TGS 09: Hands on with Persona 3 PSP

Being the Persona-obsessed freak I am sitting here writing this post while I wear my brand spanking new Persona 4 shirt I got from the Cospa booth today, you know I made a mad dash for Persona 3 PSP the moment I spotted it on the show floor. So it was entirely in Japanese and I couldn’t read the menus very well — SO WHAT. After all, I’ve played enough of the first game to have most of the interactions memorized anyway. Off to my Persona 3 PSP adventure!

Hit the jump for my quickie hands on with Persona 3 PSP.

At TGS, your gameplay time is usually limited to ten minutes or less with a title and is strictly enforced so no one waits very long to play. It’s a lovely courtesy, but the only downfall is that you don’t get to spend the time with a game that you might hope for. For instance, the ten minute snippet of Persona 3 PSP was only enough to let me talk to a few of the dorm residents and battle through a few floors of Tartarus. Also, I played as the male protagonist, which was not ideal since I wanted to see more of the new story, but I couldn’t exactly ask the booth girl to change it for me (she would have probably looked at me like a deer in the headlights if I asked her a question in English anyway).

For the five or so minutes I got to see how the dating sim/daily life part of the game worked, it seems as if the protaganist’s on-screen movement has been removed, likely to save space. It’s been replaced with a blue circle which you move around on screen and use to select people you want to speak to and destinations you want to visit. This may bug other Persona series fans, but it didn’t bother me in the slightest.  You also use the shoulder buttons to rotate your camera, which took a few moments to adjust to but felt completely natural afterwards.

Your adventures within Tartarus are nearly identical to the PS2 version of the game, or at least appeared to be in the few minutes I spent with it. Controlling my characters individually was every bit as excellent as I hoped it would be and gave me a nice new advantage in battle.

There was no new music in these two areas, but I’m guessing I just didn’t get lucky enough to hear any of it. My take away from this brief experience was that I definately want to buy the game (yes, for the third time) and that the portable format could really appeal to PSP owners. For me, it’s a lovely excuse to replay a game I already adore. I hope we get the US version early next year!

Colette Bennett