Always a good time to play JRPG Classic Persona 3 Portable

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Picture: Persona 3

The growing popularity of Persona series in the West would be a wonderful thing if it made its mark slowly, growing so strongly over the past decade that Persona 5 is a very large video game release and re-release of older games is news on headlines now.

So it’s easy to find people to talk to Persona 5 and to watch a video about it, and Read articles about it. Same for Persona 4, has now been ported enough times (I played it on a Vita for the first time!) to have it in the same space. Basically, when people talk about modern Persona games, they usually talk about those two games.

Persona 3a little less, so in honor of our Backlog Month[[[[Update: and it’s about to be re-released] I wanted to talk about it tonight and see if I could add it to your list of games you should really play.

Sure, it came out in 2006 on PS2, but here’s a Persona game. We are not here for cutting edge images (even though we are sure here for art style). We’re here for the friendships, the conversations, the haunted school island, the hanging out like a parasite teenager at the end of school. It’s a game, like Personas 4 & 5Period.

The first “modern” Persona however, the game—it broke with its predecessors and set out the basic template that the series has followed ever since—means Persona 3 has its raw edges. For example, its a single giant dungeon is hell, and for those who have just experienced it Persona 5’s You can find social links and subtly added episodes, Persona 3 creaky and a bit more sparse when it comes to after-school activities. It also lacks some of the vibrancy and pomp of more recent games when it comes to its cast.

Not this last point is a bad thing! There’s a lot to love about this more serious story, there’s a tight focus on it, and it also has a dog, which is awesome.

Now we’ve determined my favorites Persona 3Now I will tell you that when it comes to deciding which game version to play, I like Persona 3’s even more handheld ports. Persona 3 Portable was first released in 2009 on the PSP, and I think it’s a modern wonder of (re)designing the game, because it takes the focus of Persona experience and reinvent it for a mobile platform in a way Persona 4 gold can’t come close to matching.

The P3P's isometric redesign gives it an almost timeless look, something I wish we'd see with later games in the series as well.

The P3P’s isometric redesign gives it an almost timeless look, something I wish we’d see with later games in the series as well.
Screenshots: Persona 3 Portable

Because the PSP can’t handle the fully 3D underworld of Persona 3or fit lavish animated cutscenes into limited storage space, both of those pillars of Persona 3 PS2 experience is no more. While the loss of anime-style scenes is a pity, and the 3D gameplay remains the same for dungeons and combat, what Atlus has done to replace the 3D exploration areas is a step forward. genius breakthrough. Instead of removing the 3D parts with low resolution textures and simpler modeling, they stripped it and replaced it entirely with a static, isometric version of Persona 3’s world.

This is, and still is, the dominant way of playing Persona. The series’ underworlds may have started to get busier in recent entries, but they’re still extremely sparse in terms of what you can actually interact with and trudging around them in search of a conversation. or story sequence can be a drag. Persona 3 Portable’s system is a faster, cleaner way to spend your downtime, and have the added benefit of looking amazing. I had hoped for many years that Persona 4 there is a portable portal that looks like this and a small part of me wants the same from Persona 5.

And we haven’t even gotten to the best part about it yet! No, the best part of Persona 3 Hand is that in addition to the viewing angle change and some other management (like the new difficulty options), the handheld portal added a the entire second main characterwhich means if you have finished the main game, then all of a sudden you can replay the whole game and get a completely different experience.


“When I get the chance to replay a favorite game with Persona 3 Portable, I’m happy to do so. I didn’t realize that a virtual gender change would make this experience the same as before.”


With the original protagonist being a boy, Portable’s adding a girl means your romantic options are completely reversed and it also adds new social links and dialogue options. Imagine you could play through Personas 4 & 5 like this! Romancing Yusuke will be worth the admission.

If Persona 3 is in your backlog, or even just on your list of “games I really need to try some day” and you haven’t solved that problem, try to fix it as much as possible. the sooner the better. Even in 2021 you need to jump through a lot of hoops to play it, because while the official ones are expensive right now, I’m sure you’re a smart person who can find other ways to play it.[[[[Update: it’s on its way to modern consoles and PCs!]

This post was originally published in 2021 as part of a special feature series of Backlog Month. It was updated and republished in June 2022 before Persona 3 Portable was about to re-release.

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