Review by CuteBoi

Reviewed: 07/21/10

PERSONAAA! ~ now with yummy portability

We had Persona 3, then Persona 3 FES, and now Persona 3 Portable.

Gameplay 10/10
The gameplay is a mix of a dating sim/visual novel and a console style RPG. I personally found it quite unique.The battle system is actually quite similar to the Pokemon series, you have "personae" and each of them can level up, learn different moves, and have different weaknesses and resistances, you can switch them during battle. There is an option to fuse your persona to create stronger ones, here is where the dating sim part comes in. You go through a large amount of days (almost a year) and on certain days you ask NPCs to hang out with you and eventually forming a relationship ( and possibly becoming your lover). This will give bonuses to your persona fusions. Oh and a nice thing to mention is that pretty much everything is OPTIONAL, you can go directly home and end your day without either forming relationships OR fighting monsters and leveling up, but you may get screwed over by bosses that appear on scripted storyline event days.

Story 6.5 / 10
You are a new transfer student to a high school, you learn that you can summon a Persona and you join a group of other persona-using people that attend your school. You found out that there is actually 25 hours in a day, the last hour being called the Dark Hour which is when normal people are transformed into coffins and your school transforms into a very high tower called Tartarus, which is a nest for beings called "shadows" who try to kill non-persona users that can enter the Dark Hour.

Now at first I found the story pretty interesting, but as I mentioned before, you go through a certain amount of days, and storyline events would only happen once in a while. By once in a while I mean about every month or so. All you get to fill the gap is relationship-making dialogue that doesn't even contribute to the storyline. So if you add up all the storyline events together I bet it wouldn't even be 3 hours long. The characters are quite likable and none of them are annoying. Some may find the story to be more interesting if you're in to mythology and that stuff.

Graphics 7 / 10
Navigation outside of Tartarus is no longer 3-D and you simply move a cursor on a image with 2-d sprites. Tartarus exploration and some storyline events are still kept as 3-D. The effects of each attack look very "simple". The graphics weren't too bad, but you could easily tell they weren't exactly pushed to the limits of the PSP console.

Sound 7 / 10
There's nothing exactly special with the sound track compared to other JRPGs and most tracks are quite catchy though I didn't find any of them to be quite "significant". The voice acting is done quite well, though there is no option to switch to Japanese voices. There's not much to comment on about the sound effects.

Final Rating (average)7.625 rounded to 8/10
Whether you like the game or not may be simply what you consider the most first . For me I prioritize gameplay first before anything else, though it may be different for people who play to mainly enjoy the storyline, which is the weakest part of the game. Of course, the fact that it's portable is the best reason to get the game.

Rating:   4.0 - Great

Product Release: Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 Portable (US, 07/06/10)

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