Persona 3: Japan at it’s Finest

Atlus is one of my most favorite game companies of all times. I have been playing their games since the ripe age of 14, but they were producing LONG before that.

Some of the better known series probably include Disgaea, Growlanser, and Shin Megumi Tensei. Some of my favorite Atlus games include the enticing Catherine, the whimsical Dokapon Kingdom, and the alluring Odin Sphere. A full list of games can be found at Wiki: List of Atlus Games.

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Above all, however, Persona 3 is my absolute favorite. When P3 came out, I was 16 years old. I had probably read about the game in PSM (PlayStation Magazine) and was highly anticipating it. At that time I had done enough research to know I was not old enough to purchase it at the Mature rating. I also knew there was no way my parents would purchase it for me, due to the nature of the game. Yet I was determined. The fresh new collectors edition with art book and limited soundtrack had come out and by George I wanted it. I had just gotten my license that summer, so when the GameStop clerk asked for mutt idea I stood tall and handed it over with a smile. To this day I don’t know I’d he did the math wrong or if he took pity on me. Either way, I got out of the store that day with the game I wanted and was absolutely ecstatic.

There was a reason why Persona was rated M. It was scary and mysterious, the dungeons were covered in a blood like substance, the themes were awfully adult, and most of all was the gun shaped Evokers for which your party would use to summon their personas. By “shooting” themselves in the head the surge of adrenaline would bring out their inner strength.

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The uniqueness of the game aside (thanks Japan), I was immediately hooked. A long time fan of RPGs, the contrast of dungeon clearing at night while attending high school and making friends during the day left me constantly wanting more. I will admit,  the social link aspect with a dating sim feel was my favorite part. Overall, the 70-100 hours of gameplay kept me busy for a long time.

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Then came the next version, FES, which I of course had to have. With added features, new personas, and an all new story line to tack on to the end. I’m ashamed to admit that I still haven’t completed this. The only available mode is that of “really freaking difficult” and the lack of social link importance was a bit of a turn off, as I didn’t like mindlessly grinding through the dungeon. Like I said before the relationship aspect was my favorite part.

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Finally came Persona 3 Portable for the PSP. In this version you have the option to play as a female protagonist. I was totally psyched for this version, but wasn’t ready to spend the money on a third copy of the game. This past Christmas I was lucky enough to finally receive a copy, and I am once again absorbed in the P3 universe. When you start a new game you receive a disclaimer saying the lady protagonist is not just for girls, but meant for seasoned players looking for a renewed experience. With many different social link options and entirely different outcomes, it allows old players a new experience. Personally, I love it for the newness AND that I get to play as a kickass lady fighter.

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If you’ve never played the game than I’d certainly recommend it as well as other Atlus games.  If you have then props to you! I’d love to know what your impression was. Thanks for reading!

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2 thoughts on “Persona 3: Japan at it’s Finest

  1. Ian G. G. says:

    I tried the first Persona and found it a little too… Japanese. I’m not sure if you ever played it, but the high school students you play in that game find the world suddenly full of monsters and kinda magically have guns all of a sudden, to shoot up the random monsters. It’s a difficult game that doesn’t actually make sense, and requires excessive grinding. I’m told subsequent games were much better (much as FF3 is a low point for its series). Early titles suffer from their own plethora of growing pains, quite different from the pains of an aging franchise. I’ll definitely be looking
    into P3.

    • azuresky1329 says:

      This is the main reason why I never put didn’t effort into trying the earlier games. I first became aware of the series when 3 came out and it was unnecessary to play them to understand so I never bothered. The 4th installment is pretty good too, but 3 remains my favorite.

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