The Persona series has always been difficult for new gamers. The fusion system is confusing, relationships must be cultivated and the battle system is unlike any other RPG, besides it’s forebears. Whilst the Persona Q series doesn’t deliver the full ‘Persona’ experience, it does mash it together with another impenetrable franchise: Etrian Odyssey. Better add map making, difficulty spikes and rampaging elite monsters to the list then – small wonder people bounce off the series. Today we’re looking to remedy some of these issues by detailing 5 tips for beginners to Persona Q2. Avid readers will be aware that we’ve already done something similar for the original Q, and we’ll admit there is a fair amount of cross over, but the games are different enough to require a few individual concessions. On a completely unrelated note we love both games and just wanted to write about them again, so there.
5. GoHo-M Again
The GoHo-M item has made several appearances in the Persona series, though none of these feel quite so essential as those in the Persona Q series. They will immediately transport you out of your current dungeon and, in the Q2 case, back to the cinema. So far so simple, but why are we recommending it yet again?
If you play any of these titles, Etrian Odyssey included, for any length of time you will at some point forget to bring one of these bad boys on a dungeon dive. It’s a rite of passage, and you’re likely to turn the damned game off in frustration, after all how could the game punish you for forgetting such an arbitrary consumable item? For that matter, why the hell is it consumable? Curse you Atlas! Eventually you’ll pick the game up again, lured back in by the compulsive blend of exploration, fusion and press turn battles, and this time you’ll totally never ever forget to bring a GoHo-M again, right?
4. Selection Time
The original Persona Q obscured your party choices until the end of the first labyrinth, which forced you to push through a good few hours before you could build your ideal squad. Well, things aren’t any better in the sequel, in fact you’re going to have to wade through almost three dungeons before the full crop of units become available to you! For inexperienced players, or those going for higher difficulties, that means tens of hours are gone before all of your choices open up.
We know that some players liked to wait before committing in Q, rushing through the content and coming back with their full team. Unfortunately doing this in Q2 isn’t realistic, so we advocate something a little different: Pick your favourites from the currently available group and focus on them – don’t neglect them thinking they’ll be replaced soon. Eventually you can build the dream team, but if you try to ‘wing it’ until they become available you’re likely to get punished en route.
3. Pick A Card
You’ve been patient, you’ve pushed your way through some difficult situations and you’ve finally managed to get the full group of characters available for use. Only when you get there, it turns out that your favourite Persona character doesn’t have the skills you want, disaster!
Happily Q2 retains the ability to adapt your skills via the usage of Skill Cards. These can be used to teach both your main and sub Persona new abilities that they may never be able to access. In practice this means that no character is out of bounds – you can pretty much build your ideal team, with ideal skills. Of course some characters are better than others, but the game can be adapted to your tastes. There’s multiple ways to get your hands on these cards, but by far our favourite is to head back and beat up on some FOE from prior dungeons. Special Screenings are fun too, but we take a good amount of pleasure in destroying the older elites. Payback can be cathartic after all.
2. Fusion Hee Ho
Speaking of skills, you’re going to need some Persona to house them. Each character comes with their own of course, each of which evolve and improve with the game, but they can also equip a Sub-Persona to augment their abilities. Each of these will improve their hosts statistics and come with their own set of skills, allowing you to adapt your choices to the current situation with ease. Still, our original Persona Q tip has survived the sequel jump: Never stop fusing new Persona. Seriously, if you don’t put some effort into evolving your stock of these bad boys, you’re eventually going to struggle. Upping your statistics and skills forms the bedrock of progression in a Persona game, and Q2 is no different. Get in that Velvet Room and get creative with it!
1. No Stone Unturned
Our final tip is one that isn’t exclusive to Persona Q2, but is especially relevant in a dungeon crawler: Leave no stone unturned. These games are filled with hidden nooks, shortcuts and copious amounts of treasure. The temptation might be to rush to the end of each floor to progress, but doing so will undoubtedly see you miss out on valuable content hiding in the shadows.
The nature of Etrian-esque titles mean that you’re likely to find quite a few dead ends on your journey, yet unlike earlier games in that series, Persona Q2 fills almost all of those very same ends with content. From an extra conversation to actual loot, you’re likely to find something interesting, so do yourself a favour and find them all! These games a blissfully full of hand crafted content, so get out there and experience it!
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