Repost: Shin Megami Tensei: Persona Review

Having never played a Shin Megami Tensei title, but hearing a lot of positive reactions to the series, I was interested in playing this port of the first title. Granted the game is a little old, but the original localization of the game left a lot out and probably confused a lot of American gamers.

This updated and vastly improved edition of the game is a great way to experience the origins of the series, as it was meant to be.

Shin Megami Tensei: Persona plays like an old school RPG title complete with random encounters and a in-depth customization system. Characters can be equipped with much more their their fists, allowing for weapons and guns to assist in the fights with demons. The Persona is also an important tool in combat because their set of attacks or defensive moves can impact a battle much quicker than any Final Fantasy summon.

Obviously the graphics don’t hold up to current standards, even with other titles on the PlayStation Portable, but the story and combat are among some of the best.

One problem with Shin Megami Tensei: Persona is that it doesn’t lend itself to the pickup-and-play style that other PSP titles have. Sections can vary in length depending on travel and random encounters so it is better to play when there is a lot of time to sit and grind through levels.

I did find the Americanization of the characters a little off though. In the beginning introductions, the characters are named by their Japanese romanized names, but quickly given more American-friendly names when it is convenient. Though the voice acting in the title was much more impressive than many of the dubbed anime that has flooded the United States shores.

Movement in the game is also a little strange because travel inside buildings in through a first person perspective, but entering rooms is a three/fourths view and moving in those rooms is relative to the room itself, so moving is a little awkward.

As for combat, it is a pure representation of the turn based fighting that RPGs used to be known for. A nice addition was the automatic combat mode where characters can be assigned specific moves and combat animations can also be sped up.

Shin Megami Tensei: Persona is an old game and the visuals and gameplay elements show that off. But the story and updated localization make this game a great title to have to experience something old that still deserves attention.

Review Copy Provided By Publisher