This is my first in what I am hoping will be many installments of what I am calling, Going Back which is pretty much just me going back to games that are older and considered to be great, but I either never got around to beating them or just couldn't get into them when I initially purchased them. I am just going to talk about my experience and really whether or not I enjoyed my time with the game. My 1st installment is Persona 3 a very beloved game and franchise especially by the community here. Before I begin I just want to say for this particular game I bought it when it first came out and just couldn't get into it and granted that was about 4 years ago which to some people may not seem like very long, but being born in 92 that is a 14 year old trying to play vs now an 18 year old playing through it. I think I was just interested in it back then because it was rated M and these characters summon crazy creature by shooting themselves. It can go without saying that I appreciated it much more now than I ever could back then.
When I first played persona back in 2007 I didn't really have any interest in a game like Persona 3 and although i had liked many RPGs and JRPGS at the time the way this game had presented itself to me, the pre-teen that I was made me almost lose interest immediately. My clearest memory of playing back then was seeing that when I was in tartarus and doing a bit of grinding my companions got tired, not being able to hang out in a dungeon and grind for as long as I felt like was pretty much the final straw to me back then and I never touched the game again, and I didn't really even see any of the story or social link aspects of it.
It is scary to think about how much I have changed over the past 4 years not just in how I play games, but just everything about me. With this change along with a craving for a long deep RPG, Persona 3 seemed like a great choice, and I was right. It is hard for me to put in words just how much I enjoyed this game, in fact I don't think I have ever felt so attached to a game besides my nostalgic views of games like Ocarina of Time. In the beginning the game is tough to understand because the social links are the best part of the day and to do a lot of them you must get your 3 attributes up: courage, academics, and charm. The only way to get these attributes up in quick manner is to do things at night like karaoke, but night is also the time to go to tartarus and grind. For a while I had put more focus on the grinding then the attributes and this was my one big with regret with my play-through, although, I eventually learned you only need to go a couple days a week i had already missed many months of time that could have been spent improving my attributes and what not. This is regretful since I did not get everyone to the max social link, which I guess is the reason that they offer a new game +, which is something I am seriously considering doing. The fact that I am willing to go through that huge game right after I played speaks just to how good this game is and how it managed to make feel emotionally attached to it supporting cast of characters. I did eventually get into a routine of what to do everyday until I got my my attributes to max and still got a decent amount of linking done. As far as the combat goes it is fairly standard turn based Pokemon style combat which worked just fine, although, the lack of direct control over your party at times frustrating it wasn't the worst and it is a problem they addressed in the next game. Fusing was something that I generally enjoyed even though most of the time it was kind of a shot in the dark when deciding what persona would fuse well, this is something that is already well documented in the Endurance Run of Persona 4. The overall darkness of the story was welcome to me and the turn the game takes in the last couple of months is completely unexpected even though pacing becomes kind of iffy at that point, it did not matter since I was completely enthralled at that point. So in the last couple months preparing for the final battle I just said "Fuck It" and decided I would level my guy to 99 just for the sake of it and it didn't take very long after finding out the absolutely Armageddon combination spell with Lucifer and Satan in combination with Lucifers victory cry passive trait leveling became very fast. I kind of regret in someways going to the max level since it bumps your HP and Sp to 999, needless to say I found the final encounters to be no issue at all whatsoever. The final cut-scene and epilogue though where satisfying enough and I am trying not spoil too much of anything, but I got choked up at the end/epilogue this is the first time to my knowledge that a game has hit any chord with me emotionally and that's why I am glad I went back to this game and got to experience that. I will remember Persona 3 just as fondly as the games of my childhood and am surprised to hear myself saying this, but I can easily call this one of my favorite games of all time. It is crazy to say this, but I spent so much time with this game and now that I am done I think I may actually miss it.
Just a recap of what I finished with in the game:
Playtime: 92 hours
Highest Persona: Lucifer level 99
Max Social Links: Fool, Magician, Empress, Lovers, Chariot, Hermit, Hanged Man, Death, Devil, Star, Sun, and Judgement
Main Party: Akihiko, Mitsuru, and Junpei
I hope this was something worth reading and as far what the next game I will play is, all I am going to say is that I think I am going to back to the N64 for it. If you're interested in looking at some other possible games that I may play I do have list of backlog games, although, it needs to be updated quite a bit still. If you want to suggest an obscure game feel free to do so in the comments or PM me, either is fine.