10 April 2013

'Persona 3' Part V

*sips pomegranate tea*

... Note to self: never, ever, ever read Persona 3 fan fiction. Never again. Ever.

This has to be the worst game I have ever played. The story, the characters, the gameplay, the fans, the fanfiction, EVERYTHING related to this game deserves to be destroyed. If only there was an appropriate punishment worthy of this abomination of a game's existence! All thanks to Atlus, they owe me four trillion yen in tissues for P3P's New Game Plus ending alone! That's not even covering all the other non-Shinji relates moments in the game! Yukari's dad! Junpei and Chidori! Takeharu Kirijo! New Years Eve!

Why on earth did I play this game?! ...Oh, right, a bunch of other traumatized folks on the internet recommended it to me so I could join in the parade of misery. There... there are just no words...

That's it. I made it this far. There have been a few moments when I came very close to slicing my jugular open. Instead I threw a tantrum because I have self control! Today, I will end this review once and for all! I will not falter this time! Watch me!!

Technical Presentation

Thus begins the final round-up for Persona 3! When this is finally over, I can look back on it this time next year and face-palm at how drawn-out and ridiculous this whole review turned out to be. Whatever. With the Spring semester ending soon and a crapton of work to do, I needed some kind of creative outlet.

*sees Word document of a fanfic spanning 85 pages*

Remind me why I don't update my blog frequently.


Persona 3 was originally released in 2007 on the Playstation 2, meaning there are certain limitations. For a PS2 game it's quite solid in terms of consistency. I hardly found any technical issues in any release I tried out. No glitches, no slow-downs, given that the game isn't demanding hyper-realistic graphics even an XBox struggles with. The more simplistic, stylish anime approach works very well. As graphics are not the main focus, more effort can be placed on the quality of gameplay and story. Even if most brush off these graphics as "passable", I think the character models move naturally and fluidly. 

And I love the profile images, hence my picking at least one for every member of SEES. They are well detailed and designed. Expressions are mainly shown through profiles hovering above the dialogue box, very much like a visual novel. The 3D models themselves do have movement for certain actions (running, punching, shaking head in disagreement, etc.), and there is the typical anime art style to add some flavor (sweat drop, angry cross, etc.)

Persona 3 simply felt like a very interactive anime spanning dozens of hours. Depending on whether or not you like the aesthetics and style of anime, it's all up for you to decide.

But compared to the animated cutscenes, the 3D models and 2D profiles are immaculate. 

Honestly, this is probably one of the only cutscenes that I can tolerate.

I know this is not a TV series, an OVA, or animated movie, but when Naruto and Higurashi have more stable movement, action, and camerawork, then something went wrong. The animated cutscenes are few in vanilla and FES. Thank goodness, as the moment someone moves a part of my soul dies inside. All the close-ups hide what could have been a disaster though. The scenes can be more dramatic than the static image moments used in the visual novel-based Portable, but I prefer using my imagination to create the stage rather than look at a hideous clip.

The 3D models of characters are more detailed than their animated counterparts and the 2D profiles just look cleaner. Both are especially more consistent. The animated scenes always screw up body proportions and color scheme. For example the warmly complected Shinjiro looks a billion times paler than he really is (and NO, his "condition" is not an excuse for this). And can I say that the overuse of a nasty green is just sad? It's not something like mint or evergreen, it's like... broccoli or mold. 9X

I'm all for anime cutscenes, but these I can live without.

Portable replaces the 3D environments for a scrolling menu to pick locations or talk to people. It does break immersion as you are looking into the world rather than walking through it, but the Playstation Portable could only handle so much information. If anything, it doesn't take away from many conversations and events (save a very few plot-heavy ones). Fortunately, exploring Tartarus remains in the third dimension.

Fall 2013 is still too far off...
Regardless, despite my nitpicking, the game aged well. It still looked good in 2013. I can forgive Atlus for the bad animation as their other games (i.e. Persona 4 and Catherine) are giant leaps forward. Plus with the Persona 3 movies coming out soon, I can shut up and expect mounds of chocolate goodness! ^_^ (Bad news is, Rin won't have her time to shine off P3P or fanart. T-T)


The music is pretty fun. As the game takes place in the city, epic orchestral pieces will clash with the urban environment. There are some traces of hip-hop, pop, electronic, and a tinge of rock. Several tracks help create a sense of mystery and melancholy, but the soundtrack knows when to have fun. It can be a bit of a roller coaster ride from "Want to be Close" or "When the Moon's Reaching Out Stars" to "Master of Shadow" or "Memories of the City".

Since I tortured y'all with "Jet netta Takaya" in Part 3 I will not bring it up again. :)

Both FES and Portable have extra music in their soundtracks and they are quite decent as well. For Portable, there are some songs in Rin's storyline I prefer over Hiro's. The battle music in Tartarus being one of them. "Mass Destruction" might be a fan favorite, free from all flaws. The constant, repetitive chanting of "baby" is enough to pierce my eardrums with needles. I facepalm every time I hear it. Poor Lotus Juice, I actually prefer his rapping here than in "Wiping All Out". But if you're stuck with a song playing over and over for over 30 hours, would you want a forgettable track or one that both pleases and angers you? I'll take "Wiping All Out", thank you.

Although I think "Master of Tartarus" and "Danger Zone" are equally awesome. :)

It's hard to pin-point what I loved best as I enjoyed the music enough to get the soundtrack for vanilla. I'm still trying to track down Portable's, since I adore the theme "Soul Phrase." From "Unavoidable Battle", "Shadow", and "Deep Breath, Deep Breath" to the ever-depressing "Memories of You" there are too many goodies to chose from!

I know I missed out on many others, so please sue me.

Voice Acting

Not too shabby for 2007 and 2010, for vanilla and Portable respectively. I already mentioned the voice actors for the members of SEES and maybe made one small comment. Everyone in the main cast is generally solid overall. Fuuka and Ken are on the lower end of the spectrum, but they're still acceptable. By the end of the game I fell in love with Liam O'Brien's voice. And though he doesn't get many roles, Grant George is very pleasant on the ears, even with a handful of awkward moments in delivery. When the two are in the same scene? *squee* All's subjectively forgiven as I am a sucker for deep, masculine voices. X9

Yuri Lowenthal voices the male protagonist, Ryoji, and pajamas kid, and he does quite well juggling three roles: one silent, one pervy, and one creepy. *applauds* Laura Bailey isn't around much but she provides the voice for the female protagonist. Because I generally do like both voice actors muchly, I have no complaints.

Like many games and anime it's the background characters that tend to stand out for being awful. There are quite a few nameless NPCs that are hilariously bad. Some named characters are just as unlucky, though I will spare revealing specific individuals. They don't appear for long and its only the guys in SEES or Strega that get a majority of the dialogue. Do not worry.

... Pretty short. Really, the performances are relatively fine. ...Then again, I can watch the Higurashi dub and play Shadow the Hedgehog without my ears bleeding...

...Nah. This game is better then both in that department.

The Preferred Release?

Easy. I've played it so often that I missed several details on the gameplay of the other versions. No contest. However, I do plan to beat FES when I get home. Let's see how far I can get through it over summer break.

No matter which version you pick, vanilla, FES, or Portable, Persona 3 is still a great game.

Playstation 3 owners, it's not that hard to find. Persona 3: FES is available on PSN for about $15.00. Persona 3 Portable is also available for about the same price. Portable and Vita users, download to your heart's desire. Either of these options are easier than finding a physical copy of vanilla or FES on the Playstation 2.

Believe me. I found a used copy of Persona 4 only once in Gamestop. The jerks wanted $50 for it. At the time it was not within my budget, and so I left it. I never saw a physical copy of a Persona game ever since.

Seriously, if you have a PS3, PSP, or a PSVita, download the version available to you. It saves a ton of time and heartbreak. And it's cheaper.

Final Verdict

Even though the cast is mainly full of high schoolers with their own little dramas, the characters in general are more likable than I expected. It's not guaranteed that you will like every single person and their Social Link, but there are several with quite a few funny, cute, or bittersweet moments. SEES is full of wonderful companions with some more bearable than others. Yet I cannot think of them any less than one loyal family of best friends. As much as I ragged on Aigis, she's not the worst character ever as she did feel important to the group. By the end of the game I was crying tears of happiness for everyone.

Now I think I finally figured out what my problem was in Part 4. I understand why Shinjiro is my favorite character. I have an incurable fetish for tall, brown-haired, deep-voiced men who wear beanies! I'm just a horny little teenager who can't help but fantasize what my ideal man is like [and I'll never have]! Shinji-kun is pure, complete fanservice for my childish mind! And guess whose fault it is for starting it all?

Now leave me alone and let me move on with my life! TT-TT


As my official first JRPG, Persona 3 was very fun. Since my hopes for the next generation are nonexistent, I'm a bit more willing to try out other JRPGs, new and old, in the future. At least Atlus finally caught my attention, as I look forward to trying out other games in the Shin Megami Tensei franchise. (After several years, I'm still hunting for Nocturne! T-T)

Decent story, cool characters, drama I gave a crap about, interesting gameplay mechanics. A game that made me cry... through every playthrough. This was exactly what I wanted for a long while. With two copies, one at home and one in my pocket, Persona 3 will always be within my reach whenever I'm in the mood to escape into high school monster-slaying days.

And they all lived happily ever after!

+ competent squadmate AI
+ likable, well-written characters
+ cool Persona and Shadow designs
+ multiple releases with different gameplay benefits
+ the soundtrack rocks
+ a wonderful team of best friends to the end
+ beautifully executed, bittersweet ending
+ decent dialogue
+ challenging boss fights

 ~ forgettable villains
~ the final battle (and the subplot that persists through Persona 4 and 4 Arena)
~ FES's epilogue, "The Answer"
~ level and skill grinding
~ flimsy [albeit rare] animated cutscenes

- Tartarus is repetitive
- October 4th

4.8 out of 5

It has problems, no question, but I love this game. It completely blew my expectations.

To close this with the song that made me lose it during the credits.

*looks at gaming collection*

Maybe it's too soon to tell if it'll be an all-time favorite, but I think this will go up with Sonic Adventure 2. I'd love to play this over and over again.




A said...

Awesome drawings and I found u on pandora so I had 2 come check out ur blog. I watch alittle bit of anime. DBZ is my favorite. Please follow me back on pandora thank u!!! :)

A said...

My name is Chris and on pandora its A Perfect Tool

A said...

Not anymore its just Chris. Awesome blog u have btw. I would like 2 chat sometime if u get a chance. Thank u

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...