What happens when an offshoot of the massive Shin Megami Tensei series is mixed with the mechanics of Etrian Odyssey? This blend could have been an easy fit, since numerous Megami Tensei titles have also been first-person dungeon crawlers, but Persona 3 and Persona 4 do not play like that. Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth plays like a more plot-intensive Etrian Odyssey, even moreso than The Millennium Girl, and delivers exactly what fans of that series have come to expect. The cast ensures that fans of Persona 3 and 4 will also be interested, and enough is done right with the characters to ensure they’ll have some fun too.

The player gets the choice of whether Persona 3 or Persona 4’s cast takes center stage. The selected leads find themselves in a ghostly place that resembles Yasogami High during a culture festival, but no one acknowledges their presence save for two. One is the ebullient and constantly-eating girl Rei, the other is a big, quiet fellow named Zen. These two are suffering from amnesia, but together make a suitable team to accompany the Persona-users into a labyrinth found among the school’s exhibits. Delving deep into this labyrinth and challenging its boss is the signal for the other Persona game’s characters to appear, and going through the other three available dungeons proves the only way to unlock the path back to the original worlds of the protagonists. Assisted by three residents of the Velvet Room, the now-sizable group accepts this mission.

Until late in the proceedings, there isn’t a lot to Persona Q’s core plot after all the protagonists are assembled. That turns out not to be a huge issue when this combined cast is so good at breaking in with entertaining asides, often related to the scenic locales through which they wander. During breaks from dungeon crawling, the cast gets opportunities to chat over a good number of subjects ranging from food preparation to the meaning of their lives, and very few of these occasions leave the player bored or indifferent. They’re necessary since the overall narrative trajectory is stuck in slow motion until a twist occurs that is difficult to fully accept. The entertaining character interaction keeps such things from being grievously offensive. Events also transpire in somewhat different ways according to the cast that was selected, giving some reason to play through again.

Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth Review
Persona Q: Shadows of the Labyrinth is not a cheap knock-off Persona game. It is the real deal.
We liked:
  • Characters
  • Story
  • Challenge
We disliked:
  • Difficulty Curve
  • 3D
83%Overall Score
Reader Rating: (0 Votes)

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