Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 review

Acing finals and kicking demonic ass - all in a day's work for our hero

GamesRadar+ Verdict


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    rewarding Persona system

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    Intelligent companion AI

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    Incredible sense of style


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    Repetitive dungeon environments

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    Some of your clingy friends

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    Fuuka's inability to shut up

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Persona 3 is easily described in one word: “different.” That might not sound too promising, considering that the connotations of “different” can be either positive or horrible - ever hear someone describe some delicious foodstuff as tasting "different"? Hearing about what makes this RPG so unorthodox might also make a gamer uneasy: Most of your exploring takes place in a single, randomized dungeon; you only have direct control over one party member in battle; you have to manage a simulation of high-school life for a good portion of the game. Any one of those could be a huge turn-off for an RPG fan.

But in the case of Persona 3, different is good.

The game begins with a young boy, Insert Name, transferring to a new high school and getting shuffled into a strange dormitory. Our hero soon discovers that the dorm is actually home to a very special campus club devoted to exterminating demonic beings that spring to life at night. Most humans are unaware of these monstrosities, making them easy prey, but the few that can see the shadows are able summon beings known as "Personas" - physical manifestations of their inner psyche - to fight in combat. How do you bring Personas out? You use a gun-shaped "Evoker" device and shoot yourself in the temples. Yikes. To top it all off, the high school morphs into a frightening tower late at night, which the club members are tasked with exploring.

More info

DescriptionThe newest chapter in the Shin Megami Tensei: Persona series is a fun hybrid of dark RPG and dating sim. Smells like teen spirit - and burning death.
US censor rating"Mature"
UK censor rating""
Release date1 January 1970 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)