Persona A beginners guide

Meet the cast

The main character began nameless, but spin-offs and side material eventually named him Yu Narukami, though his personality is still left for the player to define. Once he moved to town he quickly befriended the foolish Yosuke and the chipper but violent Chie. Over time the team added the teen detective Naoto, reserved beauty Yukiko, intense, sexually confused Kanji, former idol singer Rise, and the loyal-to-a-fault Teddie. Teddie became the standout of the group, thanks in no small part to the potent mix of his adorable plush outside and the handsome young man inside the suit.

Just me and my Shadow

P4 ditched the faux-suicide Evokers that called on Personas, but what replaced them ended up being even more of an eerie internal struggle. Each team member had to unlock their Persona by defeating their Shadow, a dark reflection of their buried fears and desires. Most became twisted images about what the character hated most about them and once they were overcome and accepted could you gain your Persona. Helping them battle their neuroses made you feel much closer to your teammates, investing players more in an already engrossing plot.

The story continues

Depending on if you put in the time to earn the best ending, Persona 4s more hopeful ending left open the door for a continuation, though most SMT fans were probably surprised to see the story progress in a fighting game. Persona 4 Arena feature most of the playable characters from P4 and several from P3, connecting the two games in clearer ways than previous entries did. P4s hero is returning to Inaba and being drawn back into the Midnight Channel again. This time a fighting tournament is pulling in Persona Users to battle it out, but theres more to it since Arena features one of the deepest stories in any fighter ever. Keep an eye out for the review soon.

Where do you go next?

So youve familiarized yourself with the series and have even played Persona 3 and 4 to prepare for Arena. If you want more SMT goodness, where do you go next wed suggest:

Devil Survivor Overclocked (3DS): An upgrade of the original DS version, Overclocked keeps the SMT tradition of incoming apocalypse, monster-collection and fusion, melding it with a hip teenage cast similar to Personas. Set in modern Tokyo, a group of teens are stranded in the city as angels and demons battle that leave the kids stuck in the middle. A strategy RPG, Devil Survivor puts the fate of the world, Lucifer and God Himself in the players hands. Its hard to get much bigger than that.

Strange Journey (DS): If reading about the unreleased SMT originals piqued your interest for the main series, 2010s Strange Journey for DS is as close as you can currently get. A dark, mature story, first-person perspective and similar focus on demon collection, Strange Journey is proves that traditional gameplay can still be as fun now as it was in the 90s. Search it out before DS games become totally scarce.

Reach out to the truth

We hope this introduction to the series will help you find your true self as well, whether that self likes niche RPGs or not. If we missed anything important, let us know in the comments.

Need Persona? Read Persona 4 Arena roster - An introduction to all 13 fighters to see whos playable in the upcoming game and watch our recent video Quickplay of P4 Arena.

Henry Gilbert

Henry Gilbert is a former GamesRadar+ Editor, having spent seven years at the site helping to navigate our readers through the PS3 and Xbox 360 generation. Henry is now following another passion of his besides video games, working as the producer and podcast cohost of the popular Talking Simpsons and What a Cartoon podcasts.