Should I play Persona 3 first?

#1 Posted by killerklown907 (23 posts) -

I just finished Persona 4 Golden, loved it and I'm looking forward to picking this up (story and I like a good fighter). I was wondering if I should play Persona 3 Portable first or if I could just jump in and play this one. I plan on playing P3P anyway, but I was just wondering what GB thought.

Thanks

#2 Posted by EpicSteve (6479 posts) -

Mind you Persona 3 is a long-ass game as well. It isn't like some shooter you just blow through randomly.

#3 Posted by killerklown907 (23 posts) -

I figured, but I thought it would be best to check if there was anything that would go over my head if I hadn't played 3.

#4 Posted by FancySoapsMan (5813 posts) -

I don't know anything about P4A, but Persona 3 is a great game on it's own right and you should definitely play it at some point.

#5 Posted by Bishna (334 posts) -

If you really liked P4G and you are gonna do it eventually anyway, I would say hell ya. The gameplay and music aren't as great, but the characters are super memorable. It will probably nice for context for Arena as well.

#6 Posted by Red (5994 posts) -

Although Persona 3 is a pretty great game, P4A doesn't really do much to spoil it. It doesn't really say much about the overarching story, and even the game's ending is left pretty ambiguous. I'll also add that--especially after playing P4G, Persona 3 may be difficult to go back to.

#7 Posted by FLStyle (4648 posts) -

In the grand scheme of things you get a good idea of what Mitsuru, Akihiko and Aigis are all about in P4A even if you haven't played Persona 3, but for the complete experience and full knowledge of past events when going into P4A and Persona 5 (assuming that when P5 is officially unveiled that it follows on from the previous titles and if any P3 & P4 characters will make any appearances), you won't want to miss out on P3.

Think of Persona 3 as Persona 4's darker and more worldly older brother.

#8 Edited by YI_Orange (1141 posts) -

@Bishna said:

. The gameplay and music aren't as great,

I was going to post the awesome songs in a response to this, but then realized I'd be posting pretty much the whole sound track. The music is very different from P4, but still awesome. Especially Burn My Dread(last battle), Mass Destruction, and The Battle for Everyone's souls. Master of Tartarus, Master of Shadow, Changing Seasons, and Iwatodai Dorm are pretty sick too.

God damn those games have great sound tracks.

Edit - To answer the OP's question: Yes. Not because you really need it(though it helps), but because though I think P4 is a bit better, P3 is still a fantastic game. Very similar, but very different. Absolutely worth playing.

Edit 2 - I just realized you said P3P. Play as a dude! Female has some bullshit that I am 100% not ok with.

#9 Posted by Asky314159 (59 posts) -

If you don't have any particular desire to play Arena right now, I'd say go play P3P first. It's not required to understand what's going on in Arena, but the extra context would help.

#10 Posted by Bishna (334 posts) -

@YI_Orange: Ya, there are some great tracks. I guess I am just referring to the basic dungeon music. I remember it being suuuuper repetitive and boring. And since you spend at least a third of the game in the dungeon, it just makes it worse. Persona 4 could have been the same though, but I have fonder memories of the battle music, around the town music, and definitely the opening music.

#11 Edited by Irvandus (2875 posts) -

I would suggest it. Also the dungeon music is awesome because of the way it builds as your progress. ( I also agree with guy above female has the potential to take some wind out of some more hard hitting events with certain rewrites with the character. )

#12 Posted by FLStyle (4648 posts) -

@YI_Orange said:

@Bishna said:

. The gameplay and music aren't as great,

Edit 2 - I just realized you said P3P. Play as a dude! Female has some bullshit that I am 100% not ok with.

What's that?

#13 Posted by FluxWaveZ (19321 posts) -

@Red said:

Although Persona 3 is a pretty great game, P4A doesn't really do much to spoil it. It doesn't really say much about the overarching story, and even the game's ending is left pretty ambiguous. I'll also add that--especially after playing P4G, Persona 3 may be difficult to go back to.

That's not true. Persona 3's ending is pretty blatantly spoiled in Persona 4 Arena.

#14 Posted by YI_Orange (1141 posts) -

@FLStyle said:

@YI_Orange said:

@Bishna said:

. The gameplay and music aren't as great,

Edit 2 - I just realized you said P3P. Play as a dude! Female has some bullshit that I am 100% not ok with.

What's that?

If you get Shinjiro to social link rank 10 he lives. I've heard he's hospitalized for the rest of the game so he may as well be dead, but for some reason it's always really bugged me. Not just because it cheapens Akihiko's persona evolution.
#15 Posted by killerklown907 (23 posts) -

I think I'm gonna get P3P first, I don't have a lot of cash at the moment, but I'm pretty sure I'm getting a PSN money card for Christmas, so I'll pick it up then. That way I don't have to fight this burning urge I have to replay 4.

Thanks everyone for the advice!

#16 Posted by TooWalrus (13155 posts) -

@killerklown907: Persona 3 is just about my favorite game. I did play Persona 4 Arena first, though. It was actually a really cool thing, seeing the badasses these characters have become in Arena, then going back and seeing where they started. However, Elizabeth's story will spoil the end of Persona 3 for you, so if you plan on playing it eventually, I'd recommend you play P3 first. (or, like I did, play P4A first, but don't play Elizabeth's story. Play everyone else's story, play P3 then go back to P4A and play Elizabeth's story.

Personally, I'd recommend FES- especially after playing Golden. You've been spoiled by all of that sweet polygonal design, it's going to be extremely hard and disappointing going to P3P, which is just static character portraits and screenshots of P3 as backgrounds. Imagine playing Persona 4 without seeing Chie stomping her foot, Yosuke rolling in a trash can, or seeing the guys get knocked into the cold river... it's TERRIBLE (in my opinion). FES is cheaper, too, if you have a PS3. ...Christ I love that game.

#17 Posted by MyNiceIceLife (618 posts) -

I've played up to August in P3P after having beaten vanilla P4. Had a harder time trying to play through it, not that it was difficult just the story didn't click as well for me. That being said, it was nice to have known the characters that you meet in Persona 4 Arena, but i didn't miss anything because i didn't finish it...although i did find some things out that make going back to it not as necessary had a not known them.

#18 Posted by Red (5994 posts) -

@FluxWaveZ: I guess I haven't played through Elizabeth's story yet, so I'm not sure what it says there. Still, the small detail of the ending it does spoil really isn't that big of a deal. Unlike P4, P3 is much less of a mystery.

#19 Posted by TooWalrus (13155 posts) -

@Red: Yeah, but I wouldn't want to play through P3 for the first time knowing I fucking die at the end.

#20 Edited by iAmJohn (6114 posts) -

It's a much lesser game in almost all regards (far weaker characters, weaker setting, weaker battle and social link systems even if there were some cool ideas in there that P4 ultimately abandoned), but Persona 3 is definitely worth playing. It's excellent... just try not to compare it to 4 otherwise it falls apart. You probably don't need it for P4A, though.

#21 Posted by MetalGearSunny (6988 posts) -

@Bishna said:

music aren't as great

THE FUCK ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT

MOVE YA BODY

MAKE SURE YOU DON'T HURT NOBODY

THE MUSIC IN THE GAME IS GREAT

SOMETIMES IRONICALLY

#22 Posted by Red (5994 posts) -

@TooWalrus: I did. It didn't make much of a difference.

#23 Posted by vikingdeath1 (947 posts) -

I am currently trying to finish P3 FES, because I got to Elizabeth's story in Arena and saw some things that, while not explicit spoiler's, made me go; "Wait..... WHAT??! Why is...... But she!...." and so I decided to finish Persona 3 before finishing P4 Arena!

to each his own, But Persona 3 is a great game, I definitely suggest this course of action!

#24 Edited by Terramagi (1159 posts) -

P3 was a good game when it came out, but it suffers from P4 doing everything it did SO MUCH BETTER. The characters are better, in no small part due to the fact that you don't get to S. Link with the male characters in your party in P3. The dungeon feels way more "grindy" due to the fact that you don't have an objective like you do in P4. The story, up until the last month, is completely forgettable. P3 really only hits its stride at the very end, though admittedly when it does it gets fucking crazy good.

#25 Posted by Dethfish (3638 posts) -

I think P4A was improved a little by me playing P3 first. I don't know if it is necessary, but I think you'll enjoy Arena more.

Also, going with P3P is a good idea. It will probably feel more like P4G than P3:FES would.

#26 Posted by vikingdeath1 (947 posts) -

I am currently trying to finish P3 FES, because I got to Elizabeth's story in Arena and saw some things that, while not explicit spoiler's, made me go; "Wait..... WHAT??! Why is...... But she!...." and so I decided to finish Persona 3 before finishing P4 Arena!

to each his own, But Persona 3 is a great game, I definitely suggest this course of action!

#27 Posted by Vashyron (199 posts) -

I mean, what other game is out there where teens shoot themselves in the head and crazy shit ensues as a result?

#28 Posted by ArminJrpg (4 posts) -

You should Play P3P. its it tastes Different from Original Persona 3 and P4.becuz it aint 3d.its so much more real

#29 Posted by EquitasInvictus (2020 posts) -

@MetalGearSunny said:

@Bishna said:

music aren't as great

THE FUCK ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT

MOVE YA BODY

MAKE SURE YOU DON'T HURT NOBODY

THE MUSIC IN THE GAME IS GREAT

SOMETIMES IRONICALLY

BABY BABY BABY BABY BABY BABY BABY BABY BABY

But seriously though, does mention some really good tracks. I especially liked how they switched the track for school to "Changing Seasons" and thought that was an especially nice, atmospheric touch. I also kinda think it perfectly fit where the story was at that point. There's even some French in that track!

I do agree that one would be able to tell that the gameplay was "older" than Persona 4 i.e. me getting really frustrated at Mitsuru's AI casting Marin Karin at bad times.

The story is perfectly worth it, though. I was really moved by the end. With the right social links maxed and with FES it's doubly enjoyable before the grand finale, which is especially bittersweet.

#30 Posted by Zirilius (608 posts) -

I have a much better appreciation of P4: Golden after just finishing (sort of). I say sort of cause I wiped on the final boss when it had less than 10% health due to not being able to direct control my teammates. Not wanting to do an almost 2 hour battle again (I was a bit underleveled with really poor persona's but still a doable fight) I just watched the ending on Youtube.

Going backward on the other hand would be very difficult for me. Getting the right Persona's is a pain, the dungeon's are less fun as are the S. Links. That said I think it's still worth playing if for nothing else than the interaction of the Main Character with SEES.

#31 Edited by Metalisticpain (71 posts) -

I prefer the Story, Characters, Music from 3. I think I like 3 more overall. The battle system changes to direct commands is a meh for me. I never found 3's system hard. Except for the Mitsuru Tentafroo which could be avoided. The same can be said for inheritence. If anything I think choosing the skills you want exactly would make it so easy?

I preferred the tired system. In P4 I beat every dungeon in 1 go because I can without any real detriment (earn enough money to offset the cost of fox). In 3 though, the tension built when your party was all tired and you wanted to keep going. Made it thrilling. You couldnt go back to save cause they would leave if tired :P.

Edit for relevance (Touche' FluxWaveZ I started rambling): Yes I say play P3 first over arena, and disagree with some posters who think P3 is a lot harder to play after 4 due to 4's improvements :)

#32 Posted by FluxWaveZ (19321 posts) -

@Metalisticpain: Persona 4 Arena.

#33 Posted by Ouren (136 posts) -

Play Persona 3.

#34 Posted by The_Great_Time_Muffin (30 posts) -

I also recently finished P4G and decided to play Persona 3 before P4 Arena. I purchased P3P on the Vita and found it to be very bland and uninteresting. I then got the PS2 classics version of P3 for the PS3 and that was much better. However I really didn't click with P3 and found all the characters to be very very uninteresting. Eventually I just stopped playing P3 and picked up P4A.

You do not need to play P3 before P4A. This mostly comes from my dislike towards P3, so maybe you should just play P3 anyways. You may like it.

I still think P3P is pretty lame.

#35 Posted by hollitz (1496 posts) -

I think you'd get more out of Arena if you play P3 first, though P3 kind of blows for the first 20 hours or so.

The Dark Hour is so vague and silly at the beginning and your only team members are the lifeless Yukari and the dumbass/annoying Junpei. Those characters pay off eventually, but yeah, pretty uneven. Same with the social links. Some are stellar (hermit!) but most are forgettable. The last two months are excellent and the final battle is one of my favorites in any RPG. It's so rare to have a challenging final boss, let alone one that looks so fucking cool. Thinking about it kind of makes me want to play through it again.

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