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Persona 2: Eternal Punishment

NyxNyx Staff Girly GirlRPGamer Staff
edited November 2010 in Staff Review Blogs
Oh boy. You'd think after DemiKids I'd get off the SMT-kick. Fact of the matter is, I got this game as a gift a few months back and I decided that since I hadn't put it back in my game cabinet that I'd give the game a whirl. Much like a certain other staff member, I've also decided that this year I'd dig into my backlog and try to play a bunch of older titles that have been sitting in my game collection. I have over 41 games in my backlog that I still haven't completed, and every year I attempt to see how many games I can beat in a year. Since I mostly play RPGs that number isn't always particularly high.

Anyway, outside of the fact that I got this as a gift, you're all probably wondering why I'm not playing Innocent Sin first, and the honest answer is this: I don't want to and I don't have access to my laptop as of late because I've been using the it to give my mother computer lessons. Maybe when I'm feeling up to it, I'll go back and give that game a shot too.

Of the four Persona games, this is the only one I have no prior experience with, or any real knowledge of. With Revelations: Persona having been remade on the PSP, I may finally (though may be not this year) finally sit down and complete that game too.

Why am I choosing to blog about Persona 2: EP? 1) I've been interested in this game for years, although it was never a game I could find in my local game stores. 2) It was a gift, and since it's a gift I feel that I should play this game and let the person who gave it to me know how I genuinely feel about it, and 3) RPGamer has no official staff review for the game. You heard me. If I somehow manage to make it through this 50+ hour ride, I'm going to review it. Why? Because according to some folks, I hate myself. tounge2.gif

My goal with this blog is to update it as much as I can. I've decided I will only update it when I've completed a dungeon. I know there is over ten dungeons in this game, so I know I've got a long way to go. I'm going to try and put in a minimum of two hours a week into this game. We'll see if it hooks me more to have longer play sessions.

Let's get started, shall we?

04/05/10 - 2 hours

I have completed my first dungeon in the game - Seven Sisters High School. I must say after coming from Persona 3 and 4 this battle system is a lot different. I'm really enjoying what I've seen of the contacting system, which has a lot of hilarious dialog bits. It's going to take some getting use to, especially considering the last couple RPGs I've played have had far more active combat systems. I also know this game has a steep difficultly curve, so I'm grinding early.

One thing I am despising about this game is the ugly menus. The menu is an eyesore and it feels jumbled. However, it's not as bad as a certain other SMT game I played recently (*cough*DemiKids*cough*), but its still kind...fugly. Oh menu, I guess you and I are going to have to get quite... acquainted.

I also completed my first boss fight, which was super easy! Which means this game is going to murder me later on. I've heard the boss fights in this game are punishingly difficult if one isn't prepared. I can only hope that I find patience with this game. That being said, it was nifty to see the introduction of the Joker, and I have to say... he's terrifying. Wouldn't you be afraid of a man with a paper bag on his head? He's as scary as the T-1000 from Terminator 2!

I've also finally opened up the Velvet Room. There was a Belladonna waiting for me. She's no Elizabeth, but she sure is pretty! I've only fused one demon so far - a poltergeist who I have given to Katsuya. I actually am enjoying the personalities of the characters in this game - I also love Ulala's outfit. I want to make it, but that's another story.

Another thing I'm amused by is the voice acting. The voice acting was probably a neat thing for it's time, but it's pretty bad. I don't mind Ulala's voice, but Maya and Katsuya are just awful. Especially Maya. Maya's in particular just makes me wibble. It is also fun to hear a certain swear word blipped out in one of Ulala's voiced lines. We all know what the word is, and it's naughty.

The next time I update this blog I will have completed the Mifune Trail dungeon.

Heh, pray for me that I don't rage quit on this one! (Mind you, I never rage quit on games. smile.gif )

04/09/10 - 4 1/2 hours

Just a quick update today as I have officially completed the Sanitarium. It wasn't too difficult, but I've learned that I really suck at getting spell cards from a lot of the demons. Somehow things will be moving along just fine and then all of a sudden I'll pick the wrong answer and then the demons all want to kill me. I've been having much trouble that I still haven't really summoned any new demons into my party other than the starters and a Poltergeist. Unfortunately the next dungeon isn't going to likely allow me enough time to grind for spell cards...

That being said I decided to try a bit of the Sky Museum, which is the next dungeon. It also happens to the be the type of dungeon I absolutely hate in an RPG - a timed one. You only have thirty minutes to clear the entire dungeon. The dungeon also happens to be on FIRE because Shodou is a jerk, but that's not the point. Not only do you have to rush around the dungeon to usher children out, but once you hit the last two floors you get random encounters again and too many of those drain the time limit. Sadly, I hit too many random encounters and my time wiped out. :X Yeah, that made me cranky. I'm going to try and attempt it again soon, and at least this second time around I have a better idea of where all the children are, so it should be a breeze to the fourth floor. I dunno, will see.

But yeah, timed dungeons suck.

04/27/10 - 9 hours

I apologize for being quiet as of late. I haven't had as much time to play Persona 2 as I would have liked, but hopefully I'll be able to find some more time for it. Right now it's juggling a lot of personal stuff and doing reviews for upcoming titles that's been keeping me from it.

I finished the Sky Museum awhile back, and after that incident, I can say I'm enjoying where the plot seems to be going. The next dungeon I need to tackle is GOLD, and I need to stop Ulala before she does something nutty. Right now, however, I'm doing a lot of grinding for spell cards, as this is posing my biggest problem with the game. Spell cards are not easy to get. Once you've figured out the contact pattern for one demon it's easy, but when you haven't, yeah you get smacked around. This really is the only issue that's nagging at me in the game. I think the Contact system is great, but it really is way too hit or miss.

I'm going to try and not take too much time in between updates for this blog, but with the games I need to sit and review, the updates still might be few and far between at the moment.


  • geoffuwsgeoffuws Member Full Members
    edited April 2010
    Backtrack reviews are a great idea and I'm glad you two are doing them. Both for games I've had my eye on too.

    I played a bit of Persona PSP last year and while it was a cool novelty to begin with it really turned into a grind and I had to stop. I keep getting told that this one is a lot better so I'm hoping that it has more story than the first (and that it will eventually get a port).
  • NyxNyx Staff Girly Girl RPGamer Staff
    edited April 2010
    *** entry for 04/09/10 added.
  • ChickenGodChickenGod Overdosing Heavenly Bliss Moderators
    edited April 2010
    Ah, I replayed this game last year, and I still can't see why so many people think this is the best game in the series or even the best SMT.

    Concerning the Sky Museum, I never actually had trouble with that place in my playthroughs. It may be the fact that I had formed friendships or whatever it was called with the demons there and was able to talk them into giving me cards and skip the battle. I do hate the fact that its timed as well, which makes you feel like you have to rush things, and I really like to complete maps of the places I visit in this type of game. I nearly died from the time limit on my 2nd playthrough because I tried to get a complete map, haha.

    It could be worth it to look up a fusion spell or two for wiping enemy demon groups so that you don't exceed the time limit as well. Infact, most of the game is extremely unkind if the player doesn't have proper persona setups/spell combos to fight bosses/enemies. Regular encounters will take far too much time by end game as well. I remember the last dungeon took me 6 hours to complete, even when I was 1 shotting all the enemies with various fusion spells. sad.gif
  • edited April 2010
    Yeah, having the right Persona setup with pwning fusion spells can make the Persona 2 games a lot easier. I found EP to be a tad harder than IS (though, the final boss of EP is less cheap). Also, Estoma can be a godsend sometimes. Especially once the 100% Dungeon Map Completion sidequests open up - having to map every pixel of every dungeon with random encounters active could be a sanity breaker otherwise.
  • NyxNyx Staff Girly Girl RPGamer Staff
    edited April 2010
    *** 04/27/10 entry added.
  • reionprementereionpremente Member Full Members
    edited May 2010
    Was it just me or was this game much harder than it needed to be? After the Air Museum I found the game WAY too difficult. I never understood how to merge the persona(s) together very well and every time I tried, I couldn't because I didn't have the right ones to merge together. Needless to say I THOUGHT I knew what I was doing but I NEVER was able to get my Persona(s) strong enough to do any good at all. It seemed far too picky on how you were supposed to do it, and after a while, I just got tired of getting killed all of the time and just left it alone. Even if someone could tell me how to do it correctly, I still probably couldn't do anything in the game. And I was pretty good with the first one. What in the world did they do that was so ODD in this one?
  • 7thCircle7thCircle Proofer of the Realm RPGamer Staff
    edited May 2010
    I played a bit of Persona PSP last year and while it was a cool novelty to begin with it really turned into a grind and I had to stop. I keep getting told that this one is a lot better so I'm hoping that it has more story than the first (and that it will eventually get a port).
    That's interesting. I thought Persona PSP was much better than PS2:EP. Is it people who played Persona 2 ten years ago and still see it through the eyes of a PS1 gamer who are telling you that? I played Persona 2 in 2007. I enjoyed the beginning, but it started to drag in the middle and I ended up putting it down out of boredom about 2/3 of the way through. On the other hand, I thought the Persona remake on the PSP stayed fun throughout, and Atlus fixed the interface and pacing issues that made the original Persona games so difficult to recommend. Before Nyx started P2, I advised her to wait for a remake because it didn't age well at all, but she had already obtained a copy of the game.

    I'm fine with people having opinions, but I really don't see someone picking up Persona PSP and Persona 2: Eternal Punishment today, playing them, and calling P2 the better game.
    The lesson here is that dreams inevitably lead to hideous implosions.
  • NyxNyx Staff Girly Girl RPGamer Staff
    edited July 2010
    So I decided to unpin this blog for the time being. Right now I'm stuck, I don't have the patience at the moment to grind for cards. I'm not giving up on it though, I'm just going to go back to it when I have a clear mind and some patience to boot.
  • SpartakusSpartakus One Knight Stand Full Members
    edited November 2010
    I'm collecting a lot of the old PSX RPGs these days and this is on my to-buy list for november. Despite all the praise, my fears about the game are confirmed by your posts. I think it's the sort of game you love if it was one of the first of its kind you played, or at least you played it when it was released, but that doesn't stand the test of time against later entries such as true classics should.

    Grinding really is the least imaginative way of padding out a JRPG, and while I'll no doubt buy it in order to have a complete Persona collection, it's doubtful whether I'll actually play it much while I have dozens of other, less grind heavy JRPGs on my shelf. After all we play games because it's enjoyable and not because we wish to extend our work hours.
  • SlayerSlayer Member Full Members
    Thank you for blogging. I played/finished this one back when it just came out.
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