Persona 3 Portable Review
Final the US gets the version they should have gotten many years ago, at least they get to have it on the PSP and with some added extras. Persona is a game in which you will have to take on monsters in a tower that appears during the Midnight Hour, a hidden hour that only a few can actually function during, and most get transported into a coffin. You will play the part of the lead male character, or if you're looking for a new twist you can try out the new lead female character. You are transfer student who is put into a dormitory temporarily until your living assignment gets worked out. What you don't know is that you're actually being observed to see if you too can harness the power of the Persona.
Graphically this game looks like it got a bit of a face-lift over the original game.The layout of most areas when not traversing the tower are simple move the cursor to this spot and hit X, but I think I actually liked that a bit more because it let me scan areas of little importance fast so I didn't have to waste time running through several rooms. The different Personas that you can call out look just like you would hope, with a little bit of a downgrade (a little jaggedy around the edges) for the PSP. Each time you enter the tower you'll find that most levels have completely changed, which goes to show that there's some nice level creation at work for this game.
The music is the same as it is in every game. If you like the music from Persona 4 (PS2) or any other Persona game, you're going to like the music. If the more operatic music isn't really your style you might find that you're going to be seeking other music. Also you're going to get to hear catchphrases a lot in battle, so get used to them.
The controls are basically what you'd expect. You're going to be using the d-pad or analog to move around. When you're on one of the not-battle areas you might want to try to hit the right shoulder button, it makes life a lot easier by showing you what all you can interact with. Sadly that feature is turned off by default so every time you load your game you're going to have to repeat that button press to get what you want. My one issue with the controls is that rotating the camera with the left shoulder doesn't rotate the mini-map so I constantly found myself running into walls as I got disoriented.
So once again you are a transfer student that suddenly gets a lot of attention. You're going to be build relationships with the people that you can have in your party as well as other students. By doing this you will strengthen your chances of combining caught Personas together to form more powerful ones. The one creepy thing, I have to say, is the way in which you summon the Persona. That of course is the character using the evoker to call the Persona out. The evoker is a gun, and you point it at your brain to get the Persona to come out and play. You might find that when exploring you're going to be handicapped for bit as the rest of the game unfolds and you can't get past a certain floor. When this occurs my suggestion is to go to each level and tell your party to split up to get more EXP, or try to take on the tower by yourself. Be careful about how tired your character gets, or sick they get. Other than that you're going to be in for one hell of a ride as Persona will once again draw you in for a very good amount of time.
Even though this is a remake this game is worth picking up, the new female story side definitely gives you a different look on things, and the male story line is done in a way that you're going to want to know what could happen next. Persona 3 Portable gets a 9.2 out of 10.