Mulling Over Persona 3 Portable’s Junpei Cap Bonus

By Ishaan . May 2, 2010 . 5:20pm

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Atlus are known and loved for their often fantastic pre-order bonuses that take the form of all sorts of exciting memorabilia, such as art books, soundtrack CDs, posters and so on. Ergo, as is often the case, fans were curious to know what sort of fascinating goodies Persona 3 Portable — a PSP version of the game thousands now identify the company by — would ship with.

 

Earlier in the week, Atlus USA finally announced the much-anticipated pre-order bonus for P3P — a baseball cap similar to the one worn by Junpei Iori, one of the game’s characters.

 

Now, if there’s one game publisher you can’t blame for not knowing their audience or how to communicate with them, it’s Atlus — and this holds true for both their Japanese and overseas divisions. To many Japanese game enthusiasts, Atlus is presently the one company that can do no wrong. The quality of their games is usually satisfying at worst and groundbreaking at best, and when a game is published by them, you can bet it’s unique in some way.

 

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That said, even Atlus tend to drop the ball at times, and I feel like Atlus USA’s treatment of Persona 3 Portable’s pre-order bonus might be one of those instances.

 

While it does away with Persona 3 FES’s “The Answer” episode entirely, P3P also adds a lot to the original game, the most significant element being the ability to play as a female character with her own unique route and events. For a piece of media that would be more aptly described as an “experience” rather than simply a game, being able to relate to the character whose shoes you step into is immensely important. For JRPGs as a whole, it’s a huge step forward and one that female fans of Atlus products are no doubt excited about.

 

It makes one wonder then, why the pre-order bonus for P3P is something so intrinsically…not appealing to both sexes. No, don’t call me a sexist. No one’s saying women can’t or don’t wear baseball caps. My point here is that a better piece of memorabilia could have been chosen in order to play up the fact that the game has been geared toward both genders, which is now its standout feature.

 

http://storage.siliconera.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/inner_junpei.jpg Even Atlus USA’s newsletter feature pictures of Assistant Media Producer John Tubera donning the cap and “unlocking his inner Junpei.” The press release regarding the same announcement in the meantime states, “The choice of your protagonist’s sex at the start of the game has a dramatic impact on the game’s intricate social dynamics.” If the gender-selection is that vital to the experience, why not reflect that? It’s almost as if they’re communicating two different messages.

 

Granted, we can’t claim to have any knowledge of whether or not a different pre-order bonus coming with the game would help its unisex appeal — and, ultimately, its sales — but art books and soundtrack CDs are examples of something both sexes can enjoy equally. It just seems like a bit of a missed opportunity, and one that I wish they’d leveraged. Then again, Laura insists the cap is for all the girls that “<3 Junpei,” so what do I know.


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  • http://www.twitter.com/christaran Chris Taran

    I dunno, I like the cap. It’s the third release of the game. Why repeat an artbook or soundtrack CD, which they’ve already given out for previous versions of the game?

    I’m glad they’re doing something different.

  • tsukasa1288

    Junpei has even more screen time is this game as he gets his own social link. Plus Junpei is just awesome, whats not to like about getting his hat?

  • Ereek

    Yeah, I was a bit sad about the bonus as well. I, for one, don’t wear caps and neither does my husband. I honestly think Atlus should have dropped the price $10 (to $29.99) and given nothing with it, instead putting a bonus or even an entire Special Edition ($49.99) with 3D Dot Game Heroes. $39.99 is a bit too much for a third release of a game, in my opinion.

    I respectfully disagree about Atlus doing no wrong in their localizations, though.

  • http://ofurotaimu.dreamwidth.org shirokiryuu

    I’m a girl, and I don’t mind. I like unique preorder bonuses like this. Although I don’t know if I like Junpei as a character, I still have to play this game (I preordered it at least)

  • Guest

    >implying that Persona 3 is in any way intended for females

    • http://twitter.com/nameoftheyear Elliot T.

      >implying that the most major new feature is not a female protagonist

      also
      >implying every day until you like it

  • Slashlen

    Since it’s not a Jack Frost beer stein, they could have done better.

  • http://whatistheexcel.com/ Excel-2012

    What does that player think they’re doing having such high HP that soon?

  • nyoron

    I agree, I would have preferred a special article of clothing from one of the girls.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mikaylaaria Mikayla Andres

    I’d’ve liked an artbook or some new tracks in a CD, seeing as how I don’t wear ball caps…. I prefer toques or paper-boy caps….

  • http://twitter.com/#!/Kamiwoo Kamiwoo

    I think Atlus could’ve offered an article of clothing from any other character and I would’ve been more interested… maybe like the protagnist’s headphones?

    Regardless, it’s a sort of fun bonus for P3 fans. The real problem here is a third release of an already overdone (but very good) game, but it’s missing some things from a previous version. And as with most games, simply making a good game will attract fans of both genders, which P3 has already done very well with. Getting to play as a girl will be fun for some female fans, but it’s not make or break. If you were interested in P3 you most likely already played it by now.

    • Arisato_Minato

      That would make many fans nerdgasm, including me, but unfortunately, those are real headphones the Protagonists are using. Expensive ones, at that.

      And I kind of agree that they’re overdoing this whole thing, but hey, I love that series, I’m not complaining. At least they won’t FF7 this whole thing. That’s a whole new verb right here, “to FF7″.

    • http://thrust-the-sky.deviantart.com/ WildArms

      I would had liked the protagonist headphones as well D: i think that was the bonus that was released in japan

    • http://myfigurecollection.net/collection/ashgail Ashgail

      Whoa whoa you know that the Protagonists uses Audio Technica earphones right?

      That thing costs as much as the game itself, if not more expensive ^_^’
      But a replica should be cool though~ Try looking for it at Ebay if you want one. I got it quite cheap but I was really lucky at that time :3

      • http://twitter.com/#!/Kamiwoo Kamiwoo

        Oh, I’m fully aware of the headphones’ cost. But hey, if Atlus REALLY wants me to buy this game…

        But yeah, some look-alike would’ve been acceptable as well.

  • http://thrust-the-sky.deviantart.com/ WildArms

    Well is not that bad, i sometimes use hats :D and jumpei is jumpei-istic, so im gonna get it!

  • holyPaladin

    They can do better than Junpei cap….

  • http://twitter.com/confectionally Loren

    I’m a girl and Junpei is one of my favorite characters, so I actually think this is a pretty cool bonus. It’s true that I probably won’t ever actually wear it, though.

  • BrotherCavil

    You need to calm ze hell down Ishaan. :P

    I’m fairly certain that by the end of the month, they’re gonna reveal that every copy of P3P will contain a soundtrack CD in a premium box thingy. Cause that’s how Atlus rolls.

    I mean, it’s specifically mentioned that the cap is a *pre-order* bonus. Like P4′s artbook. Yet, every copy of P4 also came with an OST. Alongside practically every other game they release.

    So, chiiiiiiil mon!

    • http://www.siliconera.com/ Ishaan

      I feel like that’s kind of missing the point though. It’s not that there’s no CD or art book shipping with the game; rather, that whatever is shipping with the game -even if it’s just a pre-order item — is rather skewed toward male fans, when the game has been specifically redesigned to also appeal more to women.

      They could’ve gone with something that made that a little more obvious, you know? Made it actually feel — just from the overall package itself — like the game now comes in both flavours. (For example; the cover has both protagonists on it now)

      • BrotherCavil

        :<

        Have you seen the bonus item that comes with the stateside release of Haruhi's first LE DVD set? It's Haruhi's friggin yellow hair….ribbon thing!

        And it could just be me…but The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya is very much a show geared towards the male sex…

        Yet, the whole yellow ribbon-but-not-really-a-ribbon thingy never really bothered me… Show's still good. Managed to enjoy.

        So, why can't the same apply here? It's a *bonus* item. If you don't want it or like it, then just don't take it. If a girl picks up a copy of P3P, and wants a daisy hair clip, it's not that much of a hassle to walk 10 feet to the accessories shop across the Gamestop, and pay two dollars for a daisy hair clip.

        It's a bonus dude. They could've easily just not given you anything. Like Devil Survivor. Admit it – you're bummed about the lack of Devil Survivor love.

        So! Shuddup, and put on your Junpei cap. :P

      • http://www.youtube.com/user/ArcadeInfinity scott

        Maximo bonus came with heart boxer shorts. KOF12 bonus came with a Terry Bogard Hat. Nintendo Club members got a Mario Hat. Having a Junpei cap bonus is a very VERY negligible difference in pulling more sales from female gamers.

        Wait, did the Producer actually SAY they were gearing P3P for female players??

        i personally dont think more female gamers will play P3P because theres a chance to have a female protagonist now. All of my female Persona fans already play more SMT games than I do. If they play it, that’s great, but having this new “feature” isn’t going to make a Female gamer play P3P over say…. P4.

        Being a male gamer myself and having all sorts of pre-order items, i dont ever wear any of my pre-order bonuses, especially not the boxer shorts.

        • http://photovoltaik.bandcamp.com/ Ujn Hunter

          I’d totally wear Maximo/Arthur boxer shorts…

  • malek86

    Wait a sec, I must have missed that before. There is no Answer?

    Oh man. Now I can’t decide. Should I play the FES version or the PSP version? Sure being able to control your party is awesome, but maybe I should get the complete version instead. Also, I could find it for cheap.

    • Evila

      Well, if you are a completionist like me, Persona 3 FES lets you play The Answer right from the start without having to complete anything else, so you can just pop it in after you’re done with the PSP one. But yeah, if you’re not interested in the girl’s half or the slight changes in the boy’s half, and can deal with the AI party, might as well go for FES.

      I think having Persona 3 in portable form will mean I can finally finish it this time around, as I never have time to park myself in front of the couch for a long game these days. So whether you like playing your RPGs on a console or portable is something to consider as well.

      • malek86

        I used to hate AI members, but recently I’ve kind of got used to it, after some rounds of Devil Summoner… and in that game, demons with low trust have a tendency to screw you over by not doing anything.

        Maybe I could just get FES. I don’t especially care about being a girl, nor do I really have any preference for portables (not for RPGs at least).

  • ElTopo

    Seems trivial. Its a pre-order bonus.

  • thelostwoods

    I think a Stupei hat is pretty gender neutral actually. I mean it’s just a simple ball cap. Either was I’m always more excited about getting a game with a free bonus and Atlus almost always delivers. Most people probably won’t wear the hat anyway so much as just keep it as something cool to have around the house.

  • Roses4Aria

    I have to admit that I’m not really enthused about the ballcap. I would have loved something more along the lines of the extras that came with the Japanese release. Then again, I’ll buy the game anyway.

    And I’m a female fan and pretty much the ONLY reason I’m buying this game again is for the chance to play as a female, so it matters to more people than you think.

  • Jaxx-Leviathan

    I second Laura’s notion and I like the cap, I want it. Sure it might be more suited for guys, but I don’t see why most “gamer-girls” wouldn’t love it as well.

  • Evila

    I think the cap is pretty neat, even if I don’t usually wear baseball caps. I actually like these weird bonuses better than CDs or artbooks, since I can just import those. Not that I don’t appreciate getting em for free when I can, but something different once in awhile is nice too.

    Now if this was some wacky alternate universe and it was Persona 4 Portable with a Naoto hat as a bonus, I’d wear that thing every day, bwaha.

  • masuto

    Personally, I think a cap as a pre-order bonus is cheap. I rather have an artbook or a plushie, but a cap? Don’t they always give away free caps at conventions?

  • http://photovoltaik.bandcamp.com/ Ujn Hunter

    Personally… (see that there!) I like the cap idea, seeing it’s not the same old art book & soundtrack (don’t get me wrong, I like both of those too!) like every other release. Maybe because I am male, or maybe it doesn’t even matter to me seeing I’ve already had this game pre-ordered since February and wasn’t even expecting any bonus items…

  • Spectro

    Is it really that big of a deal that the hat is for a male character? I honestly would’ve preferred the male main character’s headphones, but those are a “male item” as well.

  • lucy1986

    I’d rather have a plushie of a shadow……

    Or better still, something from ‘Tanaka’s Amazing Commodities’!”

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