RPGamer > Impression - Shin Megami Tensei: Persona

Shin Megami Tensei: Persona - Impression

Shin Megami Tensei: Persona
Developer: Atlus
Publisher: Atlus
Release Date: 09.22.2009

See all screenshots
See all movies
See all packaging
See all propaganda
Complete Game Info
Discuss on Message Board

Persona 1 + It's Actually Playable = Good Idea

I'm a huge, crazed, biased Shin Megami Tensei fan. Nocturne is my favorite PS2 game, and singlehandedly drew my attention to Atlus as a development studio. The company has deservedly obtained hundreds of my dollars as a result, and I've pre-ordered every Shin Megami Tensei spinoff that has come stateside since. I even went back and bought Persona 2: Eternal Punishment because I couldn't get enough of the series. Understand what it means, then, when I say that I never had any interest in Persona: Revelations. Everyone I know who played the game hated it, usually because of crippling interface and pacing problems. You can figure out for yourself how genuinely elated I was when the Persona remake was announced.

"First, and most importantly, the interface and pacing issues have been completely fixed."

When I think of RPG remakes, I think of Final Fantasy and of the remake versus port argument. Square Enix tends to overhaul the graphics, retranslate the text, leave the gameplay and story the same, play a fife and we all dance and call it a remake. What we call ports tend to do the opposite — tweaking the gameplay to improve the experience while hardly touching the visuals and sound. Atlus did something in between for Persona. First, and most importantly, the interface and pacing issues have been completely fixed. I cannot personally attest to how awful these problems were in the PlayStation version, but I can say that the PSP version has a clear map, you can't get lost in dungeons, and everything moves at a fast pace as you run through them. Combat animations can be turned off to increase the game speed even more. Unless you think battles in the Dragon Quest series move too quickly, you'll be thankful for this.

But before the clean interface was appreciated, something else popped out to me — the soundtrack is excellent. It sounds great in the game, but like Meguro's other works, it's easy to listen to outside of the game as well. Remember, Atlus USA was dropping complementary SMT soundtracks into game cases years before the Atlus Spoils program started, and for good reason. There is more diversity in Persona's music than in other SMT titles, ranging from the sort of modern rock/rap/pop music you'd expect to more atmospheric tunes and even a couple lighthearted, goofy songs.

Atlus USA's wordsmiths did a good job figuring out an accurate, positive way to describe the graphics in the remake — I see the word "refined" on the company's website for the game. The graphics are indeed "refined," but still not very good. When I got into my first battle and a persona erupted out of thin air all undetailed and sporting two or three frames of animation, it made me yearn for the wonderful demon artwork and animation in all the PS2 SMTs. But when it comes down to it, this remake focuses on fixing what was wrong with the original version — the interface and outright playability of the game — and I certainly have no complaints there. Having the original's composer double as the remake's director certainly had a positive impact how it sounds, too. Right now, when I see Persona on the PSP and I think back to Final Fantasy IV DS, I prefer the way Atlus handles remakes over Square Enix's strategy. That is my initial impression anyway. I'd rather have a remake fix what is broken than merely paint everything in prettier colors. Now I can get down to seeing how this old SMT spinoff compares to the many ones I've been enjoying over the last few years.

© 1998-2017 RPGamer All Rights Reserved
Privacy Policy