Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 (Aldus)Written by Michael Siebenaler | | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Playstation 2 still has great new games like this one player role-playing game continues the Persona series with quality narratives and characters that make a high level relationship based experience. If you’re new to the series, the music video beginning and initial cut scenes are incredibly interesting especially when you encounter a girl with a gun. What transpires next and in the game’s future is really the only significant reason this game is rated M (and maybe pushing caffeinated drinks).
This engaging game follows a one-year timeline with full moons (about every month) when you and your teammates find special challenges fighting the shadows at a unique building housing the antagonist element effecting society on a large scale. Most scenarios allow open-ended opportunities as you make the decisions, which affect how fast you advance and develop. The all day Sunday friend visits are the only timeline element that disappoints. Each setting gets used eventually as you explore and discover on your own. This Altus title doesn’t take itself too seriously either with some of the names (i.e. Tartarus). You also encounter special areas and objects that all types of characters mention (it is always a good idea to pay attention to character dialogue though it can get lengthy and repetitive at times, depending on the timeline). A cell phone also helps you keep in touch with your new friends, gaining invites to other events.
Persona refers to the soul power which “thrives on bonds you have with others.” Relationship connections create an amazing experience in several different settings. At school, players increase their charm with other characters by answering questions in class. You’re not really penalized for not accepting social engagements, but don’t disappoint them too much consecutively. You can also find refuge with you fellow Specialized Extracurricular Execution Squad (SEES) teammates at the dorm. You can find or purchase special items on your TV, save your game at the front desk and study to increase your academic skills, which takes the highest effort besides the midnight hour fighting.
The familiar fighting elements allow you pre-emptive advantage hits (for both sides) before going into battle mode. You have a definite advantage in the battles with a varied fighting cache instead of one concentrated area, which is what your teammates usually have. If you want to take strategy out, then just rush your opponent. Your teammates (on auto control) may outperform you at times, but remember it takes a while for you to “level up” with your multiple personas. The more you interact with the environment, the more information you get to make informed decisions. The interface takes some of the strategy away from the player, but also saves you hassles like wasting your time in the faculty office when you can’t do anything there anyway. The various events and voice talent kept the timeline from getting stale. Every time you get close to predicting events or tire of the same settings, a new twist or opportunity appears changing the narrative and possibly characters. The load times can be frequent and a bit lengthy, but work well given the immense content and seemingly infinite combinations/possibilities, which produce a high replay value in this title.
Persona 3 is definitely worth the higher price (many recent Playstation 2 titles have reduced prices) for hard core RPG fans who plan on completing the game more than once. Casual gamers can also find a great experience if they complete the game in smaller blocks of time (e.g. one school week a night). Players can even choose an easy level that allows continues 10 times after a character becomes unconscious. Make sure you have plenty of rest and you’ll do just fine (your support team really freaks out if any one gets tired). This quality title ‘evokes’ elements of The Sims, Harvest Moon, Final Fantasy and even Choose Your Own Adventure books while creating several original scenarios to set it apart from these similar titles. (***1/2, rated M for blood, language, partial nudity and violence)