Persona 3 and 4 come to consoles with a Spanish translation and showing why the saga is essential since before the remarkable Persona 5.
Title: Persona 3 Portable and Persona 4 Golden
Number of Players: 1
Platforms: PlayStation 4,Playstation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, PC and Nintendo Switch
In 2017, when the original version of Persona 5 was released, the game was listed as not only one of the best games of the year, but also one of the best JRPGs in its history. Persona, which comes from the Shin Megami Tensei franchise, already had four installments behind it, but it was this fifth, which, either due to its enviable quality, its very particular aesthetics or the time of release, managed to captivate a much larger audience. than usual in the franchise.
Both Sega and Atlus knew how to read this message when they decided to bet on the franchise in western markets, with translations of games like Persona 5 Royal, Soul Hackers 2, Shin Megami Tensei V or the remastering of the third installment. But the fans wanted more Persona, and in the absence of the announcement of a sixth installment, Atlus has decided to release remasters of the other two most popular installments, Persona 3 in its Portable version and Persona 4 in its Golden version, for the first time officially translated to Spanish (credits to the localization team, since they are always the eternal forgotten ones within their own in these productions, from here our thanks for bringing them perfectly translated into our language.
In any case, we are going to describe both games, with their benefits and shortcomings, and then comment on the graphic and musical work of both works.
Persona 3 Portable is the version of the game of the same name that was released in 2009, and which is an improved and different version of the original game released on Playstation 2. Later we will go into this topic since the choice of this version is somewhat tricky in some aspects.
The plot of Persona 3 Portable takes place in a Japanese city called Iwatodai, and follows a group of high school students who unite to fight the “Shadows”, evil beings that appear during the “Dark Hour”, which occurs every midnight. Stillness washes over the town, turning people into coffins and making way for supernatural monsters known as shadows. One night, the protagonist (who in this version can be male or female) is attacked by these shadows. When all seems lost, awaken the power of the heart, the Person of it.
For those who don’t know the franchise, this mixes the exploration of the main dungeon, Tartaro, where we can fight, level up and, at a certain point, defeat different bosses to advance in the main plot, with the student’s day-to-day life. Here we will develop our social ties with all kinds of classmates while learning about their personal stories and this is what will make us grow fond of them, although we will have to choose who to spend time with or whether to dedicate hours to study or other activities that will improve our intelligence, among other aspects. , allowing us to make new decisions that lead to other consequences. The future of the adventure will depend on our links and decisions.
At the playable level, we have to go into the differences between the PS2 version, whether it is the base game or the FES version, and the Portable version, since it has its advantages, but also its drawbacks.
Let’s start with the good, Persona 3 Portable allows us, in addition to playing the original story, to choose a female protagonist, this not only implies changing the skin and design, but it will affect the story, with slight changes in the dialogues and different social links, which adds a very interesting replay effect.
On the other hand, the combat system has been improved with elements that were already part of the later Persona 4, such as being able to directly control all team members in combat or other quality of life improvements that make the playable experience better.
On the bad side, the game, being a version for PSP, a portable console with more limitations, cuts a lot of content. Animated cutscenes are either removed by static versions of them or by recreations made with the game engine. On the other hand, the direct exploration of the title on a day-to-day basis is lost, instead these will be static backgrounds through which we will move a cursor and click on the places where events occur, turning the game into something more similar to a visual novel with touches Turn-based RPG, which loses immersion.
The biggest loss is the mode called “The Answer”, an extra story located after the end of the title and which had a new story and several dozen extra hours. The ideal would have been to move Persona 3 FES with the Portable extras, but we assume that they only wanted to move one version and have opted for the one with the most playable improvements, sacrificing other content along the way.
Persona 4 Golden, however, is the definitive version of the fourth installment of this Spin off series. Originally released in 2012 for Playstation VITA, this time the game takes us to a small Japanese rural town, where our protagonist will arrive to spend a year with some relatives, here, in addition to the usual school life, he must solve with his classmates what He will learn about a series of serial murders that seem to have to do with the mysterious “Midnight Channel”, which shows mysterious images on rainy days at the aforementioned time. Our group will end up going inside the television to go through different dungeons and try to solve said mystery.
Talking about the structure of the game would be redundant, since it is very similar to that of the previous game, we will once again have days in which we will decide who to spend time with or activities such as studying while we will be able to access the world of television to go through various dungeons of different themes to defeat the boss on duty and gradually solve the mystery, which will also have several endings depending on our social ties or the decisions we make.
This version has new social links, animated scenes and extra dungeons, as well as a rebalancing of the combat system, and luckily this time we don’t lose anything in return, we will be able to freely explore all of Inaba and its surroundings and we will enjoy numerous anime scenes, in a game that already began to stand out more in its unique aesthetic and with a slightly less gloomy tone than the third installment, which kept more pieces of Shin Megami Tensei in terms of tone.
Let’s talk now about these remasters. In both cases, the games have a resolution increase to adapt to current screens, both have also seen their frame rate increased to 60, so they feel more fluid than ever. Sometimes both games have a sort of overly exaggerated blur effect that can be a bit annoying, but we’ve rarely noticed it, especially in cutscenes in Persona 4 Golden. On the other hand, Persona 3 Portable fares worse in this regard, perhaps because it came from a previous console. The fixed backgrounds have been rescaled with AI, sometimes in a somewhat crude way, many times noticing exactly in which parts it has made strange effects, also, for some reason the sound feels more canned, as if it were more compressed than in its original version, perhaps due to some kind of failure to adapt the game.
For the rest, we are dealing with versions that are practically identical to the originals and without any extra content, although the Spanish translation is appreciated, which knows how to adapt the different hints and jokes that are so Japanese that the franchise offers, as well as maintaining the terminology to which the franchise has already accustomed us.
The possibility of accessing two games as important as Persona 3 Portable and Persona 4 Golden is something very grateful to Sega and Atlus, allowing us to know why the saga already had so many followers before the boom that was Persona 5, and that is that both are great games (server has fallen in love with the fourth installment and its characters), both games are great JRPG references and despite the fact that with Persona 3 perhaps a better job could have been done (although as I write these lines there are rumors of a possible remake) It’s still a very decent game. Of course, fans of Persona and Shin Megami Tensei are in luck, let’s hope that one day they will be encouraged to do something similar with the first two installments, something more complicated but seeing these cases, it is no longer impossible.
Author: Victor Gonzalez Valle
Region Playstation editor since October 2014. Fan of JRPGs, horror and almost any kind of genre. He writes about Anime, manga and books as well as video games. I love learning even the smallest details about games, companies and developments. I love to write!