Call out your Persona!

I’m an RPGer and I’m also a fan of Japanese culture, so of course JPRGs are a big hit with me. And the ones that will always have a place in my heart are the Shin Megami Tensei: Persona series. Set in Japan, Shin Megami Tensei: Persona puts you in the role of teenagers who have to save the world from evil. Yes that’s right, teenagers. Of course not all teens are moody, whiny, little emos, some are; hyper, cute, mysterious, confused about their sexuality and are pop idols! And those are just the character types from Persona 4! But I’m going to look at the latest instalment, which is Persona 3 Portable or P3P.

The original Persona 3 protaganist and his female counter part along with robotic team members.

The PSP instalment of the game offers many different paths to the player, such as a female protagonist, new social links, different menu layouts, two new difficulty levels and also some styles from Persona 4’s battle system such as being in control of all A.I.s on the battlefield – a God send when you really need members to be dishing out healing spells instead of random attacks.

Choosing your next step is crucial.

The game has been re-made especially for the PSP. The character no longer runs through halls in school or upstairs in the dorm, but by a quick selection made by the square button. It’s a great idea because you don’t lose game time trying to locate a person, when you can press square, have a quick scan of the screen for that individual and you’ve found them! The dungeons remain the same, moving the character and your party through Tartarus battling evil Shadows. When playing as the female protagonist, your menu and battle colours all become pink and purple instead of the cold blues you get with the male character. It’s still the same layout, but with pretty colours for the girl gamers out there.

Pretty in pink.

The story remains the same as Persona 3; you are a new student at a new school and are thrown into the world of Persona (summoning monsters) and Shadows. You live with your fellow Persona users in your dorm and have to journey to Tartarus during the Dark Hour in order to defeat the Shadows from consuming your world. Oh and you have to do this within a year! Think of Persona as Pokemon but without the cute little monsters and pokΓ©balls. Instead you summon your Persona with an Evoker (basically a gun) and there is nothing cute and cuddly about these monsters! Except for Jack Frost I guess. I urge gamers to experience the Persona series as it’s one of the best JRPG collections out there and once you get hooked, you won’t let go.







9 responses to “Call out your Persona!”

  1. Celeste avatar

    Hey Lauren, nice post! My first taste of Persona was P4 not that long ago. I LOVE RPGs and most things Japanese, but I think the Japanese variety of RPG might be slightly lost on me. I remember having played for what must have been a good hour/ hour and a half, and I had barely pressed a single button other than to skip to the next line of dialogue. I was basically watching a cartoon (and not a very good one) rather than playing a game. Maybe after 2 hours things would have picked up, but I rather think my patience had been exhausted.

  2. Ninja avatar

    Hi Lauren πŸ™‚

    I’ve always wanted to try a SMT game since, hmm, Nocturne I think. First, yes I’m an RPG fanboy with a little love for Japan. FFVII was my very first JRPG so, y’know, that pretty much sealed my fate πŸ˜‰ Is there a (gaming) geek that doesn’t like Japan? Seriously? Anyway…

    Plus it’s Atlus, everyone loves them. Prinnies d00d! XD Yes I know that was Nippon Ichi, Japan’s number one, but the localization. Mmm, translation… πŸ˜‰

    Sadly, I have yet to play any SMT instalment as my PS2 is currently without a working controller, it’s basically crippled. But I will! πŸ˜€

  3. The Rook avatar
    The Rook

    I’ve heard the name Persona before and only recently heard the name Shin Megami Tensei. Back on the PS2 I would have played quite a few RPGs but not as many nowadays. And I haven’t played an JRPG in such a long time. I blame it on too many other games nowadays to invest in so many RPGs. Maybe someday when I’ve won the lottery I’ll have more time to play them. πŸ™‚

  4. Dean avatar

    Right with you there Lauren. RPGs are my favourite genre, and although recent western entries into the genre have been astonishing i still have a big place in my heart for JRPGs (of course it helps that i have the patience of a saint and obsessive compulsive dissorder). I just racked up full achievements on Lost Odyssey, made by the creator of Final Fantasy after he defected to Microsoft, and I believe it may well be the ultimate, perfect manifestation of the traditional Japanese turn-based RPG.

    I just stared Star Ocean – God help me!

  5. Lauren avatar

    Thanks for the comments guys πŸ™‚

    @Celeste: I know what you mean. Some RPGs do contain LOADS of dialogue before the action gets started. Xenosaga springs to mind lol. All I can say is once the action and mystery starts, its a fantastic game.

    @Ninja: Atlus do indeed supply good RPGs πŸ™‚ I do hope you can experince the SMT series on PS2 because Persona 3 and 4 are top of my RPG list. Playing as a Japanese highschooler is pretty fun!

    @The Rook: Dont forget us when you win the lottery lol XD Ive got so many games now its silly and want more. But RPGs always get my undivided attention lol.

    @Dean: Oh dear, Star Ocean. Yes God indeed help you! Star Ocean Story 2 is still one of the toughest RPGs Ive faced in a good while and sadly Im no where near completing Lost Hope lol. Lost Odyssey is truly one of the best RPGs out there. I imported mine cause I refused to wait for a UK release lol. So once Ive done this runthrough, Im going through again with Japanese dub πŸ™‚ Wow, getting full achievements on that game must have taken a LONG time!

  6. Dean avatar

    Yeah, Lost Odyssey is wonderful. I can’t wait to see what Mist Walker come up with next. The worst achievements were treasure trove (where you have to collect every thing in the field – you’ll need a check list for that) and defeating Killalon at the end of the DLC. I’d already gotten all the achievements bar 4, so i was playing it again just for that:O Still it only took 80 hours in the end. I don’t think its even going to come close to the pain i’ll inflict on myself playing Star Ocean as i’m a sucker for item synthesis and collectables.

    I played the Japanese dub the first time around and the English dub this time. I actually really liked the English version. Jensen was particularly well realised.

  7. Danny avatar

    Hey Lauren, great first post.

    Do you think P3P is the best place to start with the Persona series? I have both it and the remake of the original taking up space on my go, but I’ve got pre-gaming nerves about both of them.

  8. Lauren avatar

    Personally Danny I would say try 3 first as IMO tis better then the first Persona. From reading some reviews, people are mixed about the remake as its not as great as the latest installments. I guess it was a way for the creators to improve the game.

  9. Helel avatar

    Persona serie is very cool but I suggest you play on PS2, this is way better than the PSP version (except for girls).

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