- System: Nintendo 3DS
- Publisher: Atlus
- Developer: Atlus
- Release Date: June 4, 2019
- Rating: M for Mature
- Genre: RPG
- Players: 1
- Official Website: https://atlus.com/personaq2/index.html
Who it Caters to
What to Expect
Assuming you never played Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth, we’ll quickly explain what to expect when popping in Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth. The main idea of Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth is to have players assume the role of Persona 5’s Phantom Thieves in a new adventure as they try to escape a strange world caught within a movie theater. Like Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth, players will need to explore various dungeons while mapping out their journey via the 3DS’ second screen. Akin to both the Etrian and Persona series, Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth features a mixture of first person/third person turn based combat where a team of five—three in front and two in the back—fight against various threats. While the original succeeded in blending two well known JRPG genres together, Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth clearly wishes to show Atlus learned from fans and wanted to make this new outing even better.
While the core gameplay of Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth doesn’t change dramatically from the original, it does improve in several key areas. The first is easily the labyrinths themselves. The original Persona Q title had some amazing looking labyrinths but they felt copied and pasted after a while lacking creative ways to map out areas and solve puzzles. In Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth, the labyrinths are extremely detailed and now have new puzzles to overcome linked with that particular labyrinth’s design. F.O.Es make a return as well being extremely powerful field enemies that players will need to avoid in order to survive and not receive an untimely game over. You’ll find that making maps like in Etrian Odyssey also comes back in full force, but for those who like a little less micromanaging, you can always turn on auto map to fill in the maps.
Battles themselves have also been revamped while adhering to the original’s design. Players still take control of the Persona fighters but unlike the mainstays of the series, battles are more of a hybrid to Etrian Odyssey games. You have your front attackers and back defense and must rely on their skills accordingly. The front units take more damage but equally deal out more as well while the backers can be used for both support and damage to your discretion. You’ll need to really choose your teams wisely as just like Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth, your main hero doesn’t have his wild card ability but an altered ability instead that is given to the entire team. Players will still be able to use other Persona but only as a secondary unit that adds various attacks and skills based on the Persona equipped to the character. Plus, you’ll need to think of your sub persona carefully as using weaker ones in comparison to your current character’s level actually acts as a hindrance. Fuse persona together and make new ones to truly keep alive in tougher labyrinths.
One of the biggest changes from the original Persona Q to this second outing is the story focus. Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth might feature the entire cast of Persona 3, 4 and 5 but the Phantom Thieves from Persona 5 take the spotlight. You won’t choose between two different stories but instead will enjoy a more linear but exciting narrative. This might seem sigh inducing, but it works to give Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth a strong narrative that we truly loved.
Visually and sound wise, Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth knocks it out of the park. As per usual, the music is on level with other Persona games mixing in great tunes that capture the style of Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth. The voice acting also follows in tune but with a lack of English dub this time around, we did feel a sting of pain. Thankfully, seeing our cast of Persona users in chibi form made up for the lack of English audio and it wasn’t a hard thing to switch our minds to hear the Persona crew speaking in their original tone. Lastly, the visuals look awesome with each of the several labyrinths having a truly wonderful design aesthetic and theme. Seeing everyone back in chibi form also made us smile from grin to grin.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
- Love the new story focusing on Persona 5’s cast with both P3 and P4 appearing as secondary characters
- The OST rocks just as hard as any other Persona game and that made our ears quite happy
- The new labyrinth layouts meant boredom/repetition didn’t set in as quickly as in the original game
- Combat and exploration finds the perfect balance between Etrian Odyssey and Persona
- Chibi Futaba for the win
- Lack of English Voice Work kind of frustrated us
- Can still become a bit repetitive if you play for extremely long sessions
Honey's Final Verdict: