Review by NLG
Persona 3 is a spin-off of the Shin Megami Tensei series (or Megaten for short), but it doesn't tend to be "not so good" as with spin-offs of other games (Final Fantasy X-2 anyone?)
Persona 3 takes place in a Modern Japan. You are the protagonist (of course), that you name yourself with 8 letters for each name, or less. The protagonist is a transfer student going to start his first day at Gekkoukan High School. As soon as you get there, strange happenings occur, and you slowly start to find out what is really going on.
Instead of the normal 24 hours in a day, in the world of Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3, there are 25 hours. The 25th hour occurs at 12 Midnight, right between the previous and next day. During this time, people are turned into coffin-looking things and sleep safely without knowing anything happening around them. Then there are those few that do not turn into coffins and are able to walk around as normal. To their surprise, everything during this hour, called the Dark Hour, twists and changes into a hellish looking place, with things called Shadows roaming around to feast on them. People that are in coffins are perfectly safe within their coffin, but the ones that aren't are left to fend for themselves.
As with other Megaten games, you'll be needing some strategies if you're looking to survive through these battles. Yes, they are quite tough for the average gamer. The main strategy that you'll come to learn of is using your enemies weakness(es). Also note that every attack will have a type, so you'll be watching out for that as well. The battles are overall basically the same as other RPG's, although you only control one character, while you set up sort of "Gambits" for your others.
Other than battle, you'll be spending most of your time interacting with people around your school, in the mall, etc. Things called "Social-Links" are formed by making friends, that which enables you to become even stronger. Going to school and studying, answering correctly pop quizzes that teachers give you, all count towards you becoming stronger in battle. You will spend most of tour time doing this, but it is a lot of fun, really.
The sound is great in this game and at some points, really get you pumped. If you take a listen to the soundtrack you can see that this game takes on one of the best soundtracks that you'll find in any RPG. The graphics are pretty much "standard" PS2 graphics, along with some Anime cutscenes. Overall, these are great and utilize the PS2 very well.
Both the playtime and replayability in this game are very good. You'll pack in well over 60 hours and a few playthroughs well this game.
Should you get this game? Yes, definitely. This is one of the greatest games for the PS2 that is out there, and it would be a shame to pass it up. Picking up this game will also give way for a chance of bringing Persona 3 FES onto US shores. FES is sort of like an expansion of the current game. That aside, this game is great and definitely worth a playthrough or two. It's spectacular.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 08/16/07
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