Recent Articles

Looking Back: Persona 3 FES The Answer and Persona 3 Portable

Persona 3 was originally released for PlayStation 2 in 2007. Shortly after its release, Atlus developed two new versions of the game: Persona 3 FES for PS2 (2008) and Persona 3 Portable for PSP. Our look at The Answer serves as a follow-up to our recent review of Persona 3 FES, which you can read here.

After beating Persona 3 FES's The Journey, I decided to cover The Answer. As a mode exclusive to this version of the game, it tells the post-game story that centers around Aigis and explains what happens after the final battle. This mode is notoriously more difficult than the main game. It features a massive dungeon grind, much harder bosses, and less rewards from battle. However, it also features a number of developing character stories told through cutscenes. Plus, you'll meet a new character; Aigis' sister, Metis.

Given that you're playing through the relatively same experience, the only differences to consider are your drastically reduced levels and the requirements for progressing. Due to the two month gap between the story, the characters are out of their fighting form, reducing them all to Level 25.

In the new dungeon, you'll gain far less EXP than before and even less money to boot. It comes down to procuring everything you can and leveling up as much as possible before the boss fight. Note that you may have to grind through the dungeon sections several times before you're ready to fight the boss. On the bright side, the game treats you to more calming dungeon music. DemonDaysxOST was kind enough to upload it to YouTube for your listening pleasure.

Unfortunately, even though its intention was to be a challenge, The Answer quickly becomes far less charming than The Journey. I've spent over 20 hours and I've grinded levels nearly every step of the way, thus increasing the mode's length.While many of the bosses have elemental weaknesses, they also have the Dodge ability set to those respective weaknesses.

At this point, it comes down to luck to knock them down. Luck plays another factor when bosses hit your party member's with status inducing spells like Tentarafoo or Charm. Or, in a much worse case scenario, repeatedly exploit their weaknesses. Unlike The Journey, you won't get to buy accessories to mitigate stat weaknesses. Your best equipment will come straight from dungeon rewards.

Another issue comes from the A.I. When you set Yukari to heal/support, she will stop using healing magic when her MP drops below 75. Even though her Media skills cost well below that threshold, she'll resort to throwing Medicine instead, healing far less HP while the bosses maul your party.

Metis will cast magic to exploit an enemy weakness. Rather than finish it off, however, she would strike it with a physical attack, getting countered in the process if it previously used Tetrakarn. Party members will constantly make the worst possible choices even when you babysit them using the Tactics menu.

For what it's worth, The Answer doesn't feature the pleasantries of the original. You're far more restricted due to the lack of a Compendium and Social Links. The fact of the matter is that it challenges you to persevere largely with luck on your side. I can honestly say that The Answer is nowhere near as enjoyable as the mainline mode. You will enjoy a fantastic JRPG experience in The Journey and you could safely end it there.

However, if you seek the challenge, then The Answer will grant your wish. You'll witness character backstories as well as conclude the entire Persona 3 saga once you finish the mode.But if this mode sounds intimidating or uninteresting, yet you still want to know what happens, you can watch this video courtesy of BuffMaister.

If you're not interested in playing The Journey, but you don't have access to Persona 3 FES (PS2, PS3, PSNow), you can play Persona 3 Portable for PSP. It is also available on Vita and PlayStation TV. This version of the game features only The Journey, but comes with a bevy of quality improvements.

While the screen resolution isn't as beautiful, and the audio is compressed, the gameplay features quality of life improvements that appear in Persona 4 and 5. Plus, it offers multiple additions, such as the female protagonist route and resulting storyline changes. Note that while Persona 3 Portable lacks The Answer, you can control your party members throughout the entire game. You can check out all the changes here.

Right now, I'm doing my best to finish The Answer. But the more I play through it, the more I wonder if I even want to finish it. Perhaps I either enjoy being punished or I've come too far to stop now. I'm driven to finish this game, but also want to recommend the best possible choices for you whether or not you're planning to play Persona 3.

I hope this brief article will assist you in deciding whether or not diving into Person 3 The Answer is for you or not.. Which version of Persona 3 do you own or plan to get? Let us know in the comments below!