Persona 3 FES

2008-12-07 21:54:08

Persona 3 FES (Playstation 2)

I dusted off my old PS2 on request of an ally reviewer, as he told me that one of the best RPG's of all time was captured on a little old disc called Persona 3, and it's extended title Persona 3 FES. I being a fan of RPG's though not so much J-RPG's, agreed to give it an old school try. Let me say right now that I think I understand why the kids in the game blow their brains out. I would too if I were stuck in this gameworld forever..

Persona 3 follows the main character through his life at a new school. Sadly on his first night he also comes in contact with the shadows that come out during the dark hour. A strange nightly occurance that takes place for 1 hour between midnight and 1am. At that time all electronics stop working and everyone who isn't as enlightened as your character is finds themselves inside of coffins sleeping and hiding from the shadows inside these crates until the dark hour passes. Now such a storyline would be rediculous if it wasn't for the fact that this is an anime title, and in the world of Anime and shitting dicknipples, anything is possible..

So on the first night you find yourself fighting some big tough shadows and you come into possession of a gun, which you then raise it to your temple and pull the trigger, shattering your mind instead of your braincasing, and releasing your latent inner Persona, which then kicks the ass of all the shadows in town until dark hour passes. This is yet another odd design choice that makes the game seem more interesting than it is.. The game consists of following the main character through school, putting him in positions to gain certain character traits that boost certain bonds to specific types of personas, as your character can switch his persona out as needed to wreck havoc on the shadows. The rest of the game consists of mixing these personas and finding the best ones to use against the shadows inside the dungeon in the game known as Tartarus. Sadly dungeon exploring in Tartarus is made frustrating as there is character fatigue to accomodate for, and a level cap that you can only ascend so far before specific scripted events take place. Meaning on occassion you might not have anything to do in Tartarus other than grind mobs, or study at home.

Sadly this game feels poorly paced, tempo is slow and deliberate, which can be grueling to the player who likes to have constant activity. This game is very strategic and thus needs to be played quite differently than any other J-RPG in that most J-RPG's are simply run in a certain direction long enough and you'll find the last boss, nothing to stop you other than random encounters and spaced out mini-bosses. This game takes that tempo and scales it back to a crawl but at the same time widens the games fundamental foundation, making this game a unique, if not incredibly slow experience. Combat is pretty run of the mill, various enemies with supersets of themselves each weak to certain kinds of elements. Finding the right element means that you will inevitably destroy monsters very easily as you are rewarded with each weakening shot with another free round until you stop cheesing the weak points which you never will unless you run out of mp or something..

Reason Rank
Start 10
JRPG/Anime Elements -2
Diversity in choice and strategy +4
High School Simulator -5
Slow Pacing


Pokemon style Persona Breeding




I give this game a 4/10, while not my particular cup of tea in most cases the game does have some good foundation and if I find myself with a mountain of free time sometime in the future and can put up with the high school simulator portion of the game, then I might give this game another visit. It doesn't have any glaring problems, I just can't devote the kind of time the game requires me to undertake due to it's tortoise like pacing.