A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth is a role-playing game for the Nintendo 3DS. The game is a dungeon crawler that's the latest in the Persona franchise, and the action takes place through a range of movie genres in a magical movie theater. There's plenty of violence against mostly fantastical enemies with weaponry and magic spells. To summon a "Persona" to help your party members in a fight, you can shoot yourself in the head with a "pistol-like" item. While no blood or gore is shown as a result of this act, it can be a disturbing thing to witness repeatedly over the course of the game. There's no nudity, but many of the female Personas are shown with their breasts exposed (without nipples) or with ample cleavage shown from their outfits. There's also plenty of swearing, including words like "s--t," "damn," and "bastard."
- Parents say
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What's it about?
PERSONA Q2: NEW CINEMA LABYRINTH is a new Japanese role-playing game (JRPG) that serves as a single-player, first-person fantasy dungeon crawler. As with some previous Persona games in the 23-year-old series, the story follows the Phantom Thieves, who are trapped inside various movie genres in a theater. As you try to escape from these labyrinths, you'll encounter many other people who can help you fight your way out of these twisted nightmares. Much of the game relies on turn-based combat -- your chosen party of characters versus fantastical creatures, and bigger boss battles (some of which are time-based). The game also expands on Persona Q and Persona 5's combat systems, including a new collective "Unison" feature by the entire party (after completing side quests to unlock these features).
Is it any good?
Fans of JRPGs will find a lot to like about this deep and challenging chapter in a long-running fantasy franchise. While it's questionable how many still play on a Nintendo 3DS -- and there are minor issues, like no English voice-overs, and confusing user interface screens -- Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth is a fantastic (and attractive) game to play on the go. You don't need to know anything about previous Persona games to play this one, but it would likely be more enjoyable if you were familiar with the characters, storylines, and game mechanics. As you roam around the four movie-themed labyrinths you're trapped in, you'll use the Nintendo 3DS stylus to draw in the walls and floor panels (on the bottom screen) to fill out the map. When it's time to battle a baddie, you'll take turns with your party with a few main options -- like Attack, Magic, and defensive Guard moves. You also have access to summoning mythical Personas and sub-Personas (only one each is allowed per player) to wield an elemental attack, a powerful healing spell for your party, or to combine powers for special attacks against the enemies. Leveling up your Persona gives a boost to your HP (hit points) and SP (spell points) meters, which gives you a better chance of fighting tougher monsters.
Of course, you'll need to find the right attack to use to best exploit enemy weaknesses and inflict the most damage. But part of the challenge, along with some time management, is the fact that enemies can also take advantage of your weaknesses to dish out extra damage. There's a lot to tactically choosing your party to round out everyone's skills, summoning a Persona (and optional sub-Persona) that complements your crew, and deciding between offensive and defensive maneuvers. If you're in search of a challenging and portable JRPG, you won't be disappointed with the latest in this coveted franchise.
Talk to your kids about ...
Parents can talk about violence in video games. Is the impact of the violence in Persona Q2: New Cinema Labyrinth affected by the cartoonish visuals and fantasy attacks against creatures? Is the intensity increased by the act of summoning, which shows a character shooting themselves in the head with a pistol-like item?
- Platforms: Nintendo 3DS
- Price: $39.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: Atlus
- Release date: June 6, 2019
- Genre: Role-Playing
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Adventures, Brothers and Sisters, Friendship, Misfits and Underdogs, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- ESRB rating: M for Language, Partial Nudity, Sexual Themes, Violence
- Last updated: July 6, 2019
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