Persona 3, PS2
Atlus has announced a new entry in its "Persona" branch of the Shin Megamitensei series. The latest issue of Famitsu has first details on Persona 3, which is in development for the PlayStation 2.
In Persona 3, you play as a 17 year-old boy who's just transferred schools. Immediately after entering his dormitory, the character comes under attack of a Shadow, a new enemy introduced in Persona 3. Shadows have the ability to summon Persona demons. After coming under attack, the main character inherits this ability as well.
The main character is unique amongst Persona users in that he has the ability to switch between Personas rather than just summoning a single creature. He ends up becoming leader of a special extracurricular force attempting to defeat Shadow. Other human characters, including fellow students Yukari Takeba and Junpei Iori, have the ability to summon a single Persona, and end up joining the group of Shadow fighters.
Persona 3 takes place in Minato Ku, a town consisting of a harbor area called Iwatodai and a man-made island called Port Island. Your school is located on the island while your dorm is located in Iwatodai.
You take control of the main character during each day of school, starting with arrival in the morning and ending in the afternoon as you head back to your dorm. Between classes, you can investigate the school grounds, and following the school day, you can do the same in town.
Players get to experience school life in Persona 3. The game lets you work through a year of in-game time. Most of your activities on weekdays take place following classes, but on weekends and holidays, you can make appointments with other characters in order to strengthen your relationships. The relationship with your "Comyu," short for "community," has an effect on your battle with the Shadow.
Even on days where you don't have an appointment, you're free to just wander around town, visiting shops as you like. This is true even during summer vacation. The game includes summer school, a summer sports meet, and other events for your time away from school.
Other characters go through school life as well. On the days prior to a big test, your allies will lock themselves away in their rooms and concentrate on studying, meaning they won't be able to help out in the fight against the Shadow. Characters will even get sick and miss classes.
This might seem like the makings of one of those Japanese school-based love simulation games, but Persona 3 provides the expected Megaten-inspired twists. The world of Persona 3 does not use a 24 hour clock. When the clock turns midnight, the world enters "Shadow Time." The Shadow roam the streets during this time, providing the perfect opportunity for you to do some exterminating.
Normal people who don't have Persona summoning abilities turn into coffins during Shadow time and lose all senses. Some do manage to make the transition in human form, and end up serving as targets for the Shadow, who like to feed on their spirits.
During Shadow Time, you and your party members get into battle with Shadow creatures. Battles begin by all party members making use of a pistol-shaped summon device to call out their Persona (this is unfortunately done by the characters aiming the device at themselves and firing). You can also opt to skip out on the Persona transformation and use weapons to directly fight the Shadow.
Emerge victorious from a battle, and you earn new Persona Cards. These cards hold your Persona summons. By taking two or more cards to the game's Persona Room, you can combine cards into a new Persona. While you lose the previous Personas, you earn a powerful new one in its place.
Directed by Katsura Hashino (director of Shin Megamitensei III Nocturne), and featuring character designs and art direction by Shigenori Soejima (character designs for Devil Summoner, art direction for Stella Deus), Persona 3 is set for Japanese release on 7/13. A US release has yet to be announced.
Old news, no doubt. This article was posted in March 2006 . In any case, this is my first time reading and hearing about the Persona series. I take it that this is another one of those rare gem games since I've never heard anyone mention the series before.
I also see that it's a spin-off of the Shin Megami Tensei series which I've been dying to get my hands on. ($60 for used games... There's gotta be a place that sells them cheaper.)
I'm quite interested in this game because of the Persona summoning itself. I read at gamespot that you have to shoot yourself in the head to summon a persona. (spoilers for just incase measures) I didn't see any articles about the release date yet. I would post some screen shots, but I'll wait a bit for that.
I'm quite curious to hear opinions about the older games as well. Are they worth checking out? (that is if they're findable and atleast in the $20-$30 price range)