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Retro Tuesday – Persona 3

Persona, the most weird and wonderful of the Shin Megami Tensei series..or spin off from. However you want to look at it. No better game has come from the series than Person 3. Persona 4 was the reason I fell in love with the games but Persona 3 to this day remains my favourite. I did briefly think that the game wasn’t old enough to be considered retro as it came out in 2008 and then I remembered its 2014 and I’m getting on a bit. Persona 3 thrusts you into a deep and dark world, set in Japan. Where apparently its normal for a teenager to be monumentally suicidal and shoot themselves in the head with a loaded gun.

Doing so releases the characters ‘Persona’ the kind of virtual demon monsters that the series is titled on. Having arrived in a new city you join your ‘dorm’ and start wandering the school making some new friends who also like to shoot themselves in the head with guns and even encourage you to do so. Sounds like a pretty awesome school right? Moving away from story progression because I don’t want to ruin any of the plot for those of you crazy enough to have never experienced the game in all of its glory. (and it’s long..the FEZ edition…is really long) persona3_fes Persona is a turn by turn RPG which boasts many of the familiar aspects of one where by your monster (persona) takes it in turn with the opponent to unleash some strange and often nuts powers. Think Pokemon but for suicidal teenagers trapped in a dream world. Different types affect one another as in traditional RPG’s and special attacks are limited by PP. The other aspects of the game promote that of storytelling and exploration. I have already touched on the darker elements and the shooting yourself square in the face but that isn’t where it ends. The main puzzle you are trying to unravel is that of the ‘dark hour’ a time of night created by experiments that took place some years ago.

This in itself is why I prefer 3 over 4. 4 is very chipper and light hearted when you aren’t in the ‘TV’ but the dark and ominous tones follow you through Persona 3 like a bad smell from start to finish. The main character is a silent protagonist (You) who was left orphaned as a kid, joins a new school and subsequently the SEES who’s members (the support cast) are one of my favourite in a game to date. Each mysterious with dark pasts of there own to contend with. The plot thickens in the FEZ edition of the game as new areas and characters open up with Aigis being many followers of the series favourite character to date. 24-Persona3-27-068 The game looks beautiful and having been released at the end of the PS2’s console cycle it was missed by a lot of people. The art style and the cut scene matched that of first iteration PS3 games and it’s a shame that other than the cult following Persona has, it went under the radar in it’s western release. images I’d usually concentrate a small part of my review on sound, which is brilliant and voice acting is as ever fantastic for Persona again in my Personal opinion, matching if not surpassing that of Persona 4.

But something that needs addressing is Text. The game is for the most part scripted and most games that follow this pattern get tedious really quickly but not Persona. All of the games in this franchise get this particular function right but Persona 3 is a particular stand out for me. The game not only looks and sounds great but the Music Soundtrack is also phenomenal.

Who can forget ‘the velvet room.’ Seriously in Japan they love the soundtracks to these games so much, they have a live stage show. Persona 3 received two live concerts and the music from the game was later featured in an even larger production along with the soundtrack from Persona 4.

Some good news now, if you didn’t play it on the PS2 it came out on PSP in the form of Perosna 3: Portable. And if you don’t own a PSP buy a vita and play it on there where it has been re-optimised for use with dual analogue sticks. Seriously it’s that good. If you don’t believe me its combined metacritic score across all three releases has over a 90/100 rating. Persona-3-shin-megami-tensei-16599038-1900-1200 Persona 5 and Persona Q are coming later this year and Q will contain characters from Persona 3 and be the first time the franchise has been released on a Nintendo console. Persona 5 is a PS3 exclusive but I can’t see past a ‘complete’ edition making its way to PS4.

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