Welcome to Gateway Games. This is a series where I talk about games that either got me into a series or an entire genre. For a series, I had to have played a later game in the series lifespan. For Genre, any game of said genre would do (except if they were the genre starters).
Like many of us on both The Wired Fish and beyond, most of the gaming populace spent most of their gaming lives knowing next to nothing about Shin Megami Tensei (MegaTen or SMT for short). Sure we’ve played Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, and Phantasy Star, but nothing on the then Japan-Only SMT. The series had some of its entries make it over here, like Persona,Last Bible (under the name The Demon Slayer), Jack Bros., and DemiKids, but they were part of different sub-series of SMT, and all of them except DemiKids didn’t have the Shin Megami Tensei name in it. The first mainline game to make it over was Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne, followed by the sub-seires Digital Devil Saga, and the series’ big break in the West, Persona 3. This is where we begin this first entry of Gateway Games.
One of two outcomes had to happen, and it looks like my gut was right. Atlus has released the original Playstation version of Persona 2 Eternal Punishment on PSN, finally making every Persona game much more possible to collect. Persona 2 Eternal Punishment was released late in the PS1’s lifecycle, and as such became a rather obscure title in the Persona series (and damn expensive as well). It wasn’t until games like Shin Megami Tensei Nocturne, Digital Devil Saga, and Persona 3 brought the game into the limelight. Another odd thing about this entry was that it was actually the second game in the Persona 2 duality, probably confusing players when events of the first entry, Innocent Sin, would be recounted somewhat. However given the way things end up by the end of Innocent Sin, you’d probably be able to play the game anyway without too much being spoiled. Regardless, players would finally be able to play P2: IS on the PSP many years later.
Eternal Punishment would get the enhanced port treatment Innocent Sin got last year on the PSP. However many wondered if it was going to get localized considering the status of the PSP in the U.S. and the release of the Vita. Two things were going to happen to this game: it gets localized and released, albeit without the sweet packaging Persona 1 and Innocent Sin got, or the PS1 version got released on PSN, costing considerably less than localizing the PSP version. And it looks like they took option two. No word yet if the PSP version will get localized anyway, but it looks like a done deal and this will be the only way we play the game. Besides, at least the original PS1 game’s localization wasn’t as idiotic as the PS1 version of Persona 1.
Another Weekend is here, and it’s time fro another Night-Time Listenings Wrap-Up. This week we covered originals and remakes. The way it worked was that I talked about the first appearance of a song and put it together with its most recent version. Only the recent versions got the embeds, so I can still showcase the originals on their own in the future. This week we met Gilgamesh on the Big Bridge. Then we had a Deadline to meet in Revelations Persona and Persona 2: Eternal Punishment (PSP). We explored an endless battlefield in the World of Mana with Final Fantasy Adventure and Dawn of Mana. We went underwater in Mega Man X2 and X5. And finally, it was a throwback day with Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Galaxy 2.
If you want to see the music as it goes up (and not wait every Saturday for these wrap-ups), remember to go to our Tumblr page and follow it. Music for Night-Time Listenings goes up every weekday at 10PM
I saw the alert in my inbox today and though, “Man these guys are ultra late. This game came out last summer.” Then I look closer, and it’s actually about the other Persona 2 game, Eternal Punishment. In any case, Atlus has confirmed that Persona 2: Eternal Punishment will be released in Japan in May of this year. Eternal Punishment is a sort of continuation/expansion of the story told in Innocent Sin. Here, the story takes place a few months later, everything is set in a parallel world where the events that happened in Innocent Sin… never happened. Maya is now the silent protagonist, everyone returns but they do not know each other, save for Tatsuya, Innocent Sin’s protagonist, who remembers everything. I haven’t beaten the first Persona 2 game to know why EP is set up this way. I’m far though. Let’s just say that the map is very different from when I first started the game.
Atlus has confirmed that the new intro animation for Eternal Punishment will be done by Madhouse, the studio behind Persona 4: The Animation. IS‘ opening was done by Satelight. On the music side, players will be able to switch between the remastered and original soundtrack in-game. So far no word yet if Persona 2: Eternal Punishment will make it stateside. With Innocent Sin it seemed like a must since that was the only Persona to not get a U.S. release. With Eternal Punishment, it was released back in 2000 for the PS1, so it may not be that big of a priority. But ya never know. Atlus has been making nice with its fans so far, so I wouldn’t write this one off just yet.
Atlus, you cheeky bastards. You had many a Persona fan worried that P2: Innocent Sin for the PSP wasn’t coming out in the US. But we kinda had a feeling that a P2 reveal was imminent after seeing that mysterious little mysterious email sent out to the Atlus Faithful. But now the world is in order, and now all Persona games has seen release in the US. (the PS1 Persona 2 we got was Eternal Punishment. We never got Innocent Sin).
The website was also launched following the announcement. Atlus is already taking preorders for the game. As you can assume from the bottom of the site, it’s still under construction, and only basic stuff like the debut trailer, storyline, and some screenshots (which are in English!). Persona 2 is set to release this fall in the US.
On a side note, I’m sad to inform some Persona superfans that the new logo for the US version has lost its 罪 (tsumi=sin) kanji that was seen in the the Japanese version of the game. Now, I tend to stay quiet when it comes to changes made to US releases, since no one really listens to the concerns of fans anyway. But from a graphic design standpoint, that kanji character gave the logo a unique “foreign” feel that goes well with both the story and the theme. To see it missing for the US version is kinda disappointing. Given, this is really a very small gripe and am grateful that we’re getting the game at all. Oh well, at least we can… what a minute! What the…!? OH C’MON ATLUS! Even Nintendo’s using the damn character! What’s stopping you from using it for the US!?
While there’s no news of the PSP version of Persona 2: Innocent Sin coming to the US (yet), we can get a hold of some Persona 2 wallpapers in the mean time. There’s only one right now (it’s the above image), but there is more soon to come.
To those wondering about what this iteration of P2:Innocent Sin is, it’s basically a remake of the entry that appeared back on the PS1. There’s actually two Persona 2 games: Eternal Punishment and Innocent Sin. What we originally got was Persona 2: Eternal Punishment, which is more or less a parallel dimension story. In other words, it’s an alternate retelling of the overarching Persona 2 story. What the PSP is getting is Innocent Sin, the original story of Persona 2. I don’t know much about the story per se, being another one of those people that got into Persona through P3P and P4, but the story sounds good and I’ll be anticipating this entry. To the purists out there, there is an option to switch between the original’s soundtrack and the new one. Here’s the intro scene to give you an idea on what to expect from the new Persona 2.