reviews

Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth 3DS review

It’s nice to know that the 3DS isn’t quite dead yet, but is this game a final swan song for the handheld? As Nintendo seem to be focussing more and more on the Switch and getting games ported over to that, it does feel that the 3DS has started to resign itself to the history books. It is nice to know that some developers are still bringing titles out for it the same way that few still do for the PS Vita, even when the consoles companies have given up on them.

Q2 is a dungeon crawler RPG developed by Atlus and self published by them as well. The story of the game focuses on the characters from Persona 3.4 and 5 finding themselves in a film.

Q2 is a follow up to Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth which was released back in 2014 and by all means has shown how developers do listen to fans feedback and a willingness to actually improve their previous title. Now, I’m not generally a 3DS gamer, and in all honesty I had to borrow my daughters beautiful pink handheld to play this game, which of course looked extremely manly as I was playing out in public, but I was so engrossed in the fun of the game I really don’t care what people thought.

Our story starts off in a mysterious cinema as the curtain is rising. It turns out that this is actually taking part in a dream. After being woken by Morgana the team go off on a mission to keep themselves sharp ahead of an impending deadline. Of course, it goes wrong and they find themselves being dragged through a portal and spat out on the streets of a city. Whilst confused as to what has happened they are attacked by a powerful foe and escape through another portal which brings them out in a strange movie theatre where our main game takes place.

The Phantom Thieves

The grunt of the game takes place as you have to find 4 different keys which will open the front door of the cinema and allow you to escape, all of which are of course film themed and will see you fighting rather challenging turn based battles all of which are beautifully created and executed. At first, the combat can be quite daunting to learn, but is quite easily mastered using the basics of attack, magic and guard. Each character also has access to a magical summons of a Persona to help quite drastically. As is usual with most games of this type, each of your characters have their individual strengths and weaknesses all of which can be used against your foes to exploit their weakness to the full. The challenging part of these battles is that your enemies will also exploit your weak points dealing extra damage. It’s all about finding that perfect balance within battle.

Perhaps one of my biggest concerns with this game is that the Persona system is extremely detailed and I for one actually have never played any of the titles previous to this game (I know, shame on me). The customisations for your party and their Personas is very in depth and I did find myself rather overwhelmed at first, but one thing i was rather in awe of was the music and the overall presentation of the game. For a system like the 3DS this game would work well being ported directly to a more powerful console and not have anything about it changed.

Of course, it’s a Japanese game, which means there is quite a bit of subtitle reading to be done, but not once did it take anything away from the magic that was unfolding in front of my eyes. The subtitles are also flawless. I didn’t spot any mistakes in the text which I have done previously in numerous titles.

I’m sure that a lot of the mechanics in the game will come naturally to anyone who has played the titles before, but even if you haven’t you can start to pick them up after a relatively short time, and with a play time of around 50 hours there’s plenty of time to pick up on everything.

Its easy to see the beauty within the game and even though the story can at times be a little confusing for those who hgavent played any of the previous games (characters from previous titles popping in and out) it still stands out as its own title as well as being linked to the Persona franchise. The only issue I do have with the game is that I am just discovering it and there is no sign of anymore titles ever to be released on the 3DS, so I guess it answers my initial worry in my opening paragraph.. this really is the final swan song for the Nintendo 3DS which is a pity.

I loved everything about the game and had no idea that so much could be packed into a 3DS release, I always saw the system set up for cute little titles that never weighed in at more than 1 gig in size maximum. Just a pity that I am finding out a little too late. Guess I will be borrowing it more from my daughter and playing some of the titles we have bought her over the years.

9/10 for a truly great game, everything about it is fantastic and magical.

**PLEASE NOTE: AIR Entertainment were kindly supplied with a review copy of the game. This has in no way influenced my views on the game as per our Review Policy**

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