That was a wise investment.
|Gosh, that'd be swell! You think we could go|
steady? Maybe we could hang out at the
malt shop and get an egg creme...
(Image courtesy of Games-Open.com)
However, a funny thing happens a couple of hours after the game begins. You discover that there's a mysterious time just after midnight (no, not Fourth Meal), when dangerous shadows roam the city and most of the populace sleeps peacefully in coffins. You're one of the "lucky" ones who remains awake during the Dark Hour, which means it's your job to hunt down the creatures of the night with the aid of a ghostly partner called a Persona.
|The combat system from the expanded|
Playstation 2 version, Persona 3: FES.
(Image from ugnnultragamingnewsnetwork.com)
Enemies roam the tower, which you can either avoid or challenge in turn-based battles. You can sometimes take out your inky adversaries with ordinary attacks, but when swords and arrows can't do the job, you'll need a helping hand from your Persona. Just stick a gun to your temple and pull the trigger (really, I will cover this later) and an avenging spirit swoops down to make short work of your enemies. If you score a critical hit, you may even be able to team up with your friends for a cartoonish three-way smackdown, complete with dust clouds and enough onomatopoeia for a season of the old Batman television show.
As you'd expect, beating enemies earns your three ghost-busting teens experience points, which strengthen their abilities. However, you may also earn a tarot card which makes your Persona stronger, or an entirely new Persona which you can fuse with other spirits for a powerful hybrid. It's an involved process, and you'll likely be throwing together Personae in the Velvet Room for hours until you've discovered all one hundred and forty of them.
|I... just don't see the need for this.|
(Image courtesy of BlogCritics.org)
Even with that unwelcome touch and graphics that are starting to show the PSP's age, Persona 3 Portable is a great way to while away the dark hours of your own day. At five dollars, it's hard to resist, even if you're not especially eager to relive the high school drama of your teen years.