Let's Talk About Persona 3 Reload
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2024 is the year of trying new things for me, so today I’m stepping out of my wheelhouse. I’ve been completely immersed in Persona 3 Reload. Yes friends, I’ve been playing a JRPG. A genre almost totally unfamiliar to me. My experience is pretty much limited to Final Fantasy XV and Pokémon. Persona 3 Reload has been a huge change for me. My gaming world recently has very weirdly been revolving around Fortnite with friends. But enough about that. Let’s just dive right in!

What is Persona 3 Reload?

Persona 3 Reload is a reimagining of the original genre-defining RPG from 2006. Although the modern gaming market seems to be saturated with remakes and remasters, this one is a standout (in my opinion). You play as a transfer student, who enters a whole new world on top of a new school. A hidden hour exists between each day. The Dark Hour. Shadows exist within this Dark Hour, wreaking havoc on the normal world. It is the job of your character and his companions to defeat these Shadows and save the world. All while maintaining good grades, clubs, and friendships.

Admittedly, I did find the start of Persona 3 Reload to be slow. It took a solid two hours before I could actually get interested in anything that was happening. Normally, a game will click with me within the first half hour. I make up my mind very quickly – the same goes for books and movies. With Persona 3 Reload, I pushed through. And friends, I am very glad I did.

A Different Persona

I’ll start by saying the singular thing I did not like about Persona 3 Reload. The blood. Although it definitely fits in with the style of the game, it just didn’t look right to me. The shade of red was just way too bright for me. Maybe I’m a little too critical, but it bugged me. Especially in areas with a darker colour scheme. Aside from that, I had a pretty seamless run.

The creature design behind the Shadows in Persona 3 Reload really spoke to me. Some were a little cheesy, but not in a bad way. It added a sweet level of charm to the battles. And some Shadows were deceptively beautiful. Beauty aside, however, there was a nice aspect of challenge within battles. I always like to avoid spoilers, so I won’t go into detail here, but I adored the boss battles within Tartarus and the wider area. It took me a couple of fights to get used to get used to the turn-based combat.

Something that was very new to me and really took a while to understand was the Social Stats. Charm, Courage and Academics. Outside of battles and levels in that sense, you also need to work on your social life. School, part-time jobs, and clubs all contribute to this. Even playing games in the local arcade can help, depending on the genre. Furthering Social Stats is essential to properly progress through the game. They allow you to unlock further social links, allowing you to develop your Personas. That’s my understanding of how it works, anyway. I’m probably looking at it in a very simplistic light.

Reload Relationships

Social Links are all attached to different Tarot Arcana. Different characters represent different Arcana and present different scenarios for you to experience. From helping train children in track, to going for ramen, or even just watching a movie in the dorm. Each activity gives you a chance to get to know the people around you on a more human level, making each person significant in the real world. Persona 3 Reload has put a lot into really making you feel like these are real people.

Each relationship you pursue, be it for friendship or more, is special. Each character has so much to offer, and past the first couple of conversations, they get pretty interesting. Everyone has their own hopes and dreams, and paths to follow. Combined with the different scenarios and activities, everything becomes meaningful. Out of all the games I’ve played over the years, Persona 3 Reload has some of my favourite character development of all time.

Tartarus go Brrr

Every night, during the Dark Hour, you can choose to travel to Tartarus. The realm of the Shadows. Fighting in Tartarus allows you to level up your character, team and Personas. There is a total of 264 floors to Tartarus, each varying with enemy amount, type and strength. It’s a great way to practice tactics, and teams while learning how your different Personas work.

I’ve found that on days when I’m feeling more stressed, booting up Persona 3 Reload and jumping into Tartarus is therapeutic. Just killing Shadow after Shadow. Definitely a fantastic stress reliever.

A Parting Persona

I’m very pleasantly surprised to say I absolutely loved Persona 3 Reload. At this stage, we all know that I’m a little set in my ways when it comes to gaming. I don’t often step out of my comfort zone. However, I’m really glad that I did with Persona 3 Reload. Although some things took a little while to click, overall this is a fantastic game. It’s a great introduction to the Persona series and a nice way to get into JRPGs.

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About The Author

Jade is a 25 year old horror queen (her words), artist and gamer. She's also a bit too obsessed with dinosaurs. When she's not writing or in game, Jade can normally be found buried in some kind of art.

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