Persona was in a slow evolution process for about ten years. The first one was a mess, a great story sabotaged by an ass-backwards first person view and nightmarish battles.
The second, my gateway drug, introduced the genesis of the Social Links, a permanent
isometric view (thank you), a great interactive city, and a less rigid structure. Unfortunately, the battles are still pretty tedious. The encounter rate is high. The game starts out intimidatingly tough, but the sheer number of battles end up beefing your party to the point where you wipe out slews of enemies with the same Fusion attack ad naseum.
Curiously, there are like a hundred Personas to find and develop, but you can plow though the whole game with your starters. (And, later, the Greeks you get for free.)
The mazes are now third-person, but still bafflingly huge. You will dread those dead ends, not because of the difficulty, but because of the five million Nazis you will have to roast with Nuclear Blast before the story finally resumes. Sure you can run away, but it takes just as long as a two button command does. Fortunately there's an item which eliminates lower-level enemy encounters.
Which is too bad, because this is an epic storyline with great characters. It's like Chrono Cross
if it had actually committed to eight of so of its crackpipe characters, and rolled with it.