Review by xXHolyPuffXx
A good rendition of an old favorite
I played Persona 3 FES about a year ago and I thought it was a very good game. Sure, it had it's flaws with story progression and stuff, but it was worth playing. This is pretty much an improved version of that game; but of course with every improvement, there are also a few new flaws.
Of course, the PS2 version had better graphics because it was a console. The PS2 version also had anime cutscenes that were epic and enjoyable. P3P suffers with the graphics simply because the PSP isn't cut out for them. The biggest problem in my opinion is the lack of anime scenes. In P3, anime scenes introduced major parts of the game; even the opening sequence was pretty intense. P3P's version of that is simply an anime background with text to describe what is going on. There are some new things in these scenes though, such as new dialogue that wasn't there before. The persona summoning and attacks are pretty much the same, but PSP-ized: great but not as good as the PS2 version. Another thing to mention is that most of the menus and icons are P4 style now (by P4 style I mean basically ripped directly from P4).
If you've played Persona 4, then this will be very familiar to you. Of course, if you played the original P3, you know that you could not control your party members. That is no more. You are now able to control your party members and choose what action they do. This helps greatly because now it is possible to heal who you want on demand, buff / debuff on demand, and attack on demand. Before, you had to rely on the strategy menu for this, but now you can do it yourself. This kinda takes away from the excitement though, since having the allies choose their own attacks gives them something of a personality. Either way, it makes the game a little easier and helps out people who were frustrated with the original style. Another huge difference is the map system. Before, you could walk around the school / dorm / town and freely explore. Now, you see an overhead view of the place and you click little icons that do things, such as a person to talk to or a sign to read. While this saves the trouble of walking around everywhere, it removes that exploratory value from the game.
The story is pretty good, but it doesn't really get interesting until the major plot twists, which are later in the game. Before / between those plot twists, you're simply doing social links and going through school, and going to tartarus at night if you want to. It becomes repetitive at some points. Other than that, P3 has a great story and the P3P version will be the same. The female storyline is very similar to the original one, but only has a few minor changes. It should also be noted that you can date male characters now, such as Junpei.
All in all, it's Persona 3 remade on the PSP with some new features. It's definitely worth buying and playing all the way to the end.
Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Product Release: Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 Portable (US, 07/06/10)
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