P3P > P3 FES > P3.
The Answer is a worthless 'expansion' to the game that only exists to make people hate certain characters even more and to waste their time. If you really need to know about The Answer then just Youtube the story scenes, as they're spread out a lot and don't even last that long for the 20 is hours you'll be doing that dirty addon.
The improvements over P3 FES, aka making it more like P4 in the combat way of things, is just too much of an improvement to really care about the cutscenes or even losing the ability to run around. Once again Youtube can help sate your desire to see these cut cutscenes and not being able to run around really isn't that big of a thing seeing as how a ton of your time is spent wasting time running between screens. But if you REALLY REALLY need to run around or see the like 3 cutscenes that got cut then play the PS2. Just have don't use Mitsuru. And have fun dealing with dumb healers.
Also, I don't see who would start such a silly 'rumor' saying the P4G versions are nothign special. They've got even more content, new persona, new content, new characters, and new Social Links. It's more Persona 4.
Did you play the answer? I actually enjoyed it a lot. And I am usually not one for super difficult games.
I didnt find it overly difficult, though some bosses did take 5+ tries. And I liked the story explanation. I thought the twist at the end was great but did not hate any of the characters regardless. I could understand their reasoning. Completely distraught with a hope suddenly given to them, its easy to see why they picked that way. And the ending resolution was good.
Worth playing if you love P3 imo. Not worth it if it was good but not amazing for you.
Controlling your party members is not a big deal and TBH would make this game ridiculously easy. You learn how to control your party members using commands and it works well. I liked the tired mechanic.