The Gamer Conversations – Per…so…na

The title refers to this cutscene:

Fair warning, expect more Persona posts in the future.

On Wednesday, January 20, Atlus announced the North America release of Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 Portable (P3P) for PSP (Boxart and Opening movie at the bottom of this post). Now, this is a significant announcement for me and Gabrielle (henceforth shortened to “Gabby”), because we met in 2007 thanks to our love for the original P3.

As we are living in an age where information is easily obtainable thanks to the Internet, she and I have been keeping a watchful eye on Atlus’ releases on both sides of the Pacific. So when the news broke, last August, that there would be a PSP version of one of our favorite RPGs, Gabby and I started guessing when Atlus USA would bring it over.

Then Wednesday, she sent me a text saying “Sooner than I thought. P3P coming July ’10.” I replied to this with “I really need a [PSP]Go then.” (I traded my PSP in because the newer games needed a higher firmware than I had and at the time, I couldn’t upgrade and continue to use my PSP. The Go however, has the ability to be controlled natively with a DualShock 3. This does away with my need to have custom firmware, RemoteJoy, Xpadder and a computer just to play.)

The following conversations occurred from Thursday morning up til Saturday night. (As with last time, my replies are in bold, while hers are in quotes.)

Have you guys ever had used Go’s?


Why am I not surprised?

“lol Because nobody’s buying them new from us, really. And for what you get for it on trade in, it’s nowhere near worth it. That, and the one kid who I know bought one from us, he broke his so he just bought a 3000. Apparently, don’t drop it while it’s slid open or else it’ll break right in 2.”

I wonder if I can find one from a friend…


I really doubt they dropped the price and 250 is a bit much.

“They most definitely didn’t drop the price. Something that made me curious was that a couple of weeks ago, we dropped our used price for the Go, despite the fact that I don’t think that many are getting traded in. So I don’t understand the motive behind that, because if they dropped the price, chances are they dropped the trade-in value as well. They’re not even offering used ones on the website.”

New is still 250?

“Yep. That price hasn’t moved.”

Welp, I have til July 7th to get a Go. [We know that we usually get games a day after its listed release date, because that is the shipping date.] “July 6” riiight…

“It’ll probably get pushed back a week or two.”

This is Atlus.

“That seems to be the Atlus trend as of late. ‘Let’s add something! It’ll take a week!’

lol But in all honesty, Atlus’ delays are damn worth it.

“My boss is plotting getting his PSP now. Since they announced it. And I know when I tell [name removed] tonight, he’ll probably start saving up for it.”


“He was going to reserve SMT: Persona just for the soundtrack. I was like ‘…I can burn it for you.'”

“Reserving a game for a system you don’t have just for the soundtrack… We still have like…7 copies. Even if he waits until July, we’ll still have that one, too.”

I -AM- biased: I’m getting it because it’s P3.

“Same here. I <3 me some P3.”

So do I.

I will admit though, if they did make one, I’d buy P4P too.

“I’d probably lose my mind.”

XD Why?

“Because I love P4. I want to have P4‘s babies.”


Honestly, I hope P3P‘s manual control is -an option-.

“I’m sure it is. One I’ll be utilizing as little as possible.”

Unlike some people, I’ve had no problem with P3‘s AI.


“I’m sure most of those people bitching either didn’t make it through the game and are trying to blame the AI or had a harder time than they feel like they should have and are blaming the AI.”

“Regardless, I made it through the game three times and the AI has never screwed me over. This is the only game I’ve ever seen where if one member uses an attack and it doesn’t work, they announce that to the rest of the party and NO ONE ELSE USES IT TOO!


“The AI is smart. That’s all there is to it. They did a good job.”

Semi-Learning AI, I call it.

“Precisely. They remember what’s worked on enemies they’ve fought before, use trial and error on new enemies.”

“Only thing I’ve seen is that, at least in P4, characters don’t use their buffs and debuffs as much as they should. At least mine never did. Chie never touched Power Charge or Tarukaja the entire time she’s had it unless I made her.”

*Manualed P4*

“I only used them once I got up into the tougher battles where strategy was needed.”

“Persona 3 introduced a revolutionary social element to role-playing games,” explained Aram Jabbari, Manager of Public Relations and Sales at Atlus. “Players weren’t just progressing through a story; they were a part of it, and their decisions and the relationships they chose to foster or neglect became a powerful complement to the game’s satisfying combat.[…]”



P3P will be fucking EVIL. “Why?”? P3 on the go? Yeah…

I’ll play it on the bus…

“Hell yeah.”

Even if the story is 99% the same, I’ll still dive in.

“Me too.”



“Maximum Persona 3β€”The RPG that captured critics and fans alike achieves a new level of excellence. Built upon an enhanced version of the game, players will find numerous significant improvements, including the addition of Skill Cards, part-time jobs, a total of five difficulty settings (ranging from the newcomer-friendly “beginner” to the ultra-hardcore “maniac”), and most importantly, the ability to directly control your teammates in battle.”

Enhanced!! Which, in my head, says The Journey (FES)! If The Journey isn’t “enhanced,” I don’t know WTF is.

(*I read down that page*)

CLARIFICATION! YES! “For clarity, all that P3P is missing from FES is The Answer, but has all of the content and improvements from FES’ version of The Journey.”



I was hoping it was The Journey. I mean, I’d still play vanilla P3 too, but…

“Yeah, I would play through it again if it was vanilla, but I’d be nowhere near as out of my mind about it.”

“I knew it was gonna be Journey+ from what I was seeing that they added to it. There was no way they weren’t gonna make it worth it. There’s even P4 cameos in it. That severely kicks up the fangirl in me.”

Um, Gabby? P3 period, is worth it lol

“lol I mean REALLY worth buying a third time.”

For me, 5th.

“I know they’ve said there won’t be a P4:FES, but I fucking want a P4P after this!”


But yeah, I bought vanilla P3, three times. One copy to play, one which is STILL in the shrink-wrap, and one as a gift.

“I…too bought it three times. Once for myself, then traded it in and re-bought it later when it had dropped to like…14.99 used, and the other as a gift.”

And FES once.

“I bought FES twice. Once on day 1 and then a replacement copy, which I bought because I lent my initial copy to a friend and was afraid I wasn’t going to get it back. He then bought that copy off of me.”

So, P3P will be your 6th… Wow.

Plz Atlus, Spoil us

“I know, right?! That shirt is 100% cottony sex.”

lol Yeah.

“Even though the year will be half over by the time it comes out, I’ll even take the damn calendar!”

Same here!

“I could feasibly only see them giving us, if anything out of that bunch, the mini-posters, which I’ll also gladly take.”

They could probably feasibly give us the shirts too. I mean, while not Spoils, they did have P4 shirts…


[Later that night, I go over what I’d written with her.] “As we are living in an age where information is easily obtainable thanks to the Internet, she and I have been keeping a watchful eye on Atlus’ releases on both sides of the Pacific. So when the news broke, last August, that there would be a PSP version of one of our favorite RPGs, Gabby and I started guessing when Atlus USA would bring it over.”

I said ‘one of’ because I think P4 outranks 3 in your books.

“It indeed does. Like…they’re equal for different reasons. But in terms of comparing the two, I just prefer 4‘s storyline, and a few of the minor adjustments they made to it in comparison to 3, ie: your options for furthering Social Links (S. Links).”

P4 = MUCH more human.

“Very much so. Everything was so much more believable. And they didn’t leave a lot of holes in the storyline.”

More opportunities to further your S. Links too.

“Yeah. I liked the ‘make lunch for your friends’ aspect, because it allowed you to boost the S. Link within its level without taking up your whole day.”


“You could boost the link so that when you did see that person next, you could level up and still do a different SL after school if you wanted.”

“With P3, you had one shot during that day.”


“I also find it entertaining that if you max out a S. Link with a girl in 4, she will still come and cockblock your date with another girl.”


Yukiko and Rise rolled up on so many of my dates with Ai. Ayane even showed up for one. Completely screwed my night.”

That’s funny as hell!

“It was. She was so mad! And Rise was mad! And Ai was mad! And Yosuke was there, but there was nothing he could do.”


Andrew Monkelban

Andrew Monkelban is an avid gamer and writer, who has been featured in Second Skin, and on Wired's GameLife and The Escapist. He is also really into the Japanese entertainment scene. Even though he has Cerebral Palsy, he does not let it stop him from doing what he loves, although he's always on the look-out for technology that would help him with difficult tasks. He came to PopTen in the Summer of 2009, where he's now able to combine his passions.

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