Well, the rumors are true. After an agonizing, week-long countdown on their site (not to mention voice actors spilling the beans early), Atlus has finally shared the big news: Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3: FES is coming stateside on April 22.
P3:FES is quite a package -- not only does it include a ton of extra content for the original game (23 new personas, new social links, new weapons, and about 30 more hours of storyline), but also what could be considered a direct sequel, titled Episode Aegis. I can't say I know a lot about Episode Aegis, but it seems to feature Aegis as the main character (duh), and continues after the events of the original, culimating in the "true" ending.
In Japan, FES was released as an add-on disc (which required a save file from the original), but Atlus is shying away from that route for the U.S. release: "We will be releasing the stand-alone version of FES... we didn't want you to have to own anything else to enjoy the experience," says an Atlus fanclub e-mail containing the announcement. At a $29.99 price point, FES sounds like a great deal, as original copies of Persona 3 can get quite pricey nowadays.
As someone who played and enjoyed P3, I don't know how excited I am about this. It sounds like a great deal for those of you who haven't had the joys of playing through the original (and, really, you're doing yourselves a disservice), but with Baroque on its way, I don't know that I'll have time to sink into it.
Oh, who am I kidding? I know I'll snap this up when it drops in April, if only for Episode Aegis.
Hit the gallery for some screenshots and some badass art FES artwork, and hit the jump for a new teaser and a presser.
Months of trying to keep FES a secret are now behind us (which means all of us here can reflect on just how futile an effort that was).
So what's the big deal about Persona 3 FES? "FES" is short for "Festival," and in Japan, FES was released as a reward for gamers who picked up the original. Not only does the new FES content enhance the original game, but the new FES component is actually a game in and of itself, accessible right from the get-go. We think of it as two games on one disc. It is the definitive Persona 3 experience.
We will be releasing the stand-alone version of FES. There was of course the option of just releasing the "Append" disc (which would have required ownership of the original game), but in the end, we didn't want you to have to own anything else to enjoy the experience.
We'll have a ton more updates going out for FES soon, telling you about the extra features, content, and modes for you to enjoy. Thanks for being patient. We're glad you stuck around.
Oh, and we decided to set the suggested retail for FES at $29.99, just for the heck of it. Thanks for continuing to support us, Atlus Faithful!