How Persona 3 destroyed my love for Japanese RPGs | Full Review | The First Hour
Because there is no definitive version of Persona 3, FES and Portable are both The protagonist discovers that he can summon multiple Personas into battle. a girl being bullied by Natsuki Moriyama who replaces Mitsuru as the team's . the SEES members discover that they are trapped in their dorm, and that the day. Persona 3 Portable is a port of Persona 3, released for the PlayStation Portable. In many ways, it could be considered to be an enhanced port due to its new additions based on the date in-game and status effects currently inflicted on the party). for finding certain people trapped in Tartarus (given by Officer Kurosawa ). At first, Persona 3 may not look like your conventional RPG since aside from the . There are also some new requests in FES where you can date Elizabeth. Keeping different types of Personas during battles will allow you to use multiple abilities. You will decide to catch up with the girls in the Shrine.
Maybe I was already burned out on the genre when I heard about how great Persona 3 was; how it was the ultimate JRPG and that a re-release of the game was going to put it into my budget again. By the time I started playing it, I even had Persona 4 in my possession already which I also haven't touched.
I knew without a doubt I was going to love this game. This post evolved from a rant on Persona 3 into a rant review on Persona 3, so while it's designated as a full review, I have not beaten either Persona 3 FES or Odin Sphere. No final scores will be given for obvious reasons. Running in circles Maybe we should start where the downward spiral began: If there's something I hate about video games, it's repetition, and Odin Sphere has it in spades.
While the game is undeniably gorgeous with some of the best sprite animations ever, the gameplay is just the same freaking thing over and over again. Enter a stage, fight some bad guys for five minutes while frantically trying to plant and harvest seeds for alchemy purposes, beat the stage, collect a crapload of treasure, and repeat.
Sometimes there will be an extremely tough and unbalanced boss fight that will have you kiting it for 10 minutes followed by a 20 minute cutscene about characters you stopped caring about hours ago.
I don't mean to hate on the game a ton, but even after devoting something like hours, the game simply wasn't changing at all. Every five hours or so you'd get to play as a new character and get to try out their move set while seeing their side of the same story, but it was still the same 2D hack and slash that I'd already been stressing over. The game even makes you fight most of the same boss battles over because now you're playing as a different character, oooh.
And while the alchemy system was kind of cool, the limited inventory space made it a huge pain and the constant necessity of planting seeds just irritated me. And when it was essentially the choice between leveling up and growing your plants to make potions to stay alive, I wanted to pull my hair out! Everything about Odin Sphere felt like molasses. Oh, you want to go to Rabbit Town to spend your three coins on some food?
First spend 60 seconds loading the entrance to the town and then another 60 seconds loading the building you want to go into and finally another two minutes to actually get back to some gameplay.
The town consists of two doors, both lead to a shop, why can't they streamline this? Not to mention the talky cutscenes that go on forever with awful voice acting. By the time mid rolled around I was already on the verge of wanting to drop kick the next Japanese RPG that came into sight, but then of course, Persona 3 came along with all the fanboy hype to go with it. I never wrote a first hour review on the game, and it's probably a good thing I didn't because it would have bored you all to tears.
Confusing anime cutscenes, a crappy mute hero, and walls and walls of text. Man, I really should have listened to my heart and not kept playing, but the promise of a great game made me go on, plus the first hours of JRPGs just tend to suck anyway Final Fantasy VII excluded. So once the game actually got rolling, it was pretty cool. You play as some emo with spiky hair redundant? Every night at midnight, time essentially stops for most residents as they enter the Dark Hour.
Evil stuff happens during this time and it's up to our band of depressed teenage heroes to figure out WTF is going on also my own goal. The Dark Hour is the only time when you actually fight during the game, the rest is spent socializing with schoolmates and an old couple who own the bookstore. Let's talk about the non-gameplay part first, mainly Social Links. Social Links are the bonds of friendship you make with other individuals.
There's a bunch of people you can interact with after school, but it's just a bunch of talking and you hopefully picking the correct answer to their problem. I generally enjoyed this stuff, even if it felt like every day was on rails wake up, go to school, maybe answer one question during class, finish school, do a social link, go and fight.
There were some interesting characters to befriend, until they started getting obnoxious. One loser I befriended early on kept calling my cell phone at night wanting to make plans. I wanted nothing to do with this guy because I was trying to get with the girl with the glasses, so I kept shutting him down.
His text response was always so sad, get the message, dude. Take Grand Theft Auto IVI'm playing a game about shooting people and running down hookers, why do I have to maintain in-game friendships with people around me? This trend needs to stop. So every day is basically spent increasing your friend points with one other person, and then it's off to fight in Tartarus during the Dark Hour. Tartarus is this magical tower that somehow holds the secrets to everything.
How anyone knew this, I can not remember, but it was probably just assumed that since this tower only appears during the bad time, we might as well climb it.
Tartarus sucks This has got to be the most lazy dungeon design I've ever seen. The point is to keep climbing higher and higher in the tower and reaching these mid-points where you can resume from the next night. Every single floor in a section of Tartarus looks exactly the same. They use the same texture in every corner and if there wasn't a mini-map, you'd be lost immediately. Thankfully, Persona 3 doesn't feature random battles, instead, enemies appear as a black blob on the dungeon floor: The problem with the purple blob is you have no idea what enemy lies within.
Is it a crappy bat you can kill in one hit? Or could it be some giant snake that will kill your entire group in one hit? You don't know until you fight it, meaning sometimes you will get your butt kicked and you just lost the last half hour of your life. I hate you, game. The instant wipe isn't all that common, but it happened to me a few times and was pretty much the last straw that did me in.
I made it to like floor 80 or something and just couldn't take the monotony anymore.
Persona 3 (Video Game) - TV Tropes
I took two approaches to climbing Tartarus: They can even enter battles on their own, which you're then able to join to provide support. Generally, they line up nicely behind you, but if you hit a dead-end and suddenly reverse, you'll wind up hitting them with your weapon multiple times until you're leading the pack again. All Therapists Are Muggles: The cast frequently go into a twisted, bloody version of their school where they are in danger of being killed by their repressed feelings and fight monsters by shooting themselves in the head with guns that fire psychological trauma.
But since no therapist would believe them about the Dark Hour, they're on their own. All There in the Manual: A literal example that makes a crucial plot point make much more sense: This explains why he's on the Moonlight Bridge ten years before the events of the game. Want to know where Nyx comes from, and how Mitsuru's motorcycle and the Evokers work? All of that's found in the Persona 3 fanbooks. The fifth Block of Tartarus where the floors are made up multi-colored tiles despite the near-dark atmosphere.
The manga, for whatever reason. Two examples of this trope are used for Fuuka's Ultimate Persona, Juno, who is based off of the Roman equivalent of Hera, and Akihiko's Ultimate Persona Caesar he doesn't reference any Caesar in particular, but the motif seems to pick up from Julius Caesar.
The other Ultimate Personas take from completely different mythologies altogether, with Mitsuru's being based off of a real life ruler of a region in what was formally known as Asia Minor a region that makes up most of modern day Turkey. And Knowing Is Half the Battle: And Your Reward Is Clothes: Gotten from some Quests and rare chests.
Certain outfits can be bought from the police station at ridiculous prices. Some of the outfits actually have practical bonuses, though many are simply goofy and only useful for aesthetic purposes. The All-Out-Attack animation in Portable is updated in the aesthetics and cut-ins similar to Persona 4's. The original version of Persona 3 had a few questionable and highly annoying features that were removed in FES and P3P, largely because they just weren't logical to begin with and served only to hamper the player.
In the PS2 versions, the weapon shop would only be open in the afternoon, not the evenings, so when you went to the mall in the evenings the only location you could go to in the evenings, in fact! This was changed in the Portable version, making the shop open in the evenings. Viewing the Sunday television shopping program would eat up precious time you could be spending on a Social Link.
Changed in FES and Portable, where watching the show doesn't take up any time. The "tired" mechanic was revised in P3P so that you only get tired the next day rather than in the middle of the dungeon. Following this, Portable also give players access to the new item "Yawn B-Gone," which you can use the next day after a Tartarus run to cure it right away. In Portable and only in Portableyou could now assign individual commands to all of your party members, like in Persona 4, whereas before, you could only assign tactics to each party member, leaving you at the whims of an occasionally unreliable A.
In the PS2 versions, the cursor for the Fusion Select screen will always return to the top after you select a Persona. This is later fixed in Portable as the cursor remains to the current selection, saving the player a lot of time in fusing the recent Personas in the bottom of the list.
Even moreso when the Personas are purchased from the Compendium as the previously-bought ones are at the bottom. Just like in Persona 4, Portable allows you to immediately teleport through the highest unlocked floor in Tartarus if you walk through the door in the stairs of the entrance.
And if you think Portable's AFFs make the game too easy Maniac difficulty is there to challenge you once again. As a way to limit your grindingyour characters will eventually grow tired within Tartarus as you keep winning battles, thus their aim will worsen and they will get hit more often. This is a good point to call it a night, but for the persistent, characters will eventually go from "Tired" to "Sick", at which point not only will they have a higher chance of eating a Critical Hitany healing cast on them is less effective.
As soon as you return to the entrance, any tired characters leave automatically. However, the day right before a Full Moon Boss, as a way to stop the game from potentially becoming Unwinnablethis feature is removed, allowing you to train all you want. It was slightly changed in Persona 3 Portable. Characters will mention being tired between battles, and Fuuka or Mitsuru will comment about how you must be getting tired, but the actual 'Tired' status won't kick in until the next day.
The stronger your party members become, the less EXP they will receive, and lower-leveled enemies will simply run in terror if you attempt to get near them if your party is over-leveled.
If the correct things are done in FES and Portable, Chidori will come back to life although the canonicity of this is ambiguous and it's possible to save Shinji in P3P when playing as the female character. Ironically, the citizens in the game act this way toward Apathy Syndrome victims.
People with Apathy Syndrome can't talk or move, so if they're stuck outside, they can easily become dehydrated or get heat stroke. However, other than occasionally commenting on them being creepy the general population doesn't seem to even notice AS victims are there, much less make any sort of attempt to get the AS sufferers off the streets and into some sort of care facility or really do anything about them. As a result almost every single area in the game is filled with Apathy Syndrome victims by the full moon, which only gets worse as the game goes on.
Toward the end, a doomsday cult heralding the appearance of Nyx to bring death to the world appears. Though it only exists behind the scenes, it is led by none other than Takaya and Jin of the Strega. The Documents found at the Tartarus barriers, in which an initially unknown writer describes the circumstances that created Tartarus. It turns out to be the antique shop owner The video log left by Yukari's father is a more explicit version, although it was doctored and edited to manipulate SEES' motivations for slaying Shadows.
Fuuka recovers the real thing later on. Aigis uses her gattling fingers, hand cannon, or a rifle in battle, at which the said weapon types will deal almost equivalent amounts of damage as the melee weapons, gloves, or swords at the same level. For plot-related purposes, Takaya's revolver is enough to send Shinjiro and Junpei at death's door. Yet during his actual boss fight, the revolver will only take a little amount of your HP. You can only have up to 4 members in your party including the protagonist.
However, the game justifies this by having the party be an exploration team. That way, if the entire team bites it, SEES won't be wiped out Well, the world will end if the protagonist is killed, so they won't really get a chance to use the backup. But it's a nice thought. Mitsuru commands the rest of the party to Hold the Line against these Shadows and defend the main group while your group fights the final enemy.
Despite wielding their inner psyches to fight their own repressed feelings in a magical dungeon, none of the party genuinely believes in the idea of ghosts pervading the school.
In the end, though, the group is completely right. This is reflected with the numerous deaths in the game, either in the backstory of characters or during the game's plot.
The protagonist dies at the end, but both he and Aigis seem to have accepted it and he passes on with a calm smile. And the arc words for the entire Persona series: Armor is best used for its additional effects like resisting weaknesses than its defense because your Persona's endurance stats and elemental resistances play a much larger role.
The friendly AI will learn which special attacks do and do not work on enemies and change their tactics accordingly. They can also be programmed to follow certain tactics, such as focusing on an enemy's weakness to make All-Out attacks much easier to set up. That said, there's still a few issues with your allies' AI. Persona 4 and Persona 3 Portable added the ability to take take direct control over allies, eliminating this problem. Whoever is in charge of healing will usually wait until someone has lost at least 20 to 30 percent of their hit points before healing them rather than keeping everyone at perfect health all the time.
If a character is set to "Act Freely" they will always choose to heal critically damaged units rather than attack Another common issue is one where an offensive ally whose turn comes before the healer uses his turn healing or providing a support item to an ally Full Assault will stop your offensive leaders from healing, but the trade-off is that they have a tendency to knock down one of two identical enemies and rather than knock down the other, they'll hit the "down" one again, restoring its ability to attack.
The Knock Down tactic will stop them from handing the enemy an advantage, keeping them knocked down. There's Mitsuru's obsession with Useless Useful Spellsthough this tends to show up most when the enemy either blocks or shows no particular weakness to ice.
Even if it has no critical weakness, she'll still try Marin Karin over an ice attack, while everyone else is using a high-level elemental spell to inflict damage.
This goes up to eleven when they cast the break spell on an enemy that's already had its HP shredded and will be killed immediately after their turn.
Mitsuru and Yukari are particularly problematic in this regard. Despite having "seen" the effects of certain spells on enemies, your allies will never exploit weaknesses or avoid strengths unless an enemy is scanned. And even after an enemy is scanned, they may perform an attack that damages one enemy even if it heals others. In the battle with Nyx Avatar, she will cast a reflect spell that will instantly kill any party member that uses non-elemental attacks.
Fuuka herself recommends ordering the party to halt. This is not only the first Persona game where Shigenori Soejima designed the characters and setting, but it's also his first doing this job for any of the Shin Megami Tensei spinoff games, as SMT's main artist, Kazuma Kaneko, provided the art for the first two games.
Soejima did work on earlier projects, but mainly as a debugger, and he illustrated the in-game character portraits for the Persona 2 duology. The end result is a switch from the harsher, slightly surrealist aesthetic that permeates Persona's parent series and other spinoffs into something that's softer and more anime-like with a reliance on either flat or blurry colors to portray a certain mood.
A variation in the Portable re-release, in that the female protagonist has Social Links with every member of SEES along with the plot-important Ryoji Mochizuki, whereas the male protagonist only has links with SEES' female members and Aigis isn't even one of them in the original release of the game. As a result, Character Development for the guys is mostly seen or influenced by other characters, with Shinjiro in particular bordering on a Satellite Character because he's only in your party for one in-game month before getting Killed Off for Real.
The additional "date" requests also lets the player see more of Elizabeth in the FES re-release. The player is given the option to fall asleep in class. Doing so will improve condition, thereby letting the protagonist fight better in Tartarus, but in exchange the player misses out on the potential Academics boost.
After maxing out Academics, the player can sleep all the time, giving a near-constant "Great" status. As Long as There is Evil: Erebus is the embodiment of the despair and hatred in the collective unconscious of humanity, meaning it can never be truly killed until humanity itself is enlightened something one of the heroes eventually sets out to accomplish.Persona 4 Golden - Consequences of Being a Pimp
Tartarus has a lot of this going on in the early blocks, which are patterned after the school environment. Ikutsuki gives his early explanations about Shadows and the Dark Hour while conversing with everyone who is in SEES at that point, even saying the trope name word for word. Obviously, this is purely for the audience's benefit. As Shoji Meguro composed the game, it should be no surprise. The Tartarus Guardians have the rocking "Master of Tartarus" accompany each of their battles.
In the PSP remake, the female protagonist receives the much more heavy "Danger Zone" an instrumental remix of "Soul Phrase" for these battles. Right as the protagonist awakens to his Persona, the fast-paced guitar track "Unavoidable Battle" briefly plays before Thanatos wrecks the Magician Shadow. It reappears as the theme for battles against Strega. Be wary of elemental magic spells described as inflicting "severe" damage. Behold the Thanatos persona, your reward for tolerating the creepy child that keeps appearing in your room at midnight.
The Persona that embodies the theme of the whole game, the one that's on the cover art. And then come down from that high as you realize the consequences of fusing the ultimate Death Persona from the other six Death personas in the game.
Mudo spells up the wazoo, they'll fill the slots constantly on every setup, and will completely shunt out any more useful spells you could fill them with. Even in spite of this, he comes with a set of very generous skills, but has stats too low to make good use of them the way higher personas will later.
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 FES - Walkthrough
Considering that a lot of characters connected to S. Erebus can never be truly killed as long as there is at least one person who holds a desire for death. Shadow activity outside Tartarus is connected to the waxing and waning of the Moon; specifically, the most plot-relevant enemy Shadows appear on nights with full moons.
Also, certain Persona attacks are more effective on New and Full Moons. The names of several locations and characters also include references to the moon or moonlight. This never means anything good. All gone in The Answer. Along with character levels being reset to around Lampshaded by Ken and Akihiko, who liken it to studying for a test and forgetting everything immediately afterward.
Mitsuru and Yukari can be equipped with fanservice-y clothes that reveal a lot of their skin, particularly their midriff. Some Personae also apply to this, such as Scatach. Nyx Avatar, as well as the Empress and Emperor bosses. The famous "Mass Destruction", a fast-paced, jazzy hip-hop song, accompanies every standard battle.
The Answer uses another version of it in the same style with different lyrics, making it come off as a second verse of the song. The Yakushima Island vacation, where the heroes meet Aigis. Noteworthy for "Operation Babe Hunt," in which the three guys embark on a nearly disastrous mission to pick up girls on the beach.
Sword and Giant-type shadows have broadswords that are about 3 feet across and over 7 feet long. Nyx Avatar also carries a remarkably long blade. Nyx, though she doesn't really want to destroy the world.
Big Ball of Violence: Properly lampshaded in the animation for such. Most of the vocal themes on the soundtrack are in English, making them an example for the original Japanese version. The Shirt of Chivalry becomes one in the English version. The characters on the back of each character are fairly descriptive or ironic in Shinjiro's case.
The main character's "honourable man," Blood Knight Akihiko's is "fight," Ken's is grudge, Junpei's is color, but more likely "dirty minded", and Shinjiro's is "life. Since the song is in Japanese and there are no subtitles, English-speaking players have to find out what the song's about on their own. Strega means "witch" in Italian. While the MC and the rest of SEES do eventually manage to save the world from well, itself, none of their efforts will go recognized since no one else remembers what happened.
This is especially heart-breaking since the MC sacrificed his or her soul so that they could seal away Nyx until humanity comes to terms with its fear of death, which probably won't happen for awhile, if at all. From the speech where Ikutsuki betrays the party: So you were behind it all?!
You used both me and my father! The numerous soft drinks in this game all have names that play on the names of their Real Life equivalents and also reference popular TV shows, video games, and even gaming conventions.
For example, "Cylon Tea," described ingame as coming in 12 different flavorsand the BauerBar keeps you going for 24 hours. If you go on a date with Kenji, he talks about getting D'z's new single, a reference to real-life Japanese band B'z. Aigis, Yukari and Mitsuru in that order. Blood will often be puddling on the floor and dripping off the walls during animated cut scenes. Boke and Tsukkomi Routine: You perform one of these with Kenji in honour of the cancelled due to a typhoon school Culture Festival.
The Reaper and Elizabeth. In Persona 3 Portable, Theodore can replace the latter depending on choices at the start of the game. Additionally, Portable opens an entire roomful of bonus bosses during the final month, presided over by Margaret from Persona 4; most of these are harder variations on the Full Moon bosses with vastly increased stats and other limiting conditions for each fight.
Defeat all of those, and you fight Margaret herself. The title screen theme of FES is a rather melancholy piano instrumental. The credits theme for epilogue chapter The Answer is a cheerful, vocal remix of it.
The protagonist is listening to a remix of the game's main theme in the opening, muffled from his headphones. For the final boss, the song reappears in high-quality glory. The school year begins and ends with Mitsuru giving a speech to the student body. She remarks on this similarity during the second speech: When I first addressed you from this podium, I spoke to you all about seizing opportunity while you had the chance.
The first few days of the game have Yukari and Mitsuru telling you to go to bed, stating you must be tired. Cue to the end of the game after you beat Nyx where the game beats you over the head with text boxes and characters saying you look exhausted and that you need to go to bed. Near the beginning of the game, a text box says "The gentle spring sunlight is warm. Boss in Mook Clothing: The Shadows blocking your way on the "checkpoint" areas of Tartarus which are also referred by the Mission Control as "powerful Shadows".
They are basically more powerful than the "purple slimes" of the current block as mentioned below in the Elite Mooks entry. But they do take the appearance of the regular mooks you can encounter in the tower, albeit larger, with a higher health pool, stronger abilities, and more resistances.
The final boss' theme is a hard rock remix of the Velvet Room theme, and the Post-Final Boss has the rap remix of "Burn My Dread" first heard in the intro cutscene.
Going to the bathroom isn't necessary, strictly speaking, but doing so has a chance of giving you a better Condition.