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Yet it feels weird in a way? The visuals are absolutely there and they're stunning, the new voice acting is wonderful and a step up in some areas compared to the original game, the combat is snappier and fun....but I can't help but to feel that something is off. The ingredients are there, the recipe is coming together, but I cannot tell if something is missing or if the flavor isn't what I expected. It's like going from a car that feels like sometimes it might pop a tire any second now but it gets the job done and you grow really fond of it throughout the times you have it, to a brand new fancy sportscar with all the new bells and whistles, yet it feels more comforting to drive your old flawed junky vehicle. I know I'm basically just going on a tangent at this point, and my feelings could easily change as I keep playing the game, but I just can't help but to think of that silly little ol' JRPG from the PS2-era and the dubbing that had a budget of a penny and a dream.
I don't wanna say P3R is "generic" or "soulless" (though I think soulless as a criticism is severely abused and misused) because I don't think it is and it still feels endearing like FES, but is it as endearing as that game, even with the flaws it carries? I don't know. Maybe I've been so used to FES and how it presents itself, with the endless memes and clips and voice audios, and how much it stands out with its darker tone, that art style, that original soundtrack even if there are times where it feels like a panic attack is coming on (Although I think the genuine criticism I have of Reload so far is the remixes of the old soundtrack are also hit or miss for completely different reasons).
Maybe it’s the nostalgia goggles being on way too tight for its own good. I wish I knew the exact feelings right now, but I'm still figuring it out as I'm going along. Ultimately, I think anyone who's really into Persona 3 or has been extremely used to that game's existence may have a strange transition into this one, but for anyone who's new to the series or only exposure is Persona 4 and 5, this should feel right at home for you! Despite it all, I think it's great that Persona 3 has a chance with a new generation that isn't just a lazy AI-upscale version of Persona 3 Portable, and I hope those experiencing this story for the first time love it. Hopefully I find out how I feel about it soon as well.