Persona 3 Portable isn’t only a great JRPG, but a history lesson too

As somebody whose solely expertise with the Persona sequence lay with Persona 5, I dove into Persona 3 Moveable’s PC re-release with one expectation: will probably be outdated and due to this fact fairly unhealthy. Wanting again, was I naïve? Sure. And was I improper? I am delighted to report that I used to be catastrophically improper.

From what I’ve performed thus far of Persona 3, I reckon it is effectively value a whirl if you happen to’re a newcomer, or a Persona 5 fan who’s involved {that a} recreation from 2009 will not be all that good. Not solely does it stand by itself as a enjoyable highschool thriller with an alarmingly darkish undertone, it virtually acts as a enjoyable historical past lesson too.

Essentially the most stunning factor about Persona 3, to me not less than, is its parallels with Persona 5. For no matter motive, I assumed the sequence mirrored the likes of Remaining Fantasy, the place the universe is basically shared, however the video games are standalone of their themes and execution. Persona 3 is completely different in lots of respects, sure, and but it is structured so equally it’s kind of like enjoying an older, remixed model of Persona 5.

Persona 3’s setup is instantly acquainted to anybody who’s performed Persona 5, in that you are a excessive schooler who strikes to a brand new space and joins a brand new college. There may be, after all, a darkish metaverse that is bled into the true world, inflicting individuals to change into – *checks notes* – coffins at midnight, or “Darkish Hour” as your mates name it. Common of us are completely unaware of this taking place, and what’s even worse is that Shadows are feasting on the minds of these locked on this weak state. However it simply so occurs that you simply and your friends are a uncommon breed who do not flip into coffins when the clock strikes 12. So, you band collectively to combat the Shadows in a gaggle known as SEES (Shadow Elimination Egg Sandwich).

Veterans are inspired to decide on the feminine protagonist in the beginning of the sport, as she gives a barely completely different perspective on the story.

The Shadows appear to reside on this mega-structure known as Tartarus. It is a huge procedurally generated dungeon that is undoubtedly a precursor to P5’s Mementos, along with your purpose being to ascend to the highest and crush Mrs. Mega Shadow. Exploration here’s a top-down-ish 3D affair, as you and your friends push via corridors and encounter Shadows that’ll warp you to turn-based battle arenas. Once more, like P5, fight revolves round exploiting an enemy’s weak point to elongate your turns, and hopefully, knock the Shadowy bastards on their arses for these candy, candy All-Out assaults!

Whereas it won’t be fairly as creative or flashy as P5’s turn-based fight, it is nonetheless loads participating and can almost definitely ramp up over the approaching hours, anyway. And it is enjoyable calling in your completely different personas and touchdown these oh-so satisfying vital hits. Whereas there is no bargaining with the demons you scrap, you are still capable of gather them via random card shuffles on the finish of sure fights. Yep, Igor and his Velvet Room are additionally there to splice completely different personas collectively too.

My favorite side of P5 lies in stuff exterior of fight, you already know, like hanging out in Shibuya or serving to clear your foster dad’s kitchen after he is had a busy day operating the native café. P3’s all about constructing these social hyperlinks too, as your bonds with mates could make all of the distinction in battle. Not like exploration in Tartarus, you will discover highschool and varied components of city by guiding a cursor throughout a static picture, or mentioning a menu and warping immediately to your goal. Which means that the sport performs like a visible novel, besides that I reckon it is charming versus archaic, lending your interactions with superbly drawn friends and backgrounds a chill really feel.

The player delivers a devastating critical attack with a slash of their katana in Persona 3.

The green-hued tower of Tartarus rises up towards a crescent moon in Persona 3.

A part of Persona 3 folks gather at Nagaraki Shrine, a portrait of the female protagonist rests to the right of the frame.

Shuji Ikutsuki asks,

And even if you happen to’re not a fan of visible novels, the energy of Persona’s characters will hold you invested anyway. I imply, I might take a bullet for Yukari and Junpei having solely met them for only some hours. Considered one of my solely gripes in the intervening time is the sport’s lack of steerage. Sure, it is good at steadily introducing you to the standard: a day-by-day construction, a remarkably judgmental pupil physique, and stats like “Teachers” and “Guts” that may be upped by accurately answering questions in school or participating in a burger-eating problem. Nonetheless, although, I’ve had moments the place I am a bit of misplaced as to how greatest to spend my time (one thing P5 Royal nails) and the best issues like getting into Tartarus when Darkish Hour hits.

Thus far, I am having a blast with Persona 3. It is maybe a bit extra stripped again than P5, which is simply pure given its age. However there’s nonetheless a incredible time available right here, as it is very a lot a historical past lesson in considered one of my favorite video games ever, because of its easier – however no much less attention-grabbing – takes on the demon-bashing and high-school stat-smashing I like.