Boss Rush Banter: Will Persona 3 Reload Finally Be The Definitive Way To Play The Game?

Atlus has been running strong with the Persona franchise ever since Persona 5 seemed to revitalize the franchise with its release back in 2016. Since then, we’ve gotten a definitive edition in the form of Persona 5 Royal, spin-offs like Persona 5 Strikers, and ports of older games to modern systems like Persona 4 Golden and Persona 3 Portable. This last weekend during the Xbox Showcase, fans got a glimpse of Persona 3 Reload, a remake of the original Persona 3 back in 2006. The game includes graphical improvements, as well as many quality-of-life upgrades. For many Persona fans, this may be their first foray into the world of Persona 3. But is this going to be the best way to play the game?

Persona 3 has had an interesting history. Released for PS2 in 2006, the original game was the first of what we can call the “modern” Persona games, including a calendar system of managing your time and the use of social links in addition to the combat and persona-fusing elements. A year later in 2007, Atlus released Persona 3 FES, which built upon the initial Persona 3 with an epilogue titled The Answer, featuring a new setting and party member along with a new story. Then, in 2009, we saw the release of Persona 3 Portable for the PlayStation Portable, which allowed for the player to control their party members actions in combat, first introduced in Persona 4.

Persona 3 Reload removes one of the original’s harshest criticisms, not being able to control your party members. (Image Source: Atlus)

Persona 3 almost seems like its two different versions (FES and Portable) have each been two separate halves of a great game. FES felt like you were getting the full story with The Answer epilogue, while Persona 3 Portable had better combat mechanics as well as the inclusion of an optional female protagonist, a feature absent from any other Persona games. However, the limitations of the PlayStation Portable meant many features from FES were cut, first and foremost being the overworld, instead replaced with almost a point-and-click setting for most locations, which turned many fans off of the game.

Many fans didn’t like Persona 3 Portable’s lack of a traditional overworld map, instead having a background with icons to click on. But hey, playing as a girl is fun. (Image Source: Atlus)

From what the trailer and announcements have given us, we have a fairly good idea of what Persona 3 Reload will be. At its heart, it’s a remake of the original Persona 3 brought to modern consoles. We won’t be getting The Answer from FES, and there players won’t have the option of playing as the female protagonist from Portable returning.

Can we really call Persona 3 Reload “definitive” if it doesn’t include all of the content from past versions of the game? While the game will certainly be good simply by being based on the original Persona 3, certain aspects like The Answer or the female protagonist being locked away in these past versions of the game will make it difficult for those of us out there looking for the full Persona 3 experience.

I’m still in shock that this game actually exists. It’s one of my favorites of all time. (Image Source: Atlus)

But maybe none of that matters, because the alternative is continuing to live with the current situation of having the “definitive” game split between different versions of the game. 

What else do you hope to see in Persona 3 Reload? Do you plan on picking up a copy? Let us know in a comment. Check out why we think everyone should check out a Persona game here, and join the Boss Rush Discord server to be a part of the discussion!

Image Source: Atlus

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