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The Persona series are video games that have mostly been released on Sony devices, dating way back to 1996. However, that is set to change with the 25th Anniversary of the series. Atlus has announced that they will be releasing 3, 4 and 5 on other devices so that more people get a chance to experience this masterpiece.
The first Persona was released on September 20, 1996, to Japanese audiences only. From Persona 2, the series started having regular releases on Sony devices, including the PlayStation 2, PSP, and PS Vita.
For the 25th Anniversary, Persona 3, 4 and 5 are being released on more devices. Including Xbox, PC and the Nintendo Switch. In my opinion, without playing the new versions, the Switch will be the most enjoyable version. This is because it’s such an easy game to pick up and play. Saving is possible at all times.
What is a Persona?
A Persona is a true self. It manifests itself as a creature and gives its user special abilities and attributes. Most people can only have one Persona so are limited to their strengths and weaknesses. But the main character of each instalment can have up to a limit. They can also use the Blue Velvet room to combine Personas to create new ones.
You Have to be Social
In all three, Persona 3,4, and 5, you have to be social and get to know other characters inside and outside your current party. Increasing your social bond with these individuals or groups increases the strength of a particular type of Persona.
With bonds with your party, they receive bonuses to their Personas. Such as new skills or even abilities such as reviving teammates. Some Personas can even transform into an evolved version of themselves which is stronger.
Persona 3: FES
Persona 3 takes place in a world where people lose their apathy during the Dark Hour. This is the 25th hour of the day which only certain people can experience including you and your high school friends.
Those that become victims of the Dark Hour suffer from Apathy Syndrome, which simplistically means that they lose all interest in life and fall into a trance.
You form a group called SEES to investigate the effects of the Dark Hour and to prevent it from happening again by battling monsters using your Personas.
To summon the Personas, the party has to shoot themselves in the head. A very odd design choice and one I’m glad they haven’t repeated.
Persona 4: Golden
The best instalment of the series so far. In Persona 4, the main character moves in with his uncle and niece during the school term as his parents are constantly travelling for work. Not even before we start. The main character wakes up in the Blue Velvet Room. Where Igor, one of the room’s inhabitants, tells the main character that next year he will have to sign a contract to save people from a mysterious event.
It isn’t long until the first incident occurs. A woman goes missing and is later found dead in an odd position. This is shortly followed by another in the exact same circumstances. Eventually, the main character makes friends, and one of them also goes missing. By freak accident, your character discovers he can go inside a TV and into another world. With your new friends, you go on to investigate it, and your investigation begins.
I loved this game and it was my first foray into the world of Persona. I have recently started playing it again and was enjoying it even on a second play-through.
Persona 5: Royal
Now I did initially rent Persona 5 a few years ago and well I didn’t enjoy it as much as I wanted to.
You’re a high school student who has been transferred to a new school. Using a mobile phone app you and your friends go on adventures to reshape the hearts of corrupt adults in a position to change the living conditions of their victims.
I will be giving it another go in the future either on the Switch or even on Steam.
I covered Persona 6 in another post which you can check out here.
I’m looking forward to playing all three games again. Though I may schedule some time in between them to take a break from the Persona formula.