Persona 3 Reload – this will be the fourth version of the game (Picture: Atlus)
A reader offers a compelling reason not to buy Persona 6, even if you’re a big fan of the series. Or at least not straight away…
Let me explain that clearly contradictory headline.
Persona 4 Golden was my first experience of the series. Before the release on other formats, in the last couple of years, it was the best reason to own a PS Vita (RIP you excellent handheld).
I understood that, as a (then) format exclusive it justified its existence as a full price release by being an improved and expanded version of the vanilla Persona 4 on PlayStation 2, with higher definition graphics, an additional character, and extra story elements.
This love led to my later buying Persona 3 FES, an enhanced version of Persona 3 with some tweaks to the gameplay and a new post-main game epilogue, and Persona 3 Portable. Both of which I also loved.
Persona 3 Portable, while being heavily cut back in terms of presentation, added the option of playing through the game as a female version of the main character, which drastically changed the social link elements – the series’ famous sub-story system – from the original. This gave players who may have already extensively played the original PlayStation 2 game the incentive to purchase the handheld version.
The point being that Atlus has form for re-releasing enhanced versions of their Persona games.
As a now huge fan I followed the development of Persona 5 closely, during which it suffered multiple delays, pushing the estimated original release date back by literally years. Atlus apologised to fans for the delays but made assurances this was done in order to ensure the game would be as perfect as could be.
As frustrating as this was it allowed me to, perhaps foolishly, believe there would only be one, complete version of Persona 5.
Fast forward to 2017 and after multiple delays Persona 5’s release was imminent. Such was my anticipation that I had taken the, for me unprecedented, choice to pre-order the digital version at full price in order to preload the game so I could play it as soon as humanly possible. I’ve not done that for any game before or since.
In the end I found Persona 5 to be a mild disappointment. Not in terms of the presentation or mechanics. Those were the best the series has seen. But I didn’t gel with the story or fall in love with the cast of characters as much as I did with Persona 3 and 4. I tend to agree with suggestions that the English translation wasn’t as strong as the preceding games, resulting in a lot of unnatural feeling and drawn-out dialogue. Nevertheless, my least favourite Persona title is still a phenomenal game.
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