Persona 3 Replay …

So, after finishing Blue Reflection and getting a bit burned out on Dragon Age: Origins (I was in the Deep Roads and facing all the traps to get to the Anvil), I decided to try replaying Persona 3 and Persona 4 again, which I’ve wanted to do for ages now. I started trying to get my PSP version going so that I could play with the female protagonist again, but the battery seemed to have blistered a bit meaning that I couldn’t play it, so I dug up my PS2 version of FES and started playing it again. And was glad I did.

It’s amazing how well Persona 3 holds up. While the dungeons are still a bit boring and grindy — especially playing a NG+ with a level 99 protagonist — the social links are incredible. One of the things that Persona 3 does that other games don’t seem to manage is to set up new S-links directly from interactions inside existing S-links. While Blue Reflection had you find people to recruit as allies from missions given to you by your other allies, what it didn’t really do was just have you meet them that way, which Persona 3 does constantly. You meet Yuko after joining the Kendo team — she’s the manager — as part of Kaz’s S-link. Maya in the MMO S-link complains about a man at the mall who is the Devil S-link. Bebe returns the wallet of one of the bookstore owners, which is how you meet him. Later, Mako actually has you meet the dying person S-link. And so on. This really makes the world seem interconnected and there are numerous cases where you know your S-links but others know them as well, and not just through you.

And the S-links are both numerous and deep. Everyone has issues to address that carry on throughout the entire link, while being interspersed with lighter material and times. While the problems are important and things you need to resolve, they aren’t all there is to the characters either. Despite the interactions being a bit primitive — but no more so than you can find in any other game — the S-links are fun and you really do feel like you’re getting to know the other person. And even in Persona 3 they had the system that they perfected in Persona 5 where your S-links will let you know when they are available to be talked to and to have their links advance, with your school links approaching you at lunch time to ask if you want to hang out after school. In Persona 5, this is done through texts, and applies to all of your S-links, but the Persona 3 system is still a better start than pretty much anything else I’ve seen.

At first, the graphics turned me off, but that wasn’t because of the graphics style but instead because it seemed blurry and even a bit distorted at times, and far more so than I remember. I think this is because I was used to playing it on an Amiga monitor which is a lot sharper than the composite input of my inexpensive HD TV. Putting that aside, the graphics style is more than good enough to make the game enjoyable, and so graphics to that level on an HD system would probably be sufficient if someone wanted to put together a good Persona-style game.

Overall, it’s still a pretty good game, and better than the Persona-style games out there that I’ve played. And it’s a twelve year old game. It holds up really well.

One Response to “Persona 3 Replay …”

  1. What I Finished, What I Played in 2018 | The Verbose Stoic Says:

    […] games that come even close to the later Persona games. Which struck me even stronger when I replayed Persona 3 and found it to be far superior despite being 12 years […]

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