Persona 3 has been on my radar for a while and I have attempted to commit to numerous playthroughs of the game over the past 4 years. I never thought I would beat it but here we are, what brought me to commit to this playthrough was the announcement of Persona 3 Reload so I decided to play arguably the worst version of the game according to the general consensus. I played the 2023 ‘Remaster’ FYI.
I played Makoto Yuki’s route here as it is the canonical route to any other stories Persona 3 holds such as The Answer or Dancing, both of which indeed are on my game radar now.
I won’t be reviewing this as a remaster besides this next paragraph, anyway i’ll proceed.
As a ‘remaster’ P3P is hideous in the regard of cutscenes. The original P3P had no cutscenes due to memory restrictions which is fine. Though this new version of the game still has no cutscenes which honestly I just find inexcusable, there is no reason not for Atlus to have added the PS2 cutscenes here, modders have added them for a long time, even before this ‘remaster’ exists. Rant over.
Any slice of life gameplay here is absolute bog standard, it makes sense as it was a PSP game held back by limitations but still, it’s very bare bones. It isn’t totally bad but just eliminates a very nice aspect from the Persona games, the city exploration. Fortunately though the dungeon gameplay is similar to the PS2, just with lower quality models and some changes to battle gameplay with the addition of party control which was a new feature added to Persona 4 in 2008 and made its way to Persona 3 Portable. Battle gameplay is very good I must say, I don’t explore it in depth personally but playing on Hard difficulty this was very enjoyable for the most part.
Persona 3’s story is great, it starts off very vague but builds its way to the top, just like a metaphor of reaching the top of Tartarus (the main dungeon). Premise is hard to explain without spoiling but essentially a group of friends are fighting against shadows in order to stop the dark hour, the 25th hour in a day only visible to some which in effect will cause the world to end. All the characters involved with the story serve their purpose well, just the emittance of some characters having social links is unfortunate, though it seems to be Reload will be fixing that next year! My favourite social links of all I did was certainly the Dying Man SL with Akinari, it told such a sad story and was executed perfectly.
Next section is just some rapid fire as I don’t feel I can extend them…
- Music is excellent, no surprises there, my favourite area track was Changing Seasons, favourite battle theme was Master of Tartarus and story theme was Memories of You!
- Visuals and aesthetic are very nice, though in this ‘remaster’ it is clear tampering has been done unfortunately.
- Didn’t do much side content, it didn’t really interest me personally.
Overall i’ve enjoyed Persona 3 Portable quite a bit and it is really going to help when I play Reload next year! (I pre ordered the Aigis edition!!). Thanks for reading as always.
i’m aware my playtime is relatively short compared to most but i did blaze through tartarus and any repetitive slice of life aspects :) just my way to play though but i will be spending more time on future visits to Persona 3!
*also finished the game on my birthday which is nice :)