Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 FES - PlayStation 2
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98 of 107 people found the following review helpful
I was impatient with Persona 3. I got it even before Fes came out when all us fans still thought there was no way in hell Atlus was going to ship it over to the states. However we signed a petition,rallied a bunch of team spirit, and miraculously Atlus took our whining as a valid point. Sure they likely did it because they knew they could make more money but at $29.99 this game is very much a steal! All I have to say is thank you Atlus.

Honestly I'll start by saying this rpg is not for everyone. If for example you hate dating sims, destest Japanese culture, or prefer more traditional RPGS that include knights,barbarains,dragons, fair damsels, and scantily clad spell casting elf babes Persona 3 is not for you. I do not say this to sound snutty or elite I'm just warning you so you know what you are getting into.

However if you are open minded to heavy social interactions in rpgs, a great modern day story in which our world is threatened by demonic shadows of ill intent that come out during a hidden 13th hour, and a group of teenagers that use their inner psyches to battle for the fate of mankind while trying to keep up with their responsibilities tied to high school life you will love this improved Persona 3 dearly.

As much as I want to describe evokers, Apathy syndrome, fusing cards to create new personas, strengthening social links to make your Arcana types more powerful, and running around in the labyrinth of Tartarus which oddly enough is your High School during the day time I think it is more important to discuss what is new in Fes. I assume most of you have at least researched the original title so I will not waste your time going over what has already been covered.

If you think "The Answer" segment with Aegis is the only thing new about FES you are mistaken. "The journey" has an added hard mode, more ways to increase your social links, a weapon/persona forging system,more interactivity amongst your SEES comrades,additional quests, and though it may seem like a trivial detail everyone will change their clothes throughout the year. Getting the sexy costumes for the female heroines is a guilty pleasure if you are into that sort of thing. (Maid wear and swim suits anyone?) and if you are a girl playing you'll get a giggle out of dressing down the guys too. If anything at least P3 fes does not descriminate against either gender. No feminists will have the excuse to wail about burning bras here. The female characters have alot of depth,personality, and lovable quirks and there's so much more to them than looks alone. The same thing can be said for the guys. You'll take to Junpei's class clown antics and Akihiko's fighting spirit in no time flat. I must say this is one of the only RPGS I played in which I liked every character and none of the cast felt like over blown comic relief or tacky add-ons. The endearing heroes/heroines in P3 Fes will make you wish Final Fantasy as a series still cared about giving their characters heart and soul instead of just marketing them to be "cool" as shallow gimmicks.

While the Jorney is easier due to all the additional ways you have of balancing normal adolescent life with fighting shadows "The Answer" is automatically on hard mode. For those of you that do not mind a challenge you'll still enjoy the same old level grinding but if you are a casual gamer it can get tedious. That said getting more revelations about the first game will be worth the drudgery to most of us. Because "The Answer" ditches social links and focuses more on combating your way through the new dungeon called the abyss of time the only conversations you'll see are between the SEES members themselves as they discuss how they feel about where their lives are heading after the events in the journey. Aegis takes the role as the lead so at the very least she has acess to more then one Persona and can enter the velvet room.

By now if what I said has intrigued you Fes is likely worth your dollar. There are alot of less fun RPGS out there going for higher prices so right now Fes is a win/win situation.


1. Taking Elisabeth for dates outside the velvet room.

2. Walking the dog to up your social links

3. More social links to estabalish.

4. P3 fans get more answers and more closure

5. Getting revealing or outlandish costumes for each character

6. Hard mode for those that thought the original was too easy.

7. Metis is a good new character both as an antagonist and an ally.

8. Fuuka gets more love

9. More quests (One which deals with Chidori)

10. Great translation and voice overs

11. Addition of classic Persona battle songs in "The Answer"

12. Good music that fits the game. (By this I mean the music would be weird or abyssmally bad if not in P3 but it compliments this type of adventure perfectly.)

13. Very affordable


1. Gameplay is mostly unchanged

2. The Answer is nothing more then a difficult story driven dungeon hack.

3. Tartarus and the abyss of time get very repetitive. It would have been nicer if more missions took place outside the main dungeons or there were more enviorment types.

4. Those not open minded to modern Japanese culture may feel alienated.

5. Atlus could have waited so we only had to buy this version instead of belting out money for two versions of essentially the same game. Hopefully Persona 4 will come to us finished the first time. If they later release P4 fes I'll be irrate.

6. The game is very linear (especially if you've romped around in the wide open spaces of Dragon Warrior 8 or Final Fantasy 12)

7. Likely the copies are limited so snatch it soon or forever be in gamer purgatory. (Atlus always has limited copies. What gives?)

8. To clarify evokers are not real guns but the imagery of putting a gun like object to ones head and pulling the trigger to summon a persona is still risque. No problem for gamers with a good grip on reality but if you are a parent considering this a purchase be sure your teenager or child is firmly rooted in common sense before you get them P3 fes. Overall it is not nearly as violent or vulgar as God of War or GTA San Andreas however.
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49 of 52 people found the following review helpful
Last year's Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 managed to come out of nowhere and end up being one of the best RPG's to ever grace the PS2. Now, Atlus has unleashed this director's cut of sorts of the game, entitled Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 FES. The game is broken up into two separate parts, entitled The Journey and The Answer. The Journey is pretty much the original game with many noticable tweaks, enhancements, and new features; while The Answer takes place after the events of the original title. The game retains the look of the original, and it still looks good; while the dialogue, story, and characters are memorable as ever as well. Even if you have played through the original title, FES warrants your attention because of the ton of new content, and The Answer mode offers up more replayability. Not to mention that given the bargain price tag, this game is basically a steal, even if you already own and have played through the original. Let it be known though that the game does offer quite a bit of challenge amongst all the variety offered. Casual gamers or those who don't spend much time with RPG's are not going to get the most out of the game, where as more devoted RPG'ers or fans of the series will find much to love here. All in all, regardless of whether or not you played the original version of the game, Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 FES is a spectacular new vision of an already great RPG, and for old and new fans and RPG gamers alike, this game is a more than worthy pick up.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on May 24, 2008
I come from the perspective that this is the first Persona or SHin Megami Tensei game that I have ever looked at, intrigued by previous reviews for Persona 3 and the $30 starting price. I will say that I have gotten my money's worth of entertainment in the last month.
In brief, without giving too much of the plot away, Persona 3 is about a group of Japanese high school students with special powers who are out to save the world from monsters. Yeah, that sounds really cheesy, but I found myself sucked into the complexity of the plot. Characters that originally seemed one dimensional, due to the length of the game, become very multidimensional (and there are a good number of characters, both to command and to charm). You advance in the game basically two ways - Sim dating/friendship style interactions, and dungeon (in this case, tower) crawling. Although the game is fairly linear, there is quite a bit of strategy in maxing your social interactions and creating new personas (the things you summon to fight, which apparently there are 170-ish of).
FES is the current updated edition of the game, which includes the answer, a straight dungeon crawl coda to the end of the main part, the journey.

Here are some things to keep in mind:
This game is loooooooong, and there are not a lot of shortcuts that I can see. Long as approximately 70 hours of game time, possibly 100, depending on what you do. And this game is not donkey kong- it is not satisfying in little time bites. So it's a time commitment, be aware before you start and get hooked.

The whole using the fake gun to your head to summon the personas some may find objectionable, though you basically do not notice it after a few hours of playing.
In addition, many of the personas use religious imagery from most of the major world religions, living and dead - so some may find that objectionable as well.
I will have to say that the sex and violence is kept to a minimum in general - there is teen dating and suggestive dialogue, but not overt teen sex, and minimum blood and gore.
It is a combo of dungeon crawl and heavy social RPG interaction, so if you don't like that...

I personally loved this game, and look forward to the US release of persona 4.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on August 1, 2008
I can't take JRPGs. Not usually. The big eyes plastered to childish bodies. The lengthy, cryptic, expositions. The cookie-cutter characters. The sick-making adorableness. The endless, pointless, series of soul crushing random encounters...

But I keep trying. I know there must be something I'm missing because I can't get past my personal tastes (as impeccable as they are) as a Western adult PC gamer whose interests run towards Western RPGs when they're not preoccupied with historical simulations and wargames. Heck, it took me a decade to break down and even buy a console but I was ultimately glad for it.

And once again my resolve, or lack thereof, has paid off. Take one part X-Com, the blending of turn-based tactical combat on unpredictable/dangerous terrain with a highly integrated strategic component, and one part Scooby-Doo. That's to my atypical, and slightly disfunctional, brain what Persona 3 FES is.

It's an extended series of adventures for the Scooby Gang, or this Japanese version thereof, as they explore a mysterious world beyond ours by night (the Dark Hour's dungeon crawl) and go to school by day.

The tactical and strategic interplay of Persona 3 FES is fairly deep. It trades X-Com's map movements and military style tactics and UN members needing placating for chosing which friends to make in the Real World and, as you learn about them, empowering those aspects of your own mind related to them called Personas. As other reviewers have noted the whole stable of personas is massive and they're highly customizable using fusions and having other elements in hand, or timing them right, when they're done. The single most important factor in how powerful a given persona will be is driven by social ties.

Now I'm not going to say you don't give up a certain ambience of having your own constructable base, as in X-Com, or the ability to play through the loss of individuals on your team, as in X-Com, or the sheer attraction of commanding an elite squad of commandos.

What you gain are the story oriented interactions of more detailed NPCs and a wealth of little details and a whole setting that changes as time goes on. It's so rich with story elements, most of which are not foisted on you in classic CRPG style, that you will have to replay several times and do different things to even see a fraction of what the daytime world has to offer.

You can find yourself building up personal stats that, in turn, offer you access to different elements of the game. Most commonly these are new NPC Social contacts. who in turn empower the fusing of persona-spirits matching their own Tarot suit. You might find elements that build up a persona's stats (combat oriented compared to your more social oriented stats - they exist in tandem, not overlapping), have totally random effects, offer items to improve social standings with other characters, provide you with new items and much more.

Each of the many NPC Social links has a whole backstory behind it that gets fleshed out as time goes on. Some seem to intersect the main story a bit while others have nothing to do with it.

The strategy of figuring how best to spend your limited time in one day and to take advantage of all that's offered, or even finding it (and in some cases learning schedules for certain events - like what days a week certain films are shown or when the karaoke bar is open) is a big concern.

Driving all of this is the background knowledge of a couple daunting threats that loom on the calendar: The Full Moon will spawn uberbosses you need to defeat to progress. You have to have the strength to handle these things which you gain both by grinding in the dungeon as well as building up social ties to empower your combatant personas. Possibly more scary: Mid-terms and finals!

I'm really not the type who goes for JRPGs but the mix of strategic, tactical, storytelling and freedom to make some of your own choices along with the sheer wealth of options to explore overwhelms having to live in a Japanese High School by day and beat on random encounters by night. My mind's as much on the underlaying strategic consequences of what I'm doing as the candylike graphics and storytelling icing.

And, for better or worse, I'm kind liking that too. "Oh, Stupei! You didn't really say that did you?!"
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 31, 2008
No words can really explain exactly how this game plays. I was turned off by many gaming websites describing this as a dating sim crossed with a traditional dungeon crawler... this description is selling the game infinitely short! Here we see a game where the whole is truly much greater than the sum of its parts. The story is engaging - the characters are believable (or as believable as any crazy Japanese RPG on the market) - and the whole package comes together spectacularly. I have had the game only two days and have already sunk 8-ish hours into it... a lot for me.
The challenge level is acceptable so far - I just unlocked the second teer of the main dungeon and I have not died or "game-overed" yet. For those of you who like aggravatingly difficult RPGs... FES has a "Hard" mode which you can play... although in this mode, I fear gameplay may truly crawl.
See... the one tiny problem so far is that the game just moves too slowly... and I'm playing on easy! Perhaps if there were a way to plan your schedule out in advance for a week and then simulate the whole week at once... this might help to dull the monotony of day-to-day management. This flaw is not a large one however, and truth be told, detracts very little from the allure of the game
This game comes highly recommended.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on April 10, 2012
downloading now (4 gigabytes!) but for ten dollars this seems like a good deal so if you have a ps3 get it on PSn (if you have internet) if not this is always here :)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 14, 2008
Being someone who has personally played through Persona 3 (the original) and Persona 3 FES (the remake), I can honestly say that buying the FES version was definitely worth it. It has everything the original had, but with so much more added! More anime cut scenes which help move the story along as well as extra elements within the game to keep yourself occupied. I enjoyed taking the dog on walks with a friend and seeing what event would take place depending on the friend you take. I also enjoyed the dating sim element within the game and wish they made more games that let you go on dates like that. The power of love strengthens you in battle. I regret getting the original when this one was so much better.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 20, 2009
When you're married, working a full time job, a homeowner, etc., it's nearly impossible to find the time to complete a long, complicated RPG. It's so difficult, in fact, that I haven't beaten a RPG of over 40 hours in length since finishing college a half-decade ago. So, you can imagine my surprise when I looked at my save and found that I have put in over 100 hours to finish this game - actually, probably quite a more than 100 hours if the lost time due to dying and reading FAQs was accounted for. This game is just that good.

The social link (dating) system is probably my favorite part of the game, although the game's overall plot is excellent as well. The combat system is pretty mediocre, but luckily a lot of combat can be avoided because you can see the enemies in the dungeon (Tartarus) in much the same way that you can see enemies in Chrono Trigger. The biggest downside to the game, in my opinion, is the often long periods between save points. This is especially problematic before the big full moon bosses; they have a lot of lead-up story and no save points right before them. If you die, you're stuck repeating a whole lot of plot before you get to the battle again. This makes the game difficult to play if you can't dedicate a good hour to it.

Still, it's probably the best RPG I've played on the PS2 aside from Disgaea (which is really an SRPG). And it's considerably more enjoyable than any of the RPGs I've played thus far on the PS3 or 360.
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17 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on October 25, 2009
Well, this is my first exposure to the Shin Megami Tensei series, and I must say that I find this game is pretty different from traditional RPGS, at least in terms of gameplay. Being as this is my first Shin Megami Tensei game, I won't be comparing this to others in the series. So, on to the review!

Graphics (score 8/10): Graphics aren't bad. They're not as spectacular that they could be for the PS2 but I've never really been one to nitpick over graphics. The art style is very anime-ish, so if you don't like that, beware. I really like that style, though, so it was not a problem for me.

Music (score 7/10): Well, how much you like this music will depend on how much you like Rap and J-pop with nonsensical lyrics. I'm not really fond of it, but neither do I hate it, so I was pretty neutral towards the music. The thing that really bugs me, though, is that the songs start to become really repetitive after awhile. Part of this is due to the fact that there aren't many locations in the game, so you hear that location's song a lot. The music does change up as you progress past certain points in the game, but it does little to alleviate the feeling of "song overload". There IS voice acting, and it is very good. So, no complaints there.

Characters (score 9/10): Well, the main characters (aside from your avatar character, which I'll get to later) are very well developed, and the NPCs even have very good character development. Everyone has great character depth and feels like they could be a real person, with real personalities. However, your main character is a strange anomaly in a game filled with deep personality characterizations. He doesn't even have a default name (let's call him Minato for the purposes of this review), nor does he possess a personality of any kind. Yep, it's another "silent protagonist"- a tired RPG convention that I'm frankly getting sick of. I mean, when Dragon Quest VIII did it, it was pushing it, but now I'm just sick of it. Main characters are just not memorable or likeable when they are mute. Well, glad I got that out of my system. At least the other characters make up for it. Another thing of interest, the social link system has you talking to various NPCs, which is basically a dating/friendship sim. Answering "correctly" for each person will increase your social link strength and benefit your Personas (which are monsters you can summon to aid you in battle). I must say that after playing through this, I'm starting to feel that Minato is either a social whore or a sociopath. You spend all your time simply choosing whatever answer will please the person you're currently with, even if it blatantly contradicts what you just said to another person. Minato is basically manipulating these people for his own gain (the Personas' strength) just like a sociopath. And the way that he just gives whatever answers will please people is kinda whore-ish. If you think about it that way while you're playing, it's hilarious. I would've liked the ability to choose whatever answer I want without being penalized (if you choose wrongly, you won't strengthen the social link and power up your personas). Although I suppose the game developers had to give you some incentive to talk to people, otherwise their dating/friendship sim would've been completely worthless. Anyway, I knock a point off for Minato's lack of personality.

Story (score 9/10): The story itself is very interesting. It involves a bunch of Japanese High School students discovering that there is a special extra hour in the night called the "Dark Hour" that most people do not experience, and that there are monsters that come out during this time called Shadows. And, of course, only they have the power to fight the Shadows. The story just evolves from there, and is very entertaining. I also liked the themes of the story, which include elements of Jungian psychology, various philosophies, suicide and mortality, responsibility, and even a little bit of existentialism. On the negative side, while I love the story itself, the pacing could've been better. I really complain about this more in the gameplay section (and knock points off the score there), but I'll make mention of it here. You must wade through bunches of only mildly interesting filler consisting of just going to school and talking to people before relevant portions of the story are revealed. If only the pacing of the story was better, this game could've been that much more enjoyable.

Battle System (score 8/10): Well, battles are turn-based, which I like. The party is AI-controlled. I would've preferred to control them myself, but their AI is pretty darn good, so hat's off to the game developers. I do wish they had replaced irritating magic names like "Agi" and "Bufu" with simple to understand thing like "Fire" and "Ice". I don't see why they couldn't; every other RPG has already done this and it is very helpful. You can see enemies on-screen, which is also pretty cool (no random encounters here! ...not that I really mind random encounters). Anyway, there's not much to else to say here.

Gameplay (score 6/10): This is a bit of a catch-all category for me. Well, Persona 3 has several aspects which normally spell doom for an RPG: randomly generated dungeon floors (I'm not a fan of these), a time-based gameplay system (this game operates on a "day by day" system, where time passes in a day by entering certain locations and choosing to "spend time" with people), AI-controlled party members, being limited to a single town/dungeon for the duration of the game, and a dating/friendship sim that constitutes a huge portion of gameplay. Sounds like a recipe for disaster, doesn't it? Surprisingly, it isn't as terrible as I thought it would be, but it's still bad. That's right, you heard me. First, let's discuss the good points:

The randomly generated floors of the dungeon aren't too difficult to navigate, so that's good. The AI of your party is pretty good, especially compared to other games, like Kingdom Hearts (in which your A.I.-controlled party members are idiots). The dating/friendship sim isn't too bad since the individual stories of the NPCs are pretty interesting.

Now, having gotten the good points out of the way, let's discuss the bad:

I must say that this game is really tedious and there is a feeling of excessive grinding throughout (which I despise). I mean, all RPGs have a little grinding (and I love RPGs) but this is just ridiculous. You spend most of your time courting various "friends" in the ONE town of the game and the other half of your time is spent grinding through the ONE dungeon in this game. So, you see how this can get tedious after awhile (and this game is long!). I kind of wish they had cut out 70% of the grind and just made it a shorter game because the pacing feels like your crawling along. If you've ever wondered why other RPGs have teenagers unrealistically skipping school and traveling across the world, it's because doing it the realistic way by having them attend school every day (like Persona 3) is tedious as all heck. I sort of felt like I was going stir crazy after awhile from being stuck in the same repetitive locations--the couple times that the characters went on vacation to somewhere new I was like--OMG! Something different!!! Unfortunately, the vast majority of your time is spent in that one town or that one dungeon. Despite its flaws, strangely, I still found this game to be fun, but it just doesn't merit a higher score in this section. There is one really good thing that would make you want to replay this game--there's a new game plus option which allows you to keep all your weapons, items, Personas in the compendium, money, and your main character's level. So, if you play it again, you can breeze right through (well, sort of, it still takes a long time). I'd probably enjoy this game much more on the second play-through since the majority of the grind is already done.

Overall (score 7/10): NOTE this score is not an average; it's my subjective overall score. I feel so conflicted about this game; on the one hand, it's tedious and irritating to wade through all the dreck to get to the interesting bits of story, but on the other hand, the game is oddly compelling and enjoyable to play in spurts. In fact, I think this game would have been much better if it were shorter. I don't normally say things like that, but if they had cut out some of the calendar days so that the game takes place over half a year instead of a full year (so that the game concludes in 50 hours instead of 100+), then maybe it wouldn't have felt so tedious and grinding. They could've cut out some of the filler and more concisely told their story, which would have made this game amazing. Still, I enjoyed this game enough to try playing other games in the series. However, I honestly can't decide whether I should recommend this game or not. This game seems to be rather hit or miss for people, so I suppose the best way to know whether or not you will like this game is to just rent it or buy it, and just see for yourself.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 7, 2008
I have played through dozens of turn-based RPG's and Persona 3 is one of the best. It's rare for me to finish a game and say, "I'm going to play this again as soon as I can!"

From the first cut scene you'll be hooked asking yourself what is going on? Unlike many games, you have one school year to complete your quest and almost everything you do, takes up time. During the day, you attend school and spend time doing activities; but at night, you journey to a labyrinth called Tartarus to wage war against beings called shadows that feed on human flesh. To assist you in battle, you can summon "personas" that are managed by "social links" which you achieve by establishing and creating friendship bonds with fellow students. As a student, you have to improve abilities like courage, charisma, and even academics to be able to talk to certain individuals. As a warrior, you must find the answer to stop the shadows before life as you know it ceases to exist.

ONE GAME IS NOT ENOUGH IN THIS PACKAGE, there is a second journey called The Answer which picks up where the first one leaves off. It is similar but much harder. It's not as long but it's almost as much fun as the original.

Overall an awesome package at a very low price and a must own for any fan of RPG's.
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