Christmas cheer just got a little brighter for JRPG fans as Sega and Atlus announced that they are releasing two new games for the highly followed Persona franchise – One for the 3DS, one for the PSVita. Both games will rely and build upon the universes already set in place by both Persona 3 and 4 respectively, creating a world that is both familiar yet exciting for fans and newcomers alike.
Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth
The artwork of the game utilizes the same design framework set by Shigenori Soejima except rendered in a style more reminiscent of Etrian Odyssey. This is evident based not just on the artwork that more closely resembles Yuji Himukai’s character designs, but the game is also stated to be a dungeon crawler.
Players will be able to follow two different teams featuring characters from Persona 3 and 4 respectively and the story will unfold differently depending on their decisions. When it was initially announced, producer Katsuro Hashino declared that it was already well into development and the project was already in the testing phase. No word yet on whether the game will fit directly into the canon of the series like the Persona 4 Arena does, or whether it’s supposed to be a strictly standalone game.
Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth is slated for a release by June 2014.
Persona 4: Dancing All Night
In a bit of a shocker for fans of surprising turn of events, Sega has chosen to create a brand new rhythm game with the Persona IP for the vita instead of porting over the successful Persona 4 Arena. Early screenshots show that the game will feature Rise Kujikawa, Yu Narukami, and a brand new character to the series as selectable dancers. No word yet on how Dancing All Night fits into the series canon, or if it will even be part of it to begin with. No western release date has been confirmed but the game is scheduled to release in Japan on Q3 of 2014.
This isn’t the first time that Atlus have been remarkably free with the way they market their IP’s, with a few pachinko games utilizing the Shin Megami Tensei name have been released to the public in Japan in years past.
While pachinko is steeped very heavily in Japanese culture, it’s managed to find its way outside of the archipelago through online gaming websites. One example is Betfair, which includes pachinko as part of their list of arcade games, alongside other familiar gaming IP’s including Capcom’s own Street Fighter II.
We’re wondering if Sega and Atlus’ decision to spread the Persona franchise out to different gaming styles will prove as successful as it was when they partnered with Sammy to create their hit fighting game. Fans, as well as Atlus, will just have to wait until 2014 to find out if they have a win on their hands.