Every once in a while comes a game that redefines/innovates its genre,Persona 3 is one of those games.
Now for those RPG n00bs out there.. Shin Megami Tensei is a series of games from japan that revolve around the same ideas but they are completely unrelated to each other most of the time,they are famous for being really hard (a random enemy can have a move that instant kills your whole party > _< ) and rare.
You are *insert name*,and as you begin your new school year in a completely new city, you find out that you are able to enter "The Dark Hour" everyday as soon as the clock hits midnight,"The Dark Hour" is basically like the real world except that the humans psyche manifests itself physically and literally during this hour, you also find out that there is a group of students who are also able to go into "The Dark Hour" and they ask you to join their team soon after,their mission? To explore a mysterious seemingly endless tower that appears right where your school is during normal hours,
Bats,Knifes and oh.. their pysche manifested in a mythological/legendary creature aka Persona after they shoot themselves(for example if you are a strong minded person,your Persona could be Hercules or my favorite.. if your an evil kinda guy you can summon The Prince of Darkness, Lucifer himself).
By the end of the game the story gets so epic that you feel like playing the game one more time just to watch all the events again.
Half of the game you walk around town creating Social Links(there is 1 Social Link for every card in the Tarot Deck) that basically means talking to npcs who will become "friendlier" with you should you choose the right dialogues options (sometimes you might have to give them gifts if you want to "become intimate" with certain characters) ,this Social Links give you an exp boost when creating a Persona of a each type of card accordingly.
The other half of the game you spend it on randomly generated floors with randomly generated chest and battles,the actual fights are your classic turn based battles from rpgs, but with the advantage that if you hit a monster in the back on the actual map, you will have an extra turn during the battles, you also get Storyline bosses every month.
You get new Personas by fusing old ones, think of the breeding system in Pokemon only much faster and more advanced.
There is alot of voice acting in this game and for a game that went from Japanese to English they did an amazing job,as for the music,its the best soundtrack ever made for an rpg, now I know some fan boys migth argue "WTF? FINFAL F2NTASY IS TEH ROXOR" or maybe "Everyone knows Chrono Cross has the best rpg music OST",well this game just has that synchronicity that makes the music work perfect with whats happening on screen, for example your fighting random battles and you get this nice catchy tune " BABY BABY BABY YEEEAH! *insert Japanese guy rapping about his skills* or your walking around town making Social Links and you get this nice song saying "I want to be Cloooose",the last battle song is just pure epicness.
While this is one of the last rpg for ps2... it doesnt have top of the line graphics.. but I really who needs super hardcore graphics when playing a JRPG? The way this game was designed.. it just make it look stylish and sexy,the only ugly looking thing in the game are the way your characters look during actual battles.. they look kinda midjety... and well no offense to midjects but that aint sexy at all!
BUY OR RENT?
Neither, this game got re-released with an "expansion" called "Persona 3 FES" get that instead.
Overall 4/5 and final rant
This game is gold,while it doesn't have super kewl graphics or a collosal map with tons of areas to explore, it offers a rather unique and enjoyable storyline and soundtrack and overall idea.
Random Quote from the game:
"You gotta dress to impress"
Edited by The Colonel, 06 August 2009 - 10:28 PM.