Persona 3 FES Review

Every now and then, I review a game and shortly after regret what I said about it. Of course, by then it’s too late to do anything other than post in the comments and hope someone reads it. It’s rare, but it happens. What’s even rarer is a developer putting out a new version of a game different enough to warrant a new review, allowing me to correct my earlier one. Thanks to Atlus, that’s just what I get to do with Persona 3 FES.

When I played the original Persona 3, I was still new to any Shin Megami Tensei game, and non-D&D or non-FF-inspired RPGs in general. I found the game fun, but a little too much for non-hardcore RPG fans. It wasn’t until later that I realized those very people would become hardcore RPG fans if they gave the game a shot, as I did in my second playthrough. (Which was all due to a friend telling me to play it a second time, but to take my time with it.)

Persona 3’s story was even better than I first thought, and the gameplay even more entertaining. Suffice it to say, I learned too late that I was wrong. Like I said, it happens.

So I’ve admitted to that, and now I’m sure you want to know what FES has to offer, and if it’s worth buying, even if you’ve already played (and beaten) Persona 3. Short answer: yes. Long answer: keep reading.

In regards to the core Persona 3 game and story, a few changes have been made across the board. Students move during their day to day lives, roughly 40 new personas have been added, and a lot of tiny little tweaks have been implemented which just make the game smoother. If you already beat the game, you can also transfer your save file into FES and regain a good portion of what you earned the first time through.

The reason most people will buy FES, however, isn’t the minor tweaks: it’s The Answer. Taking place after the so-so ending of Persona 3, The Answer…well, it’s aptly named, I’ll give it that. Taking a page from Groundhog Day, the characters in the game relive the same day over and over, and it’s all thanks to the Abyss of Time, which somehow appears below their dorm. Obviously with something of an anomaly there, it’s up to you to go and figure out what’s going on.

Like the tower, the Abyss is split into multiple randomized levels filled with random enemies. Unlike the regular Persona 3 game, this latter epilogue portion focuses entirely on the battles and advancing the story. That means no more social interaction, no link building, and absolutely no leaving the dorm. Fortunately, the story’s twists and turns and the new ending of The Answer more than make up for the shrotcomings of eliminating half the gameplay elements in Persona 3.

If you haven’t played Persona 3 yet and even moderately like RPGs, give it a shot. If you played the original and are unhappy with the way things ended, consider picking up FES as it does a much better job wrapping everything up. At a low price, you can’t beat getting one of the better PS2 RPGs and what’s essentially its sequel in one package.

RPGs like Persona 3 FES don’t come along very often. Atlus took a game which was already a fantastic one, added some new features, polished the rough edges, and sent it back out to an eager audience who could never get their hands on the original title. It’s a must-own for any PS2 RPG fan, and a must-play for anyone who took the trip through school the first time around. In this case, it’s a good thing to repeat a year in school.


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Author: Brendon Lindsey View all posts by

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