Both Persona and Eternights have time management systems that are similar. However, Persona’s is more difficult and can be customized, while Eternights’ could be less stressed.
As soon as video of Eternight’s calendar system and the dating sim elements that boost your stats in battle were made public, it was immediately compared to the latest Persona games, mostly 4 and 5.
Most of the time, these similarities are fair because the game clearly draws from Atlus’s famous RPG series. However, there are clear changes between the games that make Persona 4 stand out. So, what do Persona and Eternights have in common? How do these similarities stack up against each other? More importantly, what makes these games unique?
In the newer Persona games, the main character usually has a school year to play through the major story. There will be times when you are free to do whatever you want, and then there will be parts of the story where you have a set number of days to beat a maze and its boss.
Managing your free time is important because you often can’t finish all the goals in the time you have, and even if you can, it may take several plays throughs and careful planning.
In Eternights, too, there are places that look like dungeons that you have a certain number of days to finish. This happens three times, in Acts 2, 3, and 4. The first act is an introduction, and the last act is the ending.
Every time you replay the dungeon, you get more time to finish it. However, because Eternights’ fighting depends less on stats and skill levels, you can easily finish it in one day and use the extra time to level up your skills for the next act. For this reason, managing your time is still important, but not as hard as it is in Persona.
Winner – Persona
Persona’s time management systems are a lot harder and more complicated, and there are more ways to make them your own. This makes the game more fun to play again and again. If you want a version of the same method that might not make you as stressed, you might like Eternights better.
The way you fight is one of the biggest changes between Persona and Eternights. The Persona series still uses a turn-based system that comes from Shin Megami Tensei, which is its parent series. The fights have been a little different in each game, but the weakness-based, turn-based fighting has stayed strong and constant.
You can get better at some combat skills by leveling up your confidants when you have free time. This is how the time management system works with the fighting. In the main Persona series, there are no action scenes that happen in real time.
People who have played Persona will notice that Eternights’ fighting system is very different from Persona’s. Eternights uses a hack-and-slash style of gameplay similar to Bayonetta, where dodging slows down time.
As you spend more time with each love interest, you’ll unlock new skills. Additionally, as you level up with each love interest, you’ll also unlock passive buffs that help you. Three of the main character’s love interests are linked to an element, and these elements are needed to break through the walls that bosses and strong enemies use to protect themselves.
Winner – Eternights
In Ethernights, the hack-and-slash action is surprisingly quick and responsive. It’s not too hard, but it’s just right for how long the game is. Persona’s turn-based battles are still fun, but you’ll notice that they don’t change much as the game goes on. Persona, on the other hand, is great if you like well-done turn-based battles.
The Persona games are much bigger than Eternights. For example, Persona 5 Royal can be finished in 100 hours or more. Because of this, these games take a lot of time, so you should make sure you like the theme and gameplay before you spend a lot of time on them.
There are ways to finish the game faster than 100 hours, but because the conversation and story are so important, you should take your time and not rush.
Eternights is not as long as Persona because it only has three levels and not as much time goes by between them. Since there isn’t much extra material, the game usually takes about ten hours to finish. This time frame doesn’t change unless you are having a lot of trouble with certain enemies or bosses.
The short length makes it fun to play through more than once, and beating it unlocks a bonus game. The ending is also different depending on which love interest you picked.
Winner – Persona
Of course, this group changes depending on whether you want a long or short game. Persona is the best choice if you want something you can spend more time with. One more run, though, doesn’t seem like as big of a deal because Eternights is so short.
The second thing about Eternights that made people think of Persona is that you can date different characters. In Persona, some social links can lead to romance. When you reach the end of the romanceable lines, you can choose whether to make that person your partner or not.
You may or may not have as many choices in each Persona game. Notably, unlike Eternights, Persona has not had any same-sex options since Jun in Persona 2, which had a lot fewer dating possibilities.
Dating is a bigger part of Eternights than it is in Persona. In Persona, you can skip dating totally and it won’t change the game in any way. In Eternights, unlike Funny Shooter 2, the ending you get depends a lot on the character you choose to romance. In fact, the whole fifth act depends on which character you choose to romance.
Some might think that only four dating choices are too few, but I don’t think so because each character has enough time to shine in the short game.
Winner – Eternights
Every new Persona game gives you more dating options, but they’re not really the point of the game, and none of the new games have given you choices for same-sex relationships. Love is a big part of Eternights, and even if you don’t fall in love with every choice, you’ll probably feel close to at least one of them.
Persona Or Eternights?
Since Eternights and Persona have a lot in common, if you like one of them, you probably like the other one too. While Eternights doesn’t have the same level of polish that comes with being cheap as Atlus’ Persona, it makes the most of what it has to offer to create a unique and short experience.
But if you want something longer with more going on and side stories, the current Persona games, especially Persona 5, have a pace and mood that are a lot like Eternights.