It seems that PlayStation Portable is quite a popular platform for JRPGs. If you don’t know JRPG stands for Japanese Role Play Game and it’s an entirely new genre of RPGs that has been inspired by Final Fantasy series. During the years, we’ve seen many JRPGs on the PlayStation Portable and now we got a new RPG that comes from Atlus. Atlus is famous for its Megami Tensei series and the latest RPG from this developer is Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 Portable. As for the Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 it has already been released on PlayStation 2 a while ago and now it’s finally the time to see the PlayStation Portable version, so let’s check out what Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 Portable for PlayStation Portable has to offer.
In Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 Portable you’re a high school student in modern Japan and soon after you arrive to your new high school you discover that this is not an ordinary school. When the “Dark Hour” occurs all people from your town are turned into coffins and strange tower appears during this “Dark Hour” that is filled with monsters known as Shadows. As you probably guessed it, your quest here is gathered your high school friends and enter this strange tower during the “Dark Hour” and defeat the Shadows. Of course, high school students are not alone against the Shadows because they can summon powerful beings known as Personas to help them out. Interesting thing is that Personas are character personalities and as character builds stronger social relationships in school the more powerful his Persona gets. The interesting thing in Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 Portable is that you have a leading female character as well and that you can make all sorts of unique social links with her as well. Social links are sided stories and by completing them you’ll establish new friendships or maybe even fall in love and make your Persona stronger that way. As you see, there are two parts of the game: the battling stage that happens during the “Dark Hour” and day stage that takes place in the high school. At school, you need to attend classes, meet new friends and join clubs so it’s like a simulation game during the day. There are many decisions in Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 Portable and all of them will influence your charm, academics and courage stats and it will change the way how the world sees you. In order to make your Persona stronger, you’ll need to spend a lot of time with your friends to make sure that you find time for them as well.
There are some new things in Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 Portable and as I mentioned before the first one is the female protagonist that will give you a whole new look at the story. Besides new female protagonist, there are new difficulty settings but the biggest improvement is the ability to take control over your friends during the combat. As you might remember, on the PlayStation 2 you weren’t able to do that and often your teammates wouldn’t heal you and that was the main source of frustration in PS 2 version. No more will have to rely on poor AI to make choices in battles because now you can make them all on your own and it’s the great improvement that will make your battles easier and simpler than before.
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 Portable is a great game but it has its flaws and the first one is the absence of the animated cutscenes that we loved in previous games. Instead of cutscenes we got screenshots and voiceovers but it just doesn’t feel the same. Besides that, there’s no free roaming in Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 Portable. You can still choose where you want to go, but you won’t be able to walk, instead you’ll just have to move your cursor to the interactive objects on the screen. This might make the game faster but it’s still a flaw in my opinion. Another problem with Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 Portable is that battles and dungeons can get a bit repetitive and you might easily get bored with them, but despite that this game provides great complexity and interesting story that makes Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 Portable one great game.