If you don’t know what Persona is, it would behoove you to do a quick Wikipedia search, read up about it, and then scour Ebay for copies of all the games. If you love Japanese RPG’s and you don’t know what Persona is, this blog post just might change your life. You could also skip the whole eBay thing and just wait for July, when one of the best RPG’s I have ever played gets released on the PSP!
In Persona 3, the player takes the role of a male high-school student who joins the Specialized Extracurricular Execution Squad (SEES), a group of students investigating the Dark Hour, a time period between one day and the next that few people are aware of. During the Dark Hour, the player enters Tartarus, a large tower containing Shadows, creatures that feed on the minds of humans. To fight the Shadows, each member of SEES is able to summon a Persona, a manifestation of a person’s inner self. The game’s most iconic feature is the method by which the members of SEES release their Personas: by firing a gun-like object called an Evoker at their head. In addition to the standard elements of role-playing games, Persona 3 includes elements of simulation games, as the game’s protagonist progresses day by day through a school year, making friends and forming relationships that improve the strength of his Personas in battle.
I know how weird this sounds, but the actual game play is so much fun. Because it isn’t so heavy set in one specific game type, by the time you get sick of dating or hanging out at school you are pumped to go into Tartarus to kill baddies. The game play keeps everything fresh, and lets you in on plot development slow enough where you will be craving for it, but not too slow so you start to lose interest. With engaging characters and beautiful environments, this is the total package for any JRPG fan.
If you haven’t played this game yet, you will have your chance once again when it gets a re-released on PSP with updated features and additional hours of game play. Some of these include the ability to control your teammates in battle, new skill cards(Personas), additional activities, the ability to play as a female, which changes all the social dynamics and dialog compared to playing as a male, among others.
You can pick up this edition of Persona 3 on July 6th this summer. For more information on the game, you can check out the official site here.