By: Chris A.

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The Persona series has been well-known ever since it changed its whole appearance in release of Persona 3 on July 13, 2006 for the Sony PlayStation 2. Since then it has sold with its remakes 1.6 million physical copies. On April 22, 2008, Persona 3 FES was released for the same console. It featured a new story called The Answer, an Epilogue to the events in the original story. On July 6, 2010, Persona 3 Portable was released for the PlayStation Portable, featuring the option to play as a Female rather than a Male.

P3 is a base game, so it’s easier to talk about what the others add on. P3 FES added The Answer, more side questing, an expert difficulty, and more personas to the game. P3P subtracted from the games before it by having a point-and-click type navigation system outside of dungeons. It added the Female story with different side quests, as well as items called skill cards.

The game starts out in 2009 with you, the Main Character (whose name is changeable), moving back to Tatsumi Port Island 10 years after your parents die in a car accident. Your train arrives late due to somebody committing suicide by throwing themselves in front of the train you’re on. You arrive close to midnight. After midnight strikes, something strange happens to everything around you. Everybody around you turns into a coffin, all electronics cease operation, and blood appears all over. You continue walking on and eventually reach Iwatodai Dorm, where you will temporarily be staying.

The battles in the game are all turn-based. In the original and FES, you can only control yourself, but in Portable, you can choose the specific action that each party member takes. Unlike past titles in the series, after an attack is selected, the attack is then executed, no going back (In Persona 1 and 2 you choose the moves for each party member at the same time before the battle starts).

There are 10 types of attacks in total: 3 Physicals, 6 Elementals, and Almighty. The 3 physical attacks are cut, pierce, and slash. The Six elements have a special name for each. There’s Fire (Agi), Ice (Bufu), Wind (Garu), and Electric (Zio). The two other elementals are Light (Hama) and Dark (Mudo), which have a chance of an instant kill on an enemy. Almighty (Megido) skills always attack all enemies (Except for one skill called Black Viper) and cannot be reflected or nullified. There are important prefixes and suffixes with attacks. For example, skills starting with an M will affect all enemies or allies, such as Maragi. There are also various support skills that can help your party.

The music in this game is really a hit or miss from person to person. The music in my opinion is pretty good, with songs such as Living with Determination and Master of Tartarus. Two songs in the game feature Lotus Juice, a popular Japanese lyricist. The graphics in the game are pretty standard for their respective consoles. The character design was done by Shigenori Soejima, who is known for making each character’s face unique from each other.

Due to the fun yet challenging combat and eventful story, I liked this game, but due to its poor character development and overly edgy theme, I give it an 8/10.

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