Originally, I loved this game, despite the gameplay becoming a little exasperating/tiring. I liked the sheer number of battle options better than Persona 3‘s, although I also felt like trimming the fat was a good thing, too. I liked P3‘s characters and story better. The story in P3 feels deeper, and succeeds in reaching for its epic scope. I also wished there was voice acting throughout P2: IS, like P3. You don’t just leave Troy Baker (Eikichi), Patrick Seitz (Nyarlathotep), and Wendee Lee (Maya) lying around!
Masataka Amano was a war correspondent. Before Maya met the other kids and established the Masked Circle, Masataka prepared to leave Japan to cover a war. Maya made a stuffed rabbit for him and called it Mr. Bunbun, but he refused to take it. Her father told her that if she cried, Mr. Bunbun would laugh at her. Masataka told her that he would accept Mr. Bunbun when he returned home, but he died before he could make it back.
In 1999, Atlus released the original Persona 2 for the PlayStation. Subtitled Tsumi (Japanese for Sin), It was the first game in the duology, but did not receive an English translation. Its sequel, Batsu (Punishment) did, however. The game was released in Japan and North America in 2000, revitalizing Atlus’ USA division.
Eleven years later, Atlus remade Sin and Punishment for the PSP, and this time, Sin got an official translation.
The 3rd Birthday is a game that is best enjoyed for its gameplay. Ultimately, this is a game that is held back by the limitations of its platform, and its questionable concept.
The plot is a mess. It’s a monument to all of Square Enix’s worst sins and excesses in creating complicated plots. Every time I think that I understand it, my brain thinks up something else that doesn’t make sense, just to question it.
It didn’t need to be a mess. The original Parasite Eve games had epic scales and conflicts, but they did not descend into supernatural time travel mumbo-jumbo.
Several took issue with Aya’s meeker characterization. It is justified in-game with the revelation that it’s actually Eve in Aya’s body (since Aya is currently soul-challenged at the moment, and apparently exists in a limbo state). However, to be blunt, no one played a PE game to play as anyone but Aya Brea.
Some compare Aya’s characterization negatively to Samus’ characterization in Metroid: Other M. Both games were released in 2011.