By RelentlessKnight 30 Comments
History with Persona 3
Around 3-4 years ago, back when we used to go another website that airs On The Spot every Thursday, showcasing demos, interviews and such there are games that I'm really interested in. One of them is Persona 3 for the ps2 demoed by Greg Mueller which I recall is featured on the 100th episode of On The Spot with Navarro drumming like a mother-fucker and cake was spread among every to celebrate this occasion. Reflecting back on him demoing Persona 3, I was quite reluctant to try that game as reading his review and many gameplay videos, that it seems to be a quite difficult game to play though it's looks very promising due to its turn-based gameplay and anime dudes blowing their brains out to summon a persona. It's quite a hilarious mechanic, I would say and the battle system and the HUD looks quite appealing. And that how do they get guns, suddenly? They have their own weapons to fight shadows but then proceed to blow their fucking brains out to summon a persona... just weird.
Though, after the bomb was built and video content was exceeding my wasteful days - spending hours of quality entertainment to watch four dudes play games and getting some insightful information from them. There was Persona 4, which they called it the Endurance Run where they playthrough the whole game in its entirely, from Monday to Friday - first understanding the mechanics and gameplay and then progressing in duration of longer videos and kicking some ass! Like almost everyone else, we're all tried to have our own endurance run, playing pass, in-between or before them in the game's progression. The ever-loving Chie eating steaks, teaching you leap-frogging to finally going on a date with you is what we all love and envy to many of the snide and hilarious remarks made by Vinny and Jeff on the journey to (not) cast Bufu and their reactions to many of Persona 4, strange, awkward and funny events. But there are times that people don't like their style of playing, specifically when they are facing shadows in dungeons as a number of dedicated users tend to give them hints and what do to in the boss battle; though there are times that people assume that they won't beat the boss but then surprises everyone when they do.
When I started my endurance run playing Persona 4 after purchasing it, somewhere a tad bit cheaper than purchasing it in Ebgames. I like Vinny and Jeff was enjoying the game as a whole - the lovable characters, Social Links, the easy to understand battle system, fusing personas, leveling up your characters and gearing them up, and especially the events which not only gains your social links that leads ''popularity leds to intimacy'' but having the best moments of laughing at either Kanji or the cross-dressing show. The whole thing must come to a close as leveling up the social links to level 10 to fusing the best personas that I could find and choosing my fate as Kenji (my main character's name) and choosing whether to have to good ending or true ending to continue on. Of course I chose true ending as I managed to defeat the boss, changing from form to form but dying a few times due to getting the wrong personas to fight it and having to fuse another badass Persona, the Trumpeter to defeat him,,, her.
Persona 3 Portable Impressions
Anyways when they announced Persona 3 is coming on the PSP, I was quite stoked that I could finally play Persona 3 after not purchasing it three years ago. And since then, Atlus has changed the game and compressed it into a portable device, sacrificing some things but compensating it for another. I was eager to purchase this game as I didn't pre-order knowing that it will only come with Junpei's lame hat and not the soundtrack which was implemented within the first Persona that they transferred into the PSP. So I purchased this game today, and played about 2 to 3 hours of the tutorials as I get introduced with characters from Persona 3.
The first thing that is unique to this game is the gender - you could choose either male or female and both of them are a different experience than the other as I chose the girl due to being a guy (I know there isn't gender choosing in P4) in Persona 4 before. The opening cut-scene sees a reluctant or our reluctant hero wanting to pull the trigger to commit.. or to try to summon her persona but she was unable to and then transiting to the p4 opening which you see the city and a new transfer student coming to Tatsumi Port Island by subway I guess to start my new life. As midnight approaches and I suddenly see weird-ass coffins surrounding me and then proceeding to the dorm which will be the place that I would be living. Then a creepy-looking little boy (unknown kid) shows up and says some creepy things and asking you to sign the contract or something as I entered my name; Kasumi Eclair (random on-the-spot name i made up) and that creepy guy disappears and two hot teenage girls shows up asking who you are. Those two girls are Yukari and Mitsuru Kirijo who then proceed you to go to bed as Yukari guides you to your room.
The next morning, Yukari and Kasumi commute with each other to school as she's transfer to Gekkoukan High School which you're in the 11th grade. Yukari asks you to go to the faculty office to meet with your teacher. After talking to Yukari, you cannot walk/run to the faculty office as it is now changed to point-and-click like some sort of adventure game, as you just click on people to talk. You are supposed to meet with Ms. Toriumi, your teacher who teaches literature and tells you that the class is 2-F (a tad bit similar to P4) as you also bump in Ekoda which will probably be like your teacher in P4. Later on, you come back to your dorm where you are introduced to Shuji Ikutsuki (his last name is difficult to pronounce as he stated), the chairman of the school board which welcomes you to their dorm and such. I then saved and went to bed as I get sucked into the Velvet Room and that ominous iconic music playing and Ignor siting on a couch in some empty room that is painted blue, welcoming you and asking to fulfill the contract and gives you the Velvet key so that you could go into the room. Also Ignor's voice isn't the voice from Persona 4 which I didn't like, sounding like some sort of Asian stereotype tying to be Ignor but not,
Oh, and I was introduced to the Junpei earlier and like Yousuke in Persona 4, is a comic relief and the guy who often goes to sleep, asking me to answer his questions which the first one was about some Japanese author that Ms. Toriumi likes and then Mr. Ekoda which was about the the Jòmon period and the huts that they lived in, raising my charm and academic skill as I chose wisely and getting popular. It's also weird that when both Kasumi and Yukari first arrives in the High School that people started to spread rumours about the new transfer student like they did in P4, kinda weird and totally japanese. Also that Akihiko was introduced as he took a brief stroll outside and then a cutscene where some dude on a radio suddenly becomes cover with black slime.
Anyways, the evening comes by, you see Shuji, Yukari and Mitsuru is spying on Kasumi as she might have the 'potential' and is surprised that she isn't harmed by midnight and some kind of syndrome that affects other people - and not in some kind of coffin. Akihiko then comes back, as a shadow comes after him to the dorm and Mitsuru and him both fight the shadow as Yukari goes to wake up Kasumi and goes to the roof. But another shadow shows up in the roof and in a in-game cutscene, you see Yukari unabling to shoot herself in the head and the huge deformed shadow thrashes her away and the gun is thrown to Kasumi and she was able to blow her brains out as a Persona comes out and sprouts the same thing as Izamagi in P4 but he's the master of strings, Orpheus which then transforms into his bad-ass bigger persona and defeats the tentacle shadow. Then a shadow appears and you have to fight it, utilizing the battle inference from P3 with a touch of P4 as I used bash which drains the HP and won, leveling up my persona. I fell unconscious and woke up a week after (in some sort of coma) in a hospital where you find Yukari as you wake up, and tells you her past about her father dying in a car accident and her mother being in bad terms with her, and proceed on to the dorm where everyone tells you the truth of the club, becoming a member of Specialized Extracurricular Execution Squad(kinda lame name) or SEES in short to combat shadows at midnight, receiving a revolver to summon your persona. Junpei then comes into your dorm as he is also joining SEES due to being rescue by Akihiko by shadows surrounding him.
Later on, Akihiko and Mitsuru asks everyone to go with them during Dark Hour inside Tartarus, a dimension hidden and in-between midnight as your group ventures on to your high school turned into some sort of tower of shadows. Inside Tartarus or the school, after being explained by Mitsuru and Akihiko, I went into some sort of portal gate and saw the Velvet Room again but this time, Ignor welcoming me and showing his 'special guest', a male guest Theodore which I chose to see what he looks like and will be an aide to me when I go to the Velvet Room again. After that, Yukari and Junpei questions you about acting 'like some sort of zombie' and entering the portal to the tower. Also Mitsuru will be the analysis assistant to assist you in battle like Teddy or Rise in P4 and Akihiko backing down in this one. Finally in control of the character in the dungeon, the movement feels like the two another games without the extra analog stick to move the camera which the left and right bumper supplements the camera. In his almost top-down dungeon crawler, you stumble upon shadows and chests, as I picked up alot of mana items and a medicine. With Mitsuru talking about the mechanics of surprising your enemy by whacking it first, it then proceed to battle and cast Agi as it is the weakness of the shadow. Then proceed to do it again and again through the first level of this dungeon and Mitsuru refusing us to venture higher and also introducing another mechanic, asking everyone to split up, to either find a exit point, pick up chests or fight shadows so I don't have to. Which is a quite a neat mechanic to have in the dungeon.
I was quite fortunate to play Persona 4 and know how the play in Persona 3 Portable, knowing how to take the advantage when the shadows get knocked by their weakness and ''All-in Out'' annihilate them in a blow. Playing the first few hours of this game is a blast and I will continue on to play it, the game will probably be my top ten games of the decade and I'm loving it so far. Now, if you excuse me, I'm going to play Persona 3 Portable...