13 Years Later, Atlus’ Remake Still Parties Like It’s 1997

When Atlus originally released “Persona” on the Sony Playstation in 1997, it was largely considered a sleeper hit, acclaimed mainly for its unique story and setting.

Over 10 years later however, its slightly revamped remake on the PSP puts you to sleep.

In spite of polished graphics, improved loading times, better localization and added anime scenes, this is one title that hasn’t aged well at all and is only for those who fell in love with it the first time around.

Following a band of teenagers on a deeply philosophical and spiritual journey, “Persona” features the type of story that is easy to get lost in, even for intellectual gamers. Regardless of the improved dialogue (the original’s translation often made the game hard to follow) there are questions presented pondering life that many gamers would never ask themselves outside of it. Nevertheless, the modern-day setting and relatable characters help make the topics presented a bit less heady.

Aside from the complex story, the real problem with “Persona” is the camera. While maneuvering around rooms works well in a three-quarter overhead view,  dungeon-crawling, in first-person, is a hot mess.

Feeling like you’re stuck in a maze, it’s almost impossible to escape the claustrophobic feeling you’ll get while walking around in this game.

It worked 20 years ago with games like “Shining in the Darkness” for the Sega Genesis and even for this one when it was first released, but when it’s all said and done, because of the shoddy camera, exploration is an utter bore and an inescapable chore.

Add in a crazy amount of battles in one of the zaniest random encounter engines ever and it’s safe to say that this title best belonged on the dust-covered shelf it’s been laying on.

While the added cinemas do an excellent job of bringing out the story and the improved loading times speed up would could be a tiresome experience, they are not redeeming enough qualities to make this game worthwhile for anyone who hasn’t played the original.

With that being said, even fans of the original will find something unfulfillable here.

All in all, it doesn’t matter if the battle system is solid and there’s plenty of game to be played here either. Simply put, like a pack of pogs, “Persona” is best remembered as the game it was when it was released and not what it is now- an obsolete homage to a great era of gaming and a reminder of how far the RPG has come over the last decade.

About Patrick Hickey Jr. 9738 Articles
Patrick Hickey Jr. is the Founder, Editor-in-Chief, Master Jedi and Grand Pooh-bah of ReviewFix.com and is the author of the book, "The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews with Cult and Classic Video Game Developers," from leading academic and non-fiction publisher McFarland and Company. He is currently the Assistant Director of the Journalism Program at Kingsborough Community College and is a former News Editor at NBC Local Integrated Media and a National Video Games Writer at the late Examiner.com. He has also had articles and photos published in The New York Times, The New York Daily News, Complex and The Syracuse Post-Standard. Love him. Read him.

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