- just like her now disappeared older sister -- so that she might have a chance of finding her.

The above image more or less sums up the entirety of the "human" side of the story, as most of the plot points in the human world tie themselves to Tsubasa's gradual rise to stardom. Along the way we meet a cast of colorful characters, including: the hero wannabe, Touma; the emo-pop star, Kiria; and the power obsessed Tsurugi. Each character has their own anime-style archetypes, and the story that they go through is somewhat inspired by the High School life found in Persona entries of the Shin Megami Tensei series.

Each character has their own side-story missions, and they reveal some interesting information on each character's history. While these stories still fall upon the same anime archetypes, they do make the human side of the game a little more believable. That said, the human storylines are far from the most interesting part of the game.

The Fire Emblem characters in this game predominantly take the form of Mirages. Mirages share a similar premise to personas in the Persona series. Each one acts as a mask that the protagonists must rely on during battles with other mirages. This form - known as the Carnage Form - grants the protagonists various abilities, and is generally the focus of the plot outside the whims of the human world.

I won't get into the names for spoiler reasons, but I can say that the entire cast comes from Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon, and Fire Emblem: Awakening. The majority of the characters come from Shadow Dragon in particular.

The mirage side of the story is certainly more interesting than the melodrama of the human story. The main reason for this is that the Fire Emblem cast has no idea how they became mirages, but they do recall scant details of their previous lives. Thankfully, the personalities of the characters are still in line with their original designs, so if you were worried about this you need not be. It's especially great seeing the antagonists' personalities in this game since they are almost identical despite the context being changed.

Overall, the story is worth playing out for a laugh or pure enjoyment. Just don't expect anything terribly deep or moving.

The Gameplay

In Tokyo Mirage Sessions, players will be spending most of their time in the idolsphere. These areas act as dungeons throughout the game, and they are the only place where players will face off against enemy mirages.

Most puzzles in the dungeons are fairly straightforward, and rarely will you find one that takes longer than a minute or so to figure out. What will get you confused, however, is the layout of the land. Many of the later idolspheres consist of narrow hallways with tall walls. As such, you won't be able to see clearly where pathways lead. Thankfully, the game utilizes the Wii U's gamepad as a map.

The gamepad is also used as a sort of cell-phone stand-in. Players will occasionally receive text messages via topic from various cast members. These will range from mission hints to random chat logs. 

Battles are where Tokyo Mirage Sessions truly shines. A mix of flashy visuals, fast-paced turn-based combat, and unique character designs make Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE a must-play for the battles alone. 

While it may seem like a shallow inspiration, weaknesses and advantages in this game are based off the weapons triangle in Fire Emblem. Enemies based off of Fire Emblem characters or units share the same advantages and disadvantages they have in game. For example, a Myrmidon will suffer extra damage from a lance-based attack, while being resistant to attacks from an axe wielder. This also extends to the elemental triangle from Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance.

While there are many enemies inspired by Fire Emblem units, there are a fair share of Shin Megami Tensei inspired enemies as well. These are harder to defeat since their weaknesses aren't as obvious...

What makes the battles enjoyable in Tokyo Mirage Sessions is the flow of battle. Boss battles that can go upward of 30 turns never feel as though they have been dragging on, thanks to the Session scenes that increase the pace of battles. Also, the random ad-lib attacks that you unlock via side story missions add a special flair to attacks that not only strengthen the attacks, but also give this game a unique personality.

That said, while playing Normal and Easy difficulty you won't likely find this game particularly difficult. The game rarely punishes you for not learning the weaknesses or strengths of opponents, and rarer still will you find yourself unable to progress should you choose to be stubborn and play only with your favorite cast members. That said, expect to grind and stock up on items for a great portion of the game if you choose to do so. If instead you choose to play the game properly, Hard mode will give you the true JRPG experience you are looking for.

Tiki's appearance in this game is important in any run beyond Easy difficulty as her ability to create new weapons, as well as give characters new passive abilities, makes her an invaluable asset.

The Presentation

If you want a game that makes you feel like you're walking around in an anime, look no further than Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE. In fact, the game has so many heavy-handed anime inspirations that you might find yourself hard pressed to watch anime for a while afterward. Everything from the way buildings and areas are modeled, to the touch of making background people single-colored models is truly something that needs to be experienced in order to do the game justice.

The animated segments of the game are also something to be desired. Most of these segments take the form of music videos, and their ability to capture both your attention and awe is something remarkable. I personally found it difficult to dislike any of the music tracks as each one is catchy in its own way, and players are likely to find at least one artist they find particularly enjoyable.

Speaking of which, the soundtrack in this game is truly amazing. Overworld tracks are mostly new songs that have been designed for this game in particular, and they never get in the way of the enjoyment of the game. This is mostly due to the fact that they act almost like environmental sounds despite being composed area theme tracks. In fact, most of the overworld songs are hardly noticed until you mute your TV.

On the other hand, various event and battle themes are based on music directly taken from Fire Emblem games. These include the Fire Emblem theme which is given a J-Pop remix, and even leveling up brings about the "level up" jingle from the games. Other sound effects are there too, and they help make the game feel familiar to Fire Emblem fans entering the series.

Even the battle theme from Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE (above) hides the battle theme of a Fire Emblem game (below) behind a strong techno remix.

The Verdict

Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE is a great JRPG addition to the Wii U's library. It takes elements from both the Persona series and Fire Emblem series to make something new, and it is truly something worth experiencing. The game is beautiful, the plot is enjoyable for anime fans, and the battles are exciting and flashy enough to capture the attention of any fan of either series.

I would recommend at least borrowing or getting the game on sale for the presentation alone. The battles, overworld, and even the dungeons are easily some of the most visually impressive on the Wii U. The anime style, as well as the abundance of color, really helps this game's overworld pop out of the screen. This goes doubly for the battle scenes, and make this game easily one of of the most impressive games visually on the Wii U hardware.

While this is a great standalone title, I would still advise avoiding this game if you dislike anime or JRPGs in general. The themes and tropes of shounen and shoujo anime are fairly heavy in this game -- and while they don't get particularly bad at any point, it's not exactly something you can play comfortably if you aren't familiar with either genre. If you are a fan of those genres, however, you will enjoy this game as much -- if not more -- than I did, easily.

For its beautiful style, and exciting battles, I give Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE a 9/10. While it probably won't convince you to buy one, it is a must play for any JRPG fan who currently owns a Wii U.

Author's Note: This game was reviewed using a free review copy on the Wii U.

More Persona 5 Story Info: From Elizabeth to Margaret comes 2 new Velvet Room Assistants Sun, 12 Jun 2016 05:36:57 -0400 FlameKurosei

Atlus released a load of new story details yesterday for their upcoming PlayStation 3 and 4 JRPG, Persona 5. In particular, the new details revolve around the Velvet Room, a mysterious place where an elderly man named Igor resides. The game is set to release on September 15th 2016 in Japan and February 14th 2017 for the Americas. 

"The old man, Igor, asks the protagonist, “Are you prepared for this challenge? The challenge of taking on a distorted world?”

The Velvet Room is located in a place for each Persona title; such as at the end of an alleyway in Persona 3, or the interior of a limousine in Persona 4. However, the place inside is the same, filled with a calming musical tone with walls covered in blue velvet along with Igor and his female assistant.

In Persona 3, Igor's assistant was Elizabeth, and in Persona 4, his assistant was Margaret. Now in Persona 5, Igor has not one but two assistants, twins in identical outfits by the names of Caroline and Justine (voiced by Aki Toyosaki).

Atlus offered brief description of the girls, as translated from website Gematsu:

Caroline and Justine     

Twin prison guards that accompany Igor. They both look the same, and each wears a solemn eye patch on one eye. These two call themselves the guards of the Velvet Room, and generally receive the imprisoned protagonist with a sharp attitude and tone. Also, the twins vary greatly in punctuality and sometimes argue over treatment of the protagonist.

In regards to the Velvet Room, there are also more details about the main character, who is incarcerated for protecting a woman from her abusive husband. (Unfortunately for him, during his probation sentence, he has a dream where he wakes up in the Velvet Room, meeting Igor and the twin guards. Igor comments that the protagonist is a "prisoner of fate", and warns him of future misfortune, saying the only fix is to become an "excellent thief". Thus, the "Phantom Thieves" is founded, and sets out to take and reform the hearts of cruel adults by night. The process of reform causes adults to go insane, creating a global dilemma for many nations.

So how do the Phantom Thieves reform the adults? Igor gives them a smartphone app called "Isekai Navi" ("Other World Navi") and through the use of this app the Thieves travel to the "Palace", a twisted, opulent reality found in the hearts of evil adults. There the Phantom Thieves steal various "treasures", lavish physical manifestations of an adult's inner desires. The Palace changes per adult, so there are different environments to infiltrate, such as a bank or an art gallery-themed level.

The final details Atlus revealed involved the other half of the Persona game format -- social linking and school days for the thieving team. Like the previous Persona games, building relationships and character traits happens during the daytime, and involves various activities such as having a meal with friends or going on a date with chosen lover.

There will be more details to come as we approach release day for Persona 5, including a confirmed showing at E3. So keep your eyes peeled! In the meantime, check out more Persona 5 character details here on GameSkinny!

What are your thoughts on the new Persona 5 story and Velvet Room? Please leave a comment below!

[Images retrieved from Gematsu]

Can't Wait For Persona 5? Check Out These Other Games in the Megami Tensei Franchise! Tue, 07 Jun 2016 04:52:54 -0400 cactusjudy

Digital Devil Saga

Although one the lesser-known titles in the franchise, Digital Devil Saga and its direct sequel Digital Devil Saga 2 are some of Megami Tensei's most critically-praised and fan-beloved games due to their deep, dark plots and morally complex and troubled characters. Digital Devil Saga follows a tribe of humans stuck in a disaster-ravaged digital world, who become infected with a demon virus that grants them demonic powers. The characters must fight (and cannibalize) competing tribes in order to escape their dying world, despite their own personal aversions to violence. The sequel follows many of the characters from the original as they explore a new world with new villains, threatening organizations, apocalyptic disasters, secrets to uncover, and intense moral dilemmas. In 2011, the series was named the "Top RPG of the Last Decade" by RPGFan, an impressive accomplishment for an older and little-known title.


Both Digital Devil Saga and Digital Devil Saga 2 are available on the PlayStation 2


With so many Persona-like games you can't have played them all. Now you can go back and play some of the best games in the Shin Megami Tensei franchise. The hard part is picking which you want to play while waiting for Persona 5.

Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers

The Devil Summoner series exists comfortably within the mystery genre, following a cast of characters who must use demonic allies in order to investigate strange occurrences in their world. In order to win over demons to their side, players must answer questions correctly, give them gifts, and not force them to perform unwanted moves. Additionally, certain demons refuse to fight side-by-side, so one's team of demons must be constructed carefully.


Although the first Devil Summoner game has not yet made it across the ocean, the sequel, Soul Hackers, was brought over to America and Europe on the 3DS in 2013. Soul Hackers relies heavily on cyberpunk themes of the advancement of technology and the substance of the human soul, as its players navigate a virtual world alongside the real one and hack both networks and souls. Unfortunately, the port received mixed reviews in the West due to its bland dungeons and dated game mechanics, although other critics praised it as reminiscent of 1990s science fiction anime.


The other two games in the Devil Summoner series released in America, Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner: Raidou Kuzunoha vs. The Soulless Army and Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner: Raidou Kuzunoha vs. King Abaddon, follow a detective agency from the Taisho period in the early 1930s. The historical setting provides a distinct flavor to these games as it explores Japanese society during one of its most controversial periods. Although criticized for their weak graphics, the games are largely celebrated, by critics and fans alike, for their dark and engrossing stories and unique battle system. Both Raidou Kuzunoha games were released on the PlayStation 2, and the first game is also available on the PlayStation Network. 

Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor

Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor and its sequel, Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2 follow a group of high school students who discover the power to summon, and fight, with demons in order to defeat other demons who are trying to invade Japan and destroy the world. In the first game, our protagonists find themselves trapped in Tokyo after the government enforces a sudden quarantine. The characters must interact with others trapped in the lockdown in order to investigate the cause of the quarantine, as well as the appearance of demons in Tokyo, and try to find a way out before their "death clock" runs out and everyone trapped in the quarantine dies. In the sequel, new protagonists join a secret demon-fighting organization after surviving a demon attack. They must fight against a group of demons, hell-bent on invading and destroying the world, while also dealing with rival organizations and saving their friends from demon attacks. Both Devil Survivor games were received well by fans and critics alike for their tense story, difficult moral choices, and multiple ending paths based on character interactions and choices.


Devil Survivor and Devil Survivor 2 are available on the Nintendo DS. Expanded editions of both games, titled Devil Survivor: Overclocked and Devil Survivor 2: Record Breaker respectively, can be played on the 3DS.

Persona 2

Of course, what better games to play while waiting for Persona 5 then other Persona titles. Despite the immense popularity of and 4, the first three Persona games remain unplayed by many fans. The first game in the series, Revelations: Persona, introduces the basic plot framework of the series: a group of high school students are confronted with a series of supernatural incidents in their hometown, and discover an ability to summon reflections of themselves, called "personas," in order to fight evil forces. Persona 2: Innocent Sin and its direct sequel, Persona 2: Eternal Punishment follow a similar formula with a new setting, new characters, and new dark forces to defeat. Though critics consider these first three titles enjoyable yet inferior to the later games in the series, Persona 2 is often considered the series' best game by hardcore fans. If you love Persona 3 and 4 and want to play excellent games that follow the same formula, or prefer your high school bildungsroman tales with fewer anime tropes, then give Persona and Persona 2 a try.


All three games can be found on the PlayStation and PlayStation Portable. Additionally, Revelations: Persona is available on Microsoft Windows. 

Shin Megami Tensei IV

With the well-received release of Shin Megami Tensei IV in the West in July 2013, the mainline series of Megami Tensei finally made it onto the radar of mainstream Western gaming. With 600,000+ sales worldwide and an average Metacritic score of 83, the game has certainly made a splash in the gaming world, albeit without nearing the heights of Persona's fame. Still, fans of the latter would do well to check out Shin Megami Tensei IV; it retains a similar battle system that also lets you recruit and fight alongside demons (shadows in Persona), a complex cast of characters, and philosophical underpinnings. Titles in the Shin Megami Tensei series are also known for being quite a bit darker than Persona, with the Japanese high school setting swapped for a post-apocalyptic, demon-ravaged Japan. As such, in both IV and other games in the series, your character is faced with tough, and at times heartbreaking, choices between friends, political factions, and belief systems, while negotiating the balance between law and order, and chaos. If you're looking for a darker, more difficult gaming experience, then Shin Megami Tensei will be right up your alley.


Shin Megami Tensei IV can be played on the Nintendo 3DS. Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne, considered by many fans to be the best and deepest game in the series, was also released in the West, and can be played on the PlayStation 2. Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey is available on the Nintendo DS, while the first game, Shin Megami Tensei, was ported to the States on iOS in 2014.


Are you a fan of Persona? Have you been desperately awaiting any further news (or an American/European release date) for the latest title in the beloved series? I certainly have -- and the long wait has become more and more agonizing as the Japanese release date looms closer and closer. Yet, unbeknownst to many fans, there are already many Persona-like titles on the market waiting to be played, adored, and shared with fellow fans. 


Persona is, after all, not a standalone series -- the games are part of a much larger franchise called Megami Tensei, commonly known as Shin Megami Tensei outside of Japan. Since 1987, more than 50 games in this series have been developed and published by Atlus, though not all have been brought to the West. The following slides list Megami Tensei titles that have made their way to American consoles following the Western release of Revelations: Persona on the PlayStation in 1997. Though varied in gameplay and story, each title features a similar demon compendium and action-packed, character-driven story that is sure to entertain and engross. 

Persona 5 Livestream Clocked in For May 5 Wed, 04 May 2016 09:34:47 -0400 Pierre Fouquet

Big Persona 5 news may be on the horizon, as it is getting a livestream on May 5 at 8:30AM EST (21:30PM JST) -- you might want to have a early night then.

Unfortunately, the live stream isn't going to be available via YouTube or but via Niconico -- which you will need to sign up for to watch. Don't fret too much, as Niconico does use an English language registration page.

There isn't much information on what will be in the livestream, but here's to hoping it will be a solid release date, and more about the gameplay intricacies and characters.

Persona 5 is -- unsurprisingly -- the 5th game in the Persona series, following the story of a 16-year-old school kid transferring to the fictional school of Shujin High School in Tokyo, and is being released on the PS3 and PS4 at some point in 2016.

What do you think they will show? On a scale of heart thumping to running around your house with spirit friends, how excited are you? Let me know in the comments below.

Persona 5 anime announced and new character revealed Fri, 25 Sep 2015 08:24:40 -0400 Austin Widmyer

Atlus announced that there will be an anime for Persona 5 at Tokyo Game Show 2015 earlier this week. It was announced as a "special program" anime, so it will likely be somewhere around 13-26 episodes, depending on if it has two seasons. In more recent news, new screenshots revealed a fifth new character called Yusuke Kitagawa and his Persona, Goemon.

We also learned that yesterday the official website has been updated, and all of the currently revealed characters backgrounds can be seen there. However, unless your Japanese is fluent, good luck reading all of that kanji!

Despite being unable to read the picture above, we do know a few things about the upcoming game's protagonist. He is a 16-year-old boy who is deemed leader of a phantom thief group, and he just transferred to a new high school. He is voiced by Jun Fukuyama, who has been in such anime and games as "Rail Wars" and Valkyria Chronicles

Persona 5 is has been delayed several times, but it is currently set to release in Japan for the PS3/PS4 by Summer 2016 with a United States release to follow.

New trailer for Persona 5, but release delayed to Summer 2016 Thu, 17 Sep 2015 10:59:32 -0400 Dalton White I

Well, Atlus has definitely given us what we wanted: a brand new Persona 5 trailer and it looks just gorgeous.

However, it seems like we won't be getting the game until Summer 2016.

It is a bit disappointing to see the game being delayed after promises of a 2015 release date from Atlus at E3 2015. As sad as I am, if Atlus takes this time and releases a quality game this summer, I would understand.

Moving forwards, the trailer looks amazing. This new trailer shows off a huge variety of crazy shenanigans for the player to experience. It looks like your party can go into wide-screen TVs (possibly a reference to Persona 4) and Ryuji and Anne's personas were finally shown off.

Gameplay picture

We also got to see more of Morgana, the shapeshifting cat, and her persona. A lot of the cutscenes seem to show that Persona 5 will have its share of dark moments. Some shots in the trailer show off the protagonist using their phone, which could be a cool mechanic.

For those of you really disappointed about the delayed release date, myself included there, it seems that Katsura Hashino, the chief director of the Persona series, has also released a message to fans during a video interview (1:45 onward).

Hashino says that all the "parts" of Persona 5 are in place, but they are still fine tuning the gameplay. Hashino also says that he wants to live up to fan's expectation and make Persona 5 into a more, complete game and asks if it's okay to keep fans waiting a bit longer.

At the end of the video, he apologizes to everyone who has been eagerly anticipating the release of Persona 5. He further states that he feels that to make the game into something more complete, something that will give players with a better experience, more time will be needed.

It seems that Hashino is very heartfelt about the development and seeing as they are working to make Persona 5 everything fans hope it to be. Although we're definitely disappointed that the game won't be released in 2015, I feel like waiting for a while longer for Atlus to fine tune Persona 5 is worth it.

Atlus announces a Persona Event at TGS 2015 Fri, 11 Sep 2015 05:39:41 -0400 Dalton White I

The Tokyo Game Show (TGS) always has surprises and reveals for a variety of games, but this year it seems Atlus and Persona are gearing up for something big.

The Persona Channel website has given details about the “Atlus Presents: Persona Special Stage” event. “Persona Special Stage” will take place on September 19th at 14:30 (10:30 PM PDT/1:30 AM EDT). This special event will feature live performances from artists that might be familiar to Persona Fans. The list includes Lotus Juice, the rapper behind multiple song in Persona 3, and Shihoko Hirarata, the vocalist behind majority of Persona 4’s soundtrack including its opening.

Persona 4 Dancing All Night Pic

Clearly a live concert is celebrating the release of Persona: Dancing All Night, but it would also likely be a great opportunity for Atlus to reveal an official release date for Persona 5, which so far has only been confirmed for 2015 at E3 2015, or maybe even a new trailer! Atlus has yet to confirm any of this, but it is very likely they are keeping news under wraps for a big surprise.

Persona 5 wasn’t shown off that much at E3 2015, however, Atlus did set up an English Persona 5 webpage. The lack of information might be disheartening to some Persona fans, but my money’s on Atlus showing off Persona 5 when they are ready and this seems like an event that would be the perfect timing to show off what they’ve been working on.

For fans who need their Persona fix, Persona 4: Dancing All Night will be hitting shelves on September 29th on the PS Vita. Let's all cross our fingers that Atlus is planning to dazzle us with more amazing gameplay and a release date at TGS this month!

Naoto Shirogane: Dancing all night in style Thu, 20 Aug 2015 20:57:47 -0400 Clint Pereira

A new trailer for Naoto Shirogane has been released today for Persona 4: Dancing All Night, a rhythm game and spinoff in the Persona series. The video has been released today on AtlusUSA’s Youtube channel. Though the character trailers have been gradually released by Atlus, Dancing All Night will feature all the main playable characters from Persona 4 as well as a remixed soundtrack from the main game.

Demonstrated by her assortment of new outfits, the Detective Prince is much more comfortable with her femininity than in Persona 4. Her outfits include a maid outfit and a Sherlock Holmes-style outfit with skirt and shawl. Though her default outfit lacks her signature jacket, the Dancing All Night homepage shows that this outfit and more will be available.

Also not shown in the video are Naoto's unlockable swimsuit and holiday-themed costumes such as the Halloween Black Cat Suit and Christmas Reindeer Dress.

Persona 4: Dancing All Night is slated to be released on September 29th for the PlayStation Vita.

Anime-based game Persona 5 coming soon to PS3 and PS4 Sun, 09 Aug 2015 17:33:59 -0400 PencilPusha

Atlus' Persona 5, announced at E3 earlier this year, is all about making or breaking a problematic situation. The game's motto ("Glory...or Catastrophe?") says it all, because when high school students are coming-of-age and gain a newly-discovered dark side or "persona" that gives them incredible powers, there's no telling how a troubling situation will go. And we'll get to see how it all plays out when it drops for PS3 and PS4.

The game takes place in modern Japan (of course) at Shujin High School, revolving around the lives of a few high school students with powerful gifts of sorts. These gifts are acquired through a particular incident that each student experiences at some point in their day-to-day lives. Then the students, disguised in masks and costumes like superheroes, use their powers to overcome trials and tribulations in their daily lives. Ordinary situations in real life become extraordinary occurrences in Persona 5.

The main character is a high school sophomore whose persona is that of a phantom thief named Arsene. Arsene has black wings and mask-like face with a top hat. Characters like Arsene and his friends can battle against foes in dungeons, which have various traps awaiting them.

There's no official release date yet, but it's slated for sometime in 2015. For more information about Persona 5, check out their official website.

Persona 4: Dancing All Nights and its Remix-Filled Soundtrack Thu, 16 Jul 2015 19:05:13 -0400 Dalton White I

For those eagerly waiting for Persona 5's release this winter, another Persona game is coming out this September. Persona 4: Dancing All Night is a very flashy rhythm game that is a far departure from the original series and is only coming out on the Playstation Vita. As surprising as it is for a rhythm game, P4: Dancing All Night does have a story, one which takes place right after the end of Persona 4/Persona 4 Golden where the cast of Persona 4, once again, fights shadows, but this time they do it via “dance battle” in the mysterious “Midnight Stage”.

if you love the catchy and epic songs of Persona 4, Persona 4 Golden, Persona 4 Arena and Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth, this game has samplings from each of them. There are also a few original songs for the game, but only a handful in total. The entire selection of music for P4: Dancing All Night is about thirty songs, three of which are DLC, making it so-so compared to other rhythm video games out there. Majority of these songs consist of remixes of some of the more memorable tunes of Persona 4 like “Reach Out to the Truth” and “Pursuing My True Self”.

P4: Dancing All Night was released in Japan on June 25th and so far it has rather decent reviews. So if you’re a Persona fan or a fan of rhythm games looking for something new, Persona 4: Dancing All Night might be right for you.

The protagonist of P4 rocking out the theme of Persona Q.

Persona 4: Dancing All Night will be released on September 29th in the US so it will be hitting shelves soon enough. So what do you think about this Persona spinoff? Does it seem like something that might be fun or just another flashy spinoff with no substance? Leave a comment and remember: for all your Persona and video game articles and news, stay tuned to