Persona 3 Reload is a full remake of the original Persona 3 but with all the upgrades in visuals and mechanics that Persona 5 introduced. Here is our Persona 3 Reload Review.
The game was developed by ATLUS and published by SEGA, it was released on February 2, 2024, for the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5 Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC. We want to thank Plaion NL for providing us with a key to review the game.
It’s no secret that I’m a massive Persona fan, but the older Persona games were just not for me due to how dated they looked and felt, even with the ports to modern consoles, but Persona 3 Reload takes all those problems away. The game is a full remake from the ground up in the style of Persona 5 (one of my personal favorite games of all time), so if you loved Persona 5, this is surely a game you will also love. For this review, we were allowed to only talk about up to September in the game, so that was when we stopped playing and started writing the review.
The story of Persona 3 Reload is about a group called S.E.E.S, where the main character you play is grouped with after just arriving in the building. This is mainly due to the MC having a strong power over the Persona and can capture and summon other Persona, something that all the other people in the group can’t. To be honest, in the first 2/3 months it’s not really clear what the goal is, but slowly but surely the pieces start to come together, but then another evil gets introduced that wants to stop you from taking down the origin of the shadows.
Shadows are the enemies that you will come across in the Tartarus, and the Tartarus is this big maze at the school that only gets active during the Dark Hour. The Dark Hour is basically hour 25 in the day, but only certain people that have a Persona can actually do stuff during that time, all other people in the world get transformed into coffins and don’t notice anything at that time. Sometimes people do wake up at that time and hear a voice, the voice lures people in the Tartarus and then they get lost. In between exploring the Tartarus, you can also save people who got lost in there for some extra rewards.
The game is massive, and its story has so many details to it and things with it, but it also has some side stories you need to do during the game that are crucial to getting stronger and making the Tartarus a bit easier for you. These are Social links and for those missions, you just need to talk to people and spend some time with them to increase the Social Link Rank. The stories have a pretty big variety, but some of the people you meet are pretty terrible, from a “gourmet king” to a guy who sells things on TV, but their stories are interesting and somehow they managed to give terrible people a great and memorable story. To help you do these vaster you can have a Persona in your team of the same class.
Battles feel smooth and fast, there are a lot of them, but none really feels like you spend too much time on and there are so many different enemies that it is also kind of fun to make them last a bit longer to try and figure out the weaknesses to just take them down even faster the next time you see that same enemy. Not only is it smooth, but visually very pleasing, each character and attack all has their own animation and with their ultimate attacks, they just went all out. But this is only in the battle areas, you also have the life simulator where you just chill, go to school, build connections, and improve your skills.
The main gameplay is just so different from the dark-hour gameplay, and it’s just very chill and laid-back. You can pick and choose what you wanna do that day, but it does have consequences because if you do some random useless stuff, you will lose valuable time that you could have spent getting skills up or making an important connection. So finding a good balance to do everything can take a bit of work, but the game also added an online network where you can see what other people did to guide you in the right direction.
One thing that I absolutely love are the Anime cut-scenes that they made for the game, it just adds so much character to an already amazing game and just the general overhaul to the Persona 5 style is done perfectly. Another thing I really love is the UI and menus, they all just look so cool that I never really minded opening the menu unlike in other games where it’s just so boring, but here it just adds that Persona flair. Finally, there is the music, if there is any franchise that doesn’t miss with its themes it’s Persona. With Persona 5 I already had a ton of songs in my playlists due to how amazing they were, and now I get to add a few more. When you start a battle you just instantly get a song that makes you hyped and the stage is set.
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