365Games45: Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 FES

pcsx2-r4600 2012-02-02 19-26-16-93

Easily my favorite RPG series, SMT takes the traditional RPG elements and places it inside a modern world. In the case of Persona 3 FES, the protagonist attends school, forms relationships with classmates and individuals around town and of course, hangs out with a drunk monk at a night club. It’s an RPG/Dating Sim combo. It’s a fascinating RPG that creates an experience unlike most console creations. I’ve covered most of the Persona 3 story with the portable review and this game is essentially the same except this time you can control the character and the interactive elements

About the game (via Wiki): In Persona 3, the player takes the role of a male high-school student who joins the Specialized Extracurricular Execution Squad (SEES), a group of students investigating the Dark Hour, a time period between one day and the next that few people are aware of. During the Dark Hour, the player enters Tartarus, a large tower containing Shadows, creatures that feed on the minds of humans. To fight the Shadows, each member of SEES is able to summon a Persona, a manifestation of a person’s inner self. The game’s most iconic feature is the method by which the members of SEES release their Personas: by firing a gun-like object called an Evoker at their head. In addition to the standard elements of role-playing games, Persona 3 includes elements of simulation games, as the game’s protagonist progresses day by day through a school year, making friends and forming relationships that improve the strength of his Personas in battle.

The action is split between daytime and nighttime activities. During the day you attend school, answer questions that build your stats, join clubs, make friends, work, play sports, go to the mall, etc. At night you are able to build additional social links but it is during The Dark Hour that you are able to into the Tartarus and fight the shadows. The battle gameplay is turn-based and you can attack the Shadows with traditional attacks or summon your Persona and utilize their special ability. Defeating Shadows helps you earn items, experience points, mad loot and new Personas. A visit to the Velvet Room will let you merge Personas to create a stronger one to battle with. The Velvet Room, that’s such a pimp title. I should create a Velvet Room in my house.

Anyway, the game has amazingly detailed graphics for the PS2, decent voice over work, an awesome soundtrack that mixes genres and cutscenes animated by Sunrise Studios, who created Cowboy Bebop, Inuyasha and Sgt. Frog! The only problem I have with the series is how linear it is, you’re stuck on a predetermined path for a good portion of the game. You go to school, a teacher talks and then it transitions to the next day which can be fairly annoying for gamers who want to dive right in and explore the world of Persona 3. Be patient, the game quickly becomes a rewarding experience. Also worth mentioning is the detail found in the character design and art. The art is beautifully illustrated and the Shadows are all unique and at times, creatively bizarre.

The game is now available via the Playstation Network and I highly recommend you download the game and check it out. Now.