It’s not secret that I’ve got a deep love for everything MegaTen. I own just about every North American release there is for the series, including spin-offs like the Persona series. So even though I’ve owned Persona 3 FES for quite a while, I never actually got around to playing it. When I picked up my Vita, however, I knew that the first game I had to buy was the PSP remake of Persona 3.
Persona 3 Portable makes some pretty noticeable changes from the original; namely, the inclusion of a female protagonist. I think that’s probably the biggest reason why I wanted to play this version instead of the original or FES. Generally speaking, if I’m given a choice to play a male or female character, I will pick female 99% of the time.
Another change is the presentation. With P3P, Atlus made the game more like a visual novel. You still run around Tartarus and get into random battles with Shadows, but anytime you’re not in the labyrinth, you move with a cursor. I think this helps a bit with the story presentation, but if you’re one to avoid a lot of menus, this can be a bit of an irritant.
The story places you in the role of a new transfer student of Gekkoukan High, who is tasked with saving the world. Though it might seem like the usual JRPG fodder, the way it goes about this is pretty unique. You must balance school work and fighting, as well as maximizing your relationship with other characters, called Social Links. All of these aspects are important in successfully beating the game.
My first playthrough, I got the bad ending. I wasn’t following a guide and didn’t realize that by making a certain choice on December 31, I would be ending my game early. Luckily, it still allowed me to save my Clear data, so I could start a new game with all my levels and equipment. I’m on my second playthrough and am using a guide this time to max out my Social Links.
If you haven’t had a chance to play this yet, now’s as good a time as any, especially since Atlus recently reduced prices on many of their PSP titles through the PSN store. $20 is a steal for a game this solid.