Atlus is currently planning to inject as much as possible into Persona, and this should not shock anyone. The series has gone the impressive way of debuting as a bizarre by-product of the main Atlus franchise, developing its own identity, becoming a mainstay of the company and, finally, overtaking its parent series in popularity. In the process, Persona turned into Atlus’ flagship franchise and has never looked back. To top it all off, the series is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, so Atlus’ efforts to reward the Persona series for its success is an obvious choice.
For the upcoming anniversary, Atlus has planned and announced several upcoming projects, one of the most interesting of which is porting other Persona games that made the series famous. This includes Persona 3 Portable, Persona 4 Golden and Persona 5 Royal. Portable and Royal will join Golden in the PlayStation 4 and Steam libraries, while all three games will receive the first ports on PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and Xbox Series X. Fans have been asking for this solution for a long time. and if Persona 3 Portable is particularly supported, then Atlus may finally give the green light to the equally sought-after Persona 3 remake as a whole.
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The Controversial Story of Persona 3
Persona 3 is an important game in the history of its own series, as well as Atlus and Megami Tensei in general. This was the first Persona game to feature the famous hybrid game system, in which players crawl through dungeons during one half of the game, and during the other half experience a simulation of life. This marked the beginning of the evolution of modern Persona, which eventually led to the series becoming the most popular JRPG besides Pokemon and Final Fantasy. His characters still appear in Persona-themed crossovers as often as the Investigation Team in Persona 4 and Phantom Thieves in Persona 5. For all intents and purposes, Persona 3 is the game that started the rise in popularity of the series.
Despite the huge influence on the direction of the series and the company, there has never been a “final version” of Persona 3, such as Persona 4 Golden or Persona 5 Royal. The closest equivalent will be Persona 3 Portable, which will get all the ports, but it has been specially adapted for the PlayStation portable version and has privileges that are not available in FES. Persona 3 is pretty much an unfinished game, and that won’t officially change even if mods and emulation make it easier to get the full experience.
Persona fans were torn between Persona 3 FES and Portable. At first glance, Portable is clearly better. It has a famous female protagonist, while Persona 4 and 5 make people play for the boy to this day. The members of the group no longer get tired in the dungeons. There are more characters to get close to, and the fates of some characters may even change depending on the player’s actions. Most importantly, Portable made every member of the group manageable by fixing one of Persona 3’s most infamous issues.
Nevertheless, there are anime videos in FES, a more extensive world to explore, real 3D models and environments beyond Tartarus, a less compressed presentation, greater accessibility due to the fact that this is a PS2 game with digital re-releases on Sony’s home console, as well as an epilogue in “The Answer” if the player interested in such a function. The privileges are negligible compared to the improvements in the quality of life made by Portable, and the “Answer” itself is controversial, but otherwise Persona 3 is no longer the same without them. A proper remake that acts as the final edition of the game can retroactively incorporate the improvements introduced in Persona 4 and 5 and reunite the elements that make Persona 3 such an enjoyable experience.
Porting Portable and Royal is a sign that Atlus can really listen, and not just provide random fan services to satisfy frenzied requests. A remake of Persona 3 has been requested for a long time. There are simple ways to get around the shortcomings of all versions of the game, but having all the features in modern work with more expressive visual effects and a honed gameplay will enhance the joy of the game. Nothing can guarantee the existence of this hypothetical remake, but it has great potential.
Persona 3 Portable is available on PS2 and PlayStation Portable, versions for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S will be released in October this year.