The Persona video game series, an offshoot of Shin Megami Tensei, has always stood apart from other JRPG series thanks to several advantageous differences, and now it’s bigger and better than ever. Since its introduction in 1996 as a short teen role-playing game, the franchise has come a long way. Each new part was head and shoulders above the previous one, but the principle remained unchanged, based on the competent processing of old fundamental ideas, coupled with the introduction of new mechanics.
In fact, it is considered by many to be one of the best. But, for those who have not yet started to enjoy its fantastic proposal, I’m going to talk about the history and some points you need to know to enjoy this license as it really deserves.
Enter the Fantastic World of the Persona Video Game Series
For years, the name Persona has been heard as a distant echo that, gradually, has been gaining strength. After all, more and more players are encouraged to try the fantastic titles that make up this series of JRPG video games. Of course, for many, the great confusion comes at the moment of the mention of Shin Megami Tensei, a name that is often present when presenting a title in the saga, leaving examples similar to Shin Megami Tensei: Persona.
What connection is there between the two? Actually, the persona saga was born as a spin-off of Shin Megami Tensei, also known as Megami Tensei or Megaten. It is a lesser-known saga that was born from the adaptation of a trilogy of cyberpunk horror novels. In this way, you found yourselves with a story about demons summoned through technology.
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While in Megami Tensei, the technology is what gives way to this kind of connection with demons and a really dark plot, in Persona, you find groups of teenagers who have the ability to summon facets of their “Persona.” Over time, the saga has evolved to add certain points that have made it a real revolution as a social simulation.
But, not only playfully has it become a reference, to the point that many love each of the titles that make it up, but its spin-offs also have certain elements that make players unable to avoid looking at their proposals. Below, I will present each of the works that make up this fantastic world and even the music, one of the best-cared-for elements of the license.
- Release date: September 20, 1996
- Where can I play it? PlayStation and PC
- Enhanced Version: Shin Megami Tensei: Persona (PSP)
This first installment is the birth of the saga after Shin Megami Tensei. Unlike the saga from which it is born, its plot does not involve the summoning of demons. Mind you, these youngsters are capable of summoning a Persona while equipped with firearms and even melee weaponry. It is also a revolutionary proposal that allows players to interact with the world in different ways, including changes in the camera’s perspective depending on where your character is.
Person 2: Innocent Sin
- Release Date: 1999
- Where can I play it? PlayStation
- Enhanced Version: Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 2: Innocent Sin (PSP)
Your adventure begins in the metropolis of Sumaru City, with your character being a high school student named Tatsuya Suou. It has the ability to summon a Persona, his alter ego that manifests itself as a mythological figure, thanks to the waiting of Philemon, a being that exists outside the world and performs the astral vigil close to death. Of course, this title has specific striking points as it is the first game that offers you a third-person perspective.
Person 2: Eternal Punishment
- Release date: 2000
- Where can I play it? PlayStation
- Enhanced Version: Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 2: Eternal Punishment (PSP)
This installment takes place after Innocent Sin, both forming the two chapters of the same story and being a direct sequel to the first installment.
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3
- Release date: July 13, 2016
- Where can I play it? PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3
- Improved version: Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 FES (PS2 and PSN) and Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 Portable (PSP)
Your story begins with a teenager who has been orphaned at a young age and returns to the city of his childhood, Iwatodai. Shortly after being transferred to his new school, Gekkoukan, he is attacked by shadows, creatures that feed on the minds of his victims and whose attack awakens the Person within him, Orpheus. After surviving and knowing that he must live with this creature, he soon discovers that there are other students with the same power, thus being able to learn all about the “Dark Hour,” a hidden hour that separates one day from the next and causes the world to look dark mired in shadows.
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4
- Release date: July 10, 2008
- Where can I play it? PlayStation 2
- Upgraded version: Persona 4 Golden (PS Vita and PC)
It is one of the favorite titles of many players, and, in reality, it has many points to be like that. His story begins with a young man who makes the decision to return to live in the countryside for a year. Of course, his decision does not remain an innocent trip, but he will soon be involved in a series of investigations related to mysterious homicides.
- Release date: September 15, 2016
- Where can I play it? PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4
- Upgraded version: Persona 5 Royal (PS4)
You are facing the last title of the saga, or, at least, that’s how it is for the moment. In this adventure, your character will move to Tokyo after a series of events you will discover little by little. His name is decided by the player, thus giving way to a more personal touch when developing this. Of course, his adventure will begin in high school, where he and his classmates manage to awaken the powers of their People to become the “Phantom Thieves of Hearts,” masked vigilantes who will soon be persecuted, despite the fact that they have the ability to travel the Metaverse to steal the corrupt desires of adult hearts and cause them to confess their crimes.
The Persona universe is so large. It also has retelling anime, lots of manga, lots of mobile games, and a bunch of re-releases. If this universe draws you in, you will find something to occupy yourself with. You may be lucky, and by the sixth part of Persona, you will have time to look through half of the material of the huge world of Persona.