How Persona 3 destroyed my love for Japanese RPGs

Persona 3 FES
Persona 3 FES Cover
Platforms PlayStation 2, PSP
Genre Soul crushing Japanese RPG
Buy from Amazon

Update: I like Japanese RPGs again.

It was just a few years ago that I was a Japanese RPG freak.  In just one holiday, I asked for and received Persona 3 FES, Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria, and Rogue Galaxy.  Three of the biggest JRPGs to land at the end of the PS2 lifespan.  You know how much of those games I've played since?  About 30 hours of Persona 3, the first hour of Rogue Galaxy, and I haven't even touched Valkyrie Profile 2; I blame it all on the games themselves.

If I were to make an exhaustive list of my all-time favorite games, it would undoubtedly be topped by Chrono Trigger, closely followed by Suikoden II and Final Fantasy VI, with Final Fantasy X somewhere up there too.  All Japanese RPGs, and all very good games for varying reasons.  I spent my college years playing more from what used to be my favorite genre, and watched my roommate play a ton of them including the original Valkyrie Profile, Shadow Hearts: Covenant, my copy of Xenogears, and pretty much the entire Xenosaga trilogy.

Maybe I was already burned out on the genre when I heard about how great Persona 3 was; how it was the ultimate JRPG and that a re-release of the game was going to put it into my budget again.  By the time I started playing it, I even had Persona 4 in my possession already (which I also haven't touched).  I knew without a doubt I was going to love this game.

Note: This post evolved from a rant on Persona 3 into a rant review on Persona 3, so while it's designated as a full review, I have not beaten either Persona 3 FES or Odin Sphere.  No final scores will be given for obvious reasons.

Odin Sphere CoverRunning in circles

Maybe we should start where the downward spiral began: Odin Sphere.  If there's something I hate about video games, it's repetition, and Odin Sphere has it in spades.  While the game is undeniably gorgeous with some of the best sprite animations ever, the gameplay is just the same freaking thing over and over again.  Enter a stage, fight some bad guys for five minutes while frantically trying to plant and harvest seeds for alchemy purposes, beat the stage, collect a crapload of treasure, and repeat.  Sometimes there will be an extremely tough and unbalanced boss fight that will have you kiting it for 10 minutes followed by a 20 minute cutscene about characters you stopped caring about hours ago. Sigh.

I don't mean to hate on the game a ton, but even after devoting something like 15-20 hours, the game simply wasn't changing at all.  Every five hours or so you'd get to play as a new character and get to try out their move set while seeing their side of the same story, but it was still the same 2D hack and slash that I'd already been stressing over.  The game even makes you fight most of the same boss battles over because now you're playing as a different character, oooh.

And while the alchemy system was kind of cool, the limited inventory space made it a huge pain and the constant necessity of planting seeds just irritated me.  And when it was essentially the choice between leveling up and growing your plants to make potions to stay alive, I wanted to pull my hair out!

Everything about Odin Sphere felt like molasses. Oh, you want to go to Rabbit Town to spend your three coins on some food?  First spend 60 seconds loading the entrance to the town and then another 60 seconds loading the building you want to go into (and finally another two minutes to actually get back to some gameplay).  The town consists of two doors, both lead to a shop, why can't they streamline this?  Not to mention the talky cutscenes that go on forever with awful voice acting. Ugh.

By the time mid-2008 rolled around I was already on the verge of wanting to drop kick the next Japanese RPG that came into sight, but then of course, Persona 3 came along with all the fanboy hype to go with it.

F.E.S. = Frakking Endless Story?

Persona 3 fes ClassroomEnter Persona 3 FES, another Atlus published game on the PS2 and the enhanced director's cut of Persona 3 (FES actually stand for "festival," I guess...).  I never wrote a first hour review on the game, and it's probably a good thing I didn't because it would have bored you all to tears.  Confusing anime cutscenes, a crappy mute hero, and walls and walls of text.  Man, I really should have listened to my heart and not kept playing, but the promise of a great game made me go on, plus the first hours of JRPGs just tend to suck anyway (Final Fantasy VII excluded).

So once the game actually got rolling, it was pretty cool.  You play as some emo with spiky hair (redundant?) who just moved to a new town and is immediately caught up in its weird, paranormal activity.  Every night at midnight, time essentially stops for most residents as they enter the Dark Hour.  Evil stuff happens during this time and it's up to our band of depressed teenage heroes to figure out WTF is going on (also my own goal).  The Dark Hour is the only time when you actually fight during the game, the rest is spent socializing with schoolmates and an old couple who own the bookstore.

Let's talk about the non-gameplay part first, mainly Social Links.  Social Links are the bonds of friendship you make with other individuals.  There's a bunch of people you can interact with after school, but it's just a bunch of talking and you hopefully picking the correct answer to their problem.  I generally enjoyed this stuff, even if it felt like every day was on rails (wake up, go to school, maybe answer one question during class, finish school, do a social link, go and fight).  There were some interesting characters to befriend, until they started getting obnoxious.

One loser I befriended early on kept calling my cell phone at night wanting to make plans.  I wanted nothing to do with this guy because I was trying to get with the girl with the glasses, so I kept shutting him down.  His text response was always so sad, get the message, dude.  Tangent: why are games doing this so much lately?  Take Grand Theft Auto IV, I'm playing a game about shooting people and running down hookers, why do I have to maintain in-game friendships with people around me?  This trend needs to stop.

So every day is basically spent increasing your friend points with one other person, and then it's off to fight in Tartarus during the Dark Hour.  Tartarus is this magical tower that somehow holds the secrets to everything.  How anyone knew this, I can not remember, but it was probably just assumed that since this tower only appears during the bad time, we might as well climb it.

Tartarus sucks

Persona 3 fes TartarusThis has got to be the most lazy dungeon design I've ever seen.  The point is to keep climbing higher and higher in the tower and reaching these mid-points where you can resume from the next night.  Every single floor in a section of Tartarus looks exactly the same.  They use the same texture in every corner and if there wasn't a mini-map, you'd be lost immediately.  Thankfully, Persona 3 doesn't feature random battles, instead, enemies appear as a black blob on the dungeon floor: the bigger the blob, the more enemies to fight.

The problem with the purple blob is you have no idea what enemy lies within.  Is it a crappy bat you can kill in one hit?  Or could it be some giant snake that will kill your entire group in one hit?  You don't know until you fight it, meaning sometimes you will get your butt kicked and you just lost the last half hour of your life.  I hate you, game. The instant wipe isn't all that common, but it happened to me a few times and was pretty much the last straw that did me in.  I made it to like floor 80 or something and just couldn't take the monotony anymore.

I took two approaches to climbing Tartarus: when a new block would open up, I would try to rush up all the floors as quickly as possible so that I could guarantee I at least made it to the boss in time.  In time for what you might ask? Well, since Persona 3 follows a real calendar, days go by in the game and you have to complete a certain block of Tartarus before the full moon comes around again.  At the full moon you finally get to do something interesting and fight outside Tartarus, but because that only happens once out of 28 playable days, you've pretty much already gone insane by the time that rolls around.

The second way to climb Tartarus was to grind.  When that full moon day came by and you had to participate in the special mission, you had better be leveled high enough to beat the full moon boss.  Not able to beat it?  Grind some more. Grind, grind, grind.  I hate grinding more than I hate shimmying.  The reason I love Chrono Trigger is because you never have to grind.  It doesn't help that the battle system sucks.

Another bad thing about Tartarus: randomized floors means you're running around aimlessly even if you're in a level you've traveled through dozens of times.

Worst thing about Tartarus: if you don't hit the enemy with your sword while running around, the enemy will get the first round of attacks in.  If they're decently strong at all, you will wipe.

Battle system sucks

Persona 3 fes BattleI tried to think of a clever heading to put there, but that seems to sum it up pretty well.  The battle system of Persona 3 progresses very slowly and has the great feature of only letting you control the main character.  I understand that more and more games are doing this now including Final Fantasy XIII, but I like being in control of everyone on the battlefield.  I'm playing the game here, let me control what I would expect to control.

The lack of direct control over the other three characters in battle can lead to some huge issues, mainly that the A.I. can be dumb.  You can actually influence your friends by setting what mode they should be in, but it still isn't fine grained enough not to be yelling at them when they ignorantly use some crappy power instead of just killing them with a sword slash.  Most enemies in Persona 3 have a weakness, and exploiting this weakness knocks that enemy out for a turn (and you get an extra turn with the attacker).  If you knock all the enemies on the battlefield out, you can do a team rush attack and everyone jumps in and performs a beat down for a few seconds.  This is actually a cool tactic and entertaining even after the 100th time, but it's pretty much up to you to knock them all out as they just fail to make the connection.

So even though you've got three other combatants hanging out with you that you can't directly control, it still felt like I had to do everything in the battle.  Grinding in Tartarus made me want to chuck my PS2 through my window.

I mentioned the battles are slow, that's because whenever you perform a magic attack you have to watch your character put a gun (excuse me, Evoker) to their head and pull the trigger.  Each animation takes a few seconds, and is the same thing over and over again.  I get the point, you're being edgy with the suicide thing, I don't need to keep seeing it!  What should be a simple battle that takes seconds in games like Suikoden II or Final Fantasy X takes over a minute or longer in Persona 3.  Feels like Skies of Arcadia all over again.

Boss battles suck

Persona 3 fes Battle all out AttackOkay, this is hopefully my last sucks headline, but it's true.  If it's a full moon boss, you never know if you're going to be powerful enough to take it down.  Did I do enough grinding in Tartarus?  Beating the current Tartarus boss is never enough to know either because the bosses have totally different tactics with different strengths and weaknesses.  It pretty much requires FAQ reading if you don't want to spend hours overleveling.

Every time I beat a boss, it felt like total luck.  Bosses in Persona 3 come in two flavors: either you'll be able to whoop down on them in a few turns as you continually exploit their simple weakness, or it's a war of attrition and the battle lasts an hour as you each perform the exact same moves on each other over and over again and you just hope your calculations are correct and their health bar will diminish faster than your own.  Both kinds of bosses suck.

And if you happen to die? Prepare to face a multi-minute game over and loading screen as you try to get back into your game.  That's the worst punishment, having to experience the title screen all over again just because you died.  I heard Final Fantasy XIII just sort of plops you right back in front of the guy you just lost to, while that sounds like total Easy Mode it at least sounds better than the torture Persona 3 puts you through.

Oh yeah, somes bosses come in pairs, and unless you kill both within one turn of each other, the living boss will revive and FULLY HEAL the dead boss.  I hate you, game.

Conclusion

I eventually hated playing Persona 3, and now I hate the entire Japanese RPG genre.  I really wanted to like the game, I played it off and on over an entire year and put a ton of time into the game, but I had to stop.  The game was driving me slowly insane and I needed to move on to greener pastures.  Greener pastures obviously don't include other JRPGs, because I don't even want to look at the cover art of another one.

I should note that at one point, I really was enjoying the game.  For my 2008 Game of the Year Awards, I named Persona 3 FES "Game I'm in the middle of that could have been a contender" and actually said "I definitely plan to finish this game unless the daily routine becomes way too repetitive, but I think I'll stick it out."  I was both right and wrong: the daily routine (plus the grinding) did me in, but I didn't stick it out.

What I need is to find something that will snap me out of it and I have an idea what it is:

Play Suikoden II again.  I might just do that.  Now there's a fine game.

Comments

I get how the game comes to

I get how the game comes to be too repetitive and that the characters talk too much. But I would disagree with some of the things said about tartarus. It isn't a bad thing that you can't see the monster you're about to fight before you fight it. It isn't a big deal if the monster is too tough for you, because you can run away. Pokemon doesn't let you know what you're about to fight, but no one complains about that?
And it's not actually a big deal that characters are harassing you about hanging out, because all they're doing is offering you the opportunity to build their social link. If you want them to stop, complete their social link. Then they so talking to you and you can live happily ever after with chihiro.

Good Bad or Boring?

Good side: this game is fun. answering the question is fun. for me tho. it's like i can be me, i got option to chose. and it's three option! not just 2. eheh. and i pretty like tartarus. it's so challanging for me like i need to owned each block. need to get stronger until all enemies i've found are distressed. the story is good too. i've laughed to some convos between junpei and yukari xD i play this game (Persona 3 Portable). i like how tricky the enemies are. like there's an enemy with ice symbol on it's head. i thought it's power is ice.but then it's their weakness. (some shows their power, some shows their wekness lol)

Bad side: well, need to read the guides tho. the class quiz.. well i thought if i pay attention to what the teacher say i can find the answer but no (some might be yes or is it just me. i need to google every question. i swear i've read the text what the teacher say. a lot battle tips to fight boss. i didn't read the guides that time i keep using my magic (zio) to fight the 3rd boss (i think) then i keep dying for many times. when i try carefully just to use attack or bash like that the boss would never use it's deathly skill -___- and also the fusing tips, our charms, academics, bla bla bla guide guideguide..
*plus for the P3P: i hate how useless Orpheus is! we all want our first hero became the strongest ay?

Boring side: velvet room is boring! like gosh i've spent most of times just to see and learn about fusing thingy and some of elizabeth's request are clueless........... :'(

fyi i didn't follow the walkthrough at all. i've play p3p, p3fes, and p4. i re-playing P3P just now and it's still addicting.

Wow...

this whole post went from valid debate to a bunch of screaming whining children all calling each other stupid for having an opinion *slow clap* way to make a good impression on the gaming community

Persona 3/series being good? Debatable

Personally, I'm a huge fan of the Persona series (although looking at the other comments, people despise it, too), and I am finding it awesome, and a very unique and enjoyable gameplay experience.
FOR ME.
If I had to be honest here, the gameplay DOES suck in several ways.

1. The difficulty and gameplay
This game is unforgiving at times, and party A.I. can be stupid (what else do you expect from A.I., though?) on more than enough occasions. The battle system was pretty good, I thought. The idea of having an additional move after knocking down an enemy, and the enemy being able to do the same to you was pretty cool to me at the time, and still is. And the SAME FREAKING DUNGEON FOR THE ENTIRE GAME I wasn't too happy about that, either. In the beginning of the game, I thought Tartarus was just an early-game dungeon that I'd literally go there for the tutorial and never come back. But nope. I had to go back there over... and over... and over again! Eh. I got over it.
Seriously, though. Once you play through a decent portion of the game, you'll find yourself able to pace yourself and get used to how you play the game. Grinding will be minimal, and you can balance it with activities outside of battling.

2. The repetition of the game
Let me just say this; I COMPLETELY understand anyone who says this game is repetitive sometimes, or all the time. Tartarus is pretty bland and boring, for sure. Climbing through the same boring, randomly-generated tower gets monotonous pretty damn quickly, and the same battles over and over again aren't helping. As for social links... I have yet to see a concept like this in any other RPG yet (or maybe I just don't play enough of them). They add an interesting gameplay mechanic to the game, and you can really see the characters develop as you progress their social link. Sure, having the same formula for each day (i.e. go to school, hang out w/ social link, sing karaoke in the evening) might turn people off the game (understandably) but I'm not really bothered by that.

3. Uhh... Music? Or plot? I dunno.
Music? I didn't really get it at first, but it wasn't like I minded it. In fact, after awhile, I started to really enjoy it, in the game or on my MP3. Some songs, especially close to the end of the game (if you're gonna play that far), are really nice and memorable. The progressive-style themes of Tartarus and a dungeon in the epilogue included in FES sound boring and kind of bad, but later in the game, you can change the dungeon theme to several others whenever you want. All you have to do is make it to that point in the game...
Plot? When you get to the end, sh*t gets serious, dude. It IS pretty lackluster when you first start off, but it gets really good if you progress enough. Even though the protagonist is silent, he still feels pretty cool to me (also emo-looking, but I fell like that sometimes, too XD), and I feel the protagonist creates some nice bonds with others that most people WISH they could have with other people.

4. Other random stuff
If you play a Persona game, expect a "Frakking Endless Story", at least in the introduction. That is DEFINITELY a bad thing about these games; they take too damn long to start. Have your finger/thumb on the X button and get ready to button-mash for a few hours, because literally all you get is dialogue. The anime cutscenes sort of clash with the feel of the game (going from simple polygons on screen to anime cutscenes) and they are confusing at times, but most are explained later in the game (or you can draw your own conclusions if you want) and make complete sense if why the developers bothered to show you the cutscene.
This game is LONG. Like, REALLY LONG. Anyone reading this should have plenty of time on their hands, since you'll be sitting in front of a television for 70+ hours, at least.

5. Conclusion
Persona is a great game series, but obviously not for anyone. Looking back, this series has very many outstanding and significant flaws, but people can look past them and enjoy the good parts of the game. That's WHY this series has a strong fanbase to begin with. Your review makes some excellent points, but you could easily argue that the game is much better than you make it seem. In the end, it is unique among RPGs/JRPGs and certainly not everyone can enjoy it. But, for those who do enjoy it, it's an awesome game.

(Also, I'm completely aware of the fact that I'm posting this on a nearly-4-year-old review, but I felt the need to give my thoughts and opinion as well. Besides, you said you still read these reviews, so I'm hoping you'll read this one too.)

Fair enough. But not fair.

I will have to agree on the battle system parts from Persona 3. F.E.S. didn't fix anything, and even nerfed a few things, from the original (which is what I play, screw the extra content, I like my gimmicks.) Persona 4, however, did well to fix this problem, along with a couple others.

I believe the reason this game has such a concrete progression structure is to challenge the player to get as much done as they can in order to have the strongest team with the best S. Links. Also to assume a role of another person/character. While the protagonist isn't voiced (Probably for the better.) it still lets you convey choices and such which affect your experience and progression in the game. While this -is- a JRPG, I do not consider it to be the same type of JRPG as Final Fantasy (which I abhor. But we won't go into that). These two games share many core gameplay aesthetics, but the games are vastly different in core gameplay mechanics. Day-by-day progression in Persona makes it a very different game than FF. You don't plan for your next night in FF, because there isn't one unless the story actually makes the time progress itself. Quite a bit different.

A review is not a very constructive one when you have to hold a cardboard cutout of another game over it to analyze what it does or doesn't have. Games are different from each other. Even if they're both a "JRPG."

Not all games are for everyone. As much as we may want to think so. The degrees of abnegation a player desires can determine what game they want to play as much as their desire for conquest, a solid story, or any other number of things people seek in games. Persona 3 fit my bill perfectly, it didn't fit yours. That's all there is to it.

200+ hours in P3, 240+ in P4. Zero hours in any Final Fantasy game (aside from the one or two I gave a few of them) No regrets here.

This was one of my personal

This was one of my personal favorites.
I can totally see your point and you did make some valid points. Tartarus is fairly annoying and at times boring. I enjoy it though because after my fourth time, yes four times this is the only game that I have ever replayed more than once, it is simple. This game also keeps me coming back for more because I love the storyline to pieces.
And I didn't think the voice acting was that bad. Not as bad as other games I've saw like the English dub of .hack. Seriously, it's terrible. I had to switch the dialogue to Japanese (thank the lord for the option). The music though is terrible for most Persona games. The only decent track is "Heartful Cry" and that's only in the Answer. It gives me a good laugh though and personally, I don't care too much. If it's such a big deal there IS a volume control button on your TV. WOWZER. Really, if you are going to complain about it, you can always listen to other music while you play. That's what I typically do during long training sessions at Tartarus.
I thought the whole point of an RPG (aka A ROLE PLAYING GAME) way to be able to make your own decisions? Isn't that what ROLE PLAYING is? Maybe this is in a broad sense, but the game does allow you to make almost all decisions by yourself. And, while the battle style can also be annoying, isn't it more realistic? In real life you can't control the people around you. It gives the game a sense of realism in it. I was kind of bored the first couple months of my first play-through but, now I really love it. I spent 130 hours on it total, and it doesn't seem like you even made it past the first few months of the game unless you speed through it without paying attention to the plot. I love longer games because spending 30 bucks on a game you beat in 50 hours is kind bland. Plus the fact that this is such a big game, there's always something more to do.
This is all my personal opinion and I can totally see why you may dislike it though. It's kind of a boring game to some and most people like Persona 4 better. Personally, this is my favorite in the series because of the darker undertones. This one was like "DEATH, DEATH, DEATH, GOTTA DO MY SOCIAL LINKS" while Persona 4 was like, "YAY FRIENDSHIP FRIENDSHIP LET'S BE FRIENDS" I love that game too, but it's so freaking happy. I still really like Persona 4 though because it is a whole different spin to the Persona series though, it's just not my favorite.

(Might get some hate for this, but personally I hated FFX and it is my least favorite in the Final Fantasy series. To me, Tidus was so annoying and the characters, other than Yuna, did not really develop. The plot twists were so easily guessed and c'mon really? The ending? It was frustrating and really not much fun. The battle style was good like all Final Fantasy games but IX was so much better plot-wise. Also, I have only played Suikoden IV for a short time at a friends house and I liked it though, so I may pick up the others if they are similar to it.)

Casuals.

The games 2 easy 4 me, I need 2 play a game like Final Fantasy! BECUZ THAT'S THE ONLY RPG THAT SHOULD EVER BE COMPARED TO OTHERS. No. It's not. Not all games are the same, if they were,it'd be terrible. P3 adds a very distinct category in RPGs. Which is good. A game with story 100 hours long and an ending that makes you sob is quite frankly a very well written story. I would suggest to people who hate P3 to play more Final Fantasy and never stray out to find a diamond in the rough like p3 was.

OK, why the hell is everyone

OK, why the hell is everyone shouting about this? Persona is the best game ever. The battle system is awesome and the bosses are great. Nobody should ever hate this game. I know I won't. I will love it as my fav game forever. I worship nyx and i have changed my name to Mistoki Nagasai as that's what I called my character in P3P. There!!!

May be a nice game but not a good rpg is the point

Because we aren't discussing of it as a game of general mean, we're specifically talking about Jrpg here. Try to compare this game's battle system with any other Rpg will make it look really bad. You like garbage, it's your choice, but saying rubbish is great just makes no sense.

From the view of a long time rpg player, I'd say this game failed in rpg genre, but definitely succeeded in visual novel and dating sim category. You like the latter genres then of course this game suits you well, but don't , just please don't praise it as a good rpg.

"Because we aren't discussing

"Because we aren't discussing of it as a game of general mean, we're specifically talking about Jrpg here. Try to compare this game's battle system with any other Rpg will make it look really bad. You like garbage, it's your choice, but saying rubbish is great just makes no sense.

From the view of a long time rpg player, I'd say this game failed in rpg genre, but definitely succeeded in visual novel and dating sim category. You like the latter genres then of course this game suits you well, but don't , just please don't praise it as a good rpg."

Sure , you're an experienced rpg player good for you. Lets not repect other peoples opinion and assume they only play garbage games.
As a gamer ( not rpg player per se ) I like Persona 3. Sure the battle system is not the best, but the overall feel it has is better than many other "respected " titles ( Tales of Xillia comes to mind ) . I'm pretty sure that I have a good feeling what makes a good game ( for me ) as one has been around since the Missile Command on the atari 2600 days. Plenty of rpg's among those too

The problem with your post is not that voice your opinion. Think that persona 3 is garbage all you want. Thinking that your opinion is worth more than anothers however is utter BS.

Noob.....such a

Noob.....such a noob.....never heard of walkthroughs?
It helps you out a whole lot although you need to study the walkthrough before hand.
This game is meant to be difficult as you need time management skills, battle strategy skills, creative & critical thinking skills, etc all in one.
I've played Persona 3 FES male version and now I'm playing Persona 3 Portable female version and the female version is freaking awesome although the male version is freaking awesome as well, but I'm a lady so I was really happy when I finally get to play the female version :3

Tartarus
-The dungeon design doesn't really bother me, actually it's neat and simple. AND not every floors have the same design, every BLOCK has different design and different music theme.
-You CAN control all the members! Go to 'Tactics' and pick 'Direct Command' and you can choose whether or not to control them since I only control them when fighting bosses in Tartarus and full moon bosses. If you don't have the command then sucks to be you *laughs* in Persona 3 Portable there is though.
-You DON'T have to actually run around until you can hit the 'blob' (such a rude word to describe it) shadow. The point is to sneak up at its back and hit it. When I played the male version, I equip him with a bow so that I could hit the shadow from far, very convenient.
-To kill bosses (both in tartarus & full moon) you NEED battle strategy, it is stated in walkthroughs

-Seriously......find a walkthrough if you wanna play this -_- I'm done typing

childish argument

Why do you have to have a walkthrough to play a game? If no one wrote a walkthrough for you, you wouldn't play the game?
That's too much of BS for today. Goddamn lazy bums, no wonder kids like you prefer this piece of sh*t over games that require actual thinking.

"Direct Command" only exists

"Direct Command" only exists on the PlayStationPortable version, fool. This guy was complaining about the PS2 version, which makes you rely on the crappy AI. Read the correct Walkthrough, moron!

this guy play P3P FES... Of

this guy play P3P FES... Of cause got "Direct Command"...-_-'

Oh sorry not P3P FES... It's

Oh sorry not P3P FES... It's P3 FES... he he he...

NO! FES has no DIRECT

NO! FES has no DIRECT COMMAND! Look it up or play it Moron!

1. Games should not relied on

1. Games should not relied on Walkthough to be played.
2. You CANNOT change to Direct Command. That only works in the PSP version.

this dosen't suck you suck

this dosen't suck
you suck

he sucks? no you suck

he sucks? no you suck

Can you detect any argument

Can you detect any argument in your message? At least the guys expressed his opinion with reasons, so we can start the debate base on them whether you agree or not and WHY?.
But look, you're shouting like a spoiled kid right now. Plan to grow up anytime soon?

The gameplay is a disgrace to traditional Jrpg

The main focus of a Jrpgs is the importance of both Story/Characters and Gameplay/Battle system. I actually enjoy the plot here and some characters do grow on me. But look at the gameplay. Just gotta say, it disgusts me.

Almost no customization for the battles, lame-ass and only one dungeon available for the whole game, strategy is pretty irrelevant due to shitty AIs and fixed skill sets for other characters...the game easily becomes repetitive.

What does it try to do? It implements the fuking VISUAL NOVEL+DATING SIM style into a BATTLE game series, totally ruined my expectation of the series after the wonderful experience I had with Persona2. If I really wanted a sim game, I would buy one, but now, just wonder why the hell do I have to play a sim game that disguises as a rpg.

Make a survey and you'll see, the rage is mostly from those who've been long time rpg fan while I must admit for people who aren't familiar with rpgs in general and also for young males+female community, this game might be player friendly for them. But Lord, please save the old rpg fandom from this trashy gaming trend.

^That sounds right

Agree, RPGs were never all about just fighting or story alone, there must be a nice harmonisation of both in order to make a good RPG.

Screw lamers who play games just to know about plot, go grab a novel or watch an anime, that's what you want. If battling isn't something you want to enjoy, stay away from this genre.

Screw suckers who play JRPGs just for the gameplay, you're perfectly suited for FPS or fighting games. JRPGs are even much different to WRPGs due to deep story, characters background and sometimes even history of the game is very prominent.

If I had to give a score, Person 3 would get 8 or 9 out of ten for its story, pretty interesting that is.
however, I'd give only 1-2 points for the battle system. Not hard but way tooo boriiinggggg, much worse than most jrpgs out there.

this is one of the best games I've ever played

and I'm sure that a lot of people would agree with me. this is a very highly rated game. it sounds to me like you are just trying to be the rebel "game reviewer" the quote marks are there to emphasize that you suck at reviewing games so stop trying to review games cause its insulting to people who can really appreciate a good game.

Yeap best game ever

I so agree on you because as far as I know Persona 3 is the best game ever and I've played the Male version and now I'm playing the Female version which is awesome because I get to get a lover's route with the guys <3

No way !

I wonder how many RPGs have you guys played to draw that conclusion. I've been playing JRPGs from SNES era until now, and among all these games this one could only find a place in mid-tier at best.

this is one of the best games I've ever played

and I'm sure that a lot of people would agree with me. this is a very highly rated game. it sounds to me like you are just trying to be the rebel "game reviewer" the quote marks are there to emphasize that you suck at reviewing games so stop trying to review games cause its insulting to people who can really appreciate a good game.

Dude stop crying

I understand u thinking the game is a little redundant, hell it's A LOT redundant, but it's a good game none the less, and I admit that some of the bosses( floor bosses, not full moon) don't require strategy to beat they require LUCK and a damn lot of it....but that's only one or two that pissed me off in that regard, the game itself has an original concept it's not the old run around going from place to place fighting random battles for exp or cash... It does have that it wouldn't be an RPG if it didn't, but they give you more to worry about than just if your level is sufficient enough to kill the next boss and progress the story... Not being able to control every character does suck but if you know how to use the commands properly they WILL do what you want them to, you just gotta learn how to manipulate the AI. The persona system is beautiful again it's more about proper skill placement then it is about stronger characters. All in all, this is a wonderful example how RPGs need to have more strategy based stories and gameplay rather than just let me level to 99 in the first dungeon so I can kick everyone's ass.

So dude give it a try and look at it for what it really is an awesome game that strategy is needed more than power. PS I am a fan of all RPGs starting from FF1 on the NES and that includes FF13 (dramatic gasps) YES I ENJOYED FF13!! But seriously stop whining about this game, and give it a chance Oh and persona 4 let's you control ALL characters not just the MC!

Ps sorry for the horrid punctuation and grammar, possibly even the spelling I'm using my iPhone at the moment while im at work!

Hi, as it seems, you still

Hi, as it seems, you still read the comments here so i thought it isn't a bad idea to post my reflections here.

1) The monotony - I've read most of the comments and i'm around 110F atm. When i started, the most off-putting were: flash sim dating game setup - a lot of this game feels... and just to be honest simply IS a 90's style funky pimped sim dating game; I'm shocked no one mentions it anywhere. Studying and moralization - as much as i like japanese things, being forced to study like a stereotypical asian kid when all other stats get maxed by accident and then get moralized by everyone and everything in the game about how i should study more instead of progressing with s.links / tartarus felt just bad.
Soon the whole tartarus started feeling like a big grindfest and as much as i've found s.links to be an interesting device to tell the story it all felt like monotonous grindfest (and still does, it's getting worse so far).
Fusing was nice apart from the fact that most of the time i have too little space for all the personae i want and keeping item bearing personae is just a bad idea at least for the most of the game. And i said "was" because now that i really know what i'm doing when fusing, spending 3h with RNG waiting for a good skill set to be inherited is an awful chore.
Forced overleveling also feels bad - and here comes the funny part - every one seems to say how they, as hardcore gamers, think that it's a good thing that this game and smts in general are hard and challenging and that's what makes this games good. I'm sorry what!? smt1 was -maybe- challenging, but this game is just plain easy. I'd change to hard if it didn't require me to start the game anew and then AI flaws and few other things like 'situations when by accident you find yourself in a position when the only thing you can do is to watch as the whole pt gets wiped out' would make this game more annoying rather than challenging. The only reason for overleveling is calendar; I'm "fighting" with time, i can't change pt eq outside of tartarus, sometimes there's just nothing else to do but to go to tartarus and once i'm there not getting the most of it - like extra requests, personae fusion grinding, leveling up my weaker teammates (who, contrary to what was said in game, simply cannot level up on their own once the split up and defeat shadows commands were issued) or getting more gold to mess with with fusing weapons etc - feels terribly wrong.
And now a note to the author:
Most of the problems you experienced were due to the fact you weren't thinking almost at all. No, really, i'm not calling you "stupid" nor bashing or anything like that it's just that you remind me of an old stiff inflexible person using a computer "i want to print out that document, instead of looking for a printing button that probably looks like a printer and is there where all the buttons are i'll call each and every person i know (gamefaqs and manuals :P) and ask them where this stupid button is and after the "please insert paper" (scan enemies) message appear instead of reading it i'll call the manufacturer (write a rant) telling him the printer (game) is broken" . If you don't scan the enemy, friendly AI won't work properly. Mitsuru's Marin Karin (charm) really isn't that bad (although the fact that after it lands everyone in your team suddenly tries to kill that monster as fast as possible... ugh, that's probably because it's a good thing on almost any other status debuff and if devs gave mitsuru any other debuff, the player could learn that unlike in other jrpgs debuffs are usefull in this game, it took me quite some time getting how to use them properly and why elemental spells are not the only skills worthwhile ), and you have to read what the game tells you as there is quite a lot of useful stuff and admittedly once you omit it finding out a lot of it on your own is bloody unintuitive.

2) Imho there's some misconception here in comments: JRPG means RPG - "Role Playing" and "Game" while RPG means "Climatic" and "Grinding/Character stats progression" (take away Torment).

3) I though that anime cutscenes were a bad idea for this type of game but they were by far the most enjoyable moments in this game for me.

In conclusion; i'm enjoying the game; "overhyped" is a great description of this game, but it's "overhyped for a reason". The game really has some serious flaws.

This game tried to immerse me

This game tried to immerse me and make me interact with characters. OMG it sucks. I want my plot handed to me on a shiney platter. FFXIII is the BEST Man. I love how linear and pretty it is. Screw games that give you options that CHANGE THE GAME. How lame is that. Gosh. And DAMN I had to work to beat battles. UG. WHY. Why do I have to THINK. Waaaa I want games to feel like a movie where I get to kill things.
This is what your review reads like.

Ditto. Couldn't put it

Ditto. Couldn't put it better myself. Also... you missed a treat with Valkyrie Profile 2.

I love you, exactly my

I love you, exactly my thoughts when reading this whiny review.

"Tch..."

Want an easy game? Then play FFIX and X. It's really getting old AND annoying to play games where the MC gets the girl in the end and stuff.
And what was that? The MC is "emo"? If that's reason enough for you to not even bother starting this game then I don't know what to say... You're like this kid that heard people bashing on emos and thought you'd be considered "cool" if you did so too. It doesn't matter if he's emo or not(which I think he isn't), there is a saying that rolls around the net that Atlus games are, for the most part, made only for specific genre fans. You can't just start playing a game because it has a large amount of good reviews and that kind of thing. This game is a challenge in every aspect - the battle system challenges you, the s. link system challenges you, the passing days challenge you, and last but not least, tartarus challenges you the most. If there isn't a specific place, like in other games, where you can go and grind for a sick amount of level-ups, fighting strong enemies that serve that one purpose, then there is no need to do it. I have tried to beat this game only with initial personae, and that made me like it even more. If there is a game you can't beat in a sort of "level one challenge" then that indicates that this game is good. You are not meant to breeze through the game like FFIX, you can never get too overpowered unless you just want to see if you can. Maybe I'm wrong, but most of the persona games emphasize on building a set of personas and leveling them good enough, instead of just summoning the highest level persona you can get and hope you can kill things just because it's skills are a high rank and do more damage. People who just start a game for the sake of finishing it should think twice before starting this one. This game progresses alongside you. True, the plot progress is slow-ish, but if you can endure it, you'll be more than satisfied in the end. Okay, this got a little off.

TCH-TCH

Lol what a stupid comparison, "Play games where the MC get the girl in the end". This sounds like FF10 would be about a boy and girl dating each other. If you had really played FF10 then you would know what the story is about and sorry to tell you son but NO at the end of FF10 the boy doesn't get the girl and they don't get to live happy together.

wrong

You didn't play x-2 did you? Cause he gets revived and they love happily ever after.

I really am. The problem is

I really am. The problem is really only in the battle system in my opinion. I think I can understand what they were going for with having ai controlled characters (perhaps to emphasize that they have their own personalities?), but too many instances of horribly inefficient skill use/ spellcasting really grinds my gears. I would strongly agree with the list the anonymous user a couple below me posted, but for me it still wasn't enough to enjoy the game. I am fairly certain this is because I played Persona 4 first, and it ended up as one of my favorite games of all time. I think if anyone is thinking along similar lines to me, P3P is the way to go, I'm sure I can find a very cheap psp somewhere... but even in that case you miss out on the answer... maybe I'm being too nit picky, but I feel like I just can't enjoy this game (the ps2 version at least) no matter how hard I try.

You´re just a hater,

Persona 3 and Persona 3 FES were the best games i´ve played until now.
Your opinion sucks...

This game is garbage no RPGs

This game is garbage no RPGs ovverated crap

dude lighten up it's just an

dude lighten up it's just an opinion, i mean i love the game to death to but if he don't like it he don't like it.

It's definitely rubbish of a

It's definitely rubbish of a rpg.
Might be leader in dating sim genre though.
F*** you Atlus.

I admit there is a learning curve

Well then...

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but since I'm currently in the middle of Persona 3 FES after playing Persona 4 I will give my opinion as well as what I think will clarify things for newcomers to the series. I think it's because these games are so different, they get a rep for being "hard".

Persona 4 is really easy, super easy compared to Persona 3. The reason being they added elements to make it easier to survive and helped make grinding easier in the dungeons. For instance Teddie will always remember what floor you were on last, so saving isn't such a necessity.
Persona 3 is unforgiving and I think in a good way. It forces the player to adopt a strategy and actually use what is given to them in the way they seem fit. In Persona 4 I would blaze through every dungeon in a couple of days, or one if I was really determined.
You simply can't do that in Persona 3, and it's not really because of your characters getting tired either. It's because each floor in Tarturus is randomly generated, it can be a regular floor, or a trap floor and if you forgot to save in the last hour and by chance make it to a trap floor...you get the idea. I admit this is annoying, but I found out early on that if I died often without saving it was usually because I wasn't taking advantage of all the options I was given. It took a while to get a hang of it.

Here are some tips that I found make a HUGE difference to a P3 gaming experience:

1. When you are a higher level your characters don't get tired very often, but until you are level 30 at least, going to Tarturus every night is a bad idea. You need to keep an eye on your status, if you are grinding for hours you WILL be sick the next day and you will die a lot faster. The blocks are NOT designed to be completed in one night.

2. All those restaurants and stat boosting activities? Use them. Focus on the ones that will help you with certain social links, or will make your Personae more powerful.

3. USE your items. Especially the ones that keep you alive.

4. Don't use only one Persona. Don't use only the same team members either. The game is designed in a way you will need to switch between characters and Persona with different abilities, and their levels need to be somewhat balanced.

5. FUSE when you can, and always register Personae in the compendium.

6. Traesto gems are a godsend. Trafuri skill is a godsend. If you think the enemies are too tough ESCAPE.

7. The point is to move up never down. Always sprint to the boss floors if you can afford to. If you can afford to split up then split up your team, it makes getting up to the saving floors a lot faster.

8. If you stand too long in one spot or more than 15 minutes on a floor, you will die. I learned that the hard way. If you go to a floor in which the enemies are lower levels than you it will happen faster. If your support member says she senses Death head for the stairs and you should be okay. But if you find an access point and escape to the first floor just return to the dorm and stop climbing Tartarus for that night.

9. Scan every enemy, to exploit their weaknesses. Guardians cannot be scanned.

10. Tarukaja, Sukukaja, Tarunda, Sukunda etc....use them, you need them.

11. Some floors have access points to get to the 1st floor and more often than not that is the best idea. It's a lot less annoying to backtrack a few floors than to die and lose all your experience.

12. Spend money on armor and accessories to minimize character weaknesses, you can get weapons in Tartarus that are usually better than what's for sale.

13. DON'T go to Tarturus every night, and only go when you are feeling good or great. You can improve your status by visiting the restroom or sleeping earlier.

14. Finally, and most importantly, don't get OCD about completing everything, and maxing out S-links on the first playthrough, the game is HUGE and it can get overwhelming quickly. Instead just focus on the focus on the S-links that you think will help the Personae you want to fuse, and focus on getting the skills and quests you need, otherwise you burn out quickly.

As many comments that said JRPGs especially Atlus games are a lot different from the straightforward games we are used to. There are time constraints and physical constraints like in the real world. The way to beat them is to learn puzzle solving and time management skills, and not necessarily to overpower the characters. I suppose in that sense they could be called hard, but as with anything it's possible to get over the learning curve it is a very different and fun gaming experience.

I agree, I haven't played

I agree, I haven't played other Atlus games besides Demon's Souls, which while good was derailed by poor level design and sub par graphics at times. As well the limit on items you could carry was ridiculous. Anyways, I'm working my way through FES and it's driving me nuts trying to get the Tower social link to happen. I think I've just totally missed the monk, and it's after I already decided to completely give up on 5-6 different social links. But, once I decided that x, y, and z s-links didn't matter it became much easier to continue. However, I do feel this is a problem with the game, you really can't get the best of both worlds. If you choose to try to get the rest of the S-links in New Game Plus it's you at level 90 in a new game, where as if you try to get all S-links in one game, well that's just infuriating.

The net is littered with comments and questions on message boards about trying to get the max s-link run completed, it's just such an insane amount of drama for such little reward. To me, that's a lot of why JRPGs don't get the same respect they did 10 years ago in the west. Obviously the truth is more to do with domestic gaming markets changing, but there does seem to be a sense that some of the beauty of the genre is fading. I remember setting up kinights of the round and linking it to something so it did ridiculous damage, then miming that skill. If that reference makes any sense to you then the persona analogy is in FES you can make these ultimate personas. Just carefully pick how you create all the different personas and it's possible for some personas to inherit every high level spell, or every support skill, but to do it you have to select and de-select and re-select the options from a menu. You pick one persona, then another, if you don't see the skills you want you go through it again, for like 3-4 hours. That's not anything I've tried, but even with trying to get some of the most basic useful personas it can be 20 minutes of cycling through the options and that will de-rail anyones gaming session.

But yeah, the game is full of things you wish you would have known 4 hours earlier, which gets quite annoying.

tartarus sucks

I really do love Persona 3 a lot and should be trying to aggressively defend it, but yeah, Tartarus sucks and is a lazy ass dungeon design. I can't count how many times I've put down the game just because I got bored of grinding, even while playing on easy. I love the story, music, as well as some characters a lot but I really can't get past how repetitive Tartarus holy crap it sucks so much fun out of the game

Because you didn't like P3

Because you didn't like P3 you've sworn off an entire genre that you claim you you've enjoyed since the 80's? I'm sorry, but that doesn't make any sense. If you saw a bad action movie would you swear off action movies as well? If someone got you an action movie DVD would you drop-kick it?

P3 and P4 are genius, btw

This game is terrible

I am a hardcore rpg fan. I have been gaming since the 80's and have ejoyed most all games that ever get decent ratings. I skipped this series on the ps2 originally but decided to give it a try this week because of all the raving reviews people give it. Holy crap you are all raving lunatics. I wouldn't force that game on my worst enemy. Cheesy dialoge, cheesy characters..emo schoolkids really?. The music..omg the music is sooo bad. The story seemed decent but I can't look past the gameplay. No world to explore. No new towns or any of the cool things in traditional jrpg's. I plough through to the barricade and now I have to build social links until the full moon? And basically you get 1 thing to do per day..wtf. You never get any feeling of freedom in this game. There is never a feeling of open world. The battle system is fine but the enemies are terribly dull. Like the OP i forced this game on myself because of the reviews..and I hated it the whole time. I finally asked myself why am I doing this to myself..I can be playing tales or dq8 or any of the many great rpg's on the system. The main feeling I got playing this game is wtf im trapped..do 1 thing and its time for bed. I drove me freaking insane. If you enjoyed this hot mess..hey good for you. Different strokes for different folks. But if you like traditional rpg's and are looking for something new to play..skip this series, it's complete trash

P3 Is Just Above Average

I have to agree mostly with your article related to P3. I started off playing Persona 3 Portable within a month after finishing P2:Innocent Sins. P2:Innocent Sin was my first exposure to the Persona series and I fucking love it every bit of it, considering myself not a JRPG fan. I started off really excited for P3 since many people were praising it for its excellency.

The first months was rather boring but I accepted it because it was just the beginning, but as I progress through the game from one level to another the game slowly kills my interest. The main problem here was the repetitive+boring pacing. Tartarus just bores you to DEATH. It was so BORING till I found myself grinding and reaching its peak within 2 nights and I never bothered to explore it until the next full moon. I only visit Tartarus in between just to complete the sidequest. Even if the Tartarus bosses were challenging, I was so disappointed with lazy and recycled designs. It wouldn't have been so bad if Tartarus had a more interesting level of design to keep you occupied and wanting to come back for more. In other words, a purpose to grind and explore. It doesn't. Once your are done reaching its peak for that floor, come back after 28 days for more of the same shit over.

Although I only played P3P, but I can understand how dreadful it feels if you were your remaining 3 characters are controlled by AI. My question is WHY? P1 and P2 gave you the complete freedom to take control of all your characters. What gives for FES in PS2? Thankfully P3P rectified that problem or else more hate from me.

Another important thing I would like to point out is the plot pacing and progression. The story isn't bad and there were plenty of surprises as the game progresses but the plot pacing is AWFUL. It's so unnecessarily SLOW and this 30 days calender system is to be blame. I really hate the idea of getting a small part of the plot progression only during the FULL MOON. After that, you will have wait for the next 30 days to see another plot progression and within that 30 days, expect nothing but shallow progression of the story.

Despite all these rants, I don't entirely hate the game. The fusion of Persona's are addicting as hell and it encourages a lot of experimentation. The social link was definitely enjoyable but there were some characters that were less memorable. The story like I said earlier, it isn't bad. I do like the dark and supernatural atmosphere. As the end game draws closer, I was really pulled in, but the slow plot pacing really ruined the experience. The full moon event and Arcana bosses were always exciting to look forward too and I think that was the only time I truly enjoyed the battle gameplay. I have to say the ending gameplay was pretty epic. Last but not least, the soundtrack is simply awesome.

Overall, Persona 3 in my opinion is just not hype I was expecting it to be as it was claimed by many. Although the I did had my enjoyable moments, the core gameplay mainly the grinding in Tartarus was extremely disappointing and unacceptable. It's not bad or excellent. Just above average for my standard. Newcomers to the Persona series might enjoy this game a lot more since it's more accessible with the current JRPG target audience. It isn't the same for me since I am already spoiled with Persona 2: Innocent Sin and Eternal Punishment therefore I am expecting a lot more.

...what did you expect? Mario?

Persona 3 and 4 are good games by many standards (popular opinion and reviews) but the thing about Shin Megami Tesai is..

That its its own deal, especially persona. Containing Many adult themes and generally Dark (persons is a little lighter) and often SMT games can be very challenging. Rated M to boot. SMT is not for everybody. If you don't Like it, play something else.

In response to some of your comments-

Confusing anime cutscenes - I didn't find them too confusing... and when I did, It was a plot device (i.e. - intentionally confusing so the the details could be revealed later.)

a crappy mute hero - Link was mute, Pokemon main char always mute, mario was mute, Early Final fantasy Chars were mute - Its purposeful. because it is a heavy choice oriented game, the decision to make the main character mute was to allow the player to imbue the character with their own personality (via choices)

I really should have listened to my heart and not kept playing, but the promise of a great game made me go on - yup

This has got to be the most lazy dungeon design I've ever seen - ....the game is basically a glorified dungeon crawler... I mean... That is not at all surprising... Its like say, I'm not a big fan of shooters... when I DO play one, I don't complain about having to shoot things. And If I don't like shooters, I just don't play them.

Not able to beat it? Grind some more. Grind, grind, grind.. - .... that's why there are difficulty levels... if you don't want to grind that is.. you really don't have to

The lack of direct control over the other three characters in battle can lead to some huge issues, mainly that the A.I. can be dumb. - ... set battle strategy to direct command, there you go, control of all 4 characters.

Beating the current Tartarus boss is never enough to know either because the bosses have totally different tactics with different strengths and weaknesses. - ... then whats the point of a boss? Zelda bosses have strategies. Its meant to be challenging, that's what adds to the enjoyment.

I eventually hated playing Persona 3, and now I hate the entire Japanese RPG genre - I don't even know how to respond to this.. no one is making you play these games, RPGs, or Games at all, go play tennis if you don't like games. No one is forcing you to like P3 or JRPGs

Persona Games have got wonderful reviews and are commonly refereed to as great games...While I can sympathize with your situation, your comments indicate that you just don't like video games period... Repetitiveness, Challenge, Strategy, Interaction, Artistic Decisions - these form the basis of pretty much all games.. your complaints were pretty much "I don't Like Repetitiveness, I don't like challenge, I don't like having to devise a strategy, I don't like interaction" ... you don't like games man, here is some advice... take up a new hobby

Persona 3 for PS2

A lot of your comments reference features that were later added in the re-release for the PSP, such as direct control over all the characters. This did not exist the original or FES release on the PS2.

No comment on the rest of your comment, I wrote this review three years ago today, it is as it is.

There was a "Tactics" Section

There was a "Tactics" Section so you could assign your AI Characters specifics roles such as "Heal and Support"..........Just saying

Persona 3

I haven't played the rest of them but did play Persona 3.

Agree with the author.

This game is good for those that just play turn-based rpgs for the sake of just completing one with little care to the design, gp, story etc. Just want to run through one with plenty of hours.

But for those that pay serious attention to storyline, character development, plot, gameplay, this game was a bore IMHO.

You only have one dungeon with repetitive looking floors. You have to grind for a tedious amount of hours (grinding is okay but for extensive period of time it becomes repetitious and annoying). The main protagonist is an emo looking douchebag. No access to a shop during the full moon period.

Overall the game was repetitive. Very linear.

Suidoken 2, Xenogears, FF6, FF7, FFX, Chronotrigger, Valkyrie Profile, Breath of Fire 3, Star Ocean 2, are worth playing not this garbage.

Why do games do this?

Why do games just force game over when the main character dies? Is everyone just that stupid and hopeless that they give up?

"Senpai, Nooooo! We don't have a clue!!"

Use a skill or item to bring them back! (Guessing this wouldn't work with Shining Force, but still)

Are the Protagonists in 3 and 4 done for if they're knocked out once? So they can summon a shit ton of different Personas but if they get smacked too hard they die? Wouldn't being able to be brought back countless times be a better ability to have?

This game is also a fan of cutscene deaths, I can tell because they did it twice <_<

These games are overrated and I'm not afraid to say it. Not bad, just overrated.

I don't want Persona 5 to be a Persona 3 Clone.

Let's ditch the Social Links, ease up on the Jpop, toss the high school setting and do something new.

Have you acctually played

Have you acctually played themthrough and through? I love the social links in persona, they give an interesting way of gaining more power, with out the social links in p3 what would you do after school? study, eat, go to the arcade? I believe THAT would be more boring.

Yeah, they do S-links b/c

Yeah, they do S-links b/c many people grind to level up skills/levels in games, to do that in P3 you actually played through a story and watch a person deal with a conflict. Interesting solution, I don't think they should get rid of s-links, just alter them so they aren't so restrictive. Really, you have a cell phone and don't have the ability to call any of the 4-5 girls that like you at night? There's a movie theater, it's not open when it gets dark? There's an entire strip mall filled with eateries, none open at night. And the game acts like your choices matter, but you can't really do what you want. I like that the game doesn't hold your hand in some ways, but at the same time it really doesn't give you too much information on the finer concepts.

A good game.

I can see why some people wouldn't like it though. At times it was overwhelming for me, also thanks to my brilliant idea to max out every social link in my first play-through of FES. There were so many things to take into account, I didn't organize my time well and halfway through I had to restart because I got OCD about it. Otherwise, I really enjoyed the game for the most part. The characters grew on me, the story is interesting, the MC is your cliche quiet but cool protagonist and I'm fine with that too. I couldn't stand the battle system at first but it got better as more persona were added. What I like about the game is how many different elements are incorporated into it, with the social links and relationships, the anime and manga style, organization of time and decision making, only being able to control the MC which Imo gave the game a more strategic feeling, etc. I've never played anything like it before, so it struck me as something pretty unique. I'm also a tragedy fanatic so it works out overall.

I have only one major issue with this game. Skill inheriting should be much easier. At least, for the mentally challenged individuals like myself. Even though it's not necessary to do in order to complete the game it would have been even more enjoyable to go through a moderate amount of work to get a persona with a skillset that you really wanted. (It's just personal satisfaction in my case). I've spent hours in fusion hell trying to create a usable Thanatos for my end game final months, and I wish I wouldn't have attempted anything like that until after I had completed my first play-through. Even then, getting what I had in mind was still just wishful thinking. Anyways, good game. But if you don't have patience and a tolerance for repetition I wouldn't suggest it.

Play Nocturne

Play Nocturne

Tartarus, you're doing it wrong

"I took two approaches to climbing Tartarus: when a new block would open up, I would try to rush up all the floors as quickly as possible so that I could guarantee I at least made it to the boss in time.
The second way to climb Tartarus was to grind."

You are doing it all wrong. You should have learned from the first block how to climb Tartarus. There's no need for grinding. If you make it to the top of the block you're strong enough, rushing is also stupid. If you kill every shadow once on each floor of Tartarus every time you climb (which should only be like 1-3 times max a mo) you'll be strong enough for the full moon boss. The key isn't grinding, it's social links and personae (hence the game title).

"The problem with the purple blob is you have no idea what enemy lies within. Is it a crappy bat you can kill in one hit? Or could it be some giant snake that will kill your entire group in one hit?"

Since you've barely skimmed the surface of the game I'm guessing the snakes you speak of are the Lustful Snakes. In which case the shadows are glowing red, not purple. So you know before you get in the battle that it's a strong monster.

"One loser I befriended early on kept calling my cell phone at night wanting to make plans. I wanted nothing to do with this guy because I was trying to get with the girl with the glasses, so I kept shutting him down."

Ok this game is obviously not for you. Every social link is important, but if you are going to be picky then you should care what persona you can get from the link. Not who's the sexy nerdy chick you can bang in your head. Again you're missing the point of the game, social links = stronger personae, stronger personae = easier battles. It's not hard to balance your friendships, and if you are ok with letting social links reverse then you have no idea how to play this game.

"Why do I have to maintain in-game friendships with people around me? "

Yeah, you didn't research this game at all before you asked for it, did you? You only have yourself to blame.

P3 FES

Maybe you should have played Persona 3 or P3P. FES is for people who were fans of P3 and wanted more, aka it's harder. Actually, P3 is probably too hard for you as well. P3P is kind of the dumbed down version, you should play that. Or maybe you shouldn't write a review when you've only played a couple hours of a game. I might take your opinion with a grain of salt if you had finished the game, but you have no opinion to give. "It was too hard so I quit", isn't an opinion.

Persona 3 is an awesome story, something you don't see in gaming much today. I got so attached to all the characters and even now as I re-play it I'm finding attachments to characters I didn't like before. I used to think Bebe was stupid but now that I've studied abroad in Japan I feel a HUGE link to him and his story. This unique social link system really made me feel closer to the characters in P3. No other RPG has made me feel that way about background characters.

JRPGs

You don't like JRPGs. You like adventure games, like Zelda. Really? You don't want to read blocks of text? You don't want to grind? You want your pretty ending handed to you on a silver platter? Then don't play JRPGs, heck don't play Atlus games. Did you really think the creators of Disgaea were going to give you an easy RPG? Atlus just screams hardcore gaming. It's ok to dislike P3 but your reasons aren't valid. If you had made a strong argument I might have had to agree on some points. But your rant is just endless "I don't wanna have to think to play games".

Odin Sphere

Besides the fact that you really have no right to review P3 since you never even finished the game, you bring up Odin Sphere randomly. This really should not be a blog post at all. Odin Sphere has nothing to do with P3, besides the fact that you dislike that game as well. If I wrote a paper about how Tofu was bad for your health and then added a paragraph about how pizza is also bad for your health, any teacher would say that paragraph is unnecessary. Your topic is P3 not Odin Sphere. So not only was your opinion moot but your blog post was poorly written.

You make a very good point!

You make a very good point!

Indubitably

Indubitably

I have to say honestly, I had

I have to say honestly, I had a lot of the same experiences you did when I first started. I'm also at about the same tipping point that you found yourself in when you left the game (coming up on the fourth full-moon boss.)

If I had to distill the entire Persona 3 experience into one word, it would be: repetition. The constant recycling of gameplay, art and music assets without any kind of significant evolution or additional complexity is probably the biggest offender for me. All of this hurts the game's pacing, and the plodding (but interesting) story and unnecessary padding in battles makes it feel a lot worse.

I'm really into videogame soundtracks; I have over 1,000 archived and have listened to and loved each and every one of them. I can count the number of times I've had to mute a game on one hand, and Persona III is on that list. Individually, the tracks aren't terrible and there are a few outliers that I really enjoyed, but if you're so sick of hearing the indistinguishable j-pop lyrics theme for the 26,000th time that you have to mute the entire soundtrack - this isn't a good sign.

To be fair to the game though, it's held my interest enough I keep playing it, hoping it will finally pick up. Additionally, a lot of the common criticism I hear about the game (much of which is in your review) isn't objectively correct. For instance, battles are avoidable entirely, can be run from, and the "turn press" system the SMT series is known for means you can hammer enemies just as brutally as they hammer you.

Boss fights do have more reliance on blind luck than I'd like; even fights that I entered fully prepared with tons of meds and proper persona to take advantage of the boss's status weaknesses were luck of the draw. This is probably the biggest offender, for me, for one simple reason: I'm finding the game to be very, very easy. Boringly easy, on the higher difficulty setting. The bosses aren't adding difficulty so much as frustration.

So, relative to the amount of time you've played it, I think this is a pretty fair review. Hopefully, the game will pick up in pace sometime soon so that I can look back on the experience and smile about it instead of just feeling like it was a missed opportunity.

Thanks for the reply

Thanks for your reply, hopefully you can get more out of the game than me in the end. It's difficult for me to argue with some of your points since I have literally not played the game since I wrote this review almost three years ago (also the fact that I have no interest in arguing points anymore, so... *shrug*). Just hope you can get some fun out of it, plenty of other commenters here love the game.

Oh, and on a closing note:

Oh, and on a closing note: repetition isn't what kills games. Repetition is key to gameplay in many classics, from Mario to Gran Turismo and everything in between.

The problem here, I think, is that the repetition feels FORCED on the player, and if you feel like you're being forced to do something, you're probably not having a good time.

This is very true. A lot of

This is very true. A lot of good/great games explicitly try to avoid this.

Persona 3 review

Hi! I was in a similiar situation, I played too much JRPGs, grew older, didn't had that huge amount of time for gaming anymore, etc... whatever reason. Long story short, I heard about Persona 3 and it really got my attention. I don't own a PS2 so I got it for my PSP. At first it was a bit of a letdown because it is REALLY toned down. Despite that there is only 3D graphics in Tartarus and the stylish cutscenes are missing and this whole J-Pop-ish, emo looking, quirky stuff isn't my thing I really got hooked. I really enjoyed it so much that it got me into JRPGs again and it got me to buy a PS Vita just to experience Persona 4 Golden. So, to sum it up, I was just wondering how a game can someone turn off to a whole genre and how different people can be.

With kind regards, a fellow gamer.

I see

You are old dude... dont worry

I agree

You know what, though this is probably really, really unfair, considering I've only watched a Let's Play of it, I agree with you. There's huge hype around this game, and one of my friends recommended it to me, but I just can't see myself getting into it, watching this Let's Play. Tartarus really is boring, annoying, and lazy in design, which is rather important, considering it's the only place you can have the typical JRPG battles in this game. People criticised Zelda: Phantom Hourglass for having a "stupid timed dungeon that you had to return to every time" (that I personally really liked), yet Tartarus isn't considered bad? It is such a dark, cramped, and boringly textured area. And this game gives such a huge focus on grinding. While still balancing your Social Life. While still balancing your Academics. While still balancing your sleep time. Just...what?

I dunno. Maybe I shouldn't be judging the game since I haven't played it? Maybe. But just watching the Let's Play isn't making me want to play at all. I even skip over large sections of it just to find major plot points.

Hey !

Hey! The timed dungeon was the only thing cool about Phantom Hourglass!

Don't assume "people" is one big package, and Persona 3 is not a Classical-RPG. It's a Dungeon-RPG and the fact there is only one dungeon is something natural in this kind of games. I can understand the fact the author of this thread didn't like it, but it should be "How Persona 3 destroyed my love for Japanese Dungeon-RPGs" instead... And you hadn't love for it anyway.

Personnaly, I love "calendar-setting" in a game like in Kingdom Hearts 356/2 Days or the Atelier series (I know either is considered quite boring), so of course Persona 3 and 4 have my love. It's repetitive but i find this really addictive... I just can't stop playing, that's all.

Anyway, Dongeon RPG is not so widely appreciated you know, so when the niche have a great game like Persona 3, they tend to be really loud about it. Zelda Phantom Hourglass, on the other hand, is one of the most selling Zelda of all time. So the public is not really the same.

I know this is old but........

Ok so,you made to floor 80?Man,you are making me laugh.By the way,you can DODGE the enemies if you need to go to the first floor to heal.That is better than having a randomized battle,without knowing where the enemy is.
You are talking about leveling.Leveling is not important on Persona and SMT series.Yes,you need levels because you need the skills and personas,but overleveling?Seriously?.If you are OVERLEVELING,then you don´t know how to play the game.
Tartarus is boring,but I am enjoying(Yes,I am still PLAYING the game)the story.
You have TACTICS command,that means you can order them to do something.I like when you don´t have direct commands because it gives the game more challenge.
I can continue,but I will drop here.Probably,you will never read this because this is old(Found this review now in 2013)but I wanted to give my points.
I could call this review:How your review wasted 5 minutes of my life..

Still reading

I still read all the comments on my site, and appreciate your input.

Hmmmm,thanks for using your

Hmmmm,thanks for using your time then.

God...

What a mad review, calm down.

Try Playing again

dude, if you droped Persona it's the same you droped one hell good Heaven, i mean yeah climbing Tartarus is kinda boring but put that asside you will experience many interesting event that most of JRPG can't, like cultular festival, New years eve, school trip, Persona 3 is the closetest Realistic JRPG i've played in my life, the story is beautiful, the MC was soooo Cool, i mean Headset, long hair that covering one of his eye, misterious.. dude that AWESOME, and if you compared it with Persona 4, come on, yes P4 have a better battle system and the story is kinda darker that P3 but personaly i think Persona 3 have a better story line, also personaly i think the MC in P3 was more Awesome and Cooler than P4 MC, you will understand how awesome was P3 MC after you completed P3 or P3FES

and, Suikoden II is on my list of 3 best game ever made, and yes, i'm with you if it comes in Suikoden, i've played all Suikoden series and Suikoden II is the best series so far, and i think if you like Suikoden II maybe you like Persona 3, so try to play Persona 3 again

P3P

You should give it another try on Persona 3 Portable, it makes the game a LOT easier to tolerate, you can directly control your team mates, you can easily but medicine to cure tiredness, there's more difficulty modes, etc

"It pretty much requires FAQ

"It pretty much requires FAQ reading if you don't want to spend hours overleveling."

That's a common argument from casuals who don't know how to properly use buffs and debuffs in Persona as a whole. That's just hilarious since P3 hardly requires any grinding. I've skipped the majority of fights in Tartarus and cleared the game without any problems or guides.

"The game is too hard for people who aren't skilled" is not a good argument to prove your point.

I was unaware being a casual

I was unaware being a casual is something to be ashamed of.

As for your story that's bullshit too.
1) The game knows nothing about difficulty progression. Laughing table. Difficulty is not gradual. It spikes hard in random places. And proper use of buffs and debuffs requires adequate knowledge of fusing.

2) As for buffs/debuffs. I disagree. The AI is terrible and you might not get the right debuff. For example a rakunda on laughing

3) It is one of the harder jrpg's available. Requiring a lot of knowledge of ingame mechanics, well-thought out fusions and bad AI. Atlus really should make information more readily available to the player. Since a lot of bosses will require a specific type of persona. For example take laughing table. Most likely you did not get past him just by "using debuffs."

iI just finished 3 FES and

iI just finished 3 FES and came across this review. Really, there are certain things in that game too repetitive (Tartarus, social link, etc), and I thought very long, so I just wanted to end soon. The story of the game is one thing that I really liked (if they had diminished playing time, could have been a good RPG, for me of course). What I really like about JRPG, is a story linaer, with possibilities of doing extras, then it would leave the game quite extensive, but in FES 3, I was forced to spend more than 100h (120h to be exact, even excluding the anwers) .

You're casual and never liked

You're casual and never liked RPG to begin with.Sorry.

P4 sucks in comparison to P3.

P4 sucks in comparison to P3. Just cause things run a bit smotther doesnt mean the game is any better.

P4: ZOMG we are bored kids

P4: ZOMG we are bored kids with no problems in our lives, hey look. A MYSTERY.

P3: Real people with real problems.

P3 and P4

Guys, as i have said before, PLEASE DON'T COMPARE P3 WITH P4. IT'S COMMON SENSE THAT P4 WILL BE BETTER SINCE IT IS THE IMPROVED VERSION OF P3. so rather than comparing them, please just review on P3 not any other game. this section is meant for P3.

And Persona 4 Golden exceeds

And Persona 4 Golden exceeds all of the Persona games before it, especially Persona 3 and its sequels which were thought to be the best out of the entire series. I knew I wasn't going to enjoy playing as Persona 3's MC, but still dying to play the game I picked up Persona 3 Portable instead, dying to play someone my own gender for once. Despite how things tended to get tedious and I disliked the majority of my social links, I loved the game. (--SPOILER--) Sadly, the majority of the love that I had for P3P was crushed after I accidently stumbled upon a spoiler saying that at the end of the game your character dies. Unwilling to see all the hours I invested into the game go to waste, I popped the game out and sat it in it's case.
About a month or so later I came across Persona 3 FES(For Everyone's Souls). Interested, I started to dig around for more information. I read a review, (I was in Jan. In P3P and pretty much knew what was going to go down so why not?),hoping maybe that you could change the MC's fate, or maybe that a for satisfying ending was in store. What I found was even worse than the original game. Not only did the MC still die, but the game warped the plot into pretty this: the characters could not sufficiently cope with your death. Apparentlly everyone has different ideas on what they should do, such as Mitsuru and Yukari want to return to the past before they met the MC, Junpei and Koromaru want to move on naturally,ect; and Aigis pretty much is willing to do anything to bring you back, and with the introduction of a new character who just happens to be Aigis' sister, Metis, actually tries to do so. This and that happens and before you know it, Aigis and Metis are at everyone's throats in an attempt to make Aigis' hope to bring MC back a reality. Once everyone is bloody and battered the plot moves on and everyone discovers why your character was supposed to die, The ending is something like everyone learns to cope with your death and everyone moves on and lives a happy life. This sequel sounded disappointing to say in the least. It's pretty much a huge middle finger to the player. Though an overall good game the ending was what ruined the experience for me. The game was depressing enough, did we need .a sad ending too?
Anyway, after all the bitchslaps Persona 3 gave me I was extremely hesitant about giving Persona 4 a whirl. I decided not to play and start playing something else when I caught wind of Persona 4 Golden. P4G looked amazing by the trailers so I mustered up the cash and bought a PSVita and the game, drunk by the intoxicating charm it was giving off. Honestly, the main reason I bought it was because it looked much happier than the games before it. I'm currently playing the game and I have to say I'm in love with it. The battle system is improved, the art is a huge improvement, the music is amazing, the bosses are much more creative, I have yet to meet as social link I dislike and the new events and story kicks the previousesn the series before its ass!!

A little late but...........

Persona3 was a very inique game. If you are a linear player(ffXIII) then it is not for you. The combat system is a great mix of old and new. It adds a few tweeks but keeps the original turn based idea.Not controlling teammates makes the battles thhat much more interesting and if you take the time to choose a strategy its not soo bad. The personas are amazing, hands down. I find that P3 had a darker and more adult themed gameplay compared to p4.
I actually only enjoyed one thing about p4.....chie. Now i'm sayng all this being a huge rpg fan. Ive played and beaten every ff, most dq, pokemon, legend of dragoon, the mana series, so on and so forth.But one last thing I must say is......if you cant complete a game due to your short attention spand then dont write a review... this game is not slow or boring unless you make it out to be. try simcity..thats slow. and if yo wanna play BAD rpgs try out Beyond the Beyond

My Opinion

Since I've read all your comments, I've decided also to add my own comment. I'll also be taking note of the other ideas explained by other people.

Ok, first things first, peace to you all, It's just fun to debate with everyone haha.

now, guyz, please don't compare P3 with P4, it's obvious that P4 is superior since it is its successor. in other words, P4 is the improved P3. So cut with the comparison ok, it makes me sick. its like brother and sister kissing one another. its hot though haha

Some may really hate P3 simply because of Tartarus which I also hate but it can be pretty rewarding when yo overcome it, this just shows that you are very patient and may as well have the gamer's sprirt haha...and if you don't like to grind, use some cheats so that you can skip the fighting part and just enjoy the social links and storyline, that way you'll like the game. (cheats are available in its psp release)

Also, everyone can get really bored if you just kept grinding your character for about 5 hrs straight. So to avoid boredom, try to rest or do other things for awhile so that your love for the game will refill. I do that when I was just a kid wherein I would grind for many hours afterschool and continue to story on weekends. as we always say, keep it in moderation.

Regarding battle systems, most old and some new games have repetive battle systems. It would be hardwork if the game would switch to turnbase then to cardgame and then to tactics but it wud be fun.
Especially nowadays, the popular games today are all about shooting or killing things with minimal story and value worth (DOTA, COD and some hack and slash).

Now for the story, P3 has one of the best story IF you finish it...proceeding with the story can be quite tiresome since it will take some time to continue but that is how it is, use that time to grind. the story is also deep and very dark, those people who don't like dark things will have a bad time.

all games are not perfect. The best game for ME would be like combining our LIFE's ways in Earth with ADVENTURES mostly found in RPG's. do you agree? maybe not

the game can get pretty rough if you jut kept leveling your characters. Level is not the only one to be observed, try exploring other personas, improving your social links to get powerful personas and being careful in battles(there's always an escape option you know).

Also, the plot of the game is set in our time which most likely prohibits any world roaming and searching, so it's obvious that will stick to the same location. Its not like we can go to Europe then to Asia and then to America just to change scenery. And another thing, this is a GAME, some of its features or story or logic will have some flaws that concerns how i world really works. so limit the comparison of our world nature with the game nature, its pretty much different.

Last but not the least, there are SOME who don't like it but there are MANY, as in MANY who like it. This is not my opinion, in fact, it recieves plenty of awards from RPG of the year to the RPG of the DECADE!!!...see wikepedia for details, and yes its legit.

So even if you don't like it, sorry for you since your views are really different from the views of the MANY GAMERS PLAYING GAMES!..

comments, good or bad will be received with delightness :D haha

you are weak!

Based on your review, all you rant about why you hate persona is because of the way it challenges players. I believe that that's what makes the game more enjoyable. But well, i guess your not in for any challenge.

You have a problem with grinding?

That's the whole point of playing an RPG to get stronger than how you were at the beginning. Besides, its one of those games that is visually appealing but also makes you conscious of how you spend your day. There's a lot of things you can get accomplished while you're not in tartarus that could help you in tartarus and if you keep up with your s.links you will be able to create pretty good personas. The best way is just to get to the mini boss and grind one whole night, the more you can accomplish in tartarus in one night is potential time to level up your statuses and s. links at night.

I think this game was just a little too much for you

This games is amazing, plain

This games is amazing, plain and simple.

IT's Too Hard?????

SMT games are said amongst the true "RPG and JRPG" fans to be one of the hardest, challenging, and deeply story oriented rpgs out there. Atlus doesn’t play around when it comes to the RPG genre, it’s not for "softy's" who lose interest in the game because it’s too difficult, it’s for the hardcore and you have to respect that. They are plenty of easy, pick up and play, JRPG's out there but Persona 3 is not one of them. That’s why this game has such an underground feel too it, ITS NOT FOR EVERYONE it’s for the patient gamer who doesn't mind getting his ass kicked a couple of times before they win. This is the problems with games today, no challenge.....Everyone wants it easy and if it not easy it sucks. I am from a time when gaming kicked your ass on a daily basis and you got your ass back up because you wanted to win that much more for them doing it. I’m not trying to be an asshole but I am being honest when I say this game is not for chumps and for the truly dedicated who want to experience a truly tough but rewarding experience in their video games. I love the Persona Series for obvious reasons. Great story, characters, pacing, fun battle system, monster collecting and customization, and so on. This game has it all and if memory serves me right this game was the 2007 RPG of the Year. I don’t know Greg it seems your opinion of the game is a little to bias and probably only a handful of people would agree with this silly opinion concocted out of ignorance.

you know...

I FAKKING LOVE YOU, DUDE! i was just finishing playing and now i've reached jan. 31. persona 3 is truly a masterpiece. i am definitely going to replay when i win in a bit. :D

Soo true! The hardest games

Soo true! The hardest games are the best, the satisfaction when you finish them
is fantastic. I FUC*ING love your comment!.

i read through a lot of these

i read through a lot of these comments and haven't noticed ANYONE put enough emphasis on demon collecting/fusing. that is truly a big meat of the game. discovering new demons, customizing their skills and stats, etc. in my opinion it's the most addicting part of the game. i become compelled to level up s.links so i can fuse a demon that will gain enough exp to level up a couple times and each time you are able to attain another level through fusion, you're likely to get a new skill. when you're constantly fusing you're rewarded frequently. someone called it "pokemon for adults" which are the exact words i've used to describe SMT games to friends. FUSE!!! COLLECT!!!!

I don't get how you don't get it

The entire genre of JRPGs is about grinding, that was so even before Persona 3. Yes there are exceptions where it isn't that bad (like Chrono Trigger) but that's what it always was about. And at least for me, all of these games feel like on rails. For the games you liked so much: FFVI and X. Nothing better in those. I like all of these but I also get frustrated about doing the same things over and over again. But I don't blame the game, it's the same thing we played years ago just that it got kind of exhausted in the last 5 years. That's a natural thing to happen. Nothing to be angry about, if you can't have fun with JRPGs anymore, play something else. Maybe the feeling comes back, maybe it doesn't. Thats the way of the world.

Started a few days ago with

Started a few days ago with p3fes sice its now in the psn for ps3. I have to agree with some points of you, tartarus is fucking annoying, you go up and up and up (currently im somewaht in the sixties). I bought this game because of the many people who claim it has an exceptional good story, they failed to point out thatyou have to wait hours over hours before the fucing thing gets started tobe told. The first really interesting thing for me happened just before the third full moon, everythinmg before was just boring and I played on out of hope instead of interest.

So far I can say Im interessted enough to keep going, but regardless how good the story may get theres no denying that the game has some serious flaws. My Mates are downright stupid and I coursed more than once at my tv for teir stupidity which costed me turns, lifes, and more than one hour of repeated gameplay. I dnt ge how someone can claim that game is heavy on strategy if Im not even allowed to control the entire party. Much of the difficulty in this game comes from the stupidity of your mates and not from the vast startegic choices (enemy uses fire - use ice - use persona stroong against fire - repeat, very hard indeed).

Its entirely possible to loose heavy progress just because after one hour of grinding you meet the one shadow who exploits the heroes weakness gets first rtike and kills him with two shots. Nothing you can do about, no situation you could plan for since you dont know which enemy will appear from the black blobs. Even in fights which should be easy (ice weak enemies - scanned - icegirl in the party) you possibly get your ass handed to you because she flat out refuses to use ice attacks even after the bweakness is known, and instead spams min control which is mostly usless even in the rare cases it actually hits. And if it does and I control an enemy you can bet that they hate that shadow and beat him to a pulp in two turns making it even more dumb.

After all this I still think ( or hope) the story will make up for all of it, and in the end i will be satisfied but theres no way that I ever understand the raging faboys making this game out to be a game with all the annoying flaws it has.

And that doesnt even count the fact that theres seemingly no way I can ove the story forward on a decent pace without having to wait four weeks a turn. 70 + hours my ass, I like long stories, I do appreciate it when I can play the hell out of a truly epic game storywise, but dont you fucking claim your game is meant to be played for dozens of hours if theese hours are reached by blocking me out. Over hours I feel like I dont accomplish anything, I cant go up in Tartarus, I cant move the story and the only excuse they have is durr you need the links for your personas to be powerful. The only link i truly pushed is the onlinegame link and I didnt have many progress problems (at least not ones linked to the...well links)

Substories are fine, sidequests are fine as long as im ot forced to do this because I cant get the story moving. Nobody cared about the lovely moments michael waxed K.I.T.T and they had this wonderful coversation about deus ex machina and cheesecake, thats stuff for the extras If I choose tho want to know that but first I want my turboboost buddy.

Persona 3 FES = Best game I

Persona 3 FES = Best game I have ever played.

Sure it can be repetitive at first, but eventually you begin to get a feel for it. It also had a very unique atmosphere. The story is incredible and the characters are well developed. If you get past the rap, then the music in the game is some of the best I have ever heard in my life (especially final boss theme). It has a social link system that is set up to keep many stories going throughout the main story.

The battle system is very well developed, but it is developed for people who take large amounts of strategy into battle. If you do not have good strategy skills, then you will by the time you are finished with Persona 3. In fact, I think the Persona 3 battle system has one of the most unique systems I have ever used.

Honestly, Persona 3 takes a different kind of view. A person who is only accustomed to non-turn based shooting killer games isn't near as likely to enjoy it as someone who enjoys strategy and uniqueness. Keep in mind that this game has a dark atmosphere (which is one of the reasons that I love it so much).

Overall, I definitely suggest this game to almost anyone. Every single person (other than this guy) that I have heard of who has played this game has absolutely LOVED it, including me. I suggest you go buy yourself the game and give it a try. Easily the best game I have played.

A Response

Well, I must admit I am a little sad that there are people out there who don't adore this game. For starters, I'd like to say I enjoyed Persona 4 more than Persona 3, FES and P3P (I have not played the original). Persona 4 feels... brighter, I suppose. Also the ability to control your allies directly, though you can issue suggestions like in P3 if you just really wanted to, is really nice. I feel I should let you know that if you did not like Tartarus, you probably wouldn't enjoy the dungeons in the Dark Cloud games. Dunno if those games were on your radar, but I'm just gonna throw it out. I know you've said you would eventually play Persona 4, but I would urge you to play it sooner rather than later. In my opinion, the game addresses several issues that I found in Persona 3. Namely, the tiredness system, the difficulty, and the combat.

I am not a fan of the tired system they use in Persona 3. It just doesn't appeal to me. I get that it makes the game feel a little more realistic, and to an extent, I could believe that regular kids could actually do the stuff happening in the Persona games. HOWEVER, I don't want to watch my character get tired and suck in combat. It's just not fun watching my character fail to get up 3 times in a row because they are just too damn tired. An alright system in a game that doesn't require grinding, but not for something like Persona. As a person who has put more than 500 hours into Final Fantasy Tactics, I'm all about a game with entertaining grinding. Persona 3 does a fairly good job at this because the enemies are fairly tough and will make you suffer if you make stupid decisions in a fight. So, even while grinding you've still got to maintain a reasonable amount of thought, providing enough interest to stave off the realization that you're doing the same fight over and over again. Then your characters get tired. No matter how good you are at that game, the moment something messes up and you run into an unexpected critical hit or inconvenient weakness, your tired characters are boned. (On a side note, I don't think characters can get tired in Tartarus in P3P. The exhaustion kicks in once you leave, from what I've observed). Persona 4 does an awesome job simply by removing the tired mechanic. Not a huge aspect in the entirety of the game, but it mattered to me so it might matter to you. The tired mechanic wouldn't even matter that much if Persona 3 wasn't already a challenging game.

Personally, there were some days when Persona 3 (FES only. P3P isn't that bad) was just too hard. If I wasn't feeling at the top of my game, it was just a lot of thinking and paying attention that I did not want to do. Maybe it's not a good thing for everyone, but I felt Persona 4 was easier than Persona 3, and I enjoyed a more laid-back Persona battle. I played Persona 3 FES and Persona 4 on Normal, by the way. I can't bring myself to play a game on Easy and I don't hate myself so playing Hard on an RPG, excluding the Kingdom Hearts games, is out of the question.

Oh, how I adore the combat changes for Persona 4. Nothing big was really done, but the way you approach enemies in Persona 3 and 4 is vastly different. In Persona 3, it really does feel like it's Protagonist vs. Everyone else. The commands are nice, the Knock Down command especially, but I can never fully ignore the voice in the back of my head whispering "bro, you can't trust AI in an RPG..." So, dutifully flipping off the AI allies of mine, I proceed to set up a lineup of 3+ persona to deal with anything I may encounter. While this isn't a BAD thing, it certainly wasn't what was intended in the game. This lone-wolf-Rambo attitude extended to the point that, the first time I played Persona 3, I was still using Valkyrie, ROIDed to the max from the arcade games, when I fought Strega. For those who don't know, you get Valkyrie at level 11 and fighting Strega is a level 40+(ish?) fight. Another issue I had with combat with Persona 3 was, when someone was knocked down, that someone spent their entire next turn getting up. Now of course this is convenient when using it against an enemy, but the moment it happens to you or one of your allies, you're probably in a situation you REALLY don't want to be. Getting an ally knocked down when the fight is going your way is just not common, in my experience. When I had a unit knocked down, it was during a time when they were no doubt weak to an attack this enemy happened to have. So they are now low on health and unable to remedy that themselves because they have to get up (something that can take even longer with the dreaded tiredness).

Persona 4 changed this in a small, but significant, way. For starters, as I've mentioned many a-times, you can directly command your allies from the get-go. This immediately left me with a sense that it was the group progressing in the story together, not just Silent Warrior of Justice and his buddies. I was able to more reliably use my allies to their full potential and spend more time improving specific aspects of my Persona as opposed to making several "blanket Persona". Another nice change, was the way knock downs work in Persona 4. Instead of spending an entire turn getting up, the character simply gets up when it would be their turn and then can attack/use spells/whatever the hell you wanna do as normal. This applies towards enemies as well, but I prefer Persona 4's system as opposed to Persona 3's.

I mostly made this reply because, while I don't believe I can sway you to change your tone on Persona 3, I do believe you could enjoy Persona 4 (and P3P if your memory isn't too tainted by an un-enjoyable gaming experience). The Social Links are more or less the same, some characters annoying, some entertaining (they should make Tiny Tina from Borderlands 2 a S. Link. I'd play the hell out of that game). There are some gameplay improvements and I believe Persona 4 is worth the time to play, should you find yourself wondering what game to play.

On an unrelated note; I would highly recommend Grandia 2, if you are looking for a JRPG to play and cannot bring yourself to play P4. There's not a lot of grind to it and it's a nice little story. Pretty bad replay value, in my opinion, but it's an enjoyable game. Not the most stellar endorsement, but it's a fun game while it lasts.

Grandia 2 is pretty good (and

Grandia 2 is pretty good (and most importantly fun). I thought the first was just an amazing experience though.

Thanks

I appreciate your reply, Persona 4 is still on my radar!

I REALLY Hate Rude people -_-

Don't mind those people how are being rude. It's your opinion and u get to state it if you want to. I LOVE THIS GAME, but it doesn't mean you have to!! I personal think though that you should try at least Persona 4, its amazing :3!!!

To the people who are just plain rude: (by the way i HATE rude ppl so.... prepare yourselves, you've been warned)
I'm a FanGirl of the whole Atlus smt series (<3 persona and devil survivor :3).BUT...This is just a GAME. I don't know why people are so angry, gosh. If you don't like the review then don't read it. You guys saw BY THE TITLE that he wasn't pro-persona so if you were a giant persona fan then u didn't need to press the link. At least ACT civil. What happened to freedom of speech?Plus, most of you guys are hiding behind you computers thinking that just because your "anonymous" that you can say whatever you want. If your going to be rude and mean then i don't think u belong on this page. Go find some one else to hate on.>:(

Don't worry

I could have closed the comments section a long time ago if I felt it was necessary, I don't mind the sometimes intense comments!

lol greg from what i hear

lol greg from what i hear this and p4 are the worst smt games. try out strange journey or something, problem is it's probably really grindy

God you're dumb

Every game you list as a game you like, sounds like a dumbed down version of P3. I'm sorry if strategy is a little too hard for you buddy, but cry me a fucking river if a game with grinding that I don't know, gives you RANDOM BONUS EXPERIENCE (in multiplied quantity) is tedious then you need to re-look at X's goddamn sphere grid, cause that thing isn't pretty in the slightest.

You're the most unprofessional reviewer I've ever come across, telling us your life story with the game, rather than focusing on the actual game itself. Reviewing is about being objective, get this personal about a game and you look like a fool. Get over your god damn cynicism and learn to appreciate shit, dumb ****.

You want a bad game? Play Drake of the 99 Dragons, or Sonic 06, or Superman 64. Bet you'll find those a LOT more entertaining.

Calm Down A Little Bit

Hey, i like this game too. It's one of my favorites actually. But... if the guy says he doesn't like it, he doesn't like it. Its a GAME after all and its his opinion. No need to be so mean.

I missed the part where battles took a long time in Persona 3.

I do not consider a standard fight that consists of 1 to 3 cast animations then an all-in attack to be a "very long time", fights are usually over in less than 1 minute.

Regarding boss fights, there are very few games that tell you "you need to be at this level to do this boss fight adequately". JRPGs have always had a traditional grind in it, and Persona 3 is probably one in the genre that has less of a grind, even moreso in Persona 4.

It's a otome/galge-visual novel-jrpg game

japanese love this genre and japanese are the target market... it only became popular in the west that's why they made other regional versions... sure it's full of text but the story is the main purpose of the game... i know you hate it and i respect that but you should also know that there are games that really consumes a lot of time and effort to finish... wouldn't it be worth it to have such games be finished and ended with a good ending? i haven't played P3FES and sure would love to, i only played P3P but saying it is bad just because of the main points of the game is stupid... time and patience is what the game requires, if you don't have patience then look for other reviews before buying games like these...

Its a great game JRPG &SMT basics

Persona 3 F.E.S edition is so much better then what the Poster claims it to be.
Every Shin Megami Tensi game that's ever been released; Persona, Digital Devil Saga, Strange Jounrey, Devil Summoner, Nocturne ; has core game play consistently where you get up to four characters to have out at once that you level/fuse constantly. Which this is almost always the case in JRPG. Argarest of War, Blue Dragon, Pokemon, Disgaea ext..

One trait that always sticks with SMT games, is the Dark Tone each game seems to have. This of course varies from each game, the Dark tone persona games give off after 1 & 2 just don't seem as severe and is constantly masked by the character for the most part. After all they're school kids (So they some how are more cheerful then afraid and manage to have time to do after school activities and hang our with random friends while also keeping up with their homework regularly)

I thought however was a neat way to incorporate a system where "Bonds" are made which leads to Free level boots when making a persona that has the same Tarriot Card as one of your friends "bonds" that are established. The greater the bond, the more free levels you get.- This is option, you could literally never do this and instead play arcade games during the day to boost stats. So you have three other people with specific persona that only grow and can never be changed while your character can use up to 127 while change them in battle without losing a turn.

I thought Tartarus was a great addition, you can run the same levels without ever getting the same one twice so it doesn't feel like your always in the same place. The only levels that didn't change were Boss Floors, and Stair Case Floors. After so many floors new enemies get incorporated while others slowly fade. This gives you an advantage while leveling, you can find leveled monsters that give you the right amount of XP while also choosing specific levels for advantage types depending on which characters you choose to party up with.

Now SMT games like Nocturne are much darker and give you a feeling of almost hopelessness. With in the first hour the world as you know it has been turned inside out with almost everything on it destroyed and is strongly inhabited by demons. Your exploring the world almost like an old JRPG. Lunar 2 eternal blue complete is a good example. Most of the Lunar series game have you explore in a manner where your freely explore the world and go over areas where you transfer to a Town, Path ext and have to go back to the world to explore more of the game.

Assuming I explained that enough to make since, you have random encounters that happen at random. You cant see them on the screen before the battle unless they're a Main/Boss Character. The combat system is close to persona (I feel as if its Superior) Your playable character (MC) can consume something called Mantra.

This will change his stats around so you can increase the power of your higher stats or compensate for your lower stats, as well as his; type/strength/weakness. As you level think of the mantra having its own hidden level. While a mantra is ingested (equipped basically) after the hidden counter gets to X you will learn the skill which is listed on said mantra. How ever there is a limited number of skill slots (10 if I remember correctly) If every slot is full and you learn another skill you must delete one to make room. On top of that you can only get newer skills by learning a previous one from that mantra. So the skills you get won't change depending on your level - the only way to get a very strong skill is by learning the lower levels skills first from that mantra first. After each level, you get to spend one state point on the MC so you can build your character however you want and change the way he plays from battle to battle. This gives his set up alone a monstrous amount of possibilities.

As for you party members they're demons, you can recruit-level and fuse them. They learn new skills, have random changes that you can let go or stop when the level resulting in an extra stats/skill ext So on the field in battle you have your MC with a mantra to help in a battle as well as three other demons you choose to use with the ability to swamp them out in battle.

Now either SMT type is amazing in its entirety. If your a real fan of JRPGs in general then you can't lose with persona 3. If they're not really your thing then I could see you playing this and then stopping 30 hours in then pick it back up after a while and continue. Its like Pokemon for adults in a way.

i want those 5mins of my life back :p

This is so stupid and pointless I feel like I just wasted some of my life dam I hate you reviews haha and now I don't even want to ever look at the headline of another jrpg review now thanks a lot :/ haha and think you a little inpatient wait a min or 2 for screen to load up is a such a little problem I wouldn't even call it a problem so by that I can why you wouldn't like it because you do need a lot of patience and waiting for both games also I though grinding is what half the game was about so if you don't like grinding or going through same looking places you going to hate it with a fire burning Passion I personally beat both games and liked them a lot

Lol you fucking retard if you

Lol you fucking retard if you want your 5 minutes back then why waste another 5 minutes to post this shit?
Aside of this i appreciate your opinion and i hated tartarus too, but the game itself is awesome.
By the way i like your 1 hour idea. Its a good one and intresting too read. Keep up the great work and dont get fucked by those fucking fanboys. Fuck

But when its over...

Sure persona 3 FES is hard a bit tedious and can be annoying, with the fact you know the full moons coming and you to need grind to get ready. Your constantly worrying about whats to come.To the point where you just dont care about the dialouge. But when you take the time on all your social links and get to know everyone on a personel level. it feels like I actually made a new friend.Everyone has problems in their lives and we were able to let them trust us to the point where they really cared about you. When you thought about your schedule like when I should go to Tarturus Like how much should I train b4 going back. Should I upgrade my S.L. to get better personas so im more prepared. Will I upgrade my stats so I could do more then the game originally had to offer.It made you feel independent and responsible to the actions leading to a specific moment not to mention it made me feel like i was living another life with new friends. New goals. and the group depended on me. Even if you couldnt completly control your party. It would be like real life. You would give out commands and they would follow to the best to their ability. I was their captain I needed to be the leador or else the Id lose not only my teamates but the world and everyone with it , and itd be all my fault... After all the story the battles the bonds the ending was the best part. It made me feel like doing all that work meant somthing. plus Who else loved being a Charismatic Badass Genius. I did. Who loved getting and beating all the social links to get the ultimate persona. i did. Who loved completing all of Elizabeths request. I did. Who cheered when they finnally beat tarterus. i did. Because I felt like I accomplished something worth bragging about to my other friends that play this game and dont finish it for your exact reasons you didnt. The ending is sad but it felt like you left a legacy behind you. Even if the Mc died he did it to protect his friends and loved ones, and the world from the fall. He made the ultimate sacrifice.
So basically the games a mess. New game + just adds to the long hours of rage. But when its over you.feel.AWESOME. Like I finnaly beat an ATLUS game aweesome. So now the burning question stands. Will I do it again?

Not that bad...

I know you'll probably never see this comment and i'll probably forget about it as well, but exactly. the person writing this review seems like such a whiny little you know what. This game wasn't as hard as he made it seem, and tartarus was annoying but leveling up is not a problem. Furthermore, the new game plus REALLY helps you appreciate the point of the story more because with all your bamf personas from the previous save, (i had all my social links maxed without cheating i might add) you get to concentrate on the story. The message in this game is phenomenal and when i got to the end and had to choose (spoiler) .... "close your eyes" and my character died. I cried, because after Aigus' lovely speech, the crazy battle with 14 F-ing forms of Nyx, and just the love that SEES had for eachother, i felt the ultimate sense of accomplishment. This is an amazing ATLUS game.

However my point is, this game isn't for the weak gamers, you have to have perseverance. I grind like its my job because i recognized for this game you had to. I had fun with it. The reward is all in your heart, and im just sorry, you were too busy getting ransacked in Tartarus to see that.

you should not think it's a game

when i think it's trully a game it's make me borring
so i try to think that this is my true life
and what i get?
i spend my 3 days of holiday just to play this game
if you want to enjoy thins game you should understand how the MC would feel if he's trully alive

and by the way it's a lifestory game
if you really think it's just a "game" persona 4 will make you feel better
but for people who want to understand the game itself persona 3 will be perfect

Clearly you all mad. Oh noes

Clearly you all mad. Oh noes he didn't like persona 3. Fanboy rage more.

True story.

True story.

i actually don't have any

i actually don't have any problem with the combat system, it's pretty simple. just assign each character with different combat style ( all out, bla bla), and just keep your eyes on everyone HP, do a little persona switch here and there. but i agree on the grinding and tartarus. kinda annoying,

for the "friendship" part, it's just to spice thing a little, it's a common thing in japan. Japanese developers are heavily influenced by manga. and in Mangas a "connection" between the readers and the character is really important. Hoping that the the gamer and the character have this "relation" that is the human desire to make friends, to socialize. making every event in-game having more impact. Rather than running around killing everyone, not even care about the storyline. which i do a lot in GTA

u make no sense!!!! it has

u make no sense!!!! it has the BEST BGM and i think the battle is nice and it was kinda hard. feel too easy? play the answer. meh.
and if u feel it's too long to start again than that's the punishment for some loser lyk u.

Oh, and one more thing. I

Oh, and one more thing. I don't know HOW you think full moon bosses are hard. They're made easy on purpose, so you can easily whoop their ass if you've reached as far as you can go for the time being in tartarus. They made them so easy so that you don't get stuck and never be able to beat the game. What's actually hard are the floor bosses, because you have all the time in the world to train up for them.

Seriously, you just sound way too wimpy for SMT games...Persona 3 is cake compared to what the others in the series dish out. And yes, the games make a point of OHKOing you now and then so you don't get cocky. The point these games drive home is learn enemy patterns and be prepared. This is no ho-hum strategyless RPG where you just buy the best weapon at quickeemart and mash A until you win.

I'd like someone to give me

I'd like someone to give me an example of a game that isn't the same thing over and over. Isn't that the point of games? You buy a racing game to RACE CARS. That's ALL YOU DO in racing games. You buy a fighting game to FIGHT PEOPLE. It's ALL YOU DO in a fighting game. You get an action game like God of War...guess what? YOU SLICE PEOPLE THE ENTIRE GAME. You get a puzzle game like tetris. YOU'RE DROPPING BLOCKS THE WHOLE GAME. You get an RPG and you FIGHT IN BATTLES WITH COMMANDS the ENTIRE GAME.

So I don't get your point. All game genres have you doing the same thing the entire game. The point is the player chooses which style of gameplay will entertain them for the full set of hours. Honestly, I didn't read through your whole review because that point threw me off so much. Regardless, I could probably boil everything down into one point: The SMT series and its spinoffs are difficult games made for its fans and nobody else. Persona 3 and 4 may have been the closest thing they've ever made to something the general public could like, since they're easier. However, these games have an extremely limited style and they're either your thing or they're not. Everything I did read of your review that you hated was the exact reasons I liked the game. I liked that you couldn't control anyone because it made the game more challening, difficult, and exciting. I wouldn't know what they'd do (like real people!) and that made it more challenging and edge-of-my-seat. That's just one of your gripes that I enjoy as a turnaround, but I like every aspect of P3, and I like it far more than P4. P4 was good, but too hokey on the plot for me. Swimsuit contests and crossdressing? A fucking bear? The glasses gimmick? Everyone dealing with their ~inner feelings~? It was too upbeat for SMT and my tastes. SMT is supposed to be dark and brooding, and P3 has that in spades. It's the fucking end of the world, and it's eating away at these kids inside. You can feel the desperation start to rise. It's just my kind of game, through and through. Obviously, the game just isn't for you, so I feel that your review is much too heavily skewed (just like mine would be).

You don't get it

Let me explain it for you. In Final Fantasy XIII the game is even morestraightforward than P3, but I think it does a much better job. Why? It introduces gameplay elements every couple hours. Unlike P3 which is almost the exact same game over and over again, you have to keep practicing new tactics all the time in XIII, whereas the stuff you learned at the beginning of P3 is all applicable for the entirety of the adventure. Also, lets take Super Mario Bros. as an example. In nearly every Mario game the gameplay rarely changes much but the levels are all different in structure and function. These games mix themselves up as they go on. On the other hand, Persona 3 is exactly the same for the 70+ hours you play it. It's a good game IMO but it could be a LOT more variable in its presentation and gameplay while still staying in the same genre.

First of FFXIII is an

First of FFXIII is an abomination to the series and honestly sucks, why? look up a review so much crap to cover its hard to say. Persona 3 F.E.S was a new thing for me and I never once got bored of the conversation, and I personally enjoyed every aspect about it. Grinding is tedious it always is, and the full moon system was actually pretty genius. On your first play through of the game I felt terrified of what was to come so I felt I actually needed that extra training to make myself anywhere near the bosses level. A game doesn't need to introduce new mechanics if the mechanics are fun and inivative for me they were. The only reason your precious FFXIII needed new mechanics was for true finally fantasy fans like me who couldn't even stomach it. If you have no taste in RPG i.e FFXIII and millions will agree then you have no credibilty as a reviewer and have no right to judge. OH and by the way linear game design...isn't good RPG's are designed around the mechanic of guiding your charecter down a path let me ask you WHERE THE FUCK IS THAT IN FFXIII.

No it isn't Final Fantasy

No it isn't Final Fantasy XIII-2 is an abomination that shouldn't ever exist. I consider more ff games I played to be worst *cough* FF3 to be honest I find final fantasy games a hit and a miss after X. The main series just went downhill 13 for all of it's flaws I found it was way better than ff11 which was a crappy mmo and ff12 which bored me from the start.

Its a game

Lets say you were a character how would you know it all? You would know the enemies or the bosses either so they kept it a surprise. And the floors are forms school what do you expect?

Ashold

What did you say? I love all the PERSONA Saga, you don't know nothing about that game. It's oviousli you can t get the awsome who is this game.

P4

Hi, I too feel like I am getting burned out on JRPG's, except for 1 thing... I loved Persona 4. The minute I beat it, I went out and picked up Persona 3. And HATED it. To me, Persona 4 did everything better, particularly making me like the characters more. P3: FES just wasn't the same... especially when my teammates did the stupidest things. In persona 4 the combat is also better, and the Dungeons not quite so shitty... maybe try and give it a shot too, you may not like it but hey if you're bored sometime...

Persona 3 is better than 4

No Persona 3 is way better the music, characters, story, events, ending. everything was better in persona 3. in persona 4 sometimes the weird or annoying social links 1. That annoying little bitch in music 2. that girl in drama is boring 3. That pedobear nurse it FUCKING CREEPY 4. Ai is a little bitchy whore. there 4 persona 3 FES is way better

You sir have made absolutely

You sir have made absolutely NO SENSE at all in your post.

That's your opinion. Doesn't

That's your opinion. Doesn't mean its fact. :P

Obviously both of you share

Obviously both of you share different opinions, however to elaborate on the point because i've played and beaten all of the Persona games. P4 is much easier than P3 FES, so it depends on the gamer that you are. Teddy was adorable, and the whole getting thrown into the TV world concept was cool, but the message of the game was almost non existent in comparison to P3 FES. The two games are not even comparable on a "this one is better level", because the games themselves are on completely different planes. P3 hits home and is profound, while 4 carries alot of similar elements its clearly more for fun and amusement than hard hitting themes.

But in the way of opinions... 4 doesnt even compare... its just better for the gamers that have no drive.

the "message" and theme of P4

the "message" and theme of P4 was about pursuing the truth. Weather its the truth about your self, or about the world around you and accepting it rather then living in a lie. Which came across rather fine and clear to me.

I personally liked both the games, with only P4 a little ahead because the social links where more enjoyable. That and that all my party members where s.links. Some of the s.links in P3 where rather boring/annoying, i kept thinking that i'd rather hangout with my supposed best friend Junpei then lame ass Kenji. Which i know you can in P3P, but that wasn't the one i had. Gotta make time to get it off of PSN...*sigh*

grinding

I love grinding. when you grind enough to beat the things that killed you before, i simply kill all the monsters on the floors where those things show up. i find it enjoyable to kick their ass after getting mine kicked. Does that make me weird? its easy to stay alive if you use the vending machines in the dorm to store up on drinks that you can use while walking around tartarus to heal your hp and sp.(it takes alot of them but if your not short on cash its a good tactic). also the best persona's in the game are as follows: Surt(fire), Skadi(ice), Odin(electricity), Norn(wind), Daisojou(light), Alice(dark) Melchizedek(strike and a little healing(no weaknesses after lvl 65) (and i personally like Michael(elec, ice, slash,a little healing, and no weakness after lvl 75)<-p.s.he can also be fuzed in the relic store to make the best sword in the game for you)toss up for best healer between Attis and Hariti; or at leasts those are the best ones i know of. if you folow a fusion guide you can eventually get them all.

Have,you played P4 yet? It

Have,you played P4 yet? It has addressed a good number of things that made my P3 experience, and judging from your article, your experience, hell.

No

Not yet, though I do own it. Some day.

to each its own :B

to each its own :B

are you dumb? you can control

are you dumb? you can control all the characters fighting just go to tactics and put manual control .

IN PERSONA 3 PORTABLE YOU CAN

IN PERSONA 3 PORTABLE YOU CAN DO THAT. in persona 3 fes for ps2 you cant did u think persona 3 portable only was on psp

PSP?

I believe this is the PSP version only, I was playing the PS2 version.

I could see how the game

I could see how the game isn't appealing to everyone, honestly. Your review is probably how a lot of people unfarmiliar with the game are but you should keep a few considerations in mind post-review:

A) You're playing a hybrid Life Simulation and PRG game. It's supposed to involve things like maintaining relationships with people, which also actually directly impact the rpg gameplay logistics, so it's not just some 'minigame' they flesh out just to keep you occupied.

B) It's lame to make an assumption about an entire genre because you didn't like one of the games.

C) Did you even listen to the music ;D?

thank you.

just as a reference as to where i'm coming from, i stumbled across this article when i googled "can you control your team in persona 3". I played p4 first, and i absolutely loved it. the writing was good, the combat, while not innovative by SMT standards, was masterfully exocuted, and i enjoyed the social link system. i made it to naota's dungeon bedore i had to give my ps2 back, but i loved what i played. so when i got a new ps2, i thought, hey, i've heard some good things about 3, and i loved 4 and what i'd played of 1, so why not. i got it, and was so disapointed i almost cried.
1, you only control minato? i'm sorry but... why? seriously, i'm all for the SMT tradition of not letting the MC die but... it defies logic. i loved final fantasy 13, i was a BIT miffed when i found out only the main character could be controled, but it made sense as i went through and the combat system evolved with the paradigm system. but persona 3 had NO such excuse. it's a simple turn based rpg with a variation of the push batt

le system. it's not like it

le system. it's not like it would have been unrealistic. the 2 characteres that first join you have never fought before so it would have made more sense for them to follow minato's orders than to do what they think's best.
2. The social link system was far worse in 3 than in 4. i suppose that's not a fair argument, seeing as 4 was newer, but still. i didn't like the people i was presented with nor their problems. i only played the first few hours, but from the first guy alone (seriously, what whacky and fun guy, he wants to bang his teacher) i could tell i wouldn't like it. i liked junpie and the fact he was magician arcana was ever better cause i loved brosuke, but i do-it-yourself get to link him, just this creepy bland guy.
that's all i really have to say, but i'm glad i said it.

Tht threw me off too untill i

Tht threw me off too untill i realized tht ur forming bonds with different GROUPS of ppl and in persona 4 u talked to ur best friends and a couple other ppl so its more click based p3 had u being popular and liked by EVERYONE no matter what there circumstance

Overdue Rant (will have spoiler)

looks like FES had been release on the PSN. Oh goodies my old wound open up again. Doesn't help that I love Persona 4, I have to hear about this game no matter which P4 related thing I go to.

I've invested more then 40 hours in this game before I just gave up and just youtube the rest of the story. This gameplay had put me to sleep in the afternoon at times.

The story feels like it's been written by a child trying to create a dark story (come on "Dark" Hour? water turn red like blood? and they really try to use the death word when ever they can.) When you put logic on the Dark Hour it doesn't make sense (what happen to planes and animals in the sky? don't gravity works? )

Who in their right mind decided to build a public school in the middle of the area where that Tower shows up?

The story doesn't even have anything to the theory of Persona itself (as in multiple selves of yourself) until you play The Answer part. Try replacing anything mentioning Persona with any Magic Power. the story would be the same.

And this might be the only Silent Protagonist that I dislike in gaming, yes Silent Protagonists do have personalities they show it though their actions. He is represented by "The Fool" Arcana which represent that he should be the type who doesn't get lead around by the Dog. Though out the entire game he is always being lead by someone or something else. Everything that happens in the main story is him being used, or he was force into it.

The other party members... I though they were okay. nothing special, I would have forgotten all about them if I haven't been reminded of them all the time. Sometimes they make dumb decisions in the story.

and the antagonist Strega were poor villains who doesn't seems like they are trying to win over the heroes. They introduce themselves for no purpose but to say Hi nice to meet you. They interfere with what seems to be two death seeking party members trying to kill each other. He even acknowledged this and kill one of them and in turn making the other one no longer want to kill himself. And they think the Conservation of Ninjutsu applies to them, seriously they couldn't win 2 on 4, what made them think that 1 on 4 is going to be better for them.

The Ending was dumb. almost everyone forgot everything that happen and then the every party members remember. Uh what happen to physical evidence? you can guess what question they would be asking. Why am I living here? Why do I have something that shape like a gun on top of actual weapons? Why did we build this Robot with Guns attach to it and something called Persona and let it live with teenagers? Where all our money go? Who is this person listed on my call list? Why am I just doing in the middle of the street filled with other people wondering the same thing?

I know I hate this game much more than I should.

to this rant it seems that

to this rant it seems that you paid no attention at all to the story, I found it very interesting and honestly well written. "Who in their right mind decided to build a public school in the middle of the area where that Tower shows up" this sentence is literally the dumbest thing I ever read oyu have no right to complain about a game you know NOTHING about, they didnt say OH LOOK A TOWER IS GONNA CONTROLL ALL THE WORLDS EVIL LETS BUILD A SCHOOL dumbass the school is the tower, due to the experiments that were done their it transformed it into what became tarterus

Last I checked. They build

Last I checked. They build the school after the experiment and the Tower showed up. It is not one in the same.

>don't gravity works? Stopped

>don't gravity works?

Stopped reading.

Please enlightened me about

Please enlightened me about this. How does the Planes and animals stays in midair?

Brush up on your english

Brush up on your english grammar and maybe people will start taking you seriously.

You forgot to capitalize

You forgot to capitalize "English" LOL.

And in the time where things

And in the time where things are no electricity or inside a coffin?

It's a game it's not supposed

It's a game it's not supposed to be that realalistic do you expect every game to be that realalistic

I expect them to follow the

I expect them to follow the rules they set up.

That's why.

I respect your opinion and I am not gonna bitch about it. People like P3 because of the dialogues and long story. BUt one thing you're correct about is the friggin' grinding. I don't mind the gameplay as I am a real fan of Turn-Based games and I like the animation as well. They could've made Tartarus like the ones in P4 as I think P4 is superior in every aspect of this game.

But u cant say tht p3 was

But u cant say tht p3 was made 2 YRs ago!!!

yeah yeah if Persona 3 is bad

yeah yeah if Persona 3 is bad so what is good?!
well some people just cant stand mature stories ya know

lol

so in conclusion you're just a little babby who can't take REEL jrpgs like atlus games and stuff
kk

Idiot Greg Noe!!!

You idiot,your stupidity dont appreciate RPG games. I you want easy games, you better play your a** . Think of it, P3P is Atlus's best selling game in 2009, the game got also awards. Therefore, majority wins, gamers love P3P and "SOME" are not. Those gamers who dont love this game and not appreciate it, you guys are the true sucks.

Holy hot damn...

I can't believe there are still so many comments on this game about how dysfunctional Greg must be for not loving this game.

Let me enlighten everyone that is complaining: This is an opinion piece.

So, don't be childish, and scream "your opinions are WRONG!" because this is ONE MAN's views of the game.

It is also a logical fallacy to call someone "Butt hurt" or anything else that is completely meant to be insulting. Let me show you:

"Persona 3 sucks."
"You're an assmunch!"
"...but Person 3 still sucks."

- What did we accomplish there? Nothing.

Also, even it went this way:

"Persona 3 sucks."
"Persona 3 does not suck, because of (reasons)."

- Neither of these points are true. They are only thoughts, opinions; aka, NOT facts.

Thnak you.

Well said... (slow clap)

No opinion is a fact so that anyone of them could be considered fact. Just one of the paradoxes that comes with being human.

Its a good thing there are

Its a good thing there are SOME intelligent people here. Personally, I love Persona 3. I named my character randomly after the mc in FF Tactics A2 and Death Note ; Luso Yagami. I also think his blue hair is awesome. I'm in love. I think Persona 4 did it better fighting/grinding/dungeon-wise, but I liked 3's Social Links and story more. 4's bores me with its constant "I gotta face myself and be who I am!"

Interestingly enough I have

Interestingly enough I have the opposite response. I loved the persona 4 characters and story but I hated the actual fighting. While in persona 3 I enjoyed the fighting more but besides a small handful of characters I couldn't careless about the social links and the story just wasn't all that interesting to me in comparison with the fourth one. But opinion is like beauty and its different from person to person.

I must disaggree.

One of your main complaints is about the game being hard and requiring grinding. When do you ever have to grind, really? I usually only explore the floors while I'm climbing to the next boss and the fights I get into are usually enough. I'm playing on normal difficulty and I don't find it to be punishing at all. Sure, sometimes you die, but that's normal. After I died to a boss I usually figured out a strategy to beat him. SMT games are more about strategy than grinding really, some people don't seem to understand that. Fuse better personas or figure out the boss' pattern/weaknesses and you should be fine. Buff skills(for your party) and debuff skills(against the enemy) are also there for a reason, it WILL help you in battles, but people are usually just too lazy with things like that since most popular rpgs around here only require you to attack like mad, which certainly isn't the case with SMT games. Also use your good items, you know, the ones that recovers your whole party's hp/sp or reflects magics/attacks. You don't need them later, you need them NOW. This isn't like Final Fantasy where you stock up megaelixirs and never use them in the entire game because of everything being too easy.

And the game over screen, seriously? Ever tried hitting the start button? You can skip it. What the hell was that complaint for?
Otherwise, yeah, the game can get repetitive. Even I, being a big fan of the franchise as a whole, found it to be tiring sometimes. I usually do something different and come back to it later, because it's worth it in my opinion. Of course you will find the story confusing in the beginning, it's supposed to be clarified as the game progresses towards the end. That's what I and many people like about these stories, the mystery behind them.
Anyway, I can see how this isn't a rpg for everybody, and the complaints about the lenght and repetitiveness are legitimate, but the rest of the complaints are nonsense imo. I didn't find it hard, in my opinion the difficulty is ideal. Not too easy, not too punishing. I love Chrono Trigger too, also one of my favorite games of all times, but I always wished it was a bit more challenging.

I agree with you.. I always

I agree with you..
I always wanted to play this game but i never had the time to download it
i checked out game rankings and this game ranked 3rd...
then i decided to give it a shot, and wow.! this game rocks!
what i loved the most about this game is the storyline, though some dialogues are repetitive (p-3 portable only). this is the very first game i ever played with an entertainingly long story. ( Oh I love the Plot! )

now to battle.
i like it, it's a lot like final fantasy XIII ( which i totally loved ) i don't have experiences with P3 on PS2 even though i have that console...
and wait.! did the author just say the battle "sucks"!? wew... the in game battle is designed for the players to have a more strategic feel of the game... if he likes hack and slash , rpg , MOBA. (whatever) then why play this game??...

I agree with this. P3 is even

I agree with this. P3 is even easier than Nocturne. The game is hard, so what? It shows that JRPGs are not only heal and attack. It lets the player think before making you a move as mentioned by above commentator. Tartarus is not a big deal. If the wandering around is quite irritating for some of you, you can just hurry to the stairs. The shadows are small enough to quickly evade them. As for grinding, you can grind after reaching a sub-boss floor. The teleporter at the entrance is your best friend at this case. As for the non-gameplay issue a.k.a the Social Links, you do know you can just skip the non-important parts if you don't like talking to people, as this game is a mix of REAL LIFE simulation and dungeon-crawling RPG. That much said, since the reviewer has a Persona 4. I advise that you play the game. It's battle system is improved with teammates able to be commanded and the dungeon floors are not changing though the map is not recorded when you switch to another dungeon. I hope you give P4 sometime and you might as well like it.

Persona 3: well worth the slow beginning

Yes, the game begins cryptic and slow, but once you reach the end, there are a myriad of plot clarifications. I am currently on a new save file in the game. 80 hours or so, and going to face 5th full moon boss soon. I do not get what you mean by boring. I have extreme ADHD, but have not been bored for a second. After playing it for 5 hours in a row, I tend to get antsy, but the same can be said of any other activity I invest in, or anyone invests in. At that point I switch to reading or some other activity that cqn hold my interest. Text-heavy games are fine by me. One of the best aspects of the game for me is the social links. To successfully be good at this, you have to constantly psychanalyze. I have never gotten a negative response from one of my social links, and I don't see how you could produce many negative results from them, because their personalities are as easy to read as a dick and jane story. Just sayin.

It's half Visual Novel and

It's half Visual Novel and half JRPG. It's supposed to have a lot of story.

So...Lemmeget this straight...

you hate this game for being hard, like a real JRPG, you hate it because the characters "emo", even though he is your typical JRPG protagonist, you hate it because there are walls of text, like a real JRPG, you hate it because your character acts like a human (I.E. going to class, having friends, ect.), you hate it because you have a realistically small inventory space, just like a real JRPG, you hate the magic attacks because they take so long (but love final Fantasy VII :D), just like they are in real JRPGs, you hate that you can't control the A.I, just like you can't in areal JRPG, and hate the boss battles because they are too hard, just like in real JRPGs...

Hypocrisy in its finest form. You don't love JRPGs, in their true form, you love RPGs. You complain that the character is "emo", then complain because part of the game is making friends, not being a shut in that never makes friends. Persona 3 didn't make you hate playing JRPGs, you were never a fan in the first place. You love Final Fantasy, Golden Sun, those are, technically, made in Japan, but they are not of the JRPG genre. RPGs are RPGs anyone can pick up and play, JRPGs are harder, more tedious, and usually have a "wall of text"

Atleast you aren't a "shooter" gamer, the people who call themselves hardcore gamers but hate everything that doesn't have guns and explosions in it, and I'm not trying to be an ass (Though I am usually a snarky asshole) I'm just saying, it's a JRPG in its truest form, if you hate it, you just hate JRPGs in general.

Thanks for the reply! Some clarification:

Hey Somedude, let's clarify a few things. Do I hate this game for being hard? Maybe, I think I more hated it for being unfair, all those one hit snakes and stuff who pop out after an hour of not saving, those annoy me.

The only time I mention "emo" in my review is in neither a positive or negative context.

"So once the game actually got rolling, it was pretty cool. You play as some emo with spiky hair (redundant?) who just moved to a new town and is immediately caught up in its weird, paranormal activity."

So no, I have nothing against emo people.

Oh yeah, there are definitely walls of text in this game, and most of them aren't even remotely interesting. That's one of my issues with it, sure.

My complaint about the "realistic inventory space" was in my Odin Sphere review, I don't remember how the inventory works in Persona 3 very well, but I think it was pretty big. And yeah, I hate limited inventories, just because they're small doesn't mean they're realistic. Or fun.

Magic attacks do take too long, how does that make it a "real JRPG"? Why should I have to sit through the same animations hundreds and hundreds of times? And no, I don't love Final Fantasy VII, I don't hate it but I think it's highly overrated. I do love Final Fantasy VI and Final Fantasy X, and I only praised Final Fantasy VII for its great first hour.

You keep spouting off the phrase "real JRPG", I don't really understand what you mean by this. According to your definition of a "real JRPG", they have limited inventories, magic attacks take really long to animate, you can't control your teammates, boss battles are really hard, they are hard, they are tedious, and they usually have walls of text? Yeah, that sounds awful.

Oh, I also don't love Golden Sun, meh.

And to me, a JRPG is a Japanese RPG. Made in Japan, or at least has the trappings of an RPG made in Japan (see Black Sigil).

Anyways, thanks for responding, I don't mind asses or snarky assholes, and you actually had a civil response to my review, which I appreciate.

Persona 3 FES

So far I'm enjoying it. The dungeons have a different feel to them than most games of the genre. It's a randomly generated deathtrap that feels more like a survival horror game than a grind-happy RPG. The teammates getting tired are what annoy me the most about the system, as they start missing more attacks which can be fatal on the higher difficulties. There's a reason I play this game on Beginner and still feel proud when I beat the game.

On that note, play Persona 4. It fixes a lot of what you have problems with- the plot is much more of a coherent story, the combat gets balanced better, characters can guard to reduce damage on an inactive turn, and most importantly you get direct teammate control. Persona 3 Portable adds these to the game, so if you have a PSP and you're hell bent on finishing P3 then that's your best bet.

But back to Persona 4. Social links with your teammates (the "Investigation Team") serve a higher purpose than just adding XP to persona fusions- as you get to know them they get additional "automatic actions" during combat- for instance, the first ability unlocked through a Social Link for characters is the ability to take a mortal blow for you in battle. So instead of being treated to a torturous lecture on why failing is bad and a kick back to the main screen, your teammate will jump in front of the attack and take the damage for you. A real lifesaver, if I say so myself.

Additional actions also include "follow up attacks," which are used sometimes when the MC knocks down an opponent, the partner will offer to knock down another opponent, or, in the case of Chie Satonaka, kick them into the stratosphere and out of play entirely. They can also help the MC or other characters up when knocked down if they successfully knock down or take out an opponent in combat, and even survive ordinarily mortal damage at the higher S. Link ranks.

The story is also a major improvement, centering on a murder mystery connected to an urban legend about the "Midnight Channel," a mysterious television program that airs on turned-off TVs on rainy nights. The characters are generally well written and interesting as well, and the story has a lot of interesting twists, like a murder mystery should. It kept me guessing and I was brought up on years of crime drama, so this should serve as a testament to either the quality of the writing or my overconfidence in my detective abilities. Also, there's a bundle of separate dungeons for each sequence of the game, with varied and colorful visual styles to mix things up. Sadly, the layouts are still randomly generated, but one of the character's Persona can detect enemies and treasure chests for you, and if you load up a save file that was saved in the TV world rather than outside I think it keeps the previous layout if you've explored a floor. Not sure about this last one though.

Admittedly our tastes in games may differ- a big part of your argument against P3 was the predominance of the writing getting in the way of the gameplay. I started gaming on the Genesis and a big part of my youth was playing games with little in the way of story. But after I started having lots of time for single player games I started to realize how spartan stories were killing my involvement with games. Games with highly non-linear structure also felt "too big to finish" - to this day, I can't finish Fallout 3. I like the core gameplay, but the story just lacked any kind of gravitas, and even though the game boasts hundreds of hours of side-quests I just couldn't get involved with any of the characters I met. No time was spent developing them over time, and they bowed out when their functions as quest-givers were complete. I didn't feel like the game had "real characters" in it. Games like Metal Gear Solid, Persona 4, and other such games spend a huge amount of time with the stories and characters in their respective games. Some may argue that breaking for gigantic cutscenes breaks game flow, but I can tolerate it if the story is compelling. And with Kojima's works at least, the cutscenes actually have the feel of a film, making great use of tight focus, zooms, and NPC choreography.

Persona 4 has similar cutscenes to 3- a mix of anime and in-game graphics, so sadly it doesn't boast Metal Gear production values in it's storytelling, but Persona 4 has a lot of genuinely funny writing- scenes from the school's summer camp trip and a drinking game in a bar come to mind. Many of the game's bosses are hugely important to the development of the game's characters, and I refuse to spoil any of it, but these encounters help you get to know the characters that much more and make them seem more like rounded characters, with a past and with a future in the Investigation Team. It's all very well put-together and I highly recommend that you at least give it a shot. The reason I've been taking this much time on making a case for P4 is that it's one of the very best games I've played in recent years, and is a very long and fulfilling single player experience. I logged 137 hours in the game on the way to the "True" ending, and though sometimes the battles got tedious, the questions in class perplexing, and the game itself necessitating at least two strategy guides to assist me, the narrative and the characters kept me in touch with the game far more than many games I've played- and I've played a rather inordinately large amount of video games.

So I implore you- please, give Persona 4 a shot. If you hate it, then you can post why and I'll understand.

ARRRGH!

Dude, I totally agree with you. I just died on the same block twice now by these stupid-ass monsters that can kill you in one hit, and, as you know, if you're PC dies, it's game over, even if your other 3 characters are alive. That in itself is absolutely ridiculous, not to mention extremely frustrating when you've just put in a good 25 minutes or so into it and ONE HIT sends you back to the title screen. (Which yes, takes FORVER to load.)

I think describing the Tartarus as a "lazy dungeon" is spot-on. It gets so boring to look at, and NOTHING changes throughout, not even the music. (Oooh, that's right, the scenery changes a little. However, it's so ridculously similar, they may as well have just not changed it at all.) The battle system is crappy, and the AI NEVER seems to make a decent choice. (I hate how they knock an enemy down, and then, instead of hitting another one, they hit the same one, which allows it to get back on its feet. ARGH! So frustrating!)

Anyway, like I said, I just died for the second time because of the same stupid enemies. This is my third or fourth time playing the game - I've never come close to beating it because I always become so bored with the Tartarus. Which sucks because I really enjoy building up the social links and trying to balance your time with school/skills, friends, and leveling up. I was so frustrated from dying, I came online to see if anyone else was as frustrated with the game as I was. (Somebody who really WANTED to like it too, like me.) I really appreciate the review, it helped calm me down. I agreed with everything you said (other than what you said about the social links and a couple other things), and it's nice to know someone else out there agrees with me.

Seriously, the second time I died, I threw my PS2 controller down hard, and spilled the contents of my trash can everywhere. I don't think I've thrown a controller since I was in like middle school, maybe even elemetary. That's how frustrating this game gets.

O RLY? Well...

Grind more, Miss. In 73h of gameplay I'm still lvl 66 but I'm already at the 236th floor. Tartarus is not that hard.
The music does change - just ask Fuuka to "Change BGM" with the square button.

HEY

Look at me im on block 6 and my player level is 99 the problem is your lvl

lol

thats true my level 99 on block 5 last play through i spent to much time on the story so it was only 36

SHUT UP

You are only one hit because of your level! c'mon think men think!

Not true

Nope, I was referring to those instant kill spells that some enemies have.

I just have one word

Homonculus.

...AND it just happened

...AND it just happened again. Forget it, I can't play anymore tonight. It's not worth being in a terrible mood over some game. Makes me wanna break something, lol.

An honest attempt to be polite...

A lot of your problems are actually easily remedied in-game. I'm not going to be an ass and call you an idiot. If you hate the game that's fine. But I think you should try a few things before you give up.

1. Save often. There's usually only about 10-20 floors between guardians (which are the floors you can teleport to from the ground floor.) I learned that the hard way. Don't be afraid of going back to the ground floor and losing progress. Your party's HP/SP is completely replenished whenever you go back.

2. With those one shot snakes, whatever attack is one-shotting you, find a persona that can block that. I used the MegaTen wiki and some online persona fusion guides religiously. The game is about strategy. There is a way to counter everything. If it's light/dark attacks, there's plenty of personas that can counter those effectively, and you come across party members that can do that a bit later on.

3. If I'm not mistaken, you seem to be on the cusp of having Mitsuru in your party, which means two things (aside from Mitsuru making a great supplementary healer). First, you get someone who is way better at scanning targets. Second, you get the "knock down" command in the tactics menu. That command is the single most useful tactic in the game (aside from Heal/Support, depending on the situation.). When you set a party member to "Knock Down", if they knock an enemy down, rather than trying to plaster the same enemy with hits, they'll try and knock over an enemy that is standing, and so on, until all the enemies are down. I don't know why it wasn't included in the beginning of the game, but it shows up very early on, so whatever (Trust me, I have my fair share of complaints about this game, despite my absolute adoration for it as a whole.). Basically, if you can manage your tactics menu effectively, you're set for life, and after a while, it can become second nature. I had a hard time transitioning to P4 because I had gotten so used to just giving my comrades vague orders and let them think for themselves.

4. Scan every enemy the first chance you get. If you don't scan, you can't strategize. And that's what the game is all about. Like I said before, I made liberal use of the MegaTen wiki, and it has every tartarus guardian there is, their abilities, strengths and weaknesses. That helps a lot.

I can understand the complaint about the level design. There's only so much you can do with randomly generated dungeons. But the environments get a lot more colorful immediately after the 2nd block. It gets slightly less old. But it is still repetitive as fuck. I still think tartarus was bland as shit (though still brilliant in some aspects, like the final block that opens up with level 90+ enemies so you can break the hell out of your party). What I loved is once you get the hang of the combat, the game starts testing your limits. all the boss battles feel like puzzles, and I thought that was awesome. The game was about strategy, and it made sure you mastered it in order to progress.

I know plenty of people who hate this game. The battle music is more obnoxious than a four year old screaming into a hearing aid at full volume. This game was not the best game ever made. It's just actually pretty okay. But if you know where to look, it can be an extremely rewarding experience. So I hope you will keep this all in mind and give the game another shot. If not, whatever. I just want people to share the enjoyment you can get out of this game. Because it's there.

But don't go into a MegaTen game expecting a typical JRPG. Because that's far from what you'll get. They're pretty crazy and complex.

P.S. If you make it far enough, watch out for the Natural Dancer guardian. Only enemy in the game who made me stop playing for an extended period. He's some bullshit. Look for some advice on him on gamefaqs or something. He drove me nuts. But with help, he isn't much of a problem.

Sprite animation = The best?

You lost all credibility when you said "some of the best sprite animations ever". I've seen better.

Um...really?

You're seriously gonna discount the entire article just because you have a different opinion as to what constitutes good animation? Really?

Geez, glad I'm not that close-minded.

Thanks

Good thing you didn't read the rest of the article then.

On The Bright Side

Least Igor doesn't have the boner phone in this game like he did in P1 and P2.

In all seriousness I liked P3 for what it was. Sure I didn't enjoy the grinding but I just did 1 level a day until I thought I was good enough and then wasted the last 20 days of the month doing social links. Also I played the game on hard mode so trust me I've experienced a bunch of bullshit. However the final battle with Nyx was the saving grace of this game for me. I really loved how the the story concluded and overall it was a great RPG experience for me. I prefer P3's story and P4's combat system because I agree that P3's was really limiting in the actions you could perform.

rage

I DESPISE this game. I had enough of doing the same boring thing over and over, at least other RPGs mix things up with different locations as opposed to making you listen to the SAME DAMN SONG AND GO THROUGH THAT PATHETIC DUNGEON. The storytelling is atrocious, why does it take 3 mother f#cking hours to get started? why does it take so damn long for something i should care about to happen? its hardly even a game, socialising and levelling up is go from x to y and press X or select the right answer for some whiny prick to be happy..this game is nothing more than a cheaply made grind and fetch quest fest

Gotta bite my tongue

Um I loved Persona3 a lot, I found it repetitive, yes, but truthfully I kinda liked that. Graphics are by far not the best, but should that really matter? Social links was honestly a rather fun part of the game, helping you level up your personas with it was great help. But in all it's a game for people who has the patients for such a deep game. I found parts boring, but all games got those times. Persona3 just might not be for everyone. It's much better to say it that way, cause this review is dreadfully aweful. We all have different taste right?

Grinding?

I haven't beaten Tartarus yet, but I'm nearly there. On my climb up 160 floors, I've never had to grind. If you want to beat the shadow bosses, you just fight your way up to the top in a day, or extend your Tartarus visits to every few days and do a bit each day. The only time I was ever grinding in this game was to get Alice and for the floors above 160. I totally respect your choice for dis-liking the game; I'm just giving my opinion on grinding.

Terrible Damn Music?

Dude, Go Kill Yourself The music of persona 3 is the god damn best music ever,the ones in P4 are good to,

I would agree with your

I would agree with your hater, the music was shit. Jpop's annoying enough, but its not even good jpop its like asian Britney Spears. Its like listening to the Marvel vs Capcom 2 character select music for 70 hours. "Memorable" sure, for all the wrong reasons. I'd rather listen to Apple II "bleep" music.

When did I mention music?

You just made me re-read my review because I don't remember mentioning the music anywhere... and I couldn't find anything. I'd say the music is probably the most memorable part of the game, besides that awful summer camp sequence at the beach with the robot.

Yeah, there were some great J-Pop tracks in Persona 3, I will admit that, I can still hear them now. Probably why P4 came with a music CD.

It Wasn't For You

some guy write on the last comments some shit about p3 music,dude thats just bad

Music

Ah, yeah I see that now. The music of Persona 3 had a really great energy to it.

Great Music But There Is Always A Flipside

Yeah the music is truly awesome and all, but is true that the game isn't perfect
You should try P4 They enhanced the fight system and you can control the team

Great Music But There Is Always A Flipside

Yeah The Game Has An Awesome Music And All But I Admit it isn't perfect
But P4 Improved The Fight System Making It Faster And You Can Fully Control The Team(The Music Is Still Awesome

Yeah i'm not trying to be

Yeah i'm not trying to be mean but could you beat the game first before reviewing it and saying its bad?

not to say you don't have a valid opinion or something. and not to say i agree with you either. but this what thing.

first of all most JRPG's are structured to be repetitive and if you don't like that maybe your in the wrong genre its not like games like say action titles who purposely get you going by never getting repetitive and always haveing new challenges for you. second you shoudn't blame the games for you not playing them enough. thats just not right. its like saying you blame the teachers becuse you didn't so the homework or something. third you should feel lucky that not to many people have found this...can you say cyber bullying? i hope your not the type to take things personally....

fourth, you really need to give P4 a chance dood. its like the PS2's swansong.

Lots of games are repetitive

Lots of games are repetitive in many ways. However, many of them do a good job of hiding/obscuring that boredom from the player with other things. Failing to do that in this day and age with the current competition is just poor development. I haven't played this game, nor have I even completed a jrpg in years (after once being my favorite genre), and I'm fairly sure that there's a reason for that. You can't keep things so stagnant forever if you want people to keep caring.

Update

Your reply reminded me that I should update the world that I like JRPGs again (due to Radiant Historia).

When I wrote this, I also didn't really know how to classify what I wanted to write, so I filed it under a Full Review because while I hadn't beaten the game, I had invested over 30 hours and had experienced a substantial amount of the game. For similar situations, I'm just writing blog entries like this now:

http://firsthour.net/blog/i-didnt-beat-this-game-dragon-quest-ix-sentine...

And thanks for your input, I still own Persona 4 and would like to get around to it someday.

it wasnt that bad

p3 wasnt hard at all and fes was a good addition to it. it is a grind game it did get a lil boring at times but most games do if u put alot of time in them and some social links were agravating. u made the game sound horible but in general it is a well polished game with a great story and a good battle system and the ai isnt that dumb if u knew how to control it. the dungeon bosses could be hard but the moon bosses were usually simple. i would still recomend this game to any jrpg fan

Whaaaambulance...

Game's fine. Suck it up and L2P princess ;)

Sounds Like a Personal Problem

Dude I easily found several problems with your "review" and gaming of P3P.
It all comes from your obvious deep issues with games(and life).

I'm not going to waste my time with you so I'll put it simply.

1)You CAN control the AI characters in battle(its a feature) if you want to.
2) They make social networking part of the game to make it smarter and less hostile, if you dont like it in the game so much maybe cuz you have issues with people in Real Time?

And on a personal note, I suspect you have ADHD, just a suspicion...Am I right??
TAKE some responsibility for yourself instead of pushing your issues on others(and games).

Rebuttal

1. It's a feature only in the PSP version of the Persona 3, the PS2 version did not allow you to directly control your A.I. friends. You could, of course, use tactics to hint at what they should do, but I found that lacking.
2. If real life was as repetitive and mind-numbing as Persona 3's social interaction, I definitely would have issues with it. However, selecting one friend a day to hang out with and then hopefully pick the right response to their problem so I can increase our friendship points is just lame. Also, I have no idea what you mean by "make it smarter and less hostile." Could you elaborate?

And on the personal note, no, I don't have ADHD or any other similar disorder. I'm just a father of one plus one on the way who doesn't have time for games like Persona 3.

I will, however, note that I am currently turning back around on my love for JRPGs as I'm playing a brilliant game at the moment: Infinite Space.

My interest

I have been interested in playing a Persona game since I picked up Ogre Battle 64's Strategy Guide in 5th grade. I can't remember which persona it was, but it was almost like an off-brand, kind of like Final Fantasy's crystal chronicles.

I thought I was the only one ...

I am tired of everybody saying Persona 3 is an awesome RPG. I don't see anything great about it. The story was okay, but it was Tartarus that killed it for me. I LIKE GRINDING, BUT TARTARUS IS TOO MUCH. Heck, I would love this game if they remove Tartarus. I'm around the 60+ hour mark and I'm only halfway done with the game? I'm only in October. The battle system is the same throughout the game. It was fun the first 30 hours of the game, but it got tiring afterwards. I found myself unable to keep my eyes open due to the repetitiveness of this game. (I actually feel asleep a couple of times while playing) It's only a bit challenging the first 15mins of a section. Once you know all the weakness, the monsters with weaknesses are a cakewalk. However, it still takes you forever to climb all the way to the top floor. You can train for hours, then have a monster cast hama/mudo on you and you will immediately get a game over. Heck, I trained so much that I ran out of homunculus and I still have problems with the full moon boss. This is one of the worst games I have ever played. It isn't fun at all.

I agree, the reason way i

I agree, the reason way i hate this game is Tartarus is quite possibly the most boring thing i have ever seen in a game with the fact that it is 70+ hours game that doesn't have the kind of plot or gameplay to justify a game of that length. i really can't blame you for hating RPGs now, Stuff like item synthesis/creation/Offensively useless items and treasures/walking simulators are such a terrible game mechanics IMO and all modern RPGs seem to utilize it to pad game length. I miss old RPGs where it is all about adventuring in new world , simple variety and economic sized like FF6, FF7, terranigma, chrono and Suikoden 2.

If you don't liked the game,

If you don't liked the game, why'd make such a large review for it? I mean, there are a lot of game that I don't like, but I don't keep telling people that they suck, I can't change people's opinion. If you don't like, all you have to do is not play it. It's simple.
Now go get a life instead of saying shit about things you think is right.

Yeah...uh...

What you are saying is a total fallacy; this isn't like saying "This game sucks" over and over. He wrote the review, now it's up for everyone to read and he moves on. Over and Out.

This review helped me.

After putting in about 30 hours into this game, I was thoroughly wasted by a boss. It was floor 37 and it a good amount of grinding. I find I just want to find a way to enjoy this game, but really this review has convinced there are better ways to spend my time. Maybe I'll try Ar Tonelico 2 again. Just like the reviewer said, I haven't even opened my Persona 4 and probably never will.
What a shame.

This is the same ANON from

This is the same ANON from before.

I'm going to yell at you because it seems like you didn't even finish it! I misread your last line. BOO @ YOU.

Oh wow... I am surprised

Oh wow...

I am surprised someone could dislike this game. I could see them going out and saying a different persona game was better, but it's hard to argue with how everything was put together.

Tartaurus is grind, but aren't all RPG dungeons? At least it's not masked grind. There is a lot going on it it, and it's meant to separate real life from the dungeon, per se. There is a lot of symbolism in P3, and I'd go as far as to say it is the best and deepest RPG on PS2, no doubt, and maybe one of the best of all time. I haven't had that much fun with a game since I was very young. The dating-sim aspect was 'the missing link' that made the already amazing Persona concept more playable. I don't know about you, but P1 made me nauseous with all of the random battles and p2, well... I'm not too hot on that one, either. But then along came P3! I hated everyone who said Final Fantasy 7 was the best game ever when FF4j and even FF6 were superior, and I understand the wrath of P1 and P2 lovers at the influx of new fans from P3, but I believe P3 is deserving. FF7 added graphics where as P3 went much deeper and put the cherry on top of the system.

You need to suck it up and go back and try it again! Or try P4. Even though P3 is way better...

But you were right about Odin Sphere...

Persona 4

I actually do own Persona 4, and I will play it eventually.

I would probably agree with your assessment that P3 is the deepest RPG on the PS2, I guess deep isn't what I was looking for though. I play games to have fun and after a certain point it wasn't doing it for me, I tried to go...

Persona 4

Well, I'm about two thirds through Persona 4 right now, and let me tell you, I absolutely love it. I haven't played P3, or any other Shin Megami Tensei game aside from the spectacular Strange Story (though I intend to.) The consensus on the internet seems to be that it's Persona 3 with every single flaw in the game fixed.

The dungeon design is much better, for one, and some of the most creative concepts I've seen in a game. So far I've fought my way through a mad scientist dungeon, a gay bathhouse dungeon, a strip club dungeon, and an 8-bit dungeon, each complete with an anime style super-villain boss, a roses encrusted muscle man equipped with male signs (o->) as swords boss, a technicolored pole-dancer boss, and the hero from Dragon Quest, respectively. The social links are much better to, and there isn't a single character that makes me want to wring their necks (see the entire cast of FFXIII). The characters and social links are all genuinely likable, and the whole system is streamlined and improved. Boss battles are much better balanced as well, with much, much less monotonous grinding. Another thing is that the plot picks up right away, rather than P3 that waits half the game to get up and running. It still takes a few hours to get rolling, but once it does, you're in for a ride.

I'm having the best time on the PS2 I've ever had, apart from maybe Silent Hill 2, and once I finish, I fully intend to go out and pick up Digital Devil Saga, or maybe Nocturne. I might even get Persona 3 Portable, since its essentially Persona 3 with all the improvements from Persona 4. Bottom line, you owe it to yourself to see the peak of the Persona line. Its legions ahead of anything else on the PS2, RPG wise, and I've played Final Fantasy X and Xenosaga. Check it out.

This, Completely

This, Completely. I played Persona 3 FES and thought it was one of the best RPGs ever. Then I played Persona 4 and saw that it topped 3 completely.

I wouldn't say that the Social Links are more indepth, because most of the time they level up over random things instead of an actual event, but the characters are definitely more likeable and more realistic. A pale man who writes about Pink Alligators? Not so believable. A little girl who has self-confidence issues? Definitely more realistic, even if I don't like her.
The dungeons are much more streamlined- instead of a bunch of rooms connected, it's basically hallways with rooms off the sides, usually. It depends on the dungeon. That means, it's a lot easier to be running and actually see a shadow, and there's a lot less of them on a given floor. They also come in the form of floating spheres. You can also control your characters' movements individually, which fits in the RPG category, and there aren't as many Personas so if you're a person that likes filling the Compendium, it's much easier. I got up to 83% in the first playthrough.
The plot? It's a lot more light-hearted, even if the main concept is a murder spree. There isn't as much angst over random things, or drama- humor's much more abundant. Instead of the occasional humorous scene that usually involves Junpei being an idiot, there's a lot more sarcasm and happiness. The characters still manage to live their lives, instead of having their whole world revolving around the problem.
The plot does take about 3 hours before you actually get to do anything, but those three hours aren't full of pointless talk about contracts. And there's humor and garbage cans.
Overall, Persona 4 IS much better and an easier play. I saw that you already have gotten back into JRPGs, so this might be redundant(along with restating a bunch of stuff above), but it's the greatest RPG I've ever played.

And while the only good characters(IMHO) in P3 were the three senpai, P4's main characters have depth, and feeling, and the game's got Brosuke. It wins.

You hit it right on the spot!

p3 is one of the worst games I've ever played. I love Final Fantasy VII, but, the begining is a little slow and boring (the Barret/reactor part) so I kept that in mind while playing p3 and it never changed. The Social Link's part sucked and so did the battles. And I thought this game was supposed to be good. Anyway, Final Fantasy X is the best game for the playstation 2. The problem with that is no game comes close to it so it ruined my ps2 outlook.

Butthurt?

Do you want some lube? Because you sound that your butt hurts from being so anal. Sheesh, P3 is so easy, doesn't even reaches the difficulty of Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne

Oh God, you are right.

Oh God, you are right. Nocturne is one of the hardest games I've ever played. Persona 3 is cakewalk compared to it. Persona 3 is like, the preliminary stage for SMT; if you find it too hard, don't even touch any of the other ones. Persona 3 is still one of the best games ever made. This guy shouldn't bash on it for being unique and a little challenging.

I must've missed the part

I must've missed the part where he said the game was hard... and it must written in white as well. He said the game is only hard to tolerate, and I fully agree. His story reflects mine... I played it, was enjoying it somewhat for a bit, gradually got annoyed by its work-like repetitive structure (and terrible damn music), tried to keep pushing trying to find what everyone loves so much about it.... ended up losing my mind before games end (watched ending(s) on youtube, which was good, but still melted game with a lighter), but rather than hating jRPG's, I ended up hating "the internet" (you) for lying to me and I still do to this day. Childish? Maybe, but its worked out for me.

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