The lights are on
What new ideas the game brings to the table and how well old ideas are presented.
How good a game looks, taking into account any flaws such as bad collision or pop-up.
Does the game’s music and sound effects get you involved or do they make you resolve to always play with the volume down?
Basically, the controller to human interface. The less you think about the hunk of plastic in your hands, the better the playability.
Flat out, just how fun the game is to play. The most important factor in rating a game.
In the PSone era, Persona was an obscure spin-off series. Now, after picking up a fresh contingent of followers with its last two PS2 entries, it is one of the RPG genre’s big names. Leveraging this recent success, Atlus is giving fans the chance to see where it all started with this enhanced port of the original.
Demonic forces are invading present-day Tokyo, and you’ll fight back by controlling a group of high school kids who can summon magical guardians called Personae. The unusual premise is still interesting after all these years, and this version’s story is made even better with the inclusion of new cutscenes. Most problems from the PSone release have been addressed with features like shorter load times and the ability to skip battle animations, leaving you free to enjoy the depth of the combat system. The strategic battles, along with collecting and fusing various monsters, are compelling and addictive even by modern standards.
Controlling your characters in first-person and the angled third-person view feels awkward at first, but you’ll get accustomed to it after an hour or two. I should also note that this entry doesn’t have the focus on the social simulation found in more recent games in the series. If you’ve only played Persona 3 and 4, Persona on PSP may not be what you’re expecting, but it’s a landmark RPG regardless.
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Some sweet new tunes and great animated sequences help this cult classic find its place in today’s crowded market. I absolutely loved this game’s eerie Japanese horror vibe and quirky approach to storytelling. While the turn-based random encounters still feel a little old school, the first-person dungeon exploring and ability to talk with demons in battle keep this RPG fresh, and differentiate it from most games in the genre. The game could use a better minimap, as I was never sure where I was supposed to go, but if you’re willing to do some exploring, Persona deserves a second chance.