Let’s Playing: Shin Megami Tensei: Persona Portable 3

By Spencer . July 11, 2010 . 1:02pm

imageLaura and Ishaan played through Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 Portable while I trekked through Dragon Quest IX and Trinity Universe.


I’m pretty sure some Siliconera readers picked up Persona 3 Portable, so let’s talk about it. Tell me what I’m missing out on.

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  • zhemos

    You’re missing hot yuri conversations. ^^

  • You are missing this:
    The first time in my life, and maybe will be yours, where i say, after someone asked me how did i know: “It was women’s intuition” haha, so cool xD.

    Also, i cant count all the funny things that are different when you play as a girl lol. When you try to go out with Akihiko, you need a charm level of “Bee Queen” because you are scared of all the girls that are always watching him xD.

    • I’m going through that myself right now. Hilarious.

      Speaking of which, I like the way some of the new social links are handled. Like, in some cases where the game tells you, “You feel like you understand XX better now!” but doesn’t tell you what exactly it is that you “understand better”.

      P3 and FES did this, too, of course, but I feel like in P3P’s social links, there are a few more situations in which it lets you infer whatever you want to, without trying to force an image of a particular character upon you. It’s an interesting sort of approach, and I’m curious to see if Atlus would be able to maintain that through the entirety of a single social link.

      • Yeah, in difference with the other persona 3 versions, here, we can only see the character faces and whay they say, so… is more like, instead of watching what is happening, you are picturing everything in the head, and i dunno, it feels different xD. Of course, in the other versions there were some parts where they just talk as well, but not always, xD i dunno, it feels different here.

        • Exactly! This is what killed it for me. I missed the presentation of Elizabeth dates. They were really funny and enjoyable! I don’t get the same vibe from reading text that describes it when I’ve seen it in FES.
          I’m still enjoying the game, however. Maxing S.Links have never been easier with 1 second save/load times.

  • You’re missing out on the most inferior version of Persona 3. Stick with FES.Still, even an inferior version of P3 is fantastic. Just not the best game of all time like FES is.

    • Ereek

      Agreed. My husband got it, since I had no interest considering I own both the vanilla and FES.

      Some things are better – namely battle, but many others are worse. He obviously isn’t remarkably far yet, but from what I can tell, some of the scenes feel a bit more uncomfortable due to how they’re handled.

    • i cant play FES in my college, nor in the BUS, nor in my grandma’s house, etc :P, neither can i choose female character on it…

      It obviously is kinda inferior, since is a portable xD, but i have FES and im still loving this one

      • lostinblue

        It didn’t have to be “inferior” per see, they could have kept the production values after all, if instead of replacing the outer tartarus engine they went with the original one. also the FMV’s I bet they were taken because minato was in them and not minako (and this is probably a low budget port), but it really hurts, specially when they use stills of FMV’s with lots of compression.

        And since the game wasn’t a polygon pusher I think a lot of thinkering could have kept those shadows I love so much intact.

        The lack of AA would always hurt though, but that’s PSP for you.

        I would rather have a Wii port with 16:9, 180p and mostly intact gameplay (they could add point and click optional navigation, likethey did with ToS2), would be even cheaper than reworking and it’ll be the last home platform to whom they can port it without remaking it altogether (these graphics wouldn’t be acceptable on HD systems and stuff). But I digress, this is what we have on hands after all.

        Could be better.

        • Zeik56

          A Wii port would have been stupid. It would be little more than yet another add-on to the PS2 version of the game.

          At least being on the PSP it has the added benefit of being a portable, so there’s at least some justification for it’s existence.

          • lostinblue

            So, is making a great game available to another demographic on another platform brand would be more stupid than making it available on yet another playstation system? and the third time in 3 years too.

            I disagree. Plus, I’d appreciate the same content with 16:9 and 480p instead the the lower presentation of this port. It would be cheaper to do too, so I really think it would be everything but stupid. but I digress

          • Ereek

            He’s always saying it should be a Wii port, don’t even bother trying to persuade him otherwise. He’s the resident Wii fanboy.

            It’s actually somewhat cute.

          • lostinblue

            you shouldn’t stereotype others. If I’m advocating/supporting/suggesting a Wii port, in spite of the PSP one because it’s the only SD platform on the market, therefore the only one where those graphics would be acceptable, but powerful enough to actually mild upgrade them, while the PSP is a downgrade, that would by it’s turn address my qualms with it, which is lack of 16:9 and 480p (just like I’d buy Wind Waker with 16:9 all over again) and perhaps add something more as well as being introduced to a new demographic, which they clearly want anyway. You won’t see me advocating it for a Wii 2, the graphics by then will be unacceptable for the platform standards, just like I’m not suggesting it for the PS3 or X360 (despite the fact I’d probably buy it nonetheless)

            That, and the Wii can add some variety, if they’re willing to (this would be more in line with persona 4 and it’s fishing minigame and such)

            Also bare in mind CoD3, a launch title was ported by 3 or so people, and Okami Wii was ported by a team of 2 people throughout most of the project (later on they added more members in order to meet deadlines), persona 3 and 4 could be ported with little resources too, and yes, that’s what I’m suggesting, since it’s cheap as hell.

            Since I’m not asking for many changes, if changes at all I’m basically suggesting they can win free money, more easily than on PSP (since on PSP they had to rework it). But sure, go ahead and stereotype me.

            Also bare in mind I now own this game 3 times, so if I’m a fanboy, I’m pretty much a multiplatform one to have it on PS2 and PSP. I also own a X360 and will own a PS3 this gen, I prefer my Wii to them though, sure.

          • While I disagree that it being on a portable actually counts as a benefit, I agree that a Wii port would be stupid. I don’t see why people can’t appreciate the positives of exclusives.

            If anything, I would think someone with a Wii would rather they expand the MegaTen series to have yet another branch, one that is Wii exclusive, so that the system has its own identity in the series, rather than try to shove every game onto there, like the Wii fanboys want.

          • lostinblue

            Persona is not exclusive to Playstation brand, for starters it’s already announced for the 3DS, and DS had a name with the original Persona subtitle albeit without persona in the name (Megami Ibunroku). Not to mention Shin Megami Tensei, whom arguably has more story on Nintendo platforms, albeit forgotten/not known to western gamers made the transition without anyone suggesting “shin megami tensei shouldn’t be here on PS2”, who cares?

            Persona is clearly their entry point offer (read: the more casual shin megami tensei gets and should get) making it more casual or doing another line of products for the same demographic with a different name just because it’s on nintendo for the same purpose would be quite dumb. And considering the fact Wii is the market leader I’d say it makes more sense to put some persona into it than any other sub-branch of Megaten, or creating a new brand and starting recognition from zero. I’ll agree making a new game would be the “best received” option, just like making a new persona game for the PSP would be, when compared to a downgraded port, but the point here is that they can make easy money!

            Besides, on the “appreciating the fact it’s exclusive” what’s the positive of being exclusive when it’s not even PS2 exclusive anymore, it’s from a third party who clearly wants to expand that brand, and the numbers it was to make on it… are pretty much complete now that the platform has passed on? It’s on more than one platform already they might as well try other brands now, providing it’s cheap, and they can achieve that degree of cheap on the Wii.

            And I’d like 16:9 menus and graphics for this one.

          • Zeik56

            Portability is a benefit for a lot of people, and it is rather nice to play it on the go when I feel like it. But I agree, I don’t know why anyone would want to see a Wii port. If we’re going to see a Wii SMT/Persona game it should be a new game. Having yet another port of a PS2 game on the system would do little for the Wii. A quality original title however would be a much bigger boon.

        • Lol… wii? if i want to play in the house i have the ps2 ones, and i dont think a wii game is cheaper than a ps2 game. There are so many points down that i cant even count them.

          darn i accidentaly pressed the like button D:

          • lostinblue

            Sure developers shouldn’t be doing wii games in 2010, they should be doing ps2 ones, they’re cheaper (meaning less profit) anyway too.

            I’m sure Atlus would price a low budget port appropriately, but the main audience for such port wouldn’t be us, who already have 3 versions of it by now.

            My bottom line point is that they could make money on it, just like I could say they could make money on PSP by keeping their Persona 3 engine pipeline hadn’t it been done already. The rest is semantics and of course you’re free to not purchase it/don’t think 16:9 and 480p and whatever tweaks are worth it, just like you’re free to not purchase the PSP version, being downgraded et all.

            My guess is that me or you purchasing Persona 3 Portable has little impact anyway (just like it had on the PS2, might I say)

          • TomSkylark

            To me, the Persona series is great for portable systems because, let’s be honest, there’s a lot of really satisfying grinding. While I don’t mind seeing a new Persona all fancy-like in HD or whatever, there’s something to be said for a series’ gameplay suiting its system. So, to me a Wii version wouldn’t actually make use of anything the Wii does differently from the other consoles. Having it on a portable system, on the other hand, just plain makes sense for the gameplay.

            This is one of the reasons I’m praying for the 3DS Persona game to be Persona 5. Besides the fact that I can’t see P5 going multi-platform on a console, putting it on a handheld just suits the series’ strengths. The game is all about being social, getting around town, and exploring big dungeons. Tying it to a home system seems pretty counterintuitive at this point, especially given that the series has never placed a strong emphasis on graphical power so much as (amazing) style. From what I’ve seen, the 3DS can do all that graphically as much as the series seems to require, while also giving the series a portability that matches its play style much better.

          • lostinblue

            in reply to tomskylark

            I like you man! that said, I’m more of a home console guy myself, I’ll say though that I don’t think Persona has much to gain from being/going high budget; we like the two year development times for these games and the ingame graphics are good enough even if the characters don’t have textured mouths and stuff, it’s not Final Fantasy with upclose cutscenes focusing on their faces and the artwork and 3/4 anime cutscenes throughout the game are there for that, and it’s fine like that. If it did the jump it might be doing, we might be seeing it go in that direction who might detract from the whole game… Kinda like people still claim the best FF is 7 (imo it’s 6, but that doesn’t matter) and not XIII.

            I actually advocated for them to keep their PS2 pipeline and engine development intact to keep costs down, that would mean supporting Wii and possibly PSP (seeing the port we’re seeing is limited seeing everything besides tartarus was changed, I defended it back then but I gotta wonder if they could do it now) and 3DS would certainly fit that line of thought of mine. I’d still go with the home version though, but I could be seduced into buying another one, like I bought P3P now.

            With this said, I gotta say that I kinda hate PSP 3D because it lacks anti aliasing and is kinda flat which is very visible on a portable screen, and I’m hoping 3DS fixes is with it’s 3D capabilities (it’s supposed to give out free AA, not to mention DS had 2xAA for free)

            If they were to do a Persona game for PSP though, I’d rather have something reminiscent of Persona 2 graphics than Persona 3/4 ones, I really dislike 3D on it, and persona 2 still looks mighty fine.

    • Cucumber_man

      Persona 4 is the best, dawg.

      • 3 and 4 are tied with me, so I also agree with you! :)

    • lostinblue

      not to sound like “I TOLD YOU GUYS” post, but that’s exactly what I’ll do here.

      Mine arrived today and yup, PS2 version is so much better. Still good on a portable form and stuff but it was dumbed down and the graphic novel presentation hurts it a lot. also, the graphics lost those awesome casted shadows the PS2 version had, which is a shame.

      I like the new musics so far, and the girl scenario, I won’t say a lot but I’ll say it gave me a reason to go at it again, I guess.

      I’m still pondering wether I play this or another walkthrough through Persona 3 FES (and leaning towards FES, I think)

    • Zeik56

      I don’t know, while I agree in some ways that FES is overall the truest version of the game, the new additions to the game (especially the female scenario) make the game feel fresh and enjoyable. It actually makes much more worthwhile additions to P3 than FES did. If I had the option to pick between FES and P3P after playing the original P3 then P3P would have been a much better choice.Really, the only thing that holds this game back is the lack of animations during cutscenes, everything else about the game is superior to FES.

  • doubletaco

    You’re missing an incredibly easy game.On Maniac difficulty I had to leave AI control on to keep the game from being a total cakewalk.Digging the female MC route though.

    Edit: Oh, yes, I don’t like the female battle theme, either. Sure wish there was an option to switch it.

    • Zeik56

      BS. If maniac difficulty is a cakewalk then so is just about every other game in the SMT franchise.

      • doubletaco

        I disagree. You can know what’s coming in SMT Nocturne, but getting the True Demon End is going to be a hell of a time no matter what.

        Persona 3 is just easy, even moreso with control over your party members.

        • Zeik56

          Nocturne is one of the most overrated games out there when it comes to it’s difficulty, especially on normal. (I can’t think of many games that left me more disappointed than my first experience with Nocturne on normal.) Hard mode is a noticeable step up, but it’s still quite manageable if you know how to take advantage of the games numerous near-broken exploits.

          Persona 3 is on the easier side on it’s normal difficulty, I’ll grant you, (though it’s still not much easier than Nocturne on normal), however Maniac is at least as difficult, if not moreso, than most games in the franchise. Only a handful of entries on their highest difficulty pose legitimately higher challenge.

  • Reimine

    New Social Links(if you choose Female MC), battle system of persona 4, you can play with a Female Character, 5 difficulty levels, Theodore (only if you choose MC female), Shinjiro survive (Only whith female character), new music (in the female mode) and New Personas

  • EvilAkito

    I would definitely agree that this feels like an inferior version of Persona 3 (though I love being able to control all party members in battle), but I think the simple fact that it’s on a convenient, portable platform makes it well worth it.

  • holyPaladin

    You’re missing chance to play as female MC, who can date male party member except Junpei, meet new S.Link (Chariot and Hermit).
    I think only that…
    P3 and FES still get better playing experience IMO because we can walk in town, dorm, or school…

  • Hraesvelgr

    You’re missing out on the exact same game that has already been released twice, minus “The Answer”, which is terrible. The combat additions are great, but take away all the “difficulty” the game had when party members were AI only. Female side is okay, but it seems like they were a little lazy in some parts.

    Overall, it’s fine. The combat improvements make it the best version of Persona 3, but this also needs to be the final version of Persona 3. It’s been done to death already.

    • lostinblue

      This isn’t the ultimate version by any means in my book.

      Then again I’m fine with the FES version, but they really should stop adding content I guess.

    • Zeik56

      Maniac difficulty adds more legitimate challenge than the supposed challenge that the AI party members brought. (Which I honestly didn’t think really made the game much more difficult anyway.)

  • d19xx

    To those complaining about the graphics of the game, it’s not the hardware’s fault. Atlus ain’t known for pushing the hardware capabilities of any handheld or console. In fact most Japanese companies aren’t capable of fully taking advantage of the PSP’s hardware.

    There are only a few Japanese developers that can really take advantage of the PSP’s hardware and most of them are major developers and publishers, such as Capcom, Konami and Namco. Atlus obviously ain’t one of them.

  • I’m 40 hours into the game. Since I don’t have a PS2, this is a must-have for me.
    Everything is just.. at its best. And I’m dead serious. I love this game. I prefer it over MGS:PW, KH:BBS, God Eater and many, many more.
    If you never played Persona 3 and own a PSP, get this game. It’s worth every cent.

  • Roses4Aria

    In a way, I’m wondering if this wasn’t partly an experiment to see how well players would take to having a girl MC before Atlus took the major step of adding a girl’s perspective to P5. If that’s the case, I sincerly hope the experiment was a success!

    Anyway, I’m playing P3P now and I’m really enjoying it. Yes, it loses some things from the PS2 version, but I more or less knew what things would be excluded from the beginning, so I’m not disappointed. And the female side of the story makes things feel just different enough that it’s worth playing, IMO. Plus, I’m a major Shinji fan, so certain options in this game just make my day. :)

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