|System: PSP||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Atlus||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Atlus||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Sep. 22, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
However, the in-game graphics didn't look like they were touched up as much as the cutscenes and, unfortunately, this is where Persona shows its age the most. Most of the levels are presented as floating stages, which look like dioramas against a non-descript background. Once you enter a dungeon area, the view then switches to first-person. While this helps to get rid of the diorama effect, it makes precise movement tough, and it can be quite jarring if you are trying to navigate using a certain path (like one that will net you fewer random encounters). Still, for a cleaned-up PlayStation game, Persona doesn't look terrible, and despite the lack of detail and the weird first-person moments, Persona still looks satisfactory on the PSP.
One of the biggest complaints about the original localization of Persona was that it cut a fairly substantial quest from the game, known as the Snow Queen quest. This quest allows the user to completely abandon the game's original goal (finding the evil corporate mastermind and reversing his plans) and instead gives you an alternate goal, to reverse the damage done to your school by an ancient mask. This quest, while it doesn't have a lot to do with the game's plot at-large was sorely missed in the original, but fans will certainly enjoy its reinstatement in the PSP version.
As far as the sound goes, Persona uses a mix of old and new elements to create an excellent audio scheme. All of the main characters are voiced during cinema scenes, and the voice actors do a great job of conveying the teenage drama present in the storyline. The music has been repurposed from the original title and mixed with some new tunes by original composer, Shoji Meguro. Some new vocal tracks have also been added, featuring performances by Persona 3 vocalist Yumi Kawamura. The sound in this game is quite excellent - it's truly a pleasure to listen to.
The original Persona was a great game when it was released. However, some incredibly poor localization choices turned it into a too-easy, incomplete, and at times, nonsensical experience. However, more than a decade later, the game has been re-localized and given a facelift. The result is a highly polished JRPG that is a must-play for fans of the Persona series. Although the visuals do look a little dated, the gameplay is as solid as the most modern entries in the series and certainly won't disappoint fans or newcomers.
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Staff Contributor