I'm finally getting around to it. I'm finally gonna play Persona 3, you guys. But there's one thing I have to get through first: the box art review. Why the hell is that? Well, remember the previous game in the series? Persona 4? I did one for that, and I'm a man of tradition. With that out of the way, let's get this shit started!
(Yes, I'm going FES. Is there any other way?) Well, shit. Looks like I can't stretch this thing out by describing all the various facets of the box art. Just Aigis looking at her gun (presumably, she's used to that flayed mess of a left arm by now) and the Shin Megami Tensei logo. Kind of a weird choice, since none of the previous games bothered with this association. It's also a weird logo, since I don't think the Greek alphabet (that is Greek, right?) actually had the letter S, let alone the words "Shin Megami Tensei". Other than that, though, there isn't a lot I can say in regards to the box art.
But you know what? That actually makes the box art really strong. Stronger than its predecessor, even. Remember how crowded the box art for the last game (by which I mean "the next game") was (by which I mean "will be")? You don't get that problem here. You only get a few elements to focus on and fuck all else. Not only does it look super goddamn cool, but it also tells you everything you need to know about the game: it has robots, occult stuff that barely makes any sense, and it's all kinds of dark. (That's what Persona 3 is like, right? I'm just going to assume based on the box.) My only real complaint is the Persona 3 part of the box, strangely enough. First, that damned pixelated font. It just looks weird, and not in appealing way. Pixels don't bleed into each other like that! You look like a broken monitor, Persona 3 box art. Second, why does the game get an F upfront? Was somebody grading this?
Eh, I'd buy it. Anyway, enough about the front of the box. Let's open this fucker up.
Sadly, no music disc this time, mainly because that would have driven the cost up like crazy. Not much of a loss for me, anyway, since I listen to my video game music on YouTube (while it's still up, at least).
Moving right along, we have the manual just staring at me. I'd say it's welcoming, but it's more terrifying than anything else, really, like I just intruded upon a village of gnomes living inside my Japanese video games. The upper left corner is particularly bad about this. While everybody else has that look on their face like when a cat has a treat held in front of its face for way too long (try it, sometime, if you don't care about being a dick to cats), Bowl Cut and Monochrome seem to have something more sinister up their sleeve. I can't tell if it's violent or sexual. Or violently sexual. I'm gonna open up the manual before the people just slightly out of frame plot something far worse.
Wait, what am I gonna say about this manual that I didn't say about the last/next one? This one goes into detail about anything and everything. Basic plot synopsis (that I didn't read, lest spoilers), characters, gameplay mechanics, etc. Just about anything you could imagine about the basics is explained in this shit. Even the stuff I don't remember from the Persona 4 manual, like how time flows backwards in the world of Persona 3 and...hold on? Fusion spells? What sorcery is this!? And one of them is dedicated to knocking enemies down with the stand-up comedy of Pyro and Frosty Jack? This shit is going to be amazing. Although in terms of what a video game manual should do, this is nothing special, by which I mean "it's the best thing in the world of video game manuals". Terribly depressing that manuals have become so horrid that "nothing special" now qualifies as "fan-fucking-tastic". But anyway, that concludes the manu-WHAT IS GOING ON WITH THE BACK OF THIS THING!? (Same thing.) Did the artists feel like they forgot something when I said the box art was minimalist? You're making Aigis and Fuuka and possibly that insect thing in the middle-left sad!
And we finally arrive at the back of the box, and what are we greeted with? Why, @Turambar telling me to "step back into the night", of course! I'm certain that this is racist. What do you have against Lunarians, Turambar? It only gets worse that the box art is calling me a terrible c...wait, that smaller text is referring to the Shadows, presumably. In that case, the first sentence does a good job of setting up some intrigue and atmosphere that is then shot to hell and back with the next sentence. How's the Dead Poet's Society gonna protect mankind from...either Aigis all decked out for the apocalypse, or that red-eyed thing in the top left? With Toy Story references?
And the strange word choice continues, with very visible asterisks and.....no, wait, that's pretty much it. The rest of the wording seems to make some sort of sense, although why I'd jump into a new chapter right off the bat is beyond me. No, if you want some crazy on this box, you're gonna have to look at the pictures, and I'm not just talking about stubby-thighed Gunbot on the right. Look very closely at the Persona list in the middle. You get a bunch of 20s, and then, out of nowhere, somebody in the 60s and 80s. Why the disparity? Did the game deem this player awesome enough to get two wildly overpower Personae, or is he simply busting through the game with shit Personae to prove a point to somebody? And what's going on in the bottom picture? Why are Minato and some....person (I can't tell) practicing karate in the Palace of Versailles (or "Massive Typo", as the game prefers to call it)? With weapons? "What's going on" indeed, Akihiko. Your pictures have redeemed you, back of the box! And just when I thought I'd have to dismiss you because of the wording.
So what's the game's final score? Box art doesn't get scores, or at least not conventional scores. With that in mind, the FES art gets 5 King Frosts of Comedy. Make of that what you will.