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Video: Atlus Serves Up an Early Look at Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth's Battle System

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Looks pleasingly complicated

There are undoubtedly long term franchise fans and RPG enthusiasts eagerly awaiting Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth on 3DS. It'll be the first Persona game on Nintendo hardware, has a new art style for the occasion and will blend in gameplay elements from the popular Etrian series. It seems like a smart move from Atlus to introduce the sizeable Nintendo portable system userbase to a new franchise while incorporating some familiar mechanics.

With its 5th June arrival in Japan and a 'Fall' localisation in the West, we're likely to see an increasing number of videos and teases in the coming weeks. Atlus' Japanese YouTube channel is pitching in already with a neat video showing the Battle System in action, combining a first-person perspective with various attack options and menus.

As it's in Japanese we can only partially grasp the detail of what's happening, but it's nice to have an early look and enjoy the somewhat awesome music. Check it out below and let us know what you think.

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User Comments (59)



HylianJowi said:

Man, I love these games. I picked up a PS3 mainly for Persona 5, and now I get to experience this treat on my favorite device ever. Loooove Meguro's soundtracks.

By-the-by Tom, I think you accidentally added an apostrophe to "looks" in the tagline.



Peach64 said:

So far everything I've seen of this game screams Etrian Odyssey. It's not a Persona game at all, but an EO game with a Persona wrapper. Bit disappointing for me as I love Persona but don't enjoy the EO games, but I'm sure they're going to sell a few from people assuming it's a proper Persona game.



Ralek85 said:

I'm just now playing Persona 4 Golden on my brand new Vita and I must say this looks rather pleasing. What I was afraid of was that the battles would look as static as in EQ, which is basically the main thing I disliked about the EQ-Series. I really like that in Persona you always see all your characters as well as the enemies and an animation for every action. From the looks of it this will be a compromise between EQ menu-driven view and Persona 3/4 action-driven view. I think I can live with that, not that I would have skipped the game anways. But I still think a more lively representation of your decisions makes for a better overall experience. Definitely gonna get this once I'm finished P4G und P3P (female this time). All hail to Persona! ^^



Ralek85 said:

@Peach64 Why is it not a Persona game, from what I can see it oozes with exactly the same style as Persona 3 and 4, not to mention shared charactes, battlemechanics, Personas etc. Gameplaywise maybe you should check out Persona games earlier to P3 (yes they exist) to see that this is not exactly a great departures for the series ...



Tops said:

Man, every time I see the logo all I think of is Austin Powers and his funkadelic '70s vibe.

I've never played a Persona game so I'm not sure if I should get this...I don't know any of the characters and if I like the game I'll be disappointed in not being able to try out the rest of the series (don't have any of the systems)



AceDefective said:

@Ralek85 Alot of people have only really played 3 & 4, it can't be helped; Persona 3 and 4 are the most popular in the series. I take it @Peach64 has never seen/played P1 or the P2 Duology or maybe didn't like the others before 3 either way, their kind of right. I imagine this game is indeed a mix of EO and Persona, however it is leaning more towards EO than Persona. However, Persona is rather simple and rather flexible in formula to warrant an EO styled game.



AceDefective said:

@TopLaytonsHat PS2s are cheap, and I believe the games (where I live) are like $20. If you like hard RPGs, life sims, and in depth characterization, you'll love 'em.



Ralizah said:

No, everything screams Persona other than the more SMT/EO-ish battle view (and the first-person labyrinth exploration), actually. Those enemies are enemies you'll find in Persona 3/4. The music is much closer to Persona 3/4 than EO. The battle animations are much less static than in EO. There are Persona 3/4 characters. And, I'm only assuming, there'll probably be Persona 3/4 movesets for the characters. i noticed the rushing mechanic is still in there as well. This game, so far, actually seems a lot closer to Persona 3/4 than older Persona games were.

Also, why are you disappointed? Were you expecting a pure Persona game? They announced that this was being developed by the same team that made EO pretty early on. Did you expect them not to include any EO-ish elements?

Not sure I'm hot on the music, thus far, as it has neither the awesome dramatic flair of most of the EO battle themes nor is it the catchy J-pop of Persona battle themes. The rest looks pretty cool, though, and hopefully the audio presentation will be fixed by release.



JaxonH said:

Yeah, I'ma have ta get this... do we have a release date yet for the west?



Ralek85 said:

@ZeroZX_Dev Well it's not hard to see why 3 and 4 are the most popular I guess, not even accounting for them being the most recent, esp. P4 with P4G gathered a large followship beyond P3 I guess. But yeah you're right this is closer to the earlier entries, in regards to it's EO-style exploration view but the rest really screems P3 and P4 to me, which is an excellent thing.
@Ralizah Agreed, we all knew it wouldn't be a "pure" persona but somekind of a beautiful barsteward between EO and Persona, which is something new and therefore welcome. Also we shouldn't forget that Atlus is really treating us all the way, since we even get an all new "pure" Persona (P5) on the Ps3, not to mention a new beat'em'up (got the first one but it's just not my genre) and a Rythm game. Dancing All Night is like the first rythm game ever that has me actually excited. Hope it turns out great. Same thing for Persona Q. P5 will be great no worries there. Nais to see Atlus is spreading the love around three different consoles, lucky I got all of them



CaveDweller said:

As someone who has never played an Etrain Odyssey game, I couldn't speak on that front but I can safely say that with a title such as "Persona Q" rather than the usual numbering system, I would expect the game to be a spin-off - which it is - and therefore I would expect a different style of gameplay, especially in the battle mechanic department. The change in art style helps run that point home. So I can't say I'd buy Shadow of the Labyrinth expecting a "proper Persona game."



Darkness3131 said:

Looks interesting... This would be my first game in the Franchise since I have never owned any of the systems, however I don't think this will be my true step to the series. I plan to play the more mainstream games. This feels a little too similar to EO just looking at it, but I won't discount it. I'll still pick it up and try it out.



Excep7ional said:

It's going to be weird for me to play a Persona game with this battle system, but oh well. I like the EO style so I can live with it.



Ralek85 said:

@CaveDweller Looks like 1st-person grid/round-based exploration. Nothing P3 or P4 did. Also yes the artstyle. In regards to spin-offs coming up with different gameplay mechanics I wouldn't necessarily agree, could just be that e.g. a narrative is being told that doesn't fit into a conintuum of a series but plays out in the same universe. That's obviously not the case here but just generally speaking.
Also what make's up a "proper" persona game ? ^^ And if it's not a proper one (I'm thinking more of Dancing All Night and P4 Arena as not "proper" persona games since these ain't RPGs) would that be so bad ?



Bender said:

@Ralek85 Well, considering the original Persona was a 1st-person RPG, this is nothing new for the series...

This game is shaping up to be awesome! As a long-time fan of the Persona series I am really pleased with what they've done. As for the EO comparison, stop being silly, just because it has SOME similarities doesn't mean it isn't persona any more... In fact, it's combat has every single thing the Persona titles do, with All-out-attacks/co-op-attacks, weaknesses, awesome music, Fuuka/Rise telling you what the enemy's weaknesses are... It's still Persona, just with the added bonus activities we've seen in EO (map drawing). Now for the last thing, if there is still Social Linking, this game will be all that more awesome (I am only assuming it might since I have seen Co-op attacks, which in P3/P4 those only happened when your Social Link with that character was at a certain point).

All in all, consider this Persona fan excited beyond belief... It's time for an All-out attack!



Bender said:

@Excep7ional It's the same battle system... Just in 1st-person... And with an extra party member. The only real thing in this that is new to the Persona series is honestly the map drawing. I don't really consider "FOE"s new since there were the Shadows in the games that were supremely stronger than the rest...



Weedy said:

Very promising video, liked the extra flare with attack animations that was kinda missed in EO for me. Just have to wait and see when Europe are expected to get this!



Spoony_Tech said:

Love the EO series and have only played the very first Persona so this will be new to me. This is a no brained since I own everything they've brought out for the 3ds thus far. They're more a 1st party to me then Nintendo! Keep supporting the handhelds Atlus and I'll keep buying anything you make. In my eyes you can do no wrong!



AkinaChan said:

I'm reallllly excited for this game. Yosuke looks freaking adorable!! <33

I really wish Atlus would post something on P5, like at least the protagonist or some official art. T_T Hell, I'd settle for some new info on that crazy dancing game by now... Like Kanji shaking his moneymaker or some other crazy shenanigans X3 Just kidding

But seriously, I've been subscribed to AtlusTube (The Japanese Channnel) since last year, and the only videos shown are character profiles for Persona Q. T_T



Doma said:

This looks horrible...

I wish Atlus would bring back Devil Survivor. Those spin-off are better than the entirety of EO or Persona series, imo.



AkinaChan said:

@Spoony_Tech I've read that this game plays a lot like EO, and is more of a dungeon crawler like the first two Persona games, so it should be pretty similar to the titles you've already played :3



AkinaChan said:

@JaxonH All that's been said is it's set for a Fall release in North America. Haven't heard anything on a European release though.



Morpheel said:

Looking awesome.

Did one of the habilities for the robot girl read "orgia" or I misread it?



Excep7ional said:

@B3ND3R What I mean is the first person style. Yeah it's the same battle system, but I'm used to seeing all over the battlefield as opposed to being limited to a front view of the enemy. I'm not making a big deal out it or anything, just saying. I haven't played Persona 1 or 2 yet, so Persona being in first person is new and different to me.



sinalefa said:


I remember when they got the pitchforks ready when you confused Chrom with Marth in Smash Bros.

I am kinda a spelling nazi too, but I am not one to be rude about it, since I know you work hard. Even on Sundays, as we can see.



Gate_Shikimuri said:

Soooo, Persona Q is a spin-off of Persona which is a spin-off of Shin Megami Tensei? Good to know.

Still getting it.

EDIT: I've seen P1 and the P2 duology and this just seems reminiscent of those games.



GalacticMario28 said:

The battle system looks pretty similar to the Persona games I'm familiar with. That's a good thing in my book.



Ralek85 said:

@Excep7ional I definitely also prefer the Persona view of the action in battle, that being said, it looks like we'll see quite some battle animation of our own party. Looks alot more dynamic than EO. While I could live with a more static/icon/menu-driven approach, I vastly prefer the Persona-style approach. That was also one of the things irking me about SMTIV I have to say.



Excep7ional said:

@Ralek85 Definitely. This may seem a little bit silly, but I just love the Persona-Style combat view. It's one of the reasons why I love the game so much.

Cool avatar, by the way.



FriedSquid said:

Strange, I don't remember Aigis' Palladion ever knowing Mudo skills.

@Moorpheel : Haha, no you didn't misread it. It does say Orgia but not the Spanish word orgia. It's a unique mode for her where her attack power increases for that turn but she can't do anything the following turn.



Ralek85 said:

@Excep7ional Thanks, it's supposed to be Darth Bane ^^
In regards to Persona, to me, at least, it doesn't sound silly at all. In these games you tend to do ALOT of fighting and while I'm certainly not a graphic jerk or anything like it, a completely static representation of my actions on screen tends to make games feel very tedious at times. That's definitely something the Persona games have managed pretty well sp far. Of course the overabundance of sheer style and also the music help alot to make the whole experience fell alive. That being said EO and SMT are pretty good games, I just find the experience not as enthralling as the Persona games and good chunck of that stems from a sense of visual abstraction. If that makes any sense ^^



SecondServing said:

I can't wait for this game yo! UGH I NEED IT!!! Persona Q is probably one of the only games that does the Chibi art style perfectly! DAY ONE.

P.S. Aigis looks hella awesome!



Windy said:

BLOWN AWAY wow that is so getting Pre-ordered when I pick up my Disney World OF Magic Next week. I am really excited now that short video just exceeded my expectations. I do hope it doesn't make you do your own mapping like Etrian.



Excep7ional said:

@Ralek85 Haha I figured. I maybe a star wars Newb, but I know it when I see it.

And that makes perfect sense. When I played Persona 4 Golden for the first time, I played it on the hardest difficulty. So I had to grind a lot before every boss so I wouldn't get completely destroyed. Usually, I hate grinding but the Music, battle system/view made it fun. I didn't have a problem doing hundreds of fights before a boss battle. I'm no graphic junky either but I love seeing the visuals of those games in all of its entirety. Persona 3 and 4 had a charm to them. Four especially. As for SMTIV and EO, I'll get to them eventually. Lol



HandheldGuru97 said:

Looking mighty fine Atlus, looking fine. This like many others will be (probably) be my 1st Persona game. I have a Vita though and a RPG is just what the doc has ordered to pull me away from my 3DS so I may get P4G 1st, but who knows??? Got until the fall to figure it out



SecondServing said:

@HandheldGuru97 Dude please do yourself a HUGE favor and play P4G and if you can Persona 3 Portable first! You can get both on your Vita from the PS Store. You need to before you play Persona Q!



element187 said:

The art style is fine for an EO game. It will just feel wierd playing a SMT/Persona game with this kind of art style.

Still debating whether I'll get it. I want to play it, but at the same time I don't want Atlus to get the wrong idea that I want more games with this art style...... Could you imagine if the next SMT game has this art style? I think I would cry



Morpheel said:

@CaptainSquid well now I know what character I won't be using. It will be impossible for me to not feel awkward every time I see that lol

Unless they change the word.



DualWielding said:

the first person dungeon crawling perspective almost kill all my interest on this game.... can hope they include a third person view option but doubt so



Ralek85 said:

@XFsWorld Nice to hear. I got it mainly for P4G and as a companion device for my PS4 and since I got the Tearaway bundle for 200 bucks I was like a what the hell ... ^^ Gotta say hardwarewise it's a pretty neat device, I mean that OLED ... wish there was like a premium 3DS version that offered something like it. Just too bad that there are so few great games for it.

@Excep7ional My thoughts excatly !
In regards to SMTIV, it is a pretty great game, I liked the whole battlemechanic quite alot and the art for the Demons is pretty amazing, in some ways it is superior to the 3D incarnations in Persona. Something is just always lost in translation when you modell an artist's vision into 3D graphics I guess (Actually I can't recall a single game that looked as breathtaking as it's artworks). Despite all that I definitely had a harder time keeping up with it, esp. towards the end. The combat and the pacing of the story makes it definitely feel alot more tedious. In the end I felt like I played for twice the time I actually spent playing it, that was never the case in Persona though. EOIV has similar problems but makes up for it with a sense of adventure and exploration that comes together really well. Haven't finished it yet so tough. I really hope Persona Q will manage to infuse this sense of exploration into the Persona series, that would make for a worthwhile addition! We'll see



Ralek85 said:

@element187 That seems unlikely since the mainseries SMT game always had a much more serious and darker mood than the Persona games, especially P3 and P4, which I though in contrast to SMT were very much lighthearted. I think the chibistyle ain'T a bad fit for P3 and P4 at all. But I agree I can't see it for SMT, but then I again I really don'T see that happening at all. Atlus knows it's property and consumer base to well to try to pull something like that I'd wager.



CazTheGamerGuy said:

Combining the poor combat of Persona 4 with the awful exploration of Persona 1, with a pinch of impure pile of dredge that is the Etrian "why wouldn't I just play Shin Megami Tensei" Odyssey series?

Goodbye interest, it was nice knowing you. Music sounds good though.



Captain_Toad said:

Etrian Odyssey mixed with persona. Worrying that they're just basically copying and pasting different game play styles but in interested to see where this goes since I like Etrian Odyssey and persona.



SphericalCrusher said:

Man that looks so good! Definitely has the Personal look and feel and being on a Nintendo console is even better. Can't wait for this title!

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