With the September release date inching ever closer, Atlus is starting to really dole out the goodies when it comes to their PlayStation Portable re-imagining of Shin Megami Tensei: Persona. Earlier in the week we saw website updates (with more promised) and now we've got a lengthy video highlighting how the game has been upgraded, what's been added, and how the experience has been streamlined from the original PlayStation version from the '90s.
Tag: Shin Megami Tensei
Some of the best gaming news I've heard this year revolved around the fact that Atlus is bringing the original Persona game to the PlayStation Portable. One of the earliest RPGs on the original PlayStation console (and the game that basically introduced most western audiences to the Shin Megami Tensei universe) is getting a port to Sony's handheld—along with a much needed facelift (we'll all finally be able to play the Snow Queen chapter).
If you swing by the game's official site (found here) you'll not only get a look at the game's packaging, but various other updates. Among these new additions to the site are: three new character profiles, two clips in the story section, clips of the Speedy Battles system, clips from the Snow Queen chapter, and two sample tracks from the game's soundtrack CD (a 2-disc add-in that will be available with every copy of the game).
If that (and the fact that this is a modern day occult RPG where you recruit demons to fight alongside you) doesn't get you off the fence on this game, then I don't know what to tell you. Atlus promises even more goodies for next week, though—so maybe something there will convince you that you need to play this game.
Persona hits the PSP in September of 2009.
How'd they get it to fit?
HIGH A very faithful Shin Megami Tensei experience in a teeny package.
LOW Lacking the typically-excellent and usually-plentiful Atlus voice work.
WTF The AI gets another turn… why, again?
More than a mouthful
HIGH Retains all the classic SMT elements dripping with style and polish.
LOW No voice acting for the dialogue.
WTF Why is the encounter rate set so high?
I try not to whore myself out too much, but I'm a sucker for a good Atlus game in general, and doubly so for Shin Megami Tensei games in particular. In lieu of my regularly-scheduled blog content, instead nibble on this preview for the upcoming Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor coming to the Nintendo DS.
In Sexuality and Homophobia in Persona 4 from Gamasutra, Samantha Xu examines the tension between Persona 4's "rough-and-tumble teen" Kanji Tatsumi and his flamboyant alter-ego:
Kanji is feared by the locals and maintains a confrontational machismo toward the other characters throughout the game. He is a loyal son and employee at his family's textile shop, and it's not until the debut of his alter-ego Shadow Kanji that we are made aware of his inner sexual turmoil.
Xu looks at how homosexuality is viewed in Japanese culture and interviews people at Atlus USA who worked on Persona 4, game journalists and Sex in Video Games author Brenda Brathwaite. Brenda likes many things about Kanji's portrayal, but one thing she dislikes is "the game's juvenile nature in dealing with his sexuality."
Bears live inside your TV
HIGH The hilarious mid-summer camping trip.
LOW Unskippable cutscenes and long stretches between save.
WTF One character's totally unexpected mid-game reveal… Literally.
Persona 3's mechanics are ingenious and fresh, the characters are well-written and engaging, the voice work and music are top-quality, the art is beautifully stylish, and by couching it all in a real-world setting far from any of the standard fantasy clichés, it establishes an identity and qualities uniquely its own.
It's too early to pick the RPG of the year for 2007, but if I had to vote today Persona 3 would be my choice…hands down. It's a wild and unique gaming experience that melds disparate subgenres into a whole that transcends the sum of the parts. It's not without a few flaws, but the good so definitively outweighs the negatives that it's hard to imagine anyone who's a hardcore RPG fan passing this game up.
According to ESRB, this game contains: Blood, Language, Partial Nudity, Violence