Review by homiegangsta
"A Complete Work of Art"
Persona 3 was the first Shin Megami Tensei game that I played and boy was I surprised. Playing this game got me into the Shin Megami Tensei series and today it is one of my most favorite series'. But I can still safely say that my favorite of them is Persona 3. Actually Persona 3 is my favorite game of all time. It is a work of art in my eyes and I'll tell you why.
You play as nameless male main character who's silent throughout the game. At the beginning of the game you're being transferred to Gekkokaun High School. When you arrive in Iwatodai you notice that the sky is green and that there is coffin's everywhere. You run off to your dorm only to be greeted by a mysterious boy. He asks you to sign a contract to move on. Then you are greeted by all of the people who live in the dorm and they tell you about your special power Persona which requires you to shoot yourself to unleash the power. They also notify you about the Dark Hour a time at which your school Gekkukaun High is changed into a massive tower crawling with creatures called shadows. This tower is called Tartarus. They appoint you as leader of the group to explore Tartarus. The group is cleverly named S.E.E.S. (Specialized Extracurricular Execution Squad). The story grabbed me from start to finish and left me hanging at several parts. The actors did a tremendous job and the story was very cleverly planned out.
The game looks great and the backrounds look marvelous. Every part of Iwatodai has beautiful graphics and design. The in-game characters look fine but the character portraits shown when they interact with you look absolutely beautiful. The anime cut scenes were so amazingly done. The design of the shadows and persona's all look very well done and are very detailed.
This is an area that makes Persona so unique. All of the grinding takes place in Tartarus. Its battle system depends on hitting the enemies weaknesses to trigger an ALL OUT ATTACK! An All Out Attack consists of all of your party members attacking all of the enemies at the same time usually resulting in killing the enemies unless they are a boss, tough enemy, or you're just under leveled. This battle system is very unique and makes you feel really good especially when you take out 5 or more strong enemies with one attack to trigger an all out attack. You will be spending a lot of time climbing Tartarus as it's your only source of grinding throughout the game. You need to prepare yourself for each monthly full moon occurrence and keep a nice balance between climbing to the top of Tartarus and doing things at school. There's multiple things that you need to do during each school day. By joining clubs, talking to some people around town, etc. you will form friends by a system called an S-Link. An S-Link maxes out at rank 10 which is an unbreakable bond between you and your friend or girlfriend. You can also date girls to form S-Links but if you form S-Links with two girls at the same time you may cause a negative social link which causes your S-Link with the girl go down. You may be asking What does a social link do? A social link has a certain arcana and raises the power of persona's that you create of the certain arcana. You can fuse, register, and combine your personas in the Velvet Room which is in the entrance of Tartarus and in the back of Pawlonia Mall. In the Velvet Room a guy with an absurdly long nose named Igor can fuse from 2 to even 5 personas together towards the end to create a more powerful persona. However you can only create a persona that has the same or lower level as you. It is a very addicting system with all sorts of possible persona combinations. An S-Link causes the persona to gain exp after Igor fuses it. A maxed S-Link of the fused arcana will almost always level your persona up and will cause the persona to learn new skills. It is a fairly long process to level up your personas up in combat so the S-links help out greatly. The only other individual in the Velvet Room is Elizabeth. Elizabeth can register your personas and also give you a number of requests to do with some of them having due dates. None of her quests are mandatory but can help you a lot because some of the rewards are great. She gives you yen, weapons, items, etc. for doing requests to help you on your journey. While you're at school you also should increase your Academics, Charm, and Courage. Without some of these boosted or maxed certain people will not form social links with you and academics help you on your final minorly. At the Pawlonia Mall you buy weapons, armor, and rings for your party members. You can also fuse Persona's and synthesis items to make weapons and items to increase your personas stats.
The voice acting in the game is top notch and it really helps out the story. The soundtrack in the game is my personal favorite of all time. Shoji Meguro is an excellent composer and a lot of his best music was on Persona 3. They do a beautiful job of changing some of the music during the changing of the seasons and depending on the situation. The music has a wide range of tunes consisting of really catchy JPOP and completely upbeat music and when you get into a darker more serious situation the music changes to the situation. The soundtrack couldn't have been better done and Shoji Meguro is my favorite composer of all time.
Oh what an experience Persona 3 is. With its top-notch soundtrack, unique gameplay, and a story that draws you in from start to finish. I can safely say that Persona 3 is my favorite game of all time. There is no reason for any PS2 owner to not have this game in their collection. It is a must have for any RPG fan and is completely 100% perfect in my eyes. If you are a fan of the game I definitely recommend that you also get the Persona 3 Fan Book (It has a cover that says S.E.E.S. across the cover), and the Persona 3 FES Perfect Guide as they have some brilliant information in them. Persona 3 gets a flawless score: 10/10. If you own and have not already played this game get off of the internet right now and put Persona 3 in your PS2 and drop your jaw in complete awe.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 06/15/11
Game Release: Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 (US, 08/14/07)
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