Posted by Mark at 09:04

Persona seems to be becoming Spinoff King Of The JRPGs, the last two games spawning enhanced remakes, anime series, films and stage shows, so it makes sense that it's going to start expanding out into other games. While Vita rhythm game Dancing All Night seems to be MIA in Europe, dungeon crawler Persona Q has made it to 3DS.

At its core, Q is a simple reskin of Etrian Oddysey- itself getting its own, Mystery Dungeon-flavoured spinoff soon- featuring the casts of Persona 3 and 4.

Each group of plucky high-schoolers gets their own, seperate story- although both involve the groups encountering two new amnesiac characters Zen and Rei, and then entering the labyrinths below their school in search of the new pair's memories.

Despite this, the game remains easily accessible to those who aren't familiar with the Persona series and its characters.

Very little has been left behind in Etrian Odyssey terms- it remains the same first-person jaunt through a grid-based map, being randomly attacked by enemies from the Persona games, dodging FOEs and keeping the curiously charming series staple of having to draw details on the map yourself.

What has changed is a more linear approach to levelling, where characters simply increase their level and learn new moves at a given time without player input.

Persona's typical presentation is also present- the stylish menus and other interface graphics, as well as plenty of dialogue in and out of battle which, while not laugh-out-loud hilarious, frequently raises a smile. The more surreal Persona world has also allowed the artists much more freedom with the environments than seen in Etrian.

A crossover game should be a tough sell to anyone not versed in either or both series, but Persona Q manages to defy this- never bogging itself down too much in the injokes, backstories and gameplay quirks of its source materials to the point of becoming impenetrable, but still managing to be a fitting tribute to both series.
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