Persona 3 Portable (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Lilly Kirchner 07.06.2023

Review for Persona 3 Portable on Nintendo Switch

Long has it been since the original release of Persona 3 on PlayStation 2 in 2006. Since then, there were other releases of enhanced versions, in one way or another, of the title, such as Persona 3 FES in 2007 and finally, in 2009, Persona 3 Portable made it to PlayStation Portable (all dates are the Japanese release dates). The latest version included the possibility to play as either a male or female character, and added new story elements, music and more. The success of the title lives on until today, so it is simply amazing to finally be able to experience Persona 3 Portable on Nintendo Switch.

The Nintendo Switch version of Persona 3 Portable hasn't really changed all that much in terms of gameplay, story, and graphics. However, any Persona fan that hasn't experienced this title yet should pick it up to have a go. Of course, it is from an overall simpler time, but this really doesn't take away from the stellar overall performance of this title. The player can choose to play as either a male or female character at the start and some story aspects and dialogue differ very slightly between the protagonists, however the overall story stays the same. This offers the promise of replayability.

Diving straight into gameplay, the protagonist transfers to a new school and has to balance schoolwork, relationships and life overall. Oh, and then there is the fighting shadows, of course. At midnight, the 'extra hour' begins. Most people are unaware of it, but certain people can live through it (such as the protagonist, of course). During this time, shadows can be fought in what is being called Tartarus, a mysterious tower that the high school building turns into during the 'extra hour'. The protagonist, alongside other students from their dorm, has to figure out what is behind Tartarus, the shadows and the mysterious Apathy disease.

So far, so good, but how does it all work? During the day, the protagonist takes care of honing their skills and building relationships. At night, during the 'extra hour', they and their team can enter Tartarus to explore and fight shadows. Persona fans will know about the use of Personas, but for the uninitiated, these beings are manifestations of a person's personality and come with different abilities that can be used in battle.

Screenshot for Persona 3 Portable on Nintendo Switch

The dungeons are always randomly generated whenever the team enters Tartarus, and shadows roam the corridors. While exploring the dungeon, a team of up to 4 is present and usually walks as a group. However, it is possible to give commands to split up and either explore the dungeon or eliminate shadows. This isn't without risk though, as team members will have to fight shadows they encounter alone. When encountering a shadow, a battle will ensue. These battles are turn-based and not time-limited, allowing the player to strategise to win.

During the day, the town can be explored, but there is no walking around as seen in titles such as Persona 5. Rather, players can open a menu from which to choose where they wish to travel to. Each location is a still image that can be explored with the cursor and allows interactions. This and the lack of cutscenes are the only major drawbacks in Persona 3 Portable.

It runs well on Nintendo Switch, which isn't surprising. The soundtrack is mostly acceptable but can get repetitive after a while. The lack of cutscenes is surprisingly easy to forget as the story itself is very interesting. It's overall a highly addictive and enjoyable title.

Screenshot for Persona 3 Portable on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Persona 3 Portable has survived well and is still as enjoyable as it has always been. Of course, ATLUS could have used the chance to animate some extra cutscenes for this port, but the lack thereof doesn't take away from the overall game. For anyone new to Persona, this is a must, and for anyone wanting to relive this infamous title, welcome back!

Developer

Atlus

Publisher

SEGA

Genre

Turn Based RPG

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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