Few months back, I finished the PSP game, Persona 3 Portable. I never got to fully finish it before because I always felt that I didn’t do well enough in the game. After going through three new games, I finally figured out what I should be doing in order to have a gaming experience that I would appreciate. In short, after 124 hours of gameplay, I finished Persona 3 Portable under the female main character. Now, most gamers would say that finishing Persona 3 Portable under the female main character only doesn’t equate to the whole experience. My rebuttal to that would be P3P is different from the other Persona 3 games because of the female main character. I finished the male character route when I played Persona 3 FES: The Journey. While I could talk about my experience under Persona 3 FES (P3F), I haven’t completed its experience because I haven’t finished The Answer. Thus, I shall talk about P3P.
There exists an hour between the current day and the next, which is called the Dark Hour. The Dark Hour is the driving force behind the game. Persona 3 Portable (P3P) is set in the city of Iwatodai, a city built and managed by the Kirijo group. A school funded by the same group is named Gekkoukan High School, which is where most of the game takes place. The main protagonist transfers to that city with reasons never mentioned during the plot line. However, it is enough to know that the protagonist has an important mission when he transfers there.
When playing using the female main character (fem!MC), there are a couple of things worth noticing. It is possible to be a pedophile in the game because of a certain social link’s lover’s route, but in general, the social links are differ greatly. Another is that the creators of the game are sexist. Finally, the battle style of P3P is different from that of P3F.
The amazing thing about playing under different genders is the social links. One would expect that only the gender would’ve changed in the game. However, out of the all the social links, eight links differ in characters. Though it is expected that in the Chariot Arcana that the gender of the sports teammate would change, the other social links change completely. To accommodate a lover’s route for the fem!MC, the Justice, Star, & Moon arcana changed its characters to those that the fem!MC worked with under the SEES team. However, Junpei Iori isn’t included in that list because he is deemed as the male best friend every female needs. Junpei replaces Kenji under the magician arcanum. What I didn’t expect was that the game makers decided to keep the social links with the female SEES members intact. I would’ve preferred that the fem!MC could have more outside interaction. However, the interaction of the fem!MC with her social links has more depth than that of the male!MC.
On my second point of discussion, I noticed that the fem!MC can only wield a naginata. No matter what one does, the fem!MC is stuck with a naginata. This is not the case for the male!MC because he is able to wield all styles of weapons. The game tries to project that males are more adept than females, but I think that’s jumping to conclusions to quickly. While females may not be as good as males when wielding weapons, that doesn’t directly mean they are unable to wield any other weapon. Analyzing it in a non-sexist perspective, I think that the naginata is supposed to represent elegance because it takes grace to wield the weapon, especially how a naginata is designed.
Finally, P3F & P3P differ in commands allowed and viewing options. On commands, P3P has the option direct commands, but not the command knock down. Direct commands is useful for most gamers because it allows the player to control the actions of the other SEES members during battle. However, there isn’t as much thrill because you, as a player, aren’t on your toes in this mode. P3F doesn’t have the direct commands option, so as a player, you have to learn the skills of assumption and well, luck. While P3F may not have the direct commands option, its attack order option is better than that of P3P. While P3P has direct commands, it only shows the next attacker when you press L1. In P3F, this is not the case. When a player presses L1, he is given the order of all the next attackers. The screen isn’t filled with the word “next” only, but it has numbers that denote who follows after that person. The lack of a direct commands option is made up with the full order of attackers.
Those are the major differences of P3P to P3F. I don’t own the original Persona 3 game. I didn’t see the need to purchase it because I have Persona 3 FES and Persona 3 Portable, which both have The Journey option. No numerical for this game because I’m a big fan of the Persona series.