So, just finished the awesome and wonderful game that is Persona 3, and I can say that it is truly epic. Few games have made me feel so many emotions in one story. Took me around 200 hours to get through The Journey combined with The Answer and I’m really glad I did.
I have to say that this was one of the best console games I’ve ever played, and it was really unique. I played the unofficial “undubbed” version, which is the english version but with the original japanese voices. That’s because, usually with these kinds of games that have lots and lots of voiceovers, the english dub is horrible! And I checked youtube after I finished the game, and Persona 3 was no exception. So I’m very glad I played the undubbed version, and I recommend that everyone does that. Bad voicing can really ruin a game like this, when it contains like 90% talking.
I almost always play the undub version for any game, if they exist, but it was a little hard to find a good one for this game, so if you are looking for it, ask me because I know which one works.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering what FES stands for, it stands for Festival and is an official expansion for Persona 3 that was released after the original game, with lots of added stuff to do. Most importantly, the FES version contains the final chapter of the game. The conclusion of the story. It’s fittingly called “The Answer”. It’s separate from the main game, and also plays out really different. So I’ll write about them separately too.
You take the role of a blue haired guy who recently joins a new school. In my case this was Kira, the cool kid that were friends with everyone, anything and loved by all. The game starts with Kira, entering his new dorm and is met by a mysterious boy who gets him to sign a contract of sorts and who knew then what that would get him into later on?
It’s so hard to put this game into words as I think it should just be played, not read about to get your own feelings about it. All the little details and subtle moves made this game a true masterpiece in my eyes.
All the social links, the events and after school activities and the fact that you even sat down to take tests to advance in school meanwhile you tried to figure out how to finish the night off. Going to Tartarus, staying in to study or hanging with your girlfriend(s)/best friends.
Of course I tried to finish all social links but didn’t micromanage too much and ended up getting all but four of them. The links have really nice stories and I loved each one I did get to know.
Tartarus is a dungeon filled with shadows that you have to kill and grind on to get leveled up enough for the coming midnight bosses each month, as well as get items, weapons and clothes. The fun part was that, I hated to go in there, I just wanted to continue with the social links, and the characters in the game didn’t want to go in either so it felt like I could connect with them more in that way.
The game overall is thick with story, perfect memorable characters and awesome music.
The people in the game that stood out the most to me were Yukari, Mitsuru and Junpei in the team. There couldn’t have been better characters. I liked them all and their stories and personalities really made the game as epic as it is.
The first part, The Journey, took me around 170 hours to finish and all those events that happened throughout the game left me wanting for more.
The fighting system can be somewhat frustrating at times. This is one of the few turn based games where you can’t manually control your party members. It’s also one of those games where one bad move, by anyone in your party, can change the fate of the entire battle. And they do make plenty of bad moves, sadly. When they act like you would want them to, it feels really awesome and it gives even more of a feel that they are real characters instead of just pawns to control in battle. But when they screw up 30 minutes into a big boss battle, and you get killed for the 5th time, it gets really annoying. This is especially annoying in The Answer.
I would have wished for manual handling there as they have in Persona 4, but at the end of the day, it worked out great anyhow.
The midnight bosses are really creative and fun to play, but sadly I overleveled for the last boss so the fight didn’t get as epic as it could have been. Even though the last one were awesome with changing arcanas and all its attacks. My party always included Yukari for healing and Jumpei a whole lot for defence. Akihiko and Mitsuru rotated as well in there.
“Strength of heart, when united, is barred by no door…”
Extreme spoiler below!
The journey continues after unfortunate events due to the big battle. No real reason have been given to why it happened and we are met by a video showing the group fighting, each other.
The Answer is a true dungeon crawler in my head, with hardly any story (if you compare it to its first part) and boss after boss after boss in giant dungeons. The bosses aren’t that creative either sadly and I ended up beating bosses looking like the ones I just grinded on to level up. The enemies was way harder, as the difficulty has been raised a lot. I think this game is one of the hardest games I’ve ever played, difficulty wise, and it gave me a good sense of achieving something great.
The story that existed though, was intriguing and well worth the time spent and gave me a perfect ending to a perfect game.
I finally got to know what happened to Kira after he passed away mysteriously in the ending of the Journey, and he didn’t truly die, he saved them all in a truly selfless way.
As I said before but can’t say it enough, a perfect ending to a perfect game.
“You know… I think you can spread the message now… Not with words alone… but with everyone’s passion and strength… If you could do that… He wouldn’t have to bear the burden all alone, would he…?”