The Persona Q games, and by extension the Etrian series, have always placed a big emphasis on the rows you use in battle. The front row is traditionally used for tanks and physical attackers, whilst the back row is reserved for healers, supporting characters and spell casters. Whilst there are exceptions to this rule, the best results tend to come from following this outline.
It’s the front row we’ll be focusing on today, and whilst readers of our Character Tier List may have spoiled the order of today’s list for themselves, we can at least go into a little more depth about our choices here. To business then, let’s list out our Top 5 Front Row Characters in Persona Q2!
Players of Persona 4 will be immediately familiar with this character, though his name may come as a bit of a surprise to some. Whilst the Protagonist of P4 remains a playable character in Q2, he actually has a voice and name of his own. This is a nice surprise, and it lends him some much needed personality when compared to the original. The way he’s introduced to your team is pretty entertaining too.
In combat he’s quite similar to the original Persona Q. You’ll find he’s still a highly powerful physical attacker with good skills, great statistics and a respectable HP/SP pool. His Endurance and Strength are a particular highlight, meaning he’ll manage to take a few hits whilst dishing them out. He is weak to wind, which can be a bit of a pain at a certain point in the game, but it’s not enough to stop him being a great choice for your front line.
Haru is a character that hails from Persona 5, in which she joins your party quite late due to being directly tied to one of the antagonists. Upon joining she immediately fits right into the Phantom Thieves, where she is depicted as a kind and caring individual despite the troubles that seemingly surrounded her.
As you might imagine these traits don’t exactly translate well into a handheld, dungeon crawling title, though we do enjoy the way she interacts with some of the NPC characters early on. Whilst we’d love to have seen more of her – she is one of our favourites from the P5 cast – we do respect that it would be difficult to incorporate her past into a title so tightly crammed with characters.
Happily, her battle performance here is fantastic. She mainly takes on the role of a tank and manages to achieve this remarkably well despite her low HP total. Her Axe Guard ability will come in handy countless times, her SP total is the highest of the tank lot and her weakness to Nuclear is unlikely to be abused.
Players familiar with Persona 3, or indeed our Persona Q lists, will surely be familiar with Aigis. She plays a key role in the story line of her base game, in which her relationship with the player character, and indeed life, is fully explored. Her story spans the entirety of P3 and includes some of the most poignant and heartfelt scenes throughout.
As per usual, this doesn’t translate well to a dungeon crawler. She retains her stoic and matter-of-fact speech from Persona Q, and whilst this is surely a shame, her battle prowess tends to make up for it…
In battle, much like the original, Aigis is a beast. She’s still an incredible tank and she’s still able to put out huge chunks of damage, especially in her alternative mode. Abilities like Aegis Shield keep her in a top echelons of the tank choices, and her statistics mean she’ll be able to stand on the front lines in relative safety. She does feel very slightly nerfed compared to Q, but given exactly how powerful she was there, this just brings her down to her team mates level.
Speaking of powerful returning characters, next up is Akihiko, hailing from Persona 3. As a more mature member of the SEES team there, he’s often lending his strength to help others out and he’ll be the first to offer up his services for dangerous or risky situations. He’s a confident, high performing student that often feels like an older sibling throughout.
Given even less screen time in this sequel, almost none of this translates to Persona Q2, aside from the occasional over zealousness. It’s a shame of course, but we understand. That doesn’t stop us craving a Switch remake with more character depth however..
In battle he’s still the powerhouse that he was in Q, if anything more so. He’s the standout performer when it comes to dealing physical damage, especially with his ability to often repeat attacks. His statistics are well balanced and high in all the right places, and his HP total even leaves some of your tanks in the dust.
Persona 4 players will instantly recognise, and probably love, this character. Kanji is a playable character in Persona 4, and he’s also one of the most complex characters you’re likely to find in a video game, even now. His particular personality struggles are very unusual to find in a video game, and whilst the developers handling of it may be slightly dated now, at the time it was handled well.
Of course this doesn’t exist in either Q or Q2, though we’d have paid extra to see them try to squeeze sexuality questions into a handheld Nintendo console. He mainly plays a manly man here, albeit one lacking a little confidence.
In battle, Kanji stands out as the absolute best tank available in Persona Q2. The tank archetype in particular is incredibly useful in these games, much like the Etrian titles, and Kanji takes the cake. His statistics are perfect for the role – huge Endurance and Strength – his abilities are ideal for both defending your team and debuffing the opponents, and he can still pour out big physical damage. Kanji is the Aigis of Q2 – take him with you and you’ll find the dungeons are suddenly a lot safer.
That’s it for our front row article! Let us know what you think of our choices. We’re aware that Junpei can fill a similar role to Kanji, and there are plenty more choices for physical attackers, but these are the ones that we gravitated towards. Blank and Wild cards mean you can pretty much build whatever you want in this game!