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henrymidfields

What Persona game to get into after Tokyo Mirage Sessions.

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So I had quite the enjoyment of Tokyo Mirage Sessions when I played the couple of first chapters with my friend's Wii U. After I complete that game, i might want to play Persona proper.

The question is which to start from. I was thinking Persona 4 as the story for that is only somewhat darker than TMS, not to mention it would eventually lead into Dancing All Night, which has a similar (but darker) theme of the Japanese entertainment industry. Although, there is also the question of console/handheld to get as I currently do not own anything that is Playstation related.

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Persona 3 - Very dark

Persona 4 - Rough moments, but pretty upbeat

Persona 5 - highest quality including each dungeon room being unique.

 

All great options, but Persona 5 is probably best played last because it's an improvement in every way.

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Well, to play any Persona game, a PS3 at minimum is required. I'm fairly certain P3-P4 is available on the PSN for about 9.99 USD and P5 has a PS3 port.

As for which game to play first, all of them have their strengths and weaknesses, but they are all good games despite that. It really doesn't matter which one you start if you're interested in story as all the games have their own self-contained story and don't need to be played in any specific order. As for gameplay, I wouldn't recommend Persona 3 as it has something of a hurdle to get over if you're used to controlling all the members of your party.

Because I'm a fangirl, I want to recommend Persona 3 because it is my favorite in terms of theme. However, I think you'd really enjoy Persona 4, considering you did mention it. I personally started the series through Persona 4. While it isn't my favorite anymore, I would definitely recommend it. It does share a similar tone to TMS but don't be fooled: I would consider it to be just as dark as its family in terms of overall theme.

 

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4 or 5 are the best starting points.

3's been showing its age for a while. I'd say it's the weakest when it comes to the things that makes Persona games unique(IE the characters and character interactions. The party of Persona 3 more or less all hate each other, or at best, tolerate each other.), and the gameplay's a bit rough. Tartarus is just the worst, and not being able to control characters that aren't the MC sucks, especially in the Persona games where the MC dying is a gameover. It's still got a great soundtrack and it's got the most... coherent? I guess? Story. It follows a pretty linear path that feels logical, while Persona 4 and 5 have twists that make sense to some degree, but ultimately just exist to ratchet up the stakes.

Though one thing I've never been able to grasp with Persona 3 is any sort of theme or message. It always seemed like just a story that stood on its own, while Persona 4 and 5 had more of a message(Especially Persona 5) that you could think about after the fact.

4 and 5 are a lot more newbie friendly from a gameplay perspective, and it's a LOT easier to get attached to the characters(Except Ryuji), which is big when so much of the game revolves around listening to their problems for hours and hours on end. I'd love to recommend Persona 2, but at this point that's more for fans of Persona 3 onward who want to see a different take on the franchise.

Edited by Slumber

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9 minutes ago, Slumber said:

Though one thing I've never been able to grasp with Persona 3 is any sort of theme or message. It always seemed like just a story that stood on its own, while Persona 4 and 5 had more of a message(Especially Persona 5) that you could think about after the fact.

4 and 5 are a lot more newbie friendly from a gameplay perspective, and it's a LOT easier to get attached to the characters(Except Ryuji), which is big when so much of the game revolves around listening to their problems for hours and hours on end. I'd love to recommend Persona 2, but at this point that's more for fans of Persona 3 onward who want to see a different take on the franchise.

Spoiler

Can you really say Persona 3 has no real "message" or theme? I mean, it's right there from the OP -- "Memento mori".

I'd say the game pretty clearly deals with how people deal with, are afraid of, and secretly long for death.

I'm not questioning Persona 4 (it doesn't take a genius to tell Atlus is shoving in your face "Mass media distorts the truth!").

As for Persona 5, how do you interpret it thematically or in terms of its "message"?

 

I have to disagree with your point on Persona 2. Gameplay-wise, yes, it's extremely different from 3,4, and 5 (and very outdated in some ways), but narrative-wise it's the best in the series by far.

 

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59 minutes ago, saisymbolic said:

Well, to play any Persona game, a PS3 at minimum is required. I'm fairly certain P3-P4 is available on the PSN for about 9.99 USD and P5 has a PS3 port.

Pretty much this, a PS3 lets you access all three games, and it's a fairly inexpensive console to buy that isn't going to get especially cheaper. Persona 3 FES is the most complete version of that game, including an additional sequel campaign called The Answer. However, The Answer is locked into Hard Mode and is such a slog to play through that I honestly recommend that fans just watch the cutscenes. There is a PSP port of 3 that I have no direct experience with. Instead of walking around a town interacting with people and the environment, apparently this version of the game is more of a visual novel setup. It does not have The Answer, but it is the only game in this series where you can play as a female protagonist, featuring some different social links. Also, it's the only version of the game where you can control your party members, making the game considerably more fair. I would still recommend Persona 3 FES overall.

Persona 4 Golden is a special addition that's only on Vita. I was fortunate enough to find myself a Playstation TV, which is a console version of the Vita. And I bought a physical copy of the game to avoid having to buy an absurdly overpriced Vita memory card, since the TV only comes with 2GB of internal memory to hold save data. This would all cost a lot more than just 10 bucks for the standard Persona 4, but Persona 4 Golden has a lot of new content and re-balancing that makes it a straight upgrade worth considering. 

And Persona 5 is just a choice between PS3 and 4. The PS4 port has superior load times and 1080p resolution. I played through on PS3 and honestly wasn't bothered by the differences. There's speculation that Persona 5 could get a special addition with new content in the future, but that could be years down the road. 5 is such a good game, that I don't think anybody should wait on it without a compelling reason.

As for which of the games to play first, I'd recommend 5. It features extremely fringe story connections to the previous two games, and is the best in terms of gameplay. Not to mention the only one with actual dungeon design instead of randomized rooms. 

Edited by Glennstavos

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25 minutes ago, DuwaShuwana said:
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Can you really say Persona 3 has no real "message" or theme? I mean, it's right there from the OP -- "Memento mori".

I'd say the game pretty clearly deals with how people deal with, are afraid of, and secretly long for death.

I'm not questioning Persona 4 (it doesn't take a genius to tell Atlus is shoving in your face "Mass media distorts the truth!").

As for Persona 5, how do you interpret it thematically or in terms of its "message"?

 

I have to disagree with your point on Persona 2. Gameplay-wise, yes, it's extremely different from 3,4, and 5 (and very outdated in some ways), but narrative-wise it's the best in the series by far.

 

I didn't mean Persona 2 is basically only for fans to come across as "It's not worth playing for anyone else because the story is bad" or anything. Really the opposite. I said that because it's a 20 year-old, quirky JRPG. You typically have to be invested in those to power through a lot of those nowadays, especially given, as you mentioned, its very outdated gameplay.

And yeah, I guess the theme of Persona 3 could be how people handle death, but it's not something that's handled consistently or often.

 

There's not even a significant death that anyone deals with until Shinji about 3/5 of the way through the game. After that it comes out full force, with Ken and Akihiko coming to terms with it, Mitsuru and Yukari dealing with the deaths of their fathers, Junpei with Chidori, and everyone eventually dealing with the MC's death, but that's a whole different can of worms. But again, none of this is touched until Shinji dies, and Koro and Fuuka seemingly never really deal with these things in any of the ways the other party members do. I mean, you find Koro BECAUSE his master died, but his story pretty much begins and ends there as far as the theme of "death" goes. I get that the Invokers and Persona summoning is obviously meant to allude to suicide, but there's such a huge gap in between that being introduced and there being any payoff. It just kind of doesn't gel with me.

And Persona 5's message is even more thematically obvious than 4. Damn near every time "Igor" speaks, he says something about being a "rebel" or the player being a "prisoner". The assistants in the game are Wardens. The whole point of Persona 5 is about not being complacent with the wrongs or backwards norms of society, specifically in Japan, though the message translates to a lot of places. The game starts with a power-hungry politician ruining the MC's life for trying to help a woman who sides with her abuser because he has power and the MC is treated like shit by authority and peers because(Specifically in Japan) getting into any sort of trouble means that in the eyes of others, you're a bad egg who can only do bad things.

Kamoshida, your first target, is allowed to get away with HIS crimes because the people around him enjoy the benefits of his position at the school. Madarame is allowed to abuse and use pupils because he's so well regarded in the art world that he can trap them with the threat  of ruining their art careers. Haru's father is a bigshot CEO who has ruined the lives of many, but once again, is allowed to get away with his many, many atrocities because of his position and the standards that come with it. Shido's clearly an abusive, manipulative monster, but since he's charismatic, people don't care and he gets elected prime minister of Japan(Don't need to point out the obvious here). And then Yaldabaoth is on the verge of destroying the world because of how destructive humanity's complacency is. Literally the final boss of the game is the manifestation of peoples' fear of change.

Edited by Slumber

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I'd recommend persona 4 golden. It has a lot more content that makes the game a bit more enjoyable as well. Don't worry about getting a vita for the game, just buy a playstation tv and persona 4 golden and you're all good to go! ^^

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Thanks, everyone. This is still going to be a couple of years ahead, as I have a lot of other games to play. Regardless, it's good to know what's recommended. I might wait to see if there is a portable version for P5, and then make a decision.

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