Persona Hands-On

Atlus shows off the revised version of the original Persona for the PSP.

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After nearly 13 years since the release of the original game, Persona is still going strong, and many are enjoying the series for the first time with Persona 4. As such, it's not a bad idea that Atlus is releasing a new version of the original Persona for the PSP that features plenty of tweaks--some more apparent than others. We had the chance to get our hands on a brief battle sequence on the show floor.

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Who's Making This Game: Persona is one of Atlus' strongest properties, so it's not surprising that it made the decision to revisit the original so a whole new audience can enjoy it.

What the Game Looks Like: Although we know that there are going to be some new full-motion video sequences and some other visual tweaks, Persona for the PSP looked similar to its predecessor, albeit adjusted to mesh better with the PSP screen and hardware. Don't expect a full-on remake.

What There Is to Do: Even in the brief amount of time we played, there was still plenty to check out in terms of the battle system, which remains largely unchanged from the original (though we're told that some tweaks have been made to the frequency of enemy encounters). The characters in our party could perform standard attacks with melee weapons, or long-range weapons if they have them equipped. Additionally, each of the characters came pre-equipped with a persona: a spirit summon of sorts that can do plenty of damage against an enemy if that enemy is weak against the type of attack associated with the persona. Conversely, if the enemy is strong against that kind of attack, then the persona won't do much damage.

But the one thing that's made Persona stand out from so many other role-playing games since its inception is your ability to communicate with enemies. By selecting that option during a battle, you can essentially converse with enemies, having them answer your questions and vice versa. If you're lucky enough, an enemy will give you a spirit card (the type of card is then determined by the emotions of the enemy), which can then be turned into a persona.

What They Say: It's Persona, but with new tweaks and adjustments.

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What We Say: It's hard to tell from such a brief hands-on time if some of the intended changes (such as the overhauled dialogue) are that noticeable or not, but what we can tell is that this is very much a tweaked version of the original game, and a little piece of history that will probably interest most fans of RPGs.

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