Eternal PunishmentNovember 13, 2008
I’ve been intrigued by the Megami Tensei series (intensely informative history at HG101) ever since SMT3 appeared on the huge swag bags at Tokyo Game Show 2002. I found Persona 2: Eternal Punishment in the huge box of Japanese video games my friend Andy sent me in 2003, and I have also picked up Shin Megami Tensei 3: Nocturne and Digital Devil Saga on my Shinjuku game shopping ventures. Some of my most trusted sources of gaming recommendations, Richmond Scott and Sendai Tom, have strongly recommended SMT games to me. But I have yet to get very deep into any of these games yet.
Lately I finished Etrian Odyssey, and I was ready for a similarly technical but more story-intensive, more mature, more geekoutable adventure. With Persona 3: FES available for cheap these days, and Persona 4 still pretty fresh, I thought that it was a perfect time to finally start in on Persona 2. My upcoming bacheloric geeking out period, between the time the lady goes to Japan and the time when I go to meet her, will grant me lots of game playing time. I intend to spend lots of time with Nathaniel at Ann & Jules’s house, playing games and watching Star Trek and eating delicious snacks.
Sometimes I get worried that playing old games when there are so many exciting new games coming out is somehow not the best use of my leisure time. Playing new games adds the enjoyment of discussing the game with others who are playing around the same time as me, being relevant when I post about my experiences, and generally feeling like part of a fan community.
But just yesterday I brought my Japanese PS2 home from the office with the intention of starting Persona 2, and then today I got the email announcement from Atlus USA that they’re reprinting the English localization of that very game! This instantly lent currency and weight to my playing of the game; now thousands of people will be playing or replaying that game in anticipation of Persona 4, at the same time as me. Atlus keeps bringing over games that never would have been considered a decade ago; they keep producing careful, gratifying localizations; they keep encouraging and enriching the fan community; and now they even revive classic but overlooked games just for the fun of it. What a terrific company.