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Platform: Sony PSP|Edition: Standard|Change
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on July 9, 2010
Something about myself:
I wouldn't claim myself a long time Persona fan, but ever since I played Persona 4 I fall in love with this series and ATLUS. They made some nice quality games, especially the SMT series.
It is not exaggerating to say that P4 is probably one of the best RPG games made for PS2. Throughout the 25 some years gaming experiences, I could hardly remember any game can easily sink me 100+ hours, and P4 and P3 FES are some of them.

Enough of the history, let's get to the point:
Most people looking at this item would probably heard or have played Persona 3/P3 FES/P4 before, so they have a general understanding of the game already, I think ATLUS made a wise decision to port the P3 onto the PSP.
When I was playing P4 I had the thought, "what if I could play this game on my PSP, that would be awesome!", now it is like my dream come true :)

After playing through P4 three times, I bought P3 FES, and man you gotta say that P4 is much more polished compare to P3/P3FES. It took me a while to get used to the combat system, and if you already get used to P4, you wouldn't really like some of the ways they made P3. Granted, the story of P3 is great.

Let's look at some of the major improvements they made for P3P:

1. Ability to select a Female MC. After playing another two times through P3FES, one would love to be able to experience some alternative plots.
2. There are four Persona from P4.
3. Battle system from P4. Easy to do "1 more" but no more turn loss if not in "Dizzy" status.
4. Party members will not get tired in Tartaros (but you will get tired in next day), fortunately we can buy some item to cure tired.
5. When you go to the mall at night, once you return to your dorm you will no longer have the time slot to study, instead you go directly to the next day.
6. There are part time jobs which will increase multiple MC stats just like P4.
7. Shrine function changed, Inari will copy skill card only.
8. One thing I like a lot is the Skill cards added to P3P, with these cards you can easily transfer the skills onto other personas, also easy to make all-around personas for MC. (Four-hit all Tam Lin anyone? :)
9. Yes, New costumes! Just like the first reviewer said, new constumes seems rather easier to get. I love the MShe's sweater.
10.New S-links for female MC.
11.New difficulties - Beginner and Maniac (+ usual Easy, Normal and Hard)
12.Theo, the New male Velvet room guide for female MC
13.Fixed melee weapon. 1 hand sword for male MC and naginata for female MC (both are slash type attack).
14.Another important change is that Fusion spells are now items - no need to have Persona. But you have to get them via request, event or exchange gems. This has its pros and cons.
15.Police station will handle accessory as well (Be Blue V is now healing shop to cure tired status), I actually like this change, since we have the streamline equipment screem just like P4, it is much much easier to buy and sell equipments for our party.
16.New "rescue missing person" quest.
17.S-links will be no longer become Reverse by leave it for long time - but you can via choose wrong answers.
18.New "Paradigm Door" a.k.a Vision Quest. Fight all the full moon bosses + extra special battle to get prize. Some people dislike P3P, because they say P3P didn't port everything from P3FES. well, the Paradigm door surves the "The Answer", and playing as Aigis or playing as female MC doesn't make too much difference to me.

Well, that's about it. If you are like me that loves Persona series, you will definitely want to pick this up. My PSP has sit there for two years without anything worth to play, but this will definitely make full use of it again!
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on July 8, 2010
As a die hard Persona fan, I probably would have wound up getting this even if they hadn't made any changes. That said, they took an already awesome game and made it even better. The best known new feature is, of course, the gender selection option at the beginning of the game. I'm currently partway through my first run as the female protagonist and really enjoying the new social link options--a couple are still the same, but many of them so far are with characters that either didn't exist, or you didn't have any links with. Also, and this might just be because I'm a girl and projecting onto our heroine, the female protagonist is easier to relate to and seems to have a bit more personality. Along with selecting your character's gender, you can also select the gender of Igor's assistant in the Velvet Room--I must say, Theodore is much less creepy than Elizabeth.
The combat system has also been tweaked. If you've played Persona 4, you'll find that the system is almost identical--you have more tactical options (including direct commands) and you can recover and attack in the same round. Unfortunately, it also means that you can no longer get freebie healing by going back to the base of Tartarus. This is more than made up for the fact that you can now return directly to whatever floor you left, instead of being limited the the teleporter levels. You no longer have to grind through 12 or 13 floors before you can save all your hard work.
Daytime activities have are more dating sim-like and a few new things have been added. You can now instantly move to another place on the map (like in Persona 4) with the press of a button, and instead of running around everywhere, you have a cursor. I'm assuming the latter is because it's a handheld and doesn't have as much processing power. The graphics are clearer in cut scenes and stills and combat graphics are comparable to the original PS2 (a teensy bit pixelly, but again, I'm assuming that's a limitation of the PSP).
There's also cute little things, like the fact that that the interface is pink for the female protagonist. Also, I'm not sure if it's just where I've gotten the hang of things, but some of the specialty costumes appear to be a bit easier to get. By the second full moon, you can acquire both the protagonist's winter outfit (as armor) and the "battle panties." The Akihiko Tuxedo (butler costume) also becomes available.
All in all, worth it both for the veteran Persona player, and the noob.
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on July 26, 2010
Persona 3 Portable is third version and second update of Persona 3 to hit the stores. If you've bought either one or both of the previous versions and want to know if it's worth buying again, I'd say sure. Make no mistakes; the addition of a female protagonist doesn't drastically change the main storyline (any changes to it are akin to the ones made to the Journey of P3: FES), but that- along with the changes to the core game play- does make it a blast to play or replay. The downgrades made to the game to fit it on the PSP are balanced out by some nice improvements to make P3P more streamlined and polished than ever.

If you haven't played any of the previous versions of P3, you might wonder if it's really worth re-releasing it twice in less than three years. From the description, it sounds like pretty much any other RPG you might find out there. You play as a teenage orphan who moves back to the place where he or she was born only to find it in danger from a group of mysterious enemies called Shadows. Only you, along with a group of dormmates, can save the city with your special power, the power of Persona. Even with its modern setting, the plot sounds a bit cliché, and it is to a certain extent, but its overall charm and presentation make it shine.

Before you get into P3, you should know that it's definitely not a game for everyone. The evokers and personas based on all world religions make the game controversial enough to deserve its M rating even if it is on the lighter side as far as SMT games go (P3 is part of an SMT spin-off series).

It's also a dungeon crawler. The game does a nice job of breaking the game's main dungeon, Tartarus, down into several manageable parts, but it can still be a bit of a slog, even if it is much better than it was before. You still have to climb over 250 floors of this Tower of Demise throughout the course of the year and fight shadows along the way (you can see, attack, and avoid them; there are no random battles in this game). It's still a tad on the bland side design-wise, but the battle system was upgraded a la Persona 4, letting you take direct control of your teammates rather than just the MC. For those who actually appreciated the AI, it's still pretty decent in this version, but there are fewer tactics options to choose from, and at some point, you will have to take control of your party to make up for those losses.

Every ten or fifteen floors, you will have to fight a boss or group of mini-bosses. While you had to marathon through each little group of floors in the original P3 before you could reach a point to record your progress and teleport back to the entrance, in P3P, you can warp out of the labyrinth at any floor and resume from where you left off by checking the main gate. Your party doesn't get tired (a state where they weren't as effective in battle and would return to the dorms when you got back to the entrance in P3 and P3: FES) until you leave Tartarus either, so you can stay as long as you want now and even climb as far as you can in a given month in one go.

In addition, P3 is a Japanese RPG in every sense of the word, complete with anime-style graphics, a setting in modern-day Japan, and Japanese honorifics to hammer in the point that yes, this game takes place outside of the US. While you climb the Tartarus by night, you spend your days as a normal Japanese high school student. You have to study, make friends, and work to become braver and more charming by playing through the social sim portion of the game.

This is where P3's main draw comes into play: while the main story and goal are as linear as they are in most JRPGs, you get total freedom over what you want to do with your character for a year of their life. You can go to Tartarus whenever you want to and hang out with any of the 19 different people you can forge social links with at your leisure. While some of the characters involved in each link stay the same for both the male and female protagonist, many of them are unique to one gender, and several change in tone depending on which protagonist you choose. Just a note: the female's route has social links for all of the main characters, which develop them a bit better, and they are spread out a bit more evenly than the one's in the male's route, making them easier to max. While the female route is touted as being for "advanced players only", it seems geared for beginning players who might be a bit overwhelmed with the game system as well as P3 vets.

These social links also factor into the RPG elements of the game. Your character is unique in that he or she can switch between multiple personas, which you get by either exploring Tartarus or fusing the ones you have together to make stronger ones. Your social links give extra experience to fused personas of the same arcana, letting them level up and learn new skills without going into battle. These new personas can also inherit skills from their "parents", and yes, it's still a bit of a pain to get the exact skills you want to carry over during fusion. Fortunately, if you get these personas to a high enough level, they drop Skill Cards that let you teach a specific skill of theirs to any persona you want. This is new to this version of P3, and believe me: it makes fusion less of a hassle than it was before.

The other changes made to the game are meant to make it fit on the PSP. Unfortunately, this means that all of the original's anime cut-scenes are now gone, and you don't get to see full sized character models outside of Tartarus. You use a cursor to move around Iwatodai, which makes getting from place to place shorter and less tedious, so it's a decent trade-off there. Event scenes are now told visual novel-style with just character portraits, 2D backgrounds, and sound effects to convey the plot. It works for the most part once you get used to it, but some scenes aren't quite as effective as they were in the earlier versions. All of the original voice acting is still there, though, which is great for the most part (many of the main characters have excellent voice actors) but can be a bit... less so in others. It's still the same Persona 3 experience as before, just made to have more reasonable loading times.

Speaking of things taking less time, P3P gives you the option of installing some of the game's data onto your memory stick to reduce load times. Take my advice and make the space for it, especially if you have firmware above version 6.20 installed.

Overall, Persona 3 Portable is a great game and addition the PSP's library. The updates and new female protagonist make it a worthwhile purchase for any Persona 3 veteran, as long as they don't expect a major plot overhaul, and those same changes make it more accessible to newcomers to the series than ever. If you're an RPG-lover with a PSP who doesn't mind some of the game's quirks, then you shouldn't miss this version of Persona 3.
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on June 7, 2011
I am not your typical Persona Portable reviewer. I almost didn't buy this game. I never played any Persona game before, and I really wanted to try one with all the rave reviews these games recieved, but was put off by the negative comments about the lack of anime cutscenes, saying I wasn't going to get a good experience from this alone. But I decided what the hell and tried it anyways! And I am seriously glad I did!

I started as the female character (which a lot of Persona die-hards may slap me for) because hell, I am a girl, and I relate to girl characters better! From the minute I started playing this I couldn't stop, seriously I played the entire game in about 2 weeks, not to say it was easy... I just had no life!(and serious hand cramps haha) That is how fun this game is. The characters and story are engrossing, I really felt like I was part of the story! The voice actors really sold the story, not having the cutscenes to work with they really nailed their performances!

One thing I loved about this game was the two very different game styles. The first being the normal school life, where you go to class and work on your Social Links. For those of you new to the series, you can become friends with people and form a bond with them that helps out in the combat (get to that later)and that made the story really personal and unique. I had a huge blast trying to seduce Akihiko cause let's face it, he's a pretty fine catch! ;)

The second part of this game is the "Dark Hour" Which I won't get into too much because the plot has been discussed on plenty of other reviews. I am normally not a huge level grinder but I found the combat simple and fun. There was enough strategy to keep you interested and challenged, but I didn't feel overwhelmed with stats and items. Some people like serious customization in weapons but that is just not really for me.

My only complaint would have to be...

*********************POSSIBLE SPOILER ALERT************************************

The ending... at first I thought it was a great but tragic ending. But after playing the game I realized that there was more in the original, an add on called The Answer. I would have really really really liked to see that on the Portable version as well, to get some more conclusion to this almost perfect game! Especially with the female perspective it would have been very interesting to see. Oh well I can't always get what I want!

**********************END SPOILER ALERT*****************************************

Well that's enough of my rambling! To sum it up I would recommend this to anyone who is a fan of RPG's and anime.

Possible side effects of Persona 3 Portable include but are not limited to:

*Hand Cramps
*Lack of sleep
*Withdrawal from friends and family
*Apathy Syndrome
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VINE VOICEon July 25, 2014
I've been gaming for decades and I can honestly say that no remake has polarized me to the extent of P3P. I love and hate this game so much.

Let me preface, before you read any further, if you have never played any iteration of Persona 3 and are looking for a genre-bending, unique RPG with an amazing story and hours of gameplay... Buy this game! Do it now, and you will not regret it.

If you have played Persona 3 and/or Persona 3 FES on the PS2, keep reading.

I love essentially everything about Persona 3 on the PS2. The animated cut-scenes are a phenomenal way to tell the story and set the tone for the game. Running around the town and the school, talking to people and hanging out, building social links etc. is a ton of fun and breaks up the dungeon crawling. Play Persona 3 (or 4) enough and you'll actually begin to think you went to high school in Japan. Graphically, Persona 3 still holds up great! I love the style! Music is outstanding and varied.

These are also the reasons I hate Persona 3 Portable.

Beautiful animated cut-scenes have been replaced with moving stills and in-game cut-scenes. The intro loses so much of the ambience and the tension in the scene where the first shadow is on the roof is all but gone. Really disappointing.

Running around town and the school is now replaced with an isometric map and sprites representing people. All this is navigated in point and click fashion. Yeah, it speeds things up a bit, but it also really takes you out of the game.

Graphically the game has been downgraded to PSOne quality. Smooth models are now aliased and very rough. It's just all together a shame. Graphics aren't everything, but when I've spent countless hours playing the PS2 versions and remember exactly how they look, I just can't overcome the downgrade in image quality.

Voice acting and soundtrack have remained largely the same.

"What's the problem then?? Just don't play it!", you're probably shouting at your screen right now. Well, the problem is that they made so many improvements to gameplay and mechanics and they added several new things (Stat cards and the female protagonist to name only a couple) that this is, in many ways, the definitive version of the game.

It is absolutely maddening! I want to play the game and enjoy it, and I do enjoy all the added features and "fixes" however, there's this constant nagging in my gut because I know the game should look better than this and I know that this should be a gorgeous cut-scene instead of low-poly models acting it out.

In summation, if you've never played the PS2 titles, don't. Play this instead and you'll (most likely) love it and have no idea what you're missing. If you've played the other versions, just know that while this will exceed your expectations in many regards, you'll definitely feel that some areas have been severely watered down to accommodate the limited UMD size/PSP hardware. I really wish they would've released this as a digital only to eliminate the size constraints, or held off until the Vita, because P4 Golden is a masterpiece and only serves to make you feel worse about P3P because you know what it COULD'VE been.
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VINE VOICEon July 17, 2013
I thought my review might be of some use as I'm not a gigantic fan of Japanese RPGs, and probably most people aware of this game or writing reviews for it are. I love Sakaguchi's games...the Final Fantasy series, Lost Odyssey, Chrono Trigger. I like a lot of Nintendo's RPGs-the Mario RPG/Paper Mario/Mario & Luigi games. But that's about it. I don't like Disgea, don't like Dark Souls, nor `Tales', nor Final Fantasy Tactics, etc. I sometimes go years between Japanese RPG releases that I care about.

So I almost skipped Persona 3. It sounded like an "off brand", probably overly complicated, boring (to me) game...I mean it has a focus on `relationships' between characters, and I despise the "talking to the villagers" part of an RPG. I just figured it would be another game hyped by hardcore JRPG players that I end up not being able to stand. The Giant Bomb guys playing through Persona 4 is one of the few reasons I gave it a shot....and I'm glad I did.

Under the surface, the game really has much of the familiar (in a good way) Japanese RPG structure. You've got your dungeons, your NPCs to talk to, your equipment upgrades, your levels and magic and stats. Despite a lot of changes-some superficial, some not-it's still very much a traditional Japanese RPG in some respects, and I like that. The game also does a great job introducing elements of its gameplay over time. It eases you into it, as the best games do, so that if you can play a Final Fantasy or a Mario & Luigi, you'll have no problem understanding this either. They do a great job of that.

Where the game differs most is that instead of exploring a big world, going from town to town, it mostly takes place in one city, in a set number of locations. One of the big aspects to the game is actually time management. Every day that passes gives you the opportunity to do a limited number of things, and basically every month ends with a boss battle. So there fun and a bit of panic trying to figure out what of the many things you can do to do. There are a set number of characters you can have `relationships' with-most, but not all are also members of your group/party that you take into battle. These characters may ask you out after school, or they may be in a hallway or the like with an explanation point over their heads, etc. There are 10 levels to each relationship, and each character has a story associated with them that's generally pretty interesting. Every time the relationship levels up, you get extra experience points when `fusing' personas...okay, all that sounds complicated, but it's really not in the game (and the game explains it all very well as you go along).

Basically personas are kind of like summons in Final Fantasy...basically all magic in the game is being done by a persona (though effectively it's no different than casting magic in other JPRGs). Every playable character in the game has one, except your protagonist who can use a ton of different personas. You can combine peronas together to make other, more powerful ones, and when you do, the persona gets extra experience points if you have levels in the relationship corresponding to that persona...which again all sounds complicated when I write it out, but in practice is super easy to understand.

Thankfully early on I found a persona I really liked, as it gave me a bunch of healing magic, so I've just kept using it for most of the game. I'm not sure that's the "correct" way to play, but the game hasn't punished me for just using the same one (and she continues to level up along with me, so she's probably not as powerful as I COULD get if I used that fusion system more, but isn't a wimp either).

The game's main story revolves around "the dark hour"-a period of time at 12am that most people don't experience, but which the game's main characters do. Basically every day during the dark hour the high school turns into a giant tower (the game's dungeon, in effect). Most nights you can choose to go to the tower, and the dark hour stays in effect as long as you're there. Basically every month you can only explore up to a set point in the tower-and you'll want to do so so that your characters level up so that you're powerful enough for the boss battle at the end of the month. There are usually also rescue missions every month, where you can (optionally) rescue someone trapped in the tower. That gives you a good excuse to go back and end up leveling up a bit more.

The tower's design isn't really very interesting. It's all randomly generated, and the floors of the tower basically just use one texture set for 20 or 30 floors or whatever. Not the most exciting dungeon design, but it gets the job done. The bosses you face, basically once a month, may have a more custom/interesting area you're in.

I think that I'm almost at the end of the game, so I may have more thoughts about all this once I finish (I'm about at the end of the first year)...

It's worth mentioning that there are actually three different versions of Persona 3. The original Playstation 2 release, Persona 3 FES, and this, Persona 3 Portable (which is the newest version). My understanding is that FES added an epilogue to the main game, but that it's not very good, not really worth much. The two Playstation 2 versions also have animated sections that were cut from the PSP version, though the sequences are still there, just not in animated form. There's still at least one animated cut scene in the PSP version though, and it's worth noting that all or almost all important dialog is fully voiced in the PSP version. (The PSP's discs `only' hold 1.9GB, versus 9 or so GB for DVD, which is presumably why animation was cut down.) The voice acting is good, or at least good by Japanese RPG standards. It does help bring the characters to life.

The PSP version replaced a lot of the 3D art from the PS2 versions with really high quality 2D art. IMO that's a good thing, as their 2D art is great, and high resolution, while the 3D art (both on PS2 and PSP) is...much lower quality, and a bit more `super deformed'look. On the PSP version you really only see the 3D art when in towers and in battles-the rest of the time you're getting high quality 2D hand drawn backgrounds and characters, which is a definite improvement. The game also replaced "wandering around randomly" in the environment with little indicators for people or objects in the environment you can interact with, so you can quickly zoom a cursor over the area. It serves the same use as walking over to something, but just speeds up the game (there's also a quick menu you can pull up to zoom around to other locations). Despite all the `relationship' stuff and the like, the game FEELS really fast playing (though of course it's also LONG so you'll still be spending a lot of time with it!)

Another change is the option to play as a male or female protagonist, which has some (I think mostly minor) changes to the story and dialog...and I guess in one place even gameplay (slightly). For a variety of reasons I went with a girl, and to am really glad to have had that choice (and if nothing else I like her art better than the guy version of the protagonist).

I'm not sure how much if at all the music's been changed, but personally I LOVE the music in Persona 3 Portable. It's pretty much all high quality, but really different from typical Japanese RPG music-there are a lot of (IMO fun) raps in there even-I particularly enjoy the basic battle music. Not everyone may like it, but I think it's all fun and high quality and DIFFERENT than anything else. It also doesn't sound compressed at all, nor do character voices, unlike what you might expect from say a 3DS cartridge game.

One huge change to the PSP version's battle system-which will probably make the difference in and of itself-the PSP one lets you have direct control of all characters. The two PS2 versions only control your main character, and the others are CPU controlled. I find that super annoying, so quickly switched to manual control.

So really, the only downside I see to the PSP version is that there's animation cut. All the other changes are upgrades IMO. Personally I'll take a portable version of a game anyway, if it's not much worse (or better) so for me the choice between versions is super easy.
It's worth noting too that that game lets you install part of it. I didn't try it without the install, but with it load times are super short-faster than cartridge games often are.

Hope I'm not forgetting anything, and I tried not to say much about the story, but anyway if you're like me-a casual Japanese RPG fan who maybe enjoys Final Fantasy or Paper Mario but not much else, don't be scared of this game. It's very easy to play, doesn't have a crazy hard difficulty level, and has an interesting and very unique story, and some very unique gameplay twists. I think (surprisingly) the hype for it was actually justified...it's a clear cut above most JRPGs, a bit different, and well crafted.

(After a few days playing Persona 3, I went ahead and bought Persona 4: Golden for Vita. The Vita version of 4 has upgraded visuals among some other tweaks...plus it's portable...so again it seems like an easy choice. I won't know until I play it, but before playing either, the setting of 4 appealed to me more than 3's. That said, I'm REALLY glad I played 3, and I'm also a bit worried that I won't like the structure of 4 as much as P3P's streamlined `overworld' structure.)
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on November 30, 2010
Having played Persona 3 FES beforehand, I was very excited to learn that it would be available in a PSP format with new content. The game is excellent and very addicting, just as you would expect from the Persona franchise, and I must say that overall I do not regret my purchase and that this game has a high replay value. Character interactions add fun twists to the story while also helping you build social links (something key to growing your power), combat is easy to use and fun, and the cut scenes-- Oh wait, that's right.

Persona 3 Portable does not have movie cut scenes.

Why they did this, I am not sure. While I got use to moving around a bright pink dot on the screen at a bird's eye view instead of a person with a close up range, I just couldn't get over not having Persona's usually interesting and well animated cut scenes. I know the PSP is perfectly capable of handling it; all my other games have these in their features, but sadly this installment of the Persona franchise decided to skip out on us. For this reason I believe anyone interested in Persona 3 should first try out the PS2 version. Events just don't have enough impact and suffer greatly without scenes depicting what is going on, and instead you're left with vague dialogue and noises to replace what was lost.

However, I wouldn't say this makes the game a total bust. Like I said before, I don't regret spending my money on this, and it was quite addicting. Being able to play the main character's female counter part, it offered a new perspective on things, as well as new social links. Seeing some of the old characters in a new light was quite interesting, and even though you choose what the MC says and to most she's am empty shell, the girl had a whole new feel to her. Dare I say.. happier?

If anyone asked me, I would definitely recommend this game. And if you're a Persona fan wondering if you should even bother, don't think for another second! This is very much worth your time, and I'm sure you'll find it a blast just as I did. <3
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on March 9, 2016
I have an original Persona 3 review lying around my feed somewhere which gives you a more in depth review to how I feel about it. This is probably the best version for people to play period. While you don't get the conclusion chapter known as the answer, Tartarus is made somewhat easier to traverse but at least now you can control the actions of your allies (you have to toggle that option). It's still boring, monotonous and way too long but at least it was easier relying on your own mind than the brainless monkeys known as your AI partners. Also getting play as a girl is cool and turning it VN style was a more intelligent decision for the portable device.
I would actually recommend this version and set it to a low difficulty so you wont hate the game because of how bad Tartarus is.
-Julio
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on October 20, 2010
For my first experience of playing the Persona series, I have to say it was a fantastic journey. I'm not a big fan of dungeon crawlers (or even JRPG's for that matter) and while I didn't mind the game's combat, going through Tartarus (essentially a massive 263 floor dungeon you're expected to go through during the course of the game) did wear me down a bit as the game went on. However, I'd probably consider that my only real beef with the game.

The reason I decided to finally pick this series up after P3P launched is how intriguing the social links aspect sounded. And turns out that's exactly what made the game for me. It's true there isn't a whole lot of "gameplay" to these parts (occasionally picking a choice, giving a gift, etc), but I really felt the personalities and subplots to most of them were quite well developed. While the over arching plot was decent, it's really the social links that steal the show outside combat. P3P reaches a level of character development few games can even dream of achieving. The calendar set up of the game, exploring the town, the various trips, all of it is just so conducive to building up all the various character relationships. Really have to give props to Atlus for pulling this off so well.

As for differences specific to this PSP version, overall I feel they help the pace the game much better than the PS2 versions. Some will argue the point-and-click interface of the game greatly reduces the immersion of the original games full 3D environments, but I found the visual novel style quite lovely and reminiscent of the Phoenix Wright series on the Nintendo DS. You will find exploring the town with the new quick travel options to be MUCH FASTER than the original game, which will likely greatly shorten the time it'll take you to complete the game. If you were someone who played P3 on your PS2 and simply gave up at the sight of how long the game is, you may want to consider this much better paced version.
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on November 6, 2011
To start, I'll say that I've never been introduced to the Megaten series before this title. I'd never even heard of it on the PS2, despite the many RPGs I've played on said system. This title is essentially a remake for the PSP system from one of the franchise PS2 games. However, unless you've played the series before, don't expect this to bother you one bit. It cuts out the anime-style cutscenes and removes some detail, but beyond that it adds other perks that, in my mind, make it a better game than the original.

Gameplay on P3P is interesting. You go to school, you make friends, you visit around town, your make decisions. All of these things are incorporated into your daytime routine. It makes the game more immersive when you are given choices on what to say to someone rather than just a preset answer. It's one of the biggest draws to this game. If you don't like that sort of thing, then this might not be right for you, because this will take up a vast portion of your gameplay. At night, different things happen. The Midnight Hour comes, and you and a select few have to take up arms to protect the people of the town. You'll go into a tower called Tartarus to battle various monsters, very similar to standard RPG fare, except the Tower changes layout on almost every floor, even if you just were on it. This can make the game bothersome, but with the additions they added for the PSP, it's not as bad as you might think. Now when you transport to the bottom of the tower, you can get back to the highest floor you were at the venture before. Either way, however, you'll end up grinding a certain amount. Thankfully, in a single run you can go through many many floors if you're willing to just go in one run. This has its ups and downs too, but it's helpful. There were times when I would be sick of going to the tower and would just want to continue going to school and building friendships. Thankfully there's enough slack in their system where it's possible to put the PSP down for the night and then the next day when you're not so sick of it you can bust out a bunch of floors on Tartarus or gain some levels. In my mind the tower system is the worst part of the game, but I am consoled by the multiple ways I can use the tower and still be effective in fighting.

Now, since I've played through the title (~65 hours my first run through), I've also started Persona 4 for PS2. Neither are bad, but I can confidently say that I enjoy the consistency in P3P more than P4. The voice acting is stellar, none of the voices grate on you especially (unlike the retarded bear in P4). The storyline isn't especially unique, but it is well done, and adds some twists which are well done. Graphics aren't bad, the navigating system is superior to P4 in my opine because it is simpler. A word of caution for buyers might be the M rating. Due to the magic, which is related to religion and many other things, in this game, plus some bad language, it is deserved. I myself tend to stay away from titles with these kinds of things. However, as long as they're old enough to understand it's just a game, it should be fine. The swearing isn't every couple of lines, and it seldom gets terrible. It's better than P4 in this respect. As a sidenote, the music in this game can sometimes get repetitive. It's good music, just sometimes you'll get sick of it, because it doesn't stick as much in the background as other RPG music because it often has words. They also can alleviate this pain, however, as you are able to switch tracks at a certain point while in Tartarus. Maya's Theme is awesome. Even better, at a certain point the basic background music you would hear around town will change, a very welcome thing.

Now that I've semi-incoherently and completely incohesively rambled, I will say that overall I see this game as a title worth buying. If you can get past the M rating and bear a bit of grinding, you will enjoy this game. The voice acting quality is best of any game I've played, the social links are important to the game and also satisfying. Plus, replay value is high, as you can replay with some bonuses if you've beaten it once. I plan to at some point, especially since once you can play as male and next as female, which still changes the social links without losing the story. Overall, buy it.
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