Oh Persona. Persona, persona, persona… How have you changed over the years? Did you improve? Or did you piss me off? Here is Persona 3 Portable, a second review.
I know that Erin did a review of P3P last year but hey, why not give it another shot? So as you guys know, I did a review of both Persona 1 PSP and Persona 2 Innocent Sin PSP last year. And let me just say, despite P3P being a graphically dumb-downed port, it has greatly improved over the past games in the series.
Let me just put out that I haven’t played the Persona 3 FES yet but that is on my list. P3P kind of plays out like a visual novel. Cutscenes are just artwork of your party and dialogue. And you do not move around as a character but as a cursor around the map. I was quite put off by this but I eventually got used to it and it made the game go faster.
The battle system has greatly improved and I enjoyed it a lot. Compared to the previous titles, P3P allows the main character to switch personas mid-battle, which was amazing mind you. Unlike in P1, P2 IS, and EP where you input your actions and hope for the best, P3P allows you to really plan your battles one character at a time. There were times where I felt that the battles dragged on for too long and I don’t know if it was because I was “underleveled” or what.
Despite being on easy, I was not stressed out by any of the battles in this installment. I was just… annoyed. Very annoyed. Allow me to talk about the final boss. Fourteen forms and boring as hell. It took me over an hour and a half to beat it. I may have been level 66 but still. Fourteen forms is very unnecessary. I was more stressed out about the final bosses in P1 and P2 IS than this lame excuse for a final boss.
One more thing about battles, Shuffle Time. Shuffle Time is how you get more exp, money, healing HP, weapons, and getting Personas. Shuffle Time is a godsend and I love it. Getting Personas here was so much easier than getting them in previous titles. Thank you Atlus, I love you.
The only exploration you get in P3P is in Tartarus, the only dungeon in the game. The dungeon is huge, expanding to about 263 floors. Let me tell you that it gets boring… real quick. The only thing that made me really want to explore Tartarus is the quests you do from either Elizabeth or Theodore (the attendants of the Velvet Room).
Quests in this game range from easy to frustrating. Some quests take place outside the Tartarus, such as getting an item on a certain day from one of your party members. For example, getting pine resin from Yukari on May 2nd. Quests that take place in the Tartarus can range from getting item drops from enemies or finding weapons in rare chests. These quests, as I stated before, drove me to explore the Tartarus more than I wanted to.
Moving on to the game’s soundtrack, I freakin’ loved it. Erin may have not been so keen on the OST but I was. With every new game in the series, the music keeps on getting better and better. I found the track Way of Life to be my favorite. You can only hear this track on the map when you play as the female protagonist.
One final thing to point out in this game is Social Links. I was dreading this before even touching the game. Erin told me about them and I wanted no part of it. Social Links are… not so bad. They are not hard to do in the slightest. Social Links correlates with a type of Persona. Each time you max out a Social Link, you will receive an exp bonus with you fuse a Persona of that kind.
Overall, I enjoyed Persona 3 Portable. It’s biggest improvement was the battle system. Despite it being a dumb-downed graphics port of the original Persona 3, it’s still a game to check out.
Persona 3 Portable
4 / 5
So Augora… When is the Persona 2 Eternal Punishment review coming out? *whimper*