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About the product
- Includes an enhanced version of the original game plus the new FES
- 30 additional hours of gameplay with 17 new music tracks
- 120 hours of gameplay
- Includes a weapon synthesis system and hard play mode
- Includes the ability to change your characters clothes
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A brand new chapter of Persona 3 featuring 30 plus hours of gameplay and an enhanced version of the original game loaded with new content and features, Persona 3 FES is the comprehensive version of one of the most acclaimed RPG's of 2007. Over 120 plus hours of total combined gameplay, numerous additions and enhancements, and critically-acclaimed game and art design.
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The game is basically divided into two clear "modes": there's the dungeon-crawling turn-based RPG meat and potatoes; and then there's the social simulation - going to school and making friends, and navigating the maze of relationships to forge those special, life-long bonds that we all seek in our lives. It's not exactly the social sim elements or the turn-based RPG elements alone that make this a special game to me, but how well these two seemingly-disparate styles of game-play are meshed together with such expertise that Atlus is capable of. This game quickly becomes a juggling act, just like real life. If you spend too much time fighting monsters you won't have much time to spend with your friends, and if you blow off your monster-fighting responsibilities too much, you're going to have a tough time when the next boss battle happens. Having the agency and then showing the responsibility to manage both of these systems makes you feel like you're really accomplishing something. Maintaining the balance between monster-fighting and Social Linking in this game gives me the same feeling of satisfaction that I get from handling my responsibilities in real life. That is how well-realized and complex these game-play systems are.
Another way that this game seamlessly meshes two design approaches together is in how it simultaneously takes you down a linear story, but gives you so much freedom to choose who you spend time with and what you say to people, that every player has a somewhat different story to tell. This makes the experience feel personal and unique to you, while still taking you down the plot points that have to happen in order for the story to deliver its message: that life is worth living, and you should share your life with people you care about.
The intimidatingly complex and challenging game-play, coupled with subtle, mature writing, and a brilliant grasp of symbolism, makes this the most satisfying and worthwhile time I have ever spent playing a video game. I truly grew attached to the kids of SEES (the main cast), and this marks the first time I have ever cried at the end of a video game. Make of that what you will.
Basically so far the game is about how there's actually a hidden hour in the day making a full day 25 hours instead of 24. And during this dark hour, people become fall asleep and are locked in coffins while monsters run around. Some people don't fall asleep though and the monsters try to kill these people. The people who don't sleep tend to have the power to summon beings called "Personas" that will fight the shadow monsters with them. One of the controversial points of this game is the method of summoning Personas. The Personas are summoned by placing a bullet-less gun against one's own head and pulling a trigger. It's pretty intense but I recommend it if you're mature enough to understand the difference between fantasy and reality.
By that statement you can probably guess I liked Persona 3, and you would be right. This game was a pleasure to play, sitting down for hours on end and grinding levels in Tartarus, this game's dungeon, or just working on my relationship levels with friends. The main plot was good, but what really attracted my attention were the little stories I made with those I created social links to. And let's not forget that the combat is turn-based, something I adore and miss in the newer JRPGs. Did the game have its failings? Yeah, but they were mostly minor things that never stuck with me. Well, besides the fact that there was no Japanese dialogue option.
For those of you who don't know, Persona 3 is about a young man, who you name, who can enter the midnight hour along with several others. He, along with some of the others, can summon these metaphysical creatures from their souls to battle against the shadows that exist within a giant towering dungeon called Tartarus. Their goal is to find a way to destroy Tartarus and the midnight hour, but along the way they encounter resistance and eventually learn the terrible truth behind Tartarus' purpose. It's a story filled with some nice twists and turns, although the end result is always the same. This did annoy me a little, but due to what you learn in 'The Answer', a second story that takes place shortly after the end of the original game, not all hope is lost for a character who I had spent so much time building into the perfect bro and exceptional lover.
It's the social links I am speaking of, connections formed with other NPCs and your party. These connections have the effect of increasing your affinity with a certain genre of persona, meaning the closer you become to those connections the stronger your personas can become. And while it's all well and good, I pursued those connections more for what kind of story they told me. These little story lines are where I was really invested, the characters you meet in them and learn about and become closer to were all interesting. Like the shady business man who takes you under his wing, a shy and quite treasurer for the student council who might be a closet yandere, a friendly little girl whose parents are going through a divorce, or even a player in an MMORPG within the game who turns out to be your homeroom teacher. FYI, I was so down that the teacher never gets some alone time with the protagonist like the other girls that I went and read fan fiction of such a scenario. Because when you learn who it is, and when she learns who you are, her reaction is just so god damn adorable.
Now while I did eventually grow use to the English voices, which still don't sound as good as the Japanese voices, the translation saw many changes to the content to make the game for "English Friendly." Jokes, cultural references, and common terms were altered as to not leave those with no knowledge of the Japanese and Japan in the dark. Problem is, the only people who would even consider playing a JRPG, are those who like the Japanese and Japan. Take note I said JRPGs, not just RPGs, so changing up all those points in the translation seems like a damn shame. They did their best, I'm sure, but even I could notice when things just didn't really click properly. Had this been left alone, the game might have done even better with me.
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 FES gets an 8.0 out of 10