Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Dark Hour Returns.

So if you don't know what Persona 3 is and you own a PS2 you may have something wrong with you. P3 was the best RPG of last year and one of the best PS2 games ever released. If you never played it you now have your chance. Persona 3 Fes is the enhanced version of the original game along with The Answer. The Answer is a 30-40 hr add on that takes place after the events of Persona 3 and provides a real conclusion. Oh and did I mention you are getting all this for a budget price? So there really is no reason to pass it up.

First off if you don't know how Persona 3 works I'll explain. During the daytime you basically do everything a normal high school student would. Making friends, Dating and of course taking classes, Studying and exams. At night the game functions as a hardcore dungeon crawl. It's these two complete opposites that keep the game so inventive and fresh through the whole 100+ hr experience.

You will spend daytime trying to balance your time between studying and hanging out with friends. The key here is the closer you get to your friends the stronger you can make your persona which in turn will make the battles that take place at night easier. Certain Persona can only be obtained after you have reached a certain point in a relationship with a certain character so the game encourages you to get to know all the characters so you can excel in battle.

At night battles will begin and you will explore the tower of Tarturus. Battles are your basic turn based affair with a few twists. You don't fully control your party. You can direct them to use a certain strategy but you can't directly control their actions. This dynamic adds alot more strategy to battles then you might think even more so during boss encounters. If that sounds a bit rough fear not as you do hold complete control over the main character so you will be able to make up for the rest of the party's short comings. You also have to be careful not to push your party to hard as they can become tired or sick and hinder your exploration. Those that become tired or sick will be alot more susceptible to being knocked down or end up on the receiving end of a critical hit so you must plan ahead to avoid such things.

Fes adds a number of new additions into the game such as a weapon synthesis system in which you can combine Persona and weapons to make powerful new weapons to fight off shadows. A costume system was added in which when you put a costume on a character it really looks different unlike the first version of P3. In addition there are also new Side quests, A new Social link involving Aigis and alot of little fan service for those who played the first version of P3 such as seeing more of the social link characters around town far more often then in the first version.

But wait that isn't all. Persona 3 Fes also includes Episode Aigis which was changed to The Answer for the US release. The Answer is a add on to Persona 3 that will take about 30-40 Hrs to complete and takes place after the events of the original game. You take on the role of Aigis and for some unknown reason the same day begins to repeat itself endlessly. It is up to S.E.E.S to find out exactly how this is happening and to stop it once and for all. The Answer plays out just like the night portions of Persona 3 however there are no social links this time around which may disappoint some. However The Answer is simply there to give closure to fans who didn't fully understand the ending to P3. Also be aware that the difficultly of The Answer is much higher then that of Persona 3 unless you played Persona 3 on hard mode.

Now you may notice that I never once mentioned anything about graphics and the like and that is because there is simply no need. Persona 3 is a game that is immersed in it's world. The story and the characters are what make this game shine. Atlus went as far as to hire many big name anime voice actors( Michelle Ruff, Vic Mignogna, Liam O'Brien)to bring the characters of Persona 3 to life and it shows. Anyone can find a character in Persona 3 to relate to and that makes the story that much more emotional by the end.

All in all Persona 3 Fes is one of the best games to ever see release on the PS2 and in my opinion one of the best RPG's ever made. Atlus took two ideas that upon hearing them would sound crazy and combined them to make one of the most compelling RPG's to date and it certainly should not be missed by anyone.

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