Earlier this year, Atlus ran an online survey in Japan asking fans what they might want in the future from the Persona series. Suggestions they tossed out into the ether included Persona 6 (of course), a Persona 3 HD Remake (yes, please give Persona 3 the Golden treatment), Persona 5: Dancing All Night, and a Persona 3 “dance game (sound action)”—giving way to thoughts of a Just Dance-esque entry into the series’ rhythmic fever dream spin-offs. While a lot of these suggestions are practical and likely to expand the series, with Persona 5 on the horizon for the West, I have some ideas of my own. No need to thank me Atlus.
Rock Band: Persona 3 On Ice
Persona 4 has gotten so much love between bearing the name on the fighting-oriented Arena series, or the Persona 3-less Persona 4: Dancing All Night. For the latter, it’s a travesty, because Persona 3 has the superior soundtrack (even if Persona 4’s comes very, very, very close). But Persona 3 deserves something beyond a simpler rhythm game. It deserves something that brings people together to experience the game’s incredible Shoji Meguro-composed music. It needs a group experience, like a karaoke game akin to Def Jam Rapstar. Wait, no, better: a Rock Band game. (Or something like it.) Where friends can juggle duel rapping and singing in the Persona 3 FES opening song. Where Persona 3’s variants of tracks across its original edition, Persona 3 FES, and Persona 3 Portable are all brought together for one unique, rhythmic quest. And it’s all on ice, like everyone’s favorite anime of last year. (Just because.)
PREVIEW: Persona 5 is out in a month, and we have our impressions of the game up to its first two Palaces.
With Persona 5 quickly approaching in just a few weeks, we conjured a gateway guide to the games in the grim, grim, grim universe of Shin Megami Tensei.
From Prompto's poorly lit selfies in Final Fantasy XV, to dressing up Kat in Gravity Rush 2, selfies have stepped up since their first appearances in games.
A Persona moba
Nothing gets me more disinterested in a game than hearing the world “moba” dropped around it, so why not spice things up by throwing some demons, some depressed, magical teens, and persona summoning into the mix?
A Persona MMO
Trust me on this. You design your own character, choose your own personal Arcana, culminate your own arsenal of personas. Then you spend the afternoons dungeon crawling or alternatively, undertaking mundane tasks, like building up Social Links with actual people you’re friends with. When I was younger, I often dreamed of a Harry Potter MMO to sweep me off my feet in a similar fashion, but as I’ve grown older, a Persona-fied version of that idea will do just fine. In fact, it would be way better. Let me live in an MMO again, please.
Mara and Me: A Demon Dating Sim
Everyone’s favorite shadow in all of Persona is the most phallic of them all: Mara. Mara, the dick on a chariot with a very creepy mouth. Mara, oozing something gross, always exemplifying the picture perfect imagery of what a penis-shaped foe should be. Oh Mara, how your mere silhouette as a potential summonable Persona makes me giggle about our future together. Given the Shin Megami Tensei series’ history with demon negotiating (and Persona 5 itself bringing the pastime back to the Persona series itself), a demon dating sim is a canonical fit. We already talk to the shadow demons in the series to get them to join our side, why not for a little bit of love too?
Mario & Sonic & Personas at the Olympic Games!
Like the Two Seemingly Canon Potential Romantic Interests, the Smart Student Council President, the Animal Character, there is always—and I mean always—an Athletic Character in a Persona game. In Persona 3 and Persona 4, it’s anyone in those dang athletic clubs. In Persona 5, the athletic character is more up front: your best friend Ryuji, a former track star with a new punk edge. It’s only natural then to bring the series to the most recognizable of sports series: Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games.
A survival horror game
Persona, and the Shin Megami Tensei series, are games that are entrenched in darkness. Whether it’s represented in their drab color palettes, the dungeons you slog through, or the grim themes that pelt you over the head as you play the 100-hour RPGs. A survival horror game, something in line with early Resident Evil or even Fatal Frame rather than Amnesia: The Dark Descent, would feel right at home in Persona. Imagine a band of teens locked in an eerie house, as mysterious demons haunted the house and they had to fight back cautiously in their quest for knowledge, building bonds all along the way.
In a lot of ways, the Persona and grander Shin Megami Tensei series already have quite a bit in common with Neko Atsume, the cat collecting mobile game. In Persona, you’re collecting shadows (who turn into your own personas to summon in the midst of battle), and you’re collecting friends in the form of the Social Links you bond. In this proposed Persona Atsume, the same conquest is at play: collecting shadows to bring onto your side. But really, that’s all there is. Social Links may be minimized in the gifts you set down for your shadow buddies to partake in, making them all the more likely to stick around your comfortable space. The game will be a primarily passive, game like Neko Atsume is, where you just kick back and relish in the company of your favorite friends and foes.
Persona Team Racing
Like Mario Kart, Crash Team Racing, and Sonic All-Stars Racing before it, the Persona series is long overdue for its own kart-addled racing quest. Plopping characters from all across the series, from Teddie to Mitsuru to our nameless hero in Persona 5, players would be able to lightly customize their own karts as they raced through tracks themed after areas from the series’ past. Shadows would appear too as foes to dodge, or if an item is in your grasp, rid away with thanks to a summonable Persona to be evoked by your Speed Racer incarnate character. I’m wholly convinced that Persona Team Racing would crash through the genre’s constraints, and low key be the greatest game ever made.
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