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PSP Review – Shin Megami Tensei: Persona

November 15, 2009 Written by Joseph Peterson

Persona Logo

Atlus has been one of the top game developers for some time now.  The only problem is that their games become extremely rare, and sometimes despite how good they are, they do not become huge commercial successes.  Many people became huge fans of the Persona series when it was on the PS2, but they couldn’t experience the first two titles because they are on the PS1 and are extremely hard to find.  So when a revamped Persona was announced for the PSP, many gamers were beyond excited to experience the origins of this great series.

This remake has a couple of new things differing from the original PS1 version.  The graphics have been updated to make the game look a bit better, the soundtrack has been revamped, and expanded cutscenes have been added that have a cell shaded feel to them.  The long awaited Snow Queen mission has also been added to this version of the game.

The game revolves around several students at St. Hermelin High School who are trying to save the city from the plot of an evil corporation.  To do this, they fight with the special ability that they possess of summoning Personas, creatures that are attack encountered enemies.  As players progress through the game, both their abilities and the abilities of their personas will upgrade.


The gameplay of Persona is taken from classic JRPG titles.  It is turn based, and the user must think before acting.  The gameplay is slow overall, so players who are not JRPG fans should definitely stay away from this title.  It is a classic JRPG with classic JRPG gameplay.  It doesn’t really do anything to revitalize the genre, especially considering the original title came out in 1996.

Players have the ability to interact with the monsters encountered.  This can lead to great benefits for the party.  One thing that is interesting is the perspective of the title.  Players move around the streets to choose a destination, and explore destinations and buildings from a first person perspective.  There are random encounters as players explore the areas.  Players can also enter rooms to engage characters in dialogue.

The controls as mentioned earlier are standard for a JRPG.  Within the battles, players choose actions for the party to take, and then those actions play out in turn-based format.  Persona may not change things up too much within the genre, but it certainly does things right.  It is a classic and fulfilling JRPG.


Graphically the title has been remastered a bit for the PSP release. It looks great for an on-the-go RPG.  Though at times the title can show its age, this mainly occurs within the first person experiences.  The cutscenes are top notch.  They feature a cell shaded look to them and are great to look at.  They fit in with the game’s art style perfectly.

Atlus revamped pretty much everything to remake this title for the handheld.  This includes not only the dialogue, but the music as well.  Many complained of gameplay flaws in the original release of Revelations: Persona, but Atlus has gone out of their way to fix all of that.


Overall, the game is worthy of admission for JRPG fans.  It provides countless hours of gameplay on the go.  The story is top notch, and the gameplay is solid.  Persona will keep players interested from start to end.  Don’t hesitate to give this one a shot.

PlayStation LifeStyle’s Final Score

Classic old school JRPG gameplay

Fantastic story

Soundtrack is top notch

7 out of 10