> # Welcome to GameGrinOS v1.01 > # How can I help you? > # Press ` again to close
Hello… | Log in or sign up
Persona 3 Reload Review

Persona 3 Reload Review

I am one of those people who totally missed out on the Persona series until this year when I got a chance to try out Persona 5 Tactica on Game Pass. My close friend has always been a huge fan, so I figured it was about time to see what he loved about the Persona titles and what the series was all about. Within the first hour, I quickly realised that Persona 3 was totally different from the Tactica title that I had previously played. There is so much here to delve into that it’s hard to know where to start. Let’s go back to the beginning.

Persona 3 Reload mysteriousboy

Persona 3 Reload is a remake of Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 that was released back in 2006 for the PlayStation 2. Our story takes place at a high school located in the city of Tatsumi, located on Port Island. But before the main character gets to the school, he has to get to the Iwatodai Dorm where he will be staying. We are introduced to our blue-haired high school student at the train station. Unfortunately, I must have been overtired or something at this point because when the game asked me for a first and last name, I automatically put my own name in. This poor student is now known as Alana Dunitz, a suitable name for a teenage guy living on an island that resembles Japan. So now I have to get used to seeing him referred to as Dunitz-kun; it’s so awkward!

Persona 3 Reload leader

Anyway, the station clock shows that it is midnight, and we can see the moon through the skylight at the station; it has turned green. There is blood all over the station floor; you are currently the only one there, and the power goes out. We see a girl with a handgun who is trying to convince herself to pull the trigger. Numerous standing coffins appear; they also appear to be on fire. Our character doesn’t seem too concerned with these odd circumstances; there’s no time to be; you have to get to that dorm before it gets too late.

Persona 3 Reload junpei

Upon arriving at the dorm, you are welcomed by a mysterious boy. To proceed, you need to sign the contract. What exactly does it say? Who knows? But I’m sure we will find out sooner or later. Speaking of finding out, the girl that you saw at the train station is also there. You learn that her name is Yukari Takeba; like you, she is a second-year student, and she has no idea what was on the contract that you signed. What you discover is that signing the paper gives you access to the Velvet Room, where you meet Igor, a guy who looks like Gru mixed with Mr. Burns. This place exists between the dream world and reality, wherein your character is destined to hone your special ability and will require his assistance to do so. You are given a Velvet Key to come back to this place when you need it.

Persona 3 Reload committment

In the dorm, we see that some of the dorm residents have been observing our character while he is sleeping. During the Dark Hour, a hidden hour-long span which occurs every night, ordinary people transform into coffins with no memory of what happened the night before. Your character is able to experience this hidden amount of time without being affected. Since you have this special ability, you are recruited to the Specialised Extracurricular Execution Squad — known as SEES. This group of students investigates this temporal anomaly that only a few people can experience. The SEES members are able to visit a huge tower called Tartarus and destroy the creatures dwelling there, known as Shadows. Once defeated, your team will earn XP to level up themselves along with their Personas. A Persona is a physical manifestation of their psyche, and the crazy part is that to summon them, they need to use an Evoker. These Evokers look a lot like handguns, so whenever you want to summon one, you will essentially shoot yourself in the head. No wonder there is a warning at the beginning of the game about self-harm and suicide, especially if you didn’t know about these scenes before playing.

Persona 3 Reload evoker1

Sleeping in bed will advance time to the next day, so if you are done with everything you need to do, crawl into bed. When you wake up, it’s time for your first day at school. Yukari comes to take you to Gekkoukan High School, she makes sure to take the opportunity to ask you not to tell anyone about what you saw last night. At this point, I’m not sure who I would tell, but I promise to keep my mouth shut. Now we learn how the map works and how you can select your destination. We are able to explore the school and talk to some of the students attending classes. You can’t speak with everyone, but there is a lot that you can chat with if you want to learn more about the people at Gekkoukan. Once you are finished exploring, you head to class 2F to meet your teacher, Ms. Toriumi, and your fellow students. Make sure to pay attention during class because you will be rewarded if you do. Don't sleep; it’s not worth it!

Persona 3 Reload schoolday

Persona 3 Reload feels like a role-playing game mixed with a dating sim. You will be playing through your characters daily life before, during, and after school, trying to build relationships with everyone that you meet, because that will strengthen your Persona in battle. These Social Links you build with your fellow students and people around town will be very beneficial, as they directly impact your time spent battling Shadows and exploring the numerous floors in Tartarus. Some conversations will give you arcana cards, and if they match ones that you already have, they will gain EXP and become stronger.

Persona 3 Reload newbond

Each of the SEES characters on your team has their own collection of Persona to use in battle. Each with numerous types of abilities and attacks that they can use against the Shadow enemy. All enemies, and characters on your team have weaknesses, so you will need to experiment to find out what works the best. Once you do, that attack will be labelled so you know what was most effective. To use your Persona attacks, you will need to spend SP. I tried not to use them too much if I didn’t need to against weaker enemies when a regular attack with my blade or bow would be strong enough to defeat them. This way you won't waste SP with weak moves. Though summoning the Persona and using them looks so damn cool. I especially love the design for the Justice character; she is blindfolded and chained up, but she can still do crazy, strong attacks. You will also have the ability to work with other team members to do a stylish ultimate attack that inflicts a lot of damage to the enemy. If you want to get stronger, upgrade your weapons. This is done at the police station; they sell the weapons that they have confiscated from criminals, so you can arm yourself, along with acquiring armour, accessories, and shoes here.

Persona 3 Reload buy

There are so many systems at play in Persona 3 Reload. At first glance, it may seem incredibly complicated, but they are all connected in some way, which will quickly become second nature. Being rewarded for being social, talking with people, and engaging in activities like going out for ramen or visiting the arcade can improve your Academic, Charm, and Courage stats. This was a new experience for me. I never expected that the act of building relationships could help my character in battle! I'm pretty sure my classmate, Kenji, likes me. We went out for ramen, and next time he wants to tell me his big secret plan. Correction, I totally misread this, he's actually into older women, so maybe me in real life, but not me in the game…

Persona 3 Reload kenjilike

Even if you haven’t had a chance to check out the Persona series like me, this game feels like a great spot to jump in. Atlus has done a wonderful job making this game accessible to new players, with an interesting story, gorgeous visuals, and fun battles to experience. I never felt lost, like there was previous knowledge that I needed to know to enjoy this game. I know some people who have played the original are missing some of the songs from the first game's soundtrack, but since I have no nostalgia for that title, I found the jazzy piano songs great, along with the super catchy battle music you are treated to. Personally, I’m a huge fan. Along with the great soundtrack, the voice acting is also very well done, no matter which language you select for the audio.

Persona 3 Reload arcade

I could go on forever about everything in Persona 3 Reload, but instead, I will say that this is a game that you definitely need to check out. I’ve barely touched on anything here, as it should all be experienced first-hand, and explaining everything would take forever. I now understand the love for this series, and I can’t wait to play more of the titles in this popular series. If you have Game Pass, you should have no excuse not to check out this great game. Though I have to warn you that there is some grinding to improve your levels, and to make money for equipment and for activities like going to the arcade because it’s crazy expensive. At least you can work part-time at the café for some cash! Nonetheless, I promise you that you will be glad that you checked out the game! Just don’t make the mistake of putting your first and last name in, like I did for the character name.

Persona 3 Reload summonpersona

9.50/10 9½

Persona 3 Reload (Reviewed on Xbox Series S)

Excellent. Look out for this one.

Persona 3 Reload is a beautiful-looking game with a great story and interesting characters. There is so much going on here, but it all works together in an immensely satisfying way.

This game was supplied by the publisher or relevant PR company for the purposes of review
Alana Dunitz

Alana Dunitz

Staff Writer

Lover of all games, old and new!

Share this: