So I'll try to make this as quick and simple as possible. I recently rented P3P for my PSP and about an hour in I'm already loving the game, style, etc. Watched part of the Persona 4 endurance run about a year ago but other than those 2 things I know nothing of the Persona world or series. I recently just read an article on Persona 3 FES coming out to PS3 this week (as a PS2 classic I think) and before I jump headfirst into P3P I want to know if I'm playing the game in the correct order. On another game forum I heard people talking about needing to play Persona 3 before P3P, and others chiming in on how P3P is superior to one version but worse than another. Now I'm just really confused as I'd like to play the best versions of the game and not play the same game twice before Persona 4 or Persona 4 The Golden...damn this is so confusing. Anways, is there a sequential order or preferred order? I have the PSP, PS3, Xbox, and PC so I'm not limited to a certain device.
Question: New to Persona
I believe P3P has more content than Persona 3 FES, but they are basically the same game. P3P has a female protagonist, new areas, new characters, and slightly more content. I prefer FES since exploration in P3P is relegated to moving a cursor around.
Like the Final Fantasy series each Persona game is only tangentially related, certain characters reappear but they are self contained stores. I prefer Persona 4's more comedic style, drab overly Hot Topic asthetic of Persona 3 is not my thing. As for The Golden, its the same idea as Persona 3 FES its Persona 4 with new locations more dialogue and generally more content.
P3FES is better and worse than P3P in different ways so there is no right oder or best version to play them in. P3P includes a different (but mostly similar) narrative for a female protagonist that isn't available in other P3 versions. So if you want to play both the male and female versions then you'll need to play the same game twice. Or play P3FES as male and P3P as female. I feel like you could play 3 or 4 in any order. It doesn't need to be chronological. Or you could play them simultaneously. Play a coule hours of one then switch to the other. From what I've seen P4 The Golden seems like the version of P4 to play.
You should play Persona 3 first, then play P3P. If you play Persona 3 first you will get more out of P3P then if you skipped Persona 3 and played P3P first. If you do do this and play Persona 3 first I recommend playing as the female MC when you play P3P, it adds some nice things to the overall story. As far as Persona 4 goes you can play it whenever you want. its doesn't have anything to do with Persona 3, there is a nice P3 cross over in P4 that you might not get if you didn't play P3 first but that's about it.
If you want to get hardcore into Persona 3, then you'll have to get FES and Portable both. Vanilla 3 has nothing that the other two versions don't. FES has the optional epilogue slash expansion called The Answer, which Portable doesn't have, and Portable lets you play as a girl, which changes and adds lots of stuff to the social linking (an aspect many are quick to point out was sorely lacking in the FES expansion.) Most people, myself included, will tell you that the epilogue in FES isn't worth the price of admission, but some will try to convince you that the 2D exploration around town in Portable is inferior to 3D exploration in FES. That's just different strokes, but ultimately nobody can make the decision for you. The expansion in FES is certainly cool, but may leave you with a sour taste in your mouth like it did others. As long as you're enjoying the portable version so far though, I would say just go with that.
You can play P3P and leave the rest of the persona 3 stuff, unless you really wanna play The answer expansion thing from P3 Fes, not sure if that's in P3P or not, but they're all just same game with adjustments to content gameplay and more actual content.
Ive played both FES and P3P, and P3P is kind of the better version that i prefer, the whole cursor thing and the repeated Tower Skin and not having any 3d environments in cut scenes is easy enough to get over, although if your already playing P3P you wont have that comparison so id stick to it. But if you wanna play it again and have the cash to spare FES as the male char might be worthwhile if your really into it however priced it is on PSN.
P3P has the alternate character you can play as and some refinements made over the original P3 and P3 FES. P3 FES has an additional story in it that from what I have heard answers some questions from the end of P3, and this extra story is not is P3P so if you finish it on the PSP (The Journey) I'm pretty sure you can just go in and start the extra story (The Answer) in FES without having to play the original story over again. And ultimately you don't really need to have played Persona 3 to get the most out of Persona 4. I never got to far in Persona 3 and the main thing that you'll notice in Persona 4 is something that you will get if you've just played the first few hours or so of Persona 3, it's not earth shattering or anything, but a little nod at Persona 3. So you won't be completely lost in Persona 4 if you never finish Persona 3 or FES.
If you play P3P or P3FES, it doesn't matter. Just pick one and stick to it because they're similar enough that you might as well play Persona 3 once, then move on to 4. Then if you feel like you want some more, just play the Persona 3 you didn't play before.
I'd say play P3FES, then P4, then P3P as the female character to kinda see everything those two games have to offer.
@Korosuzo: Just came out today, I just installed it. Totally recommend it as a first play through, just for the sake of the immersion the movies grant.
Well in that case I will check and start downloading it ASAP. The P3P version I have is a rental through Gamefly and I was going to buy the digital version for 19.99 but since I haven't committed yet one way or that other might as well get P3FES.
Play p3p for the party control alone.(fuck marin karin). Also i don't really care for the answer to have played it the ending to persona 3 was fine on its own. also being able to walk around is overated, the 2-d overlay was good
Unless golden comes out this year just play 4
Play FES, then P4. P3P is honestly a waste of time, they took far too much out of the game for what they added. FES, on a nice big TV on your PS2, is the absolute best way to experience that game. You really will be doing yourself, and the game, a disservice by playing it on PSP, it's too good for that.
P3P is unecessary. Nice if you only have a PSP and want an updated version but it becomes an adventure game because they stripped out most of the 3D. Persona 3 FES is probably the best bet. I think Persona 4 is a much better game but that's because I like the stream lined elements, characters, colour pallet, themes and... pretty much everything. Persona 3 is still pretty cool too.
Preferred order *is* probably Persona 3--> Persona 4, but my major exposure to the series was Persona 4 first, then I went back and played FES, and I debatably like Persona 3 more.
As to the best version of either game... I can say that FES is preferable to P3P for me, because a lot of the charm is lost in the static scenes you get in P3P. Persona 4's definitive version will probably be The Golden, as it's a straight-up enhanced port. But that remains to be seen.
@MasturbatingestBear: I feel like all of the added stuff in P3P doesn't outweigh the compromises they made bringing the system to the PSP. I've probably had this conversation in at least two other Persona 3 threads, but I don't think it's absolutely necessary to be in direct control over your teammates; minor annoyances aside. The female main character route is cool mostly for someone like me, who's played FES and would likely be slightly bored with just another playthrough of the same game. There's nothing crucial about it unless you like Rise's voice actress. Alright... there are some interesting notes in S-Linking with a couple of the dudebros you normally wouldn't...
@MasturbatingestBear: I feel like all of the added stuff in P3P doesn't outweigh the compromises they made bringing the system to the PSP. I've probably had this conversation in at least two other Persona 3 threads, but I don't think it's absolutely necessary to be in direct control over your teammates; minor annoyances aside. The female main character route is cool mostly for someone like me, who's played FES and would likely be slightly bored with just another playthrough of the same game. There's nothing crucial about it unless you like Rise's voice actress.
Wait the female MC is voiced my Laura Bailey? She's my favorite voice actress but that has nothing to do with this because I agree with you on the general lack of amazingness in the female storyline. You do lose a lot by not seeing the characters actions, having only played P3P it is really obvious to tell the scenes where the whole gag was seeing the actual actions. Like the hot springs scene.
I preferred the 2D VN style of P3P to P3FES. I can understand why someone would miss the exploration, but to me running between areas without the fast travel in 4 just felt like padding. Also, I like the FeMC better than the MC, just in the way her dialog choices seemed to have more personality behind them. As well, the Answer is not worth it at all. I can see you really enjoying it if you liked other games in the MegaTen series like Nocturne, but if you don't or you haven't played them then I would avoid.
You don't need to play the games in any order, but P4 The Golden seems like the ideal version, so you might as well play P3P waiting for that.
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