If you are looking for a great RPG game that can suck up your time, look no further than Persona 3. I just completed this game earlier this noon, and now I am writing about how I feel about this game. For starters, I will have you know that this is my longest time spent on a game on the PS2!!!! I clocked up about 70++ hours on my firstrun through this game, longest I have spent on a PS2 game. (Longest I have spent on a game was Pokemon Platinum on the DS, with clocked up of 100++ Hours. Well, that’s another matter.)
You start off as an un-named character(MC) like in most SMT games. MC here is a high school student, and just transferred into a school at a particular place called Port-Island in Japan. However, MC here is late for his designated arrival time at the school dorm. When he arrives at the train station, midnight took over and immediately all electrical appliances stop functioning and most people are turning into coffins. Yes, coffins. This hour is known as the Dark Hour, taking place right after midnight every night.
Cutscenes in this game are carried out in anime-style graphics, but the rest of the game are in 3D. Well, the graphics of course can’t match up against the FF series, but I assure you the gameplay is rock-solid, as expected from the SMT series, unlike the FF series, which are doing downhill with every game. Oh well.
The battle system is pretty simple, turn-based combat. You have a few options to select at the battle menu, Attack, Skills, items, escape, commands and the option to change personas. The MC is a unique person who is able to wield multiple personas, unlike the rest who can only control one. And I haven’t even touched on the main subject. What exactly is a persona? A persona is another side of a person’s soul, which is used to combat the game’s main enemy, the Shadows. In Persona 3, you can only take control of the MC in battle, and the rest of your party members are controlled by the AI. You can only give out commands to change your party members’ battle style. For me, I think the AI system is pretty good, however the AI screwed up sometimes, but other than the occasional slipup(which is very few), I think the AI is pretty good!
Yes, the main focus of the game is to save the world. However, this isn’t your typical save-the-world RPG game. This game is like a combination of a RPG and Sim. Yes, as you are a high school student, you have to attend school during the day. You could also build friendships with others, or Social Links, and you can even date girls! But, do not think that these relationships are just side-quests, they are an important part of the game. As your social links get stronger, when you fuse to get new personas, you will get additional power after fusing it. Your social links decide your powers. I played Persona 4 before Persona 3, and I have something to compare about the 2 games. In Persona 3, you can’t date 2 or more girls at the same time, or you will run the risk of pissing one or more girls off. Another important thing is that if you ignore your friends for too long a period, they may start to grow cold towards you and ignore you. However, they removed those things in Persona 4.
At night, during the dark hour, you will explore Tartarus, a mysterious tower where you will spend most of your time in, training and exploring. Your goal is to reach the top of the tower, in order in find out a way to get rid of the Dark Hour.
I also loved the soundtrack used in the game, and I think I preferred the soundtrack used in Persona 3 than Persona 4.
And that concludes my review of the great game. I have left out some details as I do not want to spoil all of the game’s details.
For those of you who have a PSP and have not played this game before. There’s good news for you! Persona 3 Portable (P3P)English version is releasing on 6 July this year. Holy- That’s next month! Damn, I don’t have a PSP….. It is said that the P3P has additional features like able to control each and every member in your team, and you can choose either a Male or female MC. However, it does not have the additional chapter included in Persona 3: FES.
Persona 3: FES is an expansion pack of the Persona 3. It includes new personas, new equipment, etc…. And also includes an exclusive chapter telling the events after Persona 3. I am now currently starting a New Game plus, converted from my Persona 3 save file.^^
And here I conclude my review on the game.