Persona 3 Portable (P3P) is a remake of Persona 3 FES (FES), which is a remake of Persona 3 (P3). Both the previous games are on PS2, while P3P is on PSP. The story of the game centered on a nameless character (the gender depends on who you choose) who just got transfered to a new dorm.
Since the day he/she arrived, he/she realized of an unnatural phenomenon, which a hidden hour exist between midnight and the day after, called the Dark Hour. To make things worse, creatures called Shadow lurks in during this hour. A mysterious tower, Tartarus, exist only in Dark Hour too, is the nest of the Shadows.
You will play as an ordinary high school student in the morning, while in the night you will be pursuing this Shadows, protecting the townspeople. Balancing between this two is what makes the game so unusual.
What I Loved:
The same great Persona 3
About 90% in this game is the same as its predecessor, so you don't have to worry about it losing most of its important feature. The same Social Link system, battle system, and great boss fights are some of them. In fact, to make up for the lost, Atlus is generous enough to give us more additions which I will explain next.
A lot of added tweaks and features
I listed some of them below:
- more costume to unlock
- some Persona from Persona 4
- the ability to return to the last top floor visited from the first floor
- secret bosses to fight
and these are only the some of the minor changes. There are also big additions to expect.
The female protagonist
This is probably the most noticeable addition. You can play as a female character, though the main story is unchanged, there are a lot of features only available if you choose female character. The Social Links, the relationship that you build with fellow friends in the game, are the examples that differ from the male character. You can date the boys in your dorm now and see the side of them never revealed before.
Yeah, just choose her...I know you are itching to do so
The ability to control all your teammates during battle
This is the most welcomed addition in the game in my opinion. In the two games before, your party is controlled by the AI and your controls over them are limited (you only control the main character). Now that Atlus has adopted the battle system from Persona 4, you can control them directly and battle strategies can be devised more easily (instead of just relying on AI).
You all are under my command now dammit!
New soundtrack for female protagonist
New soundtracks had been added and you can listen to them if you choose the female protagonist. I guess this is mainly for P3 veterans so that they don't get tired of listening to soundtrack that are already available on previous versions. The soundtrack is nice and catchy, though can be repetitive at times.
New ways of increasing stats
The are three attributes for the main character, which are Academics, Courage and Charm. In previous versions, there are only a handful of activities that can increase them. Now they had added part-time job, which can increase two attributes at a time. In addition, you also receive money for working part-time.
Easier world navigation
It is easier to navigate the world (school, shopping mall, etc) now that you only have to move the cursor to talk to people or going to places (think of point-and-click in third person view). You can easily go anywhere by choosing on the menu by pressing the square button. But you can never walk your character around anymore.
Easier navigation, but you will never see your character walking
Awww don't be sad!
What I Hated
No anime cutscenes
The anime cutscenes have been eliminated from the game and they are replaced by in-game graphic. It's such a shame they decided to put it down but nevertheless the story is still great.
Some confusing narrating
You can never see your character model unless you are in Tartarus. During conversation with your friends, you can only their images and the background, so sometimes you have to use your creativity and imagination to understand what is happening. The narrating is good, but it's not enough to explain what is happening. We are playing games, and not reading some novel here.
Compare this two:
Absence of The Answer from FES
If you played FES, you'll know that the game has The Answer, an expansion to the main story of P3, which explains a few things that happened in the main story. The absence of The Answer is quite disheartening, but other additions is enough to make up for it.
Persona 3 Portable is a very outstanding JRPG, and I recommend it to both newcomer and veteran. If you missed out the game in 2007 and 2008, this is the perfect time to get it. If you already played both, there are a lot of additions waiting for you to see them.
Please do comment/correct/respond! Thanks~ :)
Disclaimer: I adopted the way Kotaku write reviews. By any means, I am not affiliated nor directly connected to Kotaku or its staff/editor. Any similarities in the content of review, if any, are purely coincidental and I always make sure I am making original reviews