Yesterday marked the opening to Brasil Game Show 2023, and among the exhibitors on board this year is Sega, who for the first time ever, is having its own booth at the show. Among the many demos there is Persona 3 Reload, the remake to the RPG classic originally released for PlayStation 2 nearly 20 years ago.
The demo at the show floor offered two distinct paths to play: on New Moon, you get to explore Tartarus while on the clock and are challenged to make it as far as possible during that limited time frame, while on Full Moon, the goal is to clear a particular section of the tower and face the boss.
I played New Moon and had the classic trio available to team up with: the protagonist, Junpei, and Yukari, with Mizuru acting as support. As a remake, Persona 3 Reload offers an entirely new graphical engine but keeps the original game’s amazing soundtrack, which sent shivers down my spine upon entering combat for the first time.
All in all, Persona 3 Reload plays pretty much as you’d expect if you’ve been enjoying Persona up to Persona 5. It’s very sharp-looking and attacks are stylishly displayed, a very substantial improvement upon the original’s presentation. Tartarus itself is now a very colorful location, and as the demo implied, there are now different areas inside the tower which serve as waypoints to keep track of your progress.
While out and about, there are rock formations to be broken upon attacking them with the protagonist’s main weapon, a new feature within the game that yields valuable materials that can be used to upgrade equipment. There are still chests to be looted too, along with rare ones that Junpei is particularly fond of.
My time playing came to a close when I was just about to defeat the dungeon’s mini boss, a pair of shadow crows who were tough nuts to crack, knocking out my party members in a couple of hits. Even though I had restorative items and was doing well in dwindling their health bars, it wasn’t quick enough to see what else was in store for the rest of the demo.
The Persona 3 Reload demo featured the Japanese VO which sounded on par with the one from the original version, but it’s expected to be a revised version containing the new lines introduced in the remake. It goes to show that Atlus was able to track down the original actors to reprise their roles, which is great since they’re all amazing, really. And thankfully, the soundtrack is still rocking, perhaps my favorite among the modern Personas.
Time indeed flies and my time with the demo felt like only a handful of seconds. Then again, that makes the wait less of a pain, even if there’s still a few months ahead before we can get to play the full game. Please be on the lookout for our review once Persona 3 Reload is released on February 2nd, 2024!