Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 2 Innocent Sin was a role-playing game originally released on the PSone exclusively in Japan. Fans of the original game were left out in the cold, as they were not able to experience this sequel of sorts since it was never localized on North American shores. After a twelve-year gap, Atlus has brought the game over to Sony’s beloved handheld to give fans a chance to experience that which they missed during the PSone heyday.
The story takes place three years after the original Persona and revolves around the silent and enigmatic student, Tatsuya Suou. After a disastrous encounter with a jester-like demon called the Joker, Tatsuya teams up with Lisa Silverman, a popular but self proclaimed “pretty student”, and Eikichi Mishina, a rival school gang leader, to search for answers after the Master Joker swears revenge on them.
Battles consist of random encounters and the payoff comes in the form of yen after each successful fight. The game utilizes a strategy menu that places your party members in sequence to attack, run away or use your Persona. It is especially useful to unleash Fusion spells, which are powerful attacks by multiple Persona from your entire party throughout the game.
Demons in the game can be contacted by party members for which there is a negotiation. Party members need to be selected carefully as a demon reacts in one of four ways: happy, interested, fearful or angry. How a demon reacts depends on whom you choose when talking to the demon in addition to your character stats and experience. If talking isn’t your strong suit or you choose the wrong party member, the demon will attack your party members if it’s angry. However, if you’re able to converse and engage a happy demon, you can form a bond or contract and it will join you. Be warned not to aggravate your demon as it may opt to leave your party permanently.
Visually, the game looks archaic and dated as it was originally released back in 1999. They are not bad by any means, but the graphics really show their age on the PSP after such a lengthy period of time. On the soundtrack side, the game’s tunes are fitting and appropriate in setting the pace and atmosphere.
Shin Mega Tensei: Persona 2 Innocent Sin is an enjoyable title for series’ fans that patiently waited all these years to complete their Persona 2 experience. The game doesn’t stray far from its predecessor and the gameplay feels a bit stale compared to similar titles today, but it’s still a worthwhile addition to any PSP owner’s library of RPG games.