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4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 31 March 2011
When you see a gun rolling to your feet and a little boy pointing his finger to his temble, what do you do? Well sadly this scene only occours in the PS2 version of this award wining j-rpg.

The good looking anime scenes from it's big brother might be gone, but som of them are replaced by ingame graphic scenes insted which in their own right looks cool enough.

Like it's big brother you play as a highschool student with the ability to summon a persona, an other self. Although the main charecter's abilities are way over his/her peers(ya can choose to play as a female protagonist this time around with some new addittions to the gameplay).

for the ones who have played the PS2 version
Now Now I know what you think, and no you can't date yukari, fuuka and mitsuru as female, well not as a girlfriend if that's what's ya into.

Persona 3 portable play a lot like it's little brother in the day time your a normal high school student with tests, and a social life to boot. At night you run around a huge tower and hunt monsters. You can visit the velvelt room where you can fuse person to form more powerfull ones to help you one the way.

The difference from this version is that you can now control your party and if certain conditions are met when you unlock them your companions can help in different ways justl ike in Persona 4. That being said the combat system is more like Persona 4's than persona 3's. You scan your enemies and look for their weakness to form an comical all out attack.

I could keep on and on about what this game has to offer but that's up for you, my dear reader to find out. all I say is this is a great and fun game that have about 30-60 hours of gameplay the first time through. Oh did i mention ya get something for starting all over with a new game+.

A must buy for psp owners
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on 22 March 2014
Brought this game thinking "I'd play for 3 days and then get bored" But I was DEAD wrong. I'm playing it everyday and I can't stop! If you want a fun, addictive game to play then this is definitely the game you should buy! Also the soundtrack it AMAZING!
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on 29 October 2010
TLDR version: A first class port of a first class game, Engrossing storyline and characters make this one of the best RPGs available on the PSP. Highly recommended.

Considering the game is not yet out in the EU I would say this is the US version, so just a little heads up before you order this.

Now I have got this game myself being a persona fan and mainly to experience the female side of the story, so I'll make a few points about the portable version. If you want more indepth reviews there are plenty linked on the metacritic site here: [...] It has 32 critic reviews, all of them very positive with at least 80+ scores and an average of 91%, so if you think my opinion is a bit biased just check out their reviews ;)

When you are exploring the city, rather then walk about yourself you instead have a map interface with various points on it that you highlight and select it. To be honest I'm not surprised by this as it is on the psp rather then the ps2, and it also makes moving around more streamlined which is more suitable for a portable platform like the psp, but still I miss being able to walk around and explore the city. However when exploring combat areas you still get to walk around and explore in a 3d environment. While the description does say you get some elements of FES, it doesn't mean the extra story and gameplay elements so keep that in mind as well.

You'll only get the English voiceover (just as with the ps2 version if I remember correctly) but this is not a problem as the voice actors do a good job. You now also get the option of giving direct orders to your team a la Persona 4, which is a godsend as before you could only give your teammates vague commands and hope they do what you want them to, so this is definitely a welcome improvement. The framerate is also very smooth, and if you install the game on the memory stick load times are very quick, so no 30second load screens which seem to plague a lot of Japanese RPGS that are usually ported over to the PSP.

Now the main difference from the PS2 counterparts is to play as a female character. If you've not played the game before I would recommend playing as the male character first, but it's your choice in the end. Playing as the female character doesn't change the main story elements, but it does change the social interactions you get in the game, such as dialogue and the social links you can develop. As a result it really gives previous persona 3 players a different experience as one of the major strengths of persona games is the interactions with the people around you. You'll see a different side of people that you wouldn't have as a male character, but I do think the game is a little clichéd about the things that girls do, but then again what do I know, I'm not a girl.

If you are a previous persona 3 (or even 4) player, then you will know exactly what you are getting into, and it will be worth it as well, for the female perspective will add a completely fresh experience to persona 3, plus the advantage of it being on the portable system is that you can take it around with you so you can now play it everywhere, making it even more addictive if that is possible! If your a new player, I would still recommend this game, especially if your into Japanese RPGs, or games that have an engrossing storyline. As I said above, check out the critic reviews and you will see why they love this game.
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on 5 May 2011
Okay, to be honest I didn't really want to buy this game after playing Persona 3 and Persona FES. I thought, "it's the SAME GAME!" but honestly the girl feature actually adds new life into this game. The relationships between all the characters contrast drastically to the male protagonist's version and old friendship links have been replaced with new versions for the female protagonist. The female version is more friendly then her male counter-part and her innocence makes this game more endearing. Game play has also been sped up now as you longer have to walk around the town or inside the dorm or school. This means that the game has still kept it's long playtime without loosing the battle features and costume change opitions.

In short, an interesting RPG. It has still kept the magic from the old game and now comes in a handy portable form. The changes are just enough to make you interested, even if you've played both the orignally and FES version. I'm only sad that I can't make Ai fall in love with me as a female XD.
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on 18 July 2011
Three years after its PS2 debut, Persona 3's wonderfully eccentric fusion of demon hunting, school-kid drama, dungeon trawling and relationship sim lands on PSP, with enough tweaks and additions to make this acclaimed title well worth another go. Set in modern-day Japan, you star as a high-school student who must balance monster killing with homework, and build up friendships while strengthening your personal army of summonable demons. (Typical teen dramas, then.)

The main twist on the original is that you can now play as a female protagonist. This isn't just the same old story with a skirt on. It's really intriguing to see new emotional depths open up between lady-you and the cast, especially because it's already a heart-warming wonder to watch android bodyguard Aigis learn to love, or cute gal-pal Yukari spar with class clown Junpei.

But it's not all chatter and romance. Turn-based battling takes place in Tartarus, an ever-growing tower with randomly generated floors full of evil, soul-stealing Shadows. Fighting through these creatures is now more tactical and effortlessly addictive, thanks to improvements such as the ability to control your allies' actions or guard fallen friends. Sadly, some things have been lost in the move to handheld - including the gorgeous anime cut-scenes, which have been replaced with dialogue exchanges between static character artwork. In another concession to the format, you also no longer have an open-world map to explore: instead, the city of Iwatodai has been reduced to inert locations with clickable areas of interest.

That makes P3P more like a visual novel, lacking the drama and vitality of the PS2 classic. Although not a fatal blow to the port, this loss of interaction does mean that it's best to start your Persona adventure with the original - or, even better, Persona 4. But if you can't access these stellar titles, P3P is still an engaging world to lose yourself in. Time to join the class.
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on 2 December 2014
You're one of two people: either you've never played any Persona and you're wondering if you should get into it or not, to which I say you should. You really should. This story is so impactful, an event happened about halfway through that impacted me to the extent where I'd spent days moping about… in the game.

The other type of person you could be is someone who played P3:FES and bore witness to Misuru's endless barrages of Marin Karin. Fortunately, that's been fixed in this version, by letting you take control of all characters. No more bad AI foiling your plans for an all out attack. The similarities to Persona 4 continue in the fact that you can now form social links with the people who you go on shadow-wrecking adventures with in the new female storyline.

However, this does fall short of it's predecessor in some ways, mainly the exclusion of cutscenes and the absence of The Answer epilogue, due to the UMD's limited storage space.

All in all, this game is incredible and you really owe it to yourself to play it.

"You deserve more than a gun and a broken heart"
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on 19 December 2013
This game is horribly addictive. I found myself engrossed playing it night after night, even after finishing the original on the PSN. It was just fun to go back into that world on a handhold console so that I could bring it everywhere. I think that this is the rarest of games: the kind that keeps you interested over a long period of time, but doesn't demand that you spend every waking hour on it. I found that about 2-3 hours a day was enough to satisfy my interest, while still keeping me eager to play it again the next day.

The main advantage of the PSP version over the original is that it gives you the option to create a female protagonist. This changes all the relationships you have and introduces several variations on certain characters. They've learned from the improvements they made for Persona 4 and now most of the social links are with your fellow Persona users instead of random schoolmates. That's with the female social links. The male ones are the same as in the original. Like the original game the design for the girl lead is first rate. She looks much less emo and more perky than the male protagonist, but at the same time she feels like the lead in the game and not some side character that we've had thrown in. They do a remarkably good job of integrating her.

The battle system has also been reworked to bring it closer to Persona 4, so you can now control all of your characters instead of just the protagonist. The downsides of the PSP version come from the decreased storage size of the UMD. This means that you can no longer walk around the various locales in glorious 3D, but instead have a 2D map and a cursor that you move to select your character's actions. It isn't actually as bad as it sounds because it does mean you can get around faster. And the walking around streets wasn't the key draw to the game anyway. But it does make the day-to-day events less interesting. More regrettable are the absence of the cinematic cutscenes, replaced by scenes using the in-game graphics. I wish that they had waited until the Vita came out and released it there so they could take advantage of its superior capabilities, like they did with the Persona 4 remake. The characters are at least still voiced, with the alternate lines for the female protagonist recorded by the same cast.

This game can be pretty easily divided into two separate sections: the social gaming and the dungeon crawling. The social gaming is complicated so I'll cover it later. The dungeon crawling is pretty basic RPG fare. You run around Tartarus (a giant dungeon that takes the place of your school in the Dark Hour) and if you hit any of the little monsters running around you enter a turn-based battle mode. The combat system is fairly standard as well, although the ability to knock characters down and issue an all-out attack can be both a lifesaver and a massive nuisance. The biggest problem with it is that you can only control your character and not any of the others, which can lead to massive defeats that could be easily avoided since the death of your character results in a game over even if everyone else survives. Tartarus is divided into over 200 floors whose layouts are randomly generated each time you visit. This all becomes rather repetitive, but somehow the rest of the game can make up for it.

The social gaming is the truly innovative part of this game. I understand that social games are popular in Japan, but they never took off over here so it feels completely fresh. You spend your day as a secondary school student in Gekkoukan High. You go to class, make friends, and attend societies. At night you can go to Tartarus and kill demons. The game takes place over most of a schoolyear so you have plenty of time to do all four. The day is divided into five main periods: early morning, morning, lunchtime, after school, and evening. Most of them are scripted (it is a school after all) but you have control over what you do in your afternoon and evening slot, as well as during your Sundays. You can choose to go out with friends, study, or do solo activities. You can even play a game within a game which I think kicks you down to the level with crumbling skyscrapers. As you make friends you establish things called "Social Links" which allow you to build better Personas (the main fighting mechanic) and have character development. Otherwise the social gaming would be fairly unconnected to the main quest.

The control you have over your character's life is compelling. Depending on your decisions you can get a girlfriend, make friends, ace tests, bomb tests, etc. It really feels like leading a second life. I was surprised at how quickly I settled into the mode of a high school student. In some ways the dungeon crawling is actually a distraction. In other ways it is the glue that ties everything together. Without the supernatural element I'd probably have bored of the school life a lot quicker. And without the school life I'd have bored of the dungeon crawling in a heartbeat. It's quite strange how well the two work together.

Two other aspects that must be discussed: story and characters. The story here is really good, even aside from the character-development scenes. The sense of impending doom is captured pretty well by the end, even though the repetitive attending of lessons does rather lesson its impact. The only real problem with the plot is that it is (by necessity) repetitive. My favorite events are the scripted ones like the beach holiday (mandated by Japanese law to appear in every Anime) and the school trip but generally you have complete control of your life except for once a month when the shadows arrive. Also, towards the end it seems to lose its focus, only to regain it in a slightly odd direction that doesn't seem to work as well. The characters are all strong, with Akihito, Junpei, Mitsuru, Ken, Yukari, and Aegis being the chief standouts. Err, I think that's pretty much all of them. At any rate, it feels great just hanging out for a year with these cool guys in their sweet dorm.

This game has a few problems but they are minimal (the Sumerians were NOT writing in 4000 BC dammit! Stupid teachers and their inaccurate questions. grumble grumble). The elements I worried I'd despise (such as the social gaming, the emo-looking protagonist, and the loud rock music during fight scenes) turned out to really help pull me in. The game as a whole is compelling and draws you into the life of a normal Japanese schoolboy in a way no other game can match (I assume fighting demons by night is normal for a Japanese schoolboy, right?). But really, anything bad I had to say about the game would be nitpicky. If you have any interest in RPGs at all then play this game.

Quick note: the original version of this game is available on the PSN if you have a PS3. The PS2 original and the expanded FES are also available still. Honestly, there's no point not going for FES if you can. Apart from the absence of a female protagonist it is still the preferred version. There is also a sequel called Persona 4 (also available as Persona 4: Golden for the Vita) which is arguably even better. It's set in the countryside and has a more lighthearted murder mystery angle. It streamlines some of the control issues and the dungeons but keeps the social gaming. The first two games (Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4) didn't have this and aren't so interesting as a result. They are still worth playing for their stories (especially 2) but you never feel as close to the characters as when you're controlling their daily lives.
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on 28 February 2013
This game is a MUST have MUST play. When I started playing this I didn't do anything else or even leave my room for 2 weeks. I would highly recommend this game to anyone! It is amazing, Even after all these years of gaming it got me hooked! I thought there wasn't a game out there that could do this to me anymore... How wrong was I! If you want to feel that feeling you got when you first started gaming.. When you first fell in Love with a Game.. BUY P3P! It's the only thing that can bring that back! No game out there gets me addicted or makes me fall in love with it anymore.. But not P3P.. This is a BIG exception and I'm still playing it today!
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on 16 October 2014
One of my favourite games (drawing with persona 4) great port. has many great features that the other versions didnt get. Animated cut-scenes like the PS2 version would have been nice though. Still the best JRPG game on psp!
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on 8 February 2013
I originally played the playstation two version years ago and thought I would get my hands on the portable reboot. Although the game is fantastic it doesn't have the same feel as the original which was a bit of a letdown. Don't get me wrong I enjoy it and find it being portable makes it feel like a more grown up version of Pokemon. It just lacks some of the things the original things that drew me to the game. But still a must buy for any shin megami tensei fan.
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