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REVIEW: PERSONA 3: Reload — Reloaded For The Current Gen

 
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Overview
 

Published by: SEGA, Atlus
 
Developed by: P-Studio
 
Platform(s): PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and Series S, Microsoft Windows
 
Genre(s): RPG
 
Mode(s): Single Player, Online
 
Game Type: , , , , , ,
 
FG RATING
90%
90/ 100


User Rating
2 total ratings

 

Raves


Well done remake, retained original story, updated game mechanics

Rants


contains mature themes


Bottom Line

  Originally released in 2006, Persona 3 is a Japanese Role-Playing Game (JRPG) made for the PlayStation 2. Over the years, Persona 3 had different reiterations such as the extended version in Persona FES and the portable edition in Persona 3 Portable. This year, we get to experience the remake of the original 2006 game […]

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Posted February 2, 2024 by

 
FULL REVIEW
 
 

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Originally released in 2006, Persona 3 is a Japanese Role-Playing Game (JRPG) made for the PlayStation 2. Over the years, Persona 3 had different reiterations such as the extended version in Persona FES and the portable edition in Persona 3 Portable. This year, we get to experience the remake of the original 2006 game titled Persona 3: Reload. With Reload being a remake, can it live up to the success of the original or even continue the franchise following the previous release in Persona 5 and it’s subsequent releases. 

STORY

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You play as a nameless high school student who transferred into a new town and experienced a mysterious phenomenon on your first day. When you get to your dorm, you get to meet the “Specialized Extracurricular Execution Squad” (SEES), who welcomed you to their group and explained that this mysterious anomaly is known as the Dark Hour.

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Everyday, when the clock strikes midnight, it triggers the Dark Hour and everything turns dark and people turn into coffins.  Individuals affected by this anomaly are riddled with  Apathy Syndrome, a disease that turns people into a vegetative state.

At the center of all this is your high school that turns into the mysterious tower, Tartarus during the Dark Hour. It is the SEES mission to scale the top of Tartarus to find answers and get rid of Shadows, monsters who prevent you from completing your goal.

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It takes awhile before you get any action in this game. You need to talk to a lot of characters that seems overwhelming at times but it is a necessary task to understand the game’s lore. There’s also a trigger warning during the loading screen advising that the game has themes of suicide, bullying, and violence. This actually took me by surprise as inflicting self-harm is part of the game’s mechanic.  Though the game helps makes sense of it but player discretion is seriously advised due to the game’s mature themes.

GAMEPLAY

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Persona 3: Reload is is part role-playing game and part social simulation.  During the day, you attend school, do part time jobs, and establish relationships with people around you. These relationships are called “Social Links” and levelling these increases your chances of getting higher leveled Personas. Social Link activities range from hanging out, eating ramen or going on dates.

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At night, during the Dark Hour, Reload becomes a dungeon crawling game as you scale the floors of Tartarus. Combat is the traditional turn based RPG that comes with standard commands of attack, guard, item, and Persona. Personas are character summons inspired by Greco-Roman mythology with their own set of abilities. It’s interesting that unlike most RPGs wherein abilities consume MP/SP to cast, in Reload, depending on the skill, Personas may consume either HP or SP. Another combat mechanic is learning the enemies weakness. Once a weakness is learned, it stuns the enemy and you would have an additional turn.

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A new mechanic added to Reload is inspired by Persona 5’s Baton Pass, which is called Shifting, that lets you pass a turn to a different character. When all enemies are downed, it triggers another game mechanic, the All-Out Attack that lets your character attack together at the same time.

VISUALS & PERFORMANCE

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This is where Reload truly shines.  The game is visually stunning with its vibrant colors, edgy character designs and fluid animation. The game’s visuals is a beautiful contract to the game’s mature themes.

Players would recognize that Reload’s art style is heavily inspired Persona 5. You can even use the Phantom Thieves of Hearts skins through the game’s DLC.  The DLC also include Yasogami High School uniforms from Person 4 and Shujiin Academy uniforms.

Performance had also been upscaled from 30fps to 60fps. With the game being a remake, it retained classic elements such as the fixed camera angles reminiscent of the 90s and 00s games.

VERDICT

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Persona 3: Reload is great springboard into the Persona franchise.  It is a well-done remake that retained everything that made it great and the updated game mechanics make it seem that it was made for today’s consoles. A true classic that transcends time, a game that was glorious decades ago is still relevant and appealing today.


Ryan Villanueva

 
Your resident all around Flipgeek, from comics,movies,games,toys,music and even sports. A big Spider-man fan raised in the ways of the Jedi,who listens to punk rock and a sucker for chick flicks.


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