I was suprised how good this game is. It may not look so up to date, but it's extremely addictive!
Although graphics is not the best part of this game, the anime-like cut-scenes are very up to date and looks really well. Personas, characters and dungeons are not stunning - that's true, but they definitely have that old-school look and feel, which is very rare today.
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona is packed with very, very good set of audio tracks. This is one of the strongest parts of this game: really nice pieces, that you will probably (just like me) whistle under the shower - the soundtrack is very catchy. I rated it with 9 (and not 10), because character voices during combat are just terrible! When a character from your party is hit, it emits a sound like when someone steps on a cat. Every person has its own set of sounds which is a minus in this case.
Each character in this game is emphatic and very expressive. Every person has its own personality and it would definitely rate this fact with 10, but some enemies are just... how to say that... awkward - I think it's the best word. How would you feel if you knew, that you're going to be attacked by a demon-from-toilet, which looks like a plain toilet (this is not a joke) or a basket ball (dribbled by invisible player). This is very funny for me, but I guess it was not the point.
This is definitely the strongest part of the game. The first impression is not very good, but play SMT: Persona for few hours and it will give you a feeling, that despite of a monotonous dungeon crawling there is always something to discover: new spell cards, new monsters, new Personas, new items and much, much more. I agree with Lark Anderson, that the random encounter rate could be a bit lower, but it is extremely fun to try different ways of defeating your enemies (choosing magic or, for example, convincing them not to attack you and to give you their spell cards). The battle system is rather complex, you can switch between various formations to use 100% of yous team abilities. The story is well written and leaves you wanting more and more at each and every savepoint - just when you're supposed to get up early the next day.
This game is definitely not wasted money - it gives more old-school tactic jrpg pleasure that I could ever expect reading gamespot review. I'm going back to play it again and strongly advise you to do it too!