Persona Retrospective Introduction
Here’s the director’s cut of the Persona 2: Innocent Sin Retrospective we’ve been running. All the bit by bit portions of our Retrospective all stuck together in one big massive document, for those of you who prefer it that way. We’ve got some more editing and better clarification on the points I was making, but if you’ve been following the piece by piece portions, none of the actual content here is new to you, just some minor differences in the way it’s presented. If you’d rather have the section by section breakout, you can start here. Otherwise, enjoy.
Persona 2! I’ve been looking forward to doing this one. I’ve got a lot of history with the Persona series, and it’s grown some deep, deep roots in me. I’ve spent a good long while immersing myself in the series, and it’s one of the few franchises I actually consider myself passionate about. I’ve carved out a good bit of prime brain real estate for each game in the series. Yes, even the bad one. Even dreck like Persona 1 has some value
Each game, that is, except for Persona 2. Well, the first half of Persona 2. See, the second installment in this series has a really weird presence here in the western world. Persona 2 is a duology. Atlus has experimented with the one game for the price of two deal a few times, and one of those experiments turned up here. There’s Persona 2: Innocent Sin and Persona 2: Eternal Punishment, each telling half of the story. And way back when these games were new, Atlus, far from the bold and expansive localizer they’re known as today, decided to only release the latter game in the states. The second half of the story. Flipping to the middle of the book and just starting from there.
There’s quite a few theories as to why that might be. Maybe it was because Atlus USA was a small department with too much on its plate at the time. Maybe it was because they couldn’t get it ready in time for the rush. Maybe it was because of the gay options in a time before America was ready for it. Maybe it was because of Hitler.
Nobody knows! But the fact of the matter is that we missed out on the first installment of Persona 2. Eternal Punishment came out, and trust me, it was a bit of a challenge making sense of that alone. Still, I powered through it, and while I know that game well, Innocent Sin was always a gap in my Persona knowledge, only experienced vicariously, until finally, the game got re-released on the PSP a few years ago. It’s still the game I’m least experienced in.
So this installment of our retrospective series covers the first release in the Persona 2 duology, Innocent Sin. Eternal Punishment will get its own, probably shorter post. Just seemed like the best way to do things.