Codex Gamicus

Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 Portable and known in Japan as simply Persona (ペルソナ Perusona?), was released for the PlayStation Portable in 2009. It was released in Japan on 29 April 2009, in North America on September 22, 2009 on UMD, and October 1, 2009 on the PlayStation Store as a downloadable title. This remake of the original video game Revelations: Persona includes a redesigned user interface, new cutscenes, multiple difficulty levels, and an arranged soundtrack.


The February 20, 2009 issue of Weekly Famitsu announced that Atlus would be making an enhanced remake of Revelations: Persona for the PlayStation Portable. The remake features a redesigned user interface, new cel-shaded cutscenes, new difficulty level choices, and a new soundtrack composed by Shōji Meguro, who also served as the game's director. The game's user interface was redesigned to accommodate the PlayStation Portable's widescreen display. The original story of Revelations: Persona, as well as the Snow Queen scenario, contain additional dungeon floors not found in the original game, as well as new puzzles.[1]

Atlus U.S.A. announced on February 24, 2009 that the remake would be released in North America as Shin Megami Tensei: Persona, although the final box art has has Shin Megami Tensei P3P: Persona 3 Portable.[2] For its North American release, the localization of the original Persona game was redone from the ground up. The changes made to the North American version, Revelations: Persona, intended to mask the game's Japanese setting, were all reverted for the PSP remake. Some poorly-translated lines from the original localization were retained for humorous purposes. One such line is "Mark danced crazy", seen in the Contact system if the player has Mark dance for an enemy demon. Certain parts of the script steeped in Japanese culture were reworked or removed so as to make more sense to English-speaking players. An example given by Yu Namba, a translator for Atlus, is that of a character who speaks like a 1980s-era Japanese pop star. Namba worked to retain "the 'outdated celebrity' speech style" in translating the character's dialogue, but found it "impossible to do a straight translation."[3]

In addition to rewriting the script, the game's difficulty was rebalanced to enhance the playing experience from the original version. The original North American release of Revelations: Persona was made easier than the Japanese version, by reducing the rate at which the player encounters enemies, but increasing the experience points gained from each encounter. These changes were reverted so as to make the game more difficult and appeal to fans of the series.[4] The North American release of the game includes voice acting in the new cutscenes.[5] The Snow Queen quest, a sidestory removed from Revelations: Persona, has been added to the North American release of Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 Portable.[6]

The game was made available on the European PlayStation Store on August 11, 2010.



Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 Portable has a Metacritic score of 78 based on six reviews;[15] in its time, it was called a sleeper hit.[16] Jeff Gerstmann, then of GameSpot, praised the game for its modern setting and teenage cast, as opposed to the medieval settings of traditional role-playing games.[16] The IGN review stated that Revelations: Persona "is the perfect title for any RPG fan who craves something different."[17] GameInformer considered the game to have broken the mold of role-playing games at the time, adding that "there has never been an RPG as vast as Persona."[18]

Gerstmann was critical of the game's dialogue, which he described as being "in a word, insane" and making "no sense at all." In his review, he wrote that the script gives Persona an element of camp, "which is a plus or minus, depending on your point of view."[16] Michael House of Allgame wrote that Revelations: Persona is unable to "immerse the player because of a poorly written and translated script", adding that the writing is "riddled with grammatical mistakes and just utterly uninteresting."[19] Graphically, Gerstmann found Persona to be "adequate, but it doesn't really stand out."[16] House found the transition between the game's three graphical views—overhead, isometric, and first-person—disorienting: "Why couldn't they just make it one or the other? Why not just make the game all 3-D or make it all traditional?" Similar to Gerstmann, he found "There's nothing really earth shattering" with regards to the game's graphics.[19]

The game's PSP remake debuted at #1 in Japanese game charts, selling over 79,000 copies in its first week.[20] At the end of May 2009, Famitsu reported that 122,962 copies had been sold in Japan, making the game the sixth best-selling title on the PSP.[21] The remake of Revelations: Persona has a Metacritic score of 83. Jeremy Parish of wrote that Shin Megami Tensei: Persona "is a perfect example of how to remake a great game -- graphics notwithstanding -- and this release makes a brilliant game feel fresh and relevant again."[9] Eric Patterson of Play Magazine found that, thirteen years after its original release, Persona stood the test of time, calling the remake "the true and definitive version of the game." IGN staff writer Sam Bishop called the story of Persona "timeless in its ability to draw you in", and found that the game offered players "a fantastic story, likeable and well-defined characters, [and] some fairly deep introspection on their part."[12]

Lark Anderson of GameSpot was critical of the game, giving it a 5.0/10 review score. He considered Persona "a relic of the past that simply can't keep up with today's standards", citing the game's "repetitive…and endless" combat and dungeon-crawling gameplay.[11] Bishop considered the graphics of the remake not "especially pretty…even by [PlayStation] standards", saying that the game's isometric environments and battles lacked detail in design and animation. Glenn Wilson of RPGamer called the characters of Persona "very one-dimensional, especially relative to the fantastic character development in Persona 3 and 4", also writing "If anything drags the gameplay down, it would be the obscene encounter rate".[14]


  1. Gifford, Kevin (2009-02-04). Persona PSP Remake Confirmed. Retrieved on 2009-11-22
  2. Pigna, Kris (2009-02-24). Persona PSP Remake Coming to North America. Retrieved on 2009-11-22
  3. Jeriaska (2009-08-13). Interview: Atlus Talks Translating Shin Megami Tensei: Persona for PSP. Gamasutra. Retrieved on 2009-11-22
  4. Jabbari, Aram. (2009-07-31). Persona PSP Breakdown. Atlus U.S.A., Giant Bomb. Event occurs at 5:40. Retrieved 2009-11-22. 
  5. Clements, Ryan (2003-06-04). E3 2009: Shin Megami Tensei: Persona Hands-on. IGN. Retrieved on 2009-06-16
  6. "AtlusAram" (2009-09-23). Shin Megami Tensei: Persona for PSP (PlayStation Portable) system now available in retailers across North America; PlayStation Network version to release on October 1st. Atlus U.S.A.. Retrieved on 2009-10-07
  7. Shin Megami Tensei: Persona for PSP. GameRankings. Retrieved on 2009-11-21
  8. Shin Megami Tensei: Persona (psp) reviews. Metacritic. Retrieved on 2009-11-21
  9. 9.0 9.1 Parish, Jeremy (2009-09-22). Persona Review for the PSP. Retrieved on 2009-11-24
  10. Juba, Joe (2009-09-28). The PSP Gets Personafied - Shin Megami Tensei: Persona - PSP. GameInformer. Retrieved on 2009-11-24
  11. 11.0 11.1 Anderson, Lark (2009-09-24). Shin Megami Tensei: Persona Review. GameSpot. Retrieved on 2009-09-24
  12. 12.0 12.1 Bishop, Sam (2009-11-20). Shin Megami Tensei: Persona Review. IGN. Retrieved on 2009-11-24
  13. Patterson, Eric (2009-09-17). Review - Persona. Play. Retrieved on 2009-11-24[dead link]
  14. 14.0 14.1 Wilson, Glenn (2009). Shin Megami Tensei: Persona - Staff Review. RPGamer. Retrieved on 2009-11-25
  15. Persona (psx) reviews. Metacritic. Retrieved on 2009-11-21
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 Gerstmann, Jeff (1997-02-27). Persona for PlayStation Review. GameSpot. Retrieved on 2007-08-21
  17. IGN: Persona. IGN. Retrieved on 2009-11-21
  18. Persona: Revelations: PlayStation. GameInformer (1997-03-01). Archived from the original on 2001-01-16 Retrieved on 2009-11-21
  19. 19.0 19.1 House, Michael. Revelations Series: Persona - Review. Allgame. Retrieved on 2009-11-21
  20. Persona, Portables Do Big Business In Japan. Kotaku (2009-05-08). Retrieved on 2009-08-06
  21. 2009年5月期・月間ゲームソフト販売ランキング(集計期間:2009年4月27日~2009年5月31日) (Japanese). Famitsu (2009-06-08). Retrieved on 2009-08-06