Death is not a hunter unbeknownst to its prey.
Persona 3 Portable is a remake of Persona 3 for the PlayStation Portable originally released in Japan in November 2009, in North America in July 2010, and in Europe in April 2011. Now, it’s being ported onto the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC through Steam on 19th January 2023. Now, the original Persona 3 was the game that created the day-by-day formula that the Persona series is known for, so what are you to expect from this version?
You play as an orphaned transfer student moving to Tatsumi Port Island to attend Gekkoukan High School. However, there’s a strange phenomenon called “the Dark Hour”, where at midnight normal people are trapped in coffins and Shadows roam the island, inflicting something called Apathy Syndrome. You have the power to stop them, as you possess the ability to summon a Persona (via shooting a fake gun at yourself). So it’s up to you and your cast of friends to fight against the Shadows and stop all of this from destroying humanity, all while acing your exams, hanging out with friends, and finding the true meaning of life and peace with the inevitable.
The game is split into two sections, day and night. During the day, it plays more like a visual novel as you interact with characters around the city, form relationships, and improve your social stats. By night, you explore a procedurally-generated dungeon called Tartarus where you’ll fight Shadows and level up in turn-based JRPG action. The unique aspect of the Persona series that originated with Persona 3 is the 1 More system, where if you hit an enemy’s weakness or get a critical hit, you can take your turn again.
The most significant change to Persona 3 in Portable is the fact that you can play as a female character rather than the standard male character, which changes dialogue and events in the story as well as giving you different Social Links not available to the male player character. It also features a bunch of improvements introduced in Persona 4, such as directly controlled party members and improved fusion mechanics, and features 10 new music tracks by Shoji Meguro and the “Maniac” difficulty if you wish to die. However, since it was made for the PlayStation Portable, some things had to be cut to fit the UMD. The overworld during the day has been reduced to a cursor and pre-rendered backgrounds, and the FMV cutscenes are replaced with in-game cutscenes. It also does not feature “The Answer” from Persona 3 FES, a post-game storyline featuring Aigis as the main character which deals with the aftermath of the main game.
At the end of the day, this release ofPersona 3 Portable is what fans have been clamouring for since Persona 4 Golden released on Steam back in 2020. Now, along with Persona 5 Royal, these games will be freely available on all modern systems on the 19th January 2023. And hopefully, those rumours for the Persona 3 modern remake are true.