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Escrito 14 junio 2010 - 13:25
Escrito 21 junio 2010 - 19:41
2007 was a banner year for video games, but one that didn’t quite get the attention it deserved was Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3. Maybe it was because it was the third game in a cult series that hadn’t had an installment since the PS1, or perhaps it was the fact that P3 shipped on the PS2 two years after the new generation of consoles began, but for whatever reason, the stellar RPG went somewhat unnoticed despite favorable reviews. Atlus released Persona 3 FES the following year, which added to the story and brought improvements to the already fantastic turn-based JRPG gameplay. Now Atlus is set to release Persona 3 Portable, a handheld adaptation of the addictive game. While three separate versions in as many years may seem like overkill, it’s clear that there was more of this story to be told, and I’m glad it found its way into the PSP installment.
Like the other games in the Persona series, Persona 3 puts you in the shoes of a high school student in modern-day Japan with a special power: the ability to summon Personas and use them to fight demons. In P3, this group is known as the Specialized Extracurricular Execution Squad, or SEES. The members of SEES live in the dorm and carry on a normal teenage existence during the day, joining sports teams, attending student council meetings, making friends, and dating. At the stroke of midnight, however, the Dark Hour occurs, a period between midnight and 12:01 a.m. in which few people are conscious. The Persona-users spend this time fighting Shadows in the ever-changing tower called Tartarus, which just happens to appear over their high school during the Dark Hour. Ultimately, each member of SEES has to find his or her own reason for fighting while trying to save humanity and study for midterms.
For veterans of Persona 3, the story is largely the same, but the introduction of a new protagonist allows you to view it from a different set of eyes, which makes more of a difference than you might think. P3 and FES both had the same silent protagonist, a blue-haired and mysterious male. While the male lead is still available in P3P (and recommended for first-time players), the game’s biggest addition is a female protagonist, allowing those who have played through the game multiple times to experience it in a new way. Upon choosing the female, changes in social interactions are apparent almost immediately. The females in SEES no longer regard you as a possible suitor, but a confidant and friend, while new romantic possibilities will open up.
These interactions are important because of the game’s implementations of Social Links, a brilliant gameplay mechanic that ties together daytime and nighttime activities. As you spend more time with the people with whom you have established relationships, your Social Links grow, and this is translated into experience when fusing Personas. Personas can be collected in Tartarus and fused together in the Velvet Room, which is another common thread between all Persona games. Each relationship represents one of the Major Arcana, such as those you would find in a deck of Tarot cards, and all Personas also fall into one of these categories. As you make and advance Social Links, the number of Personas you are able to fuse will grow, and those in the same Arcana as relationships you have developed will gain experience upon fusion. Because of this, it’s just as important to make new friends as it is to fight Shadows, and this mechanic really illustrates the balance between normal high school life and that of a Persona-user that the protagonist struggles with.
The other big change to Persona 3 Portable is that the battle system has been refined, with the modifications to Persona 4’s battle system being implemented in this game. The biggest problem with Persona 3, and really, one of very few issues I had with the game, was that you could not directly control your teammates in battle. You could issue orders, such as “heal” or “conserve SP”, but there would still be times when they would do foolish things that would negatively affect the outcomes of battles. All of those indirect orders still exist, but you can now take complete control of all characters in battle, which I find to be preferable. This eliminates most of the frustration from the original Persona 3. Also, like in Persona 4, leveling up certain Social Links will allow other members of SEES to perform cooperative attacks or take a mortal blow for you in battle, which is especially handy since death of the protagonist means the game is over, even if other party members are still alive. Of course, that fact alone means that there will still be a few cheap and unavoidable deaths, causing you to restart from the last save point.
Playing as the female character obviously changes social interactions and adds new Links to be explored, but something I really liked was the fact that you could now develop relationships with male and female members of SEES. Much like in Persona 4, the importance of friendship is stressed much more than that of high school romances, something that didn’t always come through in Persona 3. You will get to see new sides of your male dorm mates in P3P, but there are also subtle differences in the way Yukari, Fuuka, and Mitsuru approach you, since you’re no longer trying to get in their pants. Even when none of your Social Links are available, there are more things to do; in particular, the after-school jobs from P4 were included in P3P as well, allowing you to improve stats while earning yen.
Many other small tweaks have been implemented in Persona 3 Portable to make the handheld experience more refined. While there’s no Quick Save, something that would have been appreciated while wandering the seemingly endless levels of Tartarus, there are more save points, and you can quickly jump from location to location around town without having to physically travel there. There’s also a new overhead view, with the protagonist only viewable in profile form, which is a little jarring at first; instead of walking to people or objects to interact with them, all selections are made by a cursor on the screen. The last one takes some getting used to, but before long you won’t even notice that your character is not onscreen as you wander around town making friends.
Despite being on the PS2, Persona 3 was known for having high production values and a unique, anime-inspired art style. While this is still clear in the character art, the incredible cut scenes from P3 have been removed from the portable version. This is definitely a disappointment, especially for new players who never got to experience the PS2 version of the game, but in all honesty, it feels like a fair trade-off for the ridiculous amount of new content that was included. The visuals obviously aren’t as strong as those in the console version, but P3P can still hold its own when compared to other games on the system. The good news is that the catchy soundtrack is still in the game, and is as fantastic as ever. The voice actors from P3 also returned to record new interactions, and some minor characters have received new profile art, allowing you to really get a better look at them. Load times have been shortened from the PS2 version, which is even more impressive when you consider that the PSP is known for long load times; they can be reduced even further when the game is installed on your memory stick. I did notice that P3P took longer to load while in Tartarus, but it wasn’t any worse than what would be considered an acceptable load time.
Over the last few months, as I followed the development of Persona 3 Portable, I hypothesized that it could actually be the definitive version of the game. Even though P3P doesn’t include the epilogue story from FES, it’s probably the version I would most recommend to new and returning players. After playing the 100-plus-hour game twice before, I still found myself immediately sucked in once again, and the improvements push the already fantastic game over the top. If you missed out on Persona 3 when it first came out, and skipped FES in 2008, then now is your chance to rectify that. Persona 3 Portable is one of the strongest games in the PSP catalogue, and a shining example of a role-playing game done right.
Escrito 21 junio 2010 - 21:10
Escrito 21 junio 2010 - 21:30
Que no hay rollo bollo con Mitsuru?
Menuda PUTA MIERDA de port.
Escrito 21 junio 2010 - 22:49
Escrito 21 junio 2010 - 22:55
Que no hay rollo bollo con Mitsuru?
Menuda PUTA MIERDA de port.
Escrito 21 junio 2010 - 23:00
Que no hay rollo bollo con Mitsuru?
Menuda PUTA MIERDA de port.
Yo también quería que se pudiera rollo bollo y rollo entre el prota y otro xDDD
Escrito 22 junio 2010 - 00:00
Think all Japanese role-playing games are the same? Then clearly you haven't played Persona 3. Forget the boring old days of high fantasy and stories about saving the princess, Persona 3 throws out every convention and offers up the most original storyline in a decade. Is it a hack and slash or a dating sim? Now you can get to the bottom of that question on the go, thanks to Persona 3 Portable for the Sony PSP.
You play a teenager who has recently transferred to a brand new high school. But this is no ordinary boy; he has a special power that allows him to see things normal people are oblivious to. As luck would have it, our hero meets up with a whole team of kids with similar powers. It turns out that they have formed a squad that goes out at night and battles the darkness nobody else is even aware of. They're afraid that if these mysterious monsters continue to rip their way into our existence, then it could spell certain doom for our world.
We're informed that every night while most people are sound asleep, this group of commandos will experience an extra hour. It's called the Dark Hour, and it is when the shadow monsters begin their onslaught on our world. In this 25th hour the high school is replaced with a huge tower full of all kinds of creepy crawly demons and monsters. It is your job to ascend this tower, defeating baddies along the way and investigating everything there is to know about this strange structure.
As exciting as battling demons late at night is, you still need to go to school. Unlike most role-playing games, Persona 3 Portable requires you to spend half of your time studying and the other half shoving swords into nightmarish creatures. The truth is, this game is as much a social high school simulator as it is a turn-based adventure game. You need to do well in school, make friends and even date. All this will shape who you are and the abilities you bring to the struggle between humans and this shadow world.
Of course, we haven't ever touched on the game's most controversial element. This is not your typical turn-based role-playing game. Oh sure, it may have all of the typical actions and items, but this game is anything but traditional. That's because most role-playing games don't involve you taking a hand gun to your head and shooting yourself in the face. This is what Persona 3 does in every single fight, and you'll never forget the first time you see it. Even if somebody warns you, the sight of your virtual adventurer shooting himself in the head will stick with you.
But don't worry; this is not a suicide simulator. In order to summon your personas, each character is required to use a gun-like device called an Evoker. These personas work like magic, where you can use spells on bad guys and heal up your squad. On top of using the personas, each character has their own weapons, usually ranging from swords to bow and arrows. Together the battles are a combination or melee attacks and large beasts pulling off magic spells, an interesting mix that makes each encounter fun to watch.
Your personas are the manifestations of everything that you are, so you will need to improve yourself as a person in order to upgrade attacks. You can rework and tinker with your personas whenever you want, so it's important that you work towards making it the best persona it can be. You do this by taking in clubs, going to class and having an active social life. It all plays into who you are as a demon hunter.
Before long you'll realize that your days are starting to get cluttered. Not only do you need to go to school, attend class and sleep, but you may also want to take in after-school activities like clubs, student council, part-time jobs, online video games and hanging out with friends. And don't forget that in the middle of this you still have to scale the tower of Tartarus and beat up baddies. How are you going to fit all of this into your schedule?
The answer is simple, you can't. Persona 3 makes you pick and choose your activities and not over-schedule your life. I don't care if you do want to get into a good university after high school; the fate of the world rests on your shoulders. You can't go out hunting if you're too tired, and staying up late every night will make you fall asleep in class. This is a game about balancing all of the elements of teenage life, which is not too far off from what most teenagers experience every day.
The reason this works so well is because I genuinely cared what happened to these teenagers. It's rare for me to get so invested in a bunch of high schoolers, especially in a Japanese role-playing game. But I really connected with the plight of our hero. As soon as I saw how his everyday interaction influenced his demon hunting, I had no problem taking this game serious. It doesn't hurt that all of the school parts are wonderfully written and full of humor. Figuring out how I was going to spend my day is just as exciting as deciding on what attack to use in the heat of battle.
When you're done studying and hanging out with friends, it's time to get serious and take to the mysterious tower of Tararus. We learn that each day the tower completely redesigns itself, so the layout of each floor is completely random. That's probably for the best, because much of this game involves you running around these labyrinthine corridors battling monsters and looking for the stairway to the next floor. There are no random battles; you will be able to see all of the monsters before you run into them. And once in battle you are free to put the game on auto-pilot, if you're the kind of person who plans on doing a lot of grinding.
But remember, fighting in the Dark Hour is extremely tiring. Your team can only go so far before they will need to head back to the dorm for some shut-eye. It's this time limit that gives the game its urgency. You know you can't get everything done in one night, so you will need to plan your schedule to get back there and finish the job. But it's not that easy, because you're being pulled in all different directions.
As you progress through the game you will discover that there are two things you can't escape -- a full moon and finals week. You see, every time a full moon rolls around you'll need to go head to head with a large boss. This is how you will advance the story and make it even further into the tower. Knowing that you have this deadline adds even more stress. And speaking of stress, let's not even get started on the hell that is finals week.
Of course, fans of the PlayStation 2 version of Persona 3 will already know all about the story and gameplay. For the most part this is a faithful port of the four year old console game. It makes a few concessions for the handheld and it adds some content, combing elements of both Persona 4 and FES to make an even stronger experience.
We'll start with the good news. For starters, Persona 3 Portable now features a second playable character. In the original game you could only play as a teenage boy, but in this portable version you can choose an attractive young girl. This drastically changes the way the story plays out, offering a chance to socialize with different people and have a much different dating experience. This also gives veterans of the game enough of a reason to go back through the adventure. You'll find that there are a bunch of new activities and jobs to do after school, making this a much fuller experience.
There have also been a few major tweaks to the combat system. Taking a page from Persona 4, you are now able to control each character in your squad. In the original version the computer controlled most of your team, but in this PSP port you choose which way you prefer. There are also a few other changes made to the combat, such as the ability to guard ailing characters from taking a fatal blow.
In order to fit all of this content into one small package, Atlus has been forced to make a few cuts. The most controversial cut was the way you navigate through the world. Instead of seeing everything in 3D, you now travel the world via a cursor. You drag a large circle all around an overhead layout, clicking on different people or marks that will take you to different parts of the school, dorm, mall, you name it. For some odd reason this has upset a lot of Persona 3 purists, but I found it a lot easier and faster to get around. Scrolling around the screen with a cursor really sped a lot of things up, which is probably for the best when you're playing it on a handheld system.
Despite being based on a four year old game, the presentation is top notch. The tower sequences look good and the combat runs smoothly on the PSP's small screen. You'll find that most of the school elements are done through still images, but even those look sharp and are nicely detailed. Persona 3 Portable may not be as shiny as Crisis Core or Peace Walker, but it more than holds its own in the looks department.
The game's soundtrack, on the other hand, is outstanding. The music is made up of all kinds of interesting tunes, including Japanese rap, jazz, funk and pop. It's all over the place. The soundtrack won't be to everybody's liking, but I admire how unique it is. I'm also impressed with the level of voice acting, which is a lot better than I was expecting. The line reading is good, which is a treat given how much spoken dialog is in this game.
Even with some downsizing, Persona 3 Portable manages to be an incredible port of one the PlayStation 2's best role-playing games. Best of all, it adds enough new content to warrant a second look for anybody who played through the game years ago. This is the most compelling role-playing game to come out of Japan in ten years and a must-own for PSP fans around the world.
Escrito 22 junio 2010 - 00:18
When Persona 3 first arrived on North American shores in 2007, fans and critics alike praised the game as one of the best RPGs to hit the PlayStation 2. Upon its re-release as Persona 3: FES, it was again given a warm reception throughout the gaming community. Now, Atlus is moving Persona 3 from the television screen to the handheld with the release of Persona 3 Portable for the PSP. Has Atlus managed to complete the Persona 3 hat trick?
Persona 3 Portable thrusts you, a transfer student, into the halls of Gekkoukan High. You’ll learn very quickly that this is no ordinary high school, as on your first visit to the dorm, you encounter a girl holding a gun-like object called an Evoker to her head. Soon afterward, powerful monsters called Shadows attack the dorm, and your quest to protect the world begins.
Gameplay is an odd mix of JRPG, point and click, and dating sim, but in practice, the blending creates a very fine smoothie of fun. You can choose to be either a male or female character, which is the biggest change between P3P and its prior incarnations. Playing as the male character will take you through the same story found in Persona 3, while playing as the female character will change up some of the events throughout the story. You’ll have the ability to meet different people as the female and develop different relationships with them than the male character can.
Combat takes place mostly in the spooky tower of Tartarus, where the Shadows call home. You can fight the Shadows with weapons (swords, bow and arrow, boxing gloves, etc) or you and your party members can use manifestations of your personalities, called Personas. Personas are capable of using elemental spells, healing magic, and stat changing attacks, as well as more powerful versions of your own melee attacks. While the party members have only one Persona, you get the advantage of controlling multiple Personas, which can be switched in battle. As you fight through the randomly generated floors of Tartarus, you gain experience for both yourself and your Persona. New Persona can be acquired after some battles or by Persona Fusion, which allows you to combine multiple Personas to create a new Persona with new abilities, some of which can only be learned through fusion. Battle is often a simple yet fun affair as you pound on opponents, trying to discern their weaknesses and take advantage of them. In its previous releases, Persona 3 did not allow you to control your party members, instead relying on a (fairly good) AI. In P3P, you can still do this, but you have the option of having your party members under your direct command, for even more control over how the battle unfolds. Battles run smoothly, for the most part. I did notice the occasional slow-down in battle, usually during All Out Attacks, and the infrequent use of the male character’s “Awesome!” line during battle in the female story, but these are minor, situational concerns.
When not fighting off the Shadows, you can explore Gekkoukan High and the surrounding area of Iwatodai. This mode is handled through what amounts to a point and click interface, a big difference from the prior releases of this game, which had you run about the environment much like the typical JRPG. This change allows the game to move quicker, as being able to point and choose what you want to interact with is often faster than physically moving your character to that location. (There is also a menu for quick access to key points in any location that you are in.) A drawback of this system is that it feels less intimate to play from this perspective then it does to control your own character directly. Which method you prefer would be a personal choice.
The social interactions that you can have with many characters in this game are more than typical NPC chattering. You have the capability of developing Social Links with numerous characters. Each Social Link is its own story; you gain a connection with each character and this connection continuously develops when you spend an afternoon or evening with them. As you continue the Social Link, you become closer to the character, eventually resulting in a maxed link and an unbreakable bond. (This allows you to date certain members of the opposite sex, once you get past a certain level of the Social Link.) There is more to Social Links than a fun diversion; powering up your Social Links also will grant Persona of a certain Arcana more EXP points upon their creation through fusion. So, for example, if you develop the Yukari Takeba Social Link, Persona of the Lovers arcana will get a progressively larger EXP boost upon fusion.
Graphically, Persona 3 Portable is not among the best of what the PSP has to offer. But that doesn’t detract from the game at all, as they are still good enough to get the job done. The graphics are of nearly the same quality as those found in the PS2 releases of the game, though occasionally they can be a bit rougher.
The game’s soundtrack is mostly the same as what is found in the prior Persona 3 releases, which is to say it is very good. It has numerous upbeat songs for happier times, tense tunes for battle, and ominous music for the spooky and sad occasions. That said, there is only one major battle song for the non-boss battles in Tartarus, which may be grating to some. Sound effects all sound appropriate for what they are intended to be. The voice acting is very solid and appropriate; there’s no dub horror story to be had here.
Like many RPGs, there is an amazing amount of content available in Persona 3 Portable. The expected amount of time it would take to play through the game would be about 70 hours, but with so many Social Links and side quests at your disposal, it is entirely possible that P3P will hold your attention for over 100 hours. And with over 170 Personas to collect, some of which require fulfilling certain conditions to unlock, those looking to complete everything in the game will be invested for what may feel like a joyous eternity.
Overall, Persona 3 Portable makes a successful transition to portable gaming. The same elements that made Persona 3 a revered game three years ago are all present once again, with the new wrapping paper that is the female main character and her different experience of the same story. PSP fans can rejoice that such a grand RPG has arrived on their system of choice, giving them the thrill of spending countless days in the world of Gekkoukan High.
Escrito 24 junio 2010 - 20:36
Ah Persona. An often forgotten gem from the JRPG genre, the most established of the Shin Megami Tensei off-shoots that hasn’t received it’s just due from American audiences. It’s a shame, considering how the franchise (currently in its fourth entry) has become one of the best you’re likely to find. However, it’s easy to see why the series has often been considered “niche” as the games feature Japanese school children summoning demons by shooting themselves in the heads. However, that doesn’t stop the franchise from ranking among most engaging that the RPG genre has to offer, and this latest entry is no except.
Persona 3 is no stranger to being remade. The game was re-released on the PS2 less than a year after its initial launch as Persona 3 FES, boasting added features and bonuses. Now, the series is officially debuting on the PSP with this version, aptly titled Persona 3 Portable. Persona 3 Portable offers up some (but not all) of the additions on tap from Persona 3 FES, and also includes features that are specific to the PSP. Additionally, there are corners that were cut here and there, including scaled down cutscenes that lack the visual impact of those on offer from its console brethren. However, this port manages to nail all of the excellent dungeon crawling and character development that made the original a real joy to play, even if the story is way out in left field.
Persona 3 Portable follows the same plot as the original PS2 versions of the game, putting the player in the shoes of a Japanese teenager as he adapts to life in a new city, making friends at his school while keeping up with his classes. Oh yeah, and every night the town’s residents turn into coffins for an hour, while you and some of your school chums are forced to fight off demonic beasts by shooting yourselves in the head and summoning Personas, mythical creatures possessing special abilities. Additionally, every night, you’re required to scale up a floor in a demonic tower, searching each floor and fighting groups of enemies.
Persona 3’s gameplay is a mix of several elements including traditional dungeon crawling and turn-based combat, sim-based dialogue, and point-and-click exploration. The game’s more traditional elements aren’t groundbreaking, but solidly implemented. The other elements of the game factor in nicely to the overall gameplay, as depending on what you say when interacting with other characters, you’ll get boosts and upgrades for your Personas, granting them more abilities in battle. The developers have also simplified the exploration elements of the game, going for a static screen image approach where you simply have to move your cursor over points of interest and interact with them.
The improvements for the PSP version of Persona 3 include: quicker load times (made even shorter when you take advantage of the optional Memory Stick installation), two new difficulty levels, and the ability to play as a female character as opposed to simply a male one. There are no real benefits that one has over the other and the story elements stay mostly the same aside from some changes in relationships and dialogue, but it’s a nice change for players who beat the original campaign and are looking to approach the experience from a different angle.
Graphically, there were some obvious compromises made in bringing the game to a handheld. The great-looking anime cutscenes from the original game have been replaced with in-game assets and still images, and the overall image quality is lower than its PS2 brethren.
Aside from some graphical downgrades, this is still a solid version of a great RPG. If you’ve missed out on the game before, here’s another chance
Escrito 24 junio 2010 - 20:38
Graphics & Sound:
When it comes to Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 Portable (P3P), the most common question I've received is, "What will I get out of the experience if I've already played the PS2 version?" The answer isn't an easy one. P3P is my third time playing through Persona 3, and I loved every minute of it. It's the game that never gets old. The fact that Atlus tossed in a new protagonist and new Persona is just bonus.
P3P is a faithful port of Persona 3, though a few changes have been made in the name of disc space and gameplay pace. This more noticeable change is the lack of animated story sequences. These are instead replaced with static scenes with voice-overs. Considering how quickly the game bounces from intro to playtime, I like the idea. Animated sequences are cool, but not when you're on the go and have limited playtime.
In-game visuals are nice and remain as true to the PS2 version as the PSP can. I've always liked the series' toned-down anime feel and was happy to see it translate as well as it does. There are a few noticeable spots where you'll expect just a little more visual kick, but overall, everything looks great.
I'm a little disappointed P3P didn't ship with some sort of soundtrack (though it does come with a killer Junpei baseball cap as pre-order bonus). Music always fits the mood perfectly, yet also manages to sound completely out of place thanks to the upbeat techno feel.
One of the first, major additions to Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 Portable is the option to play as a female character. Though the choice may seem cosmetic, it adds quite a bit to the story. The female protagonist offers a new way to go through the game. Her story is similar enough to not feel like a completely different story, but offers enough differences to keep you engaged. Playing as a female also completely reworks how Social Links work.
First off, female characters no longer see you as a love interest, adding a different dimension to your relationships. Instead, you'll spend time developing relationships with boys. Getting a handle on the Social Link system is vital to any sort of success you may or may not experience throughout the game. As Social Links blossom, you'll unlock new story paths with certain students and earn experience when fusing Persona in the Velvet Room.
Play time is split between exploring Tartarus, a giant tower on the 25th floor of the school, and attending classes. Having to go through your character's normal daily routine is different, but works exceedingly well. Like any good game, everything you do informs something else in the game. Going to school may seem like a bore compared to killing monsters in the tower, but it's probably the most important thing you'll do in the game.
P3P uses a point-and-click interface for getting around school. The change will annoy purists, but helps speed the game up. There's still a healthy amount of waiting around and watching things happen, but events still progress quick enough to make the game friendly for portable play.
When it comes time to explore Tartarus, gameplay completely shifts from school sim to dungeon crawler. Every night the tower resets itself, so you'll never go through the same area twice.
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 Portable does a fantastic job of slowly layering in elements. It makes for a slow start, but when your schedule starts to clutter up and you have to start making hard decisions, like whether to study or attend practice, you'll long for the easier times. Thankfully, there are no "wrong" decisions. Some won't lead to the outcome you want, but I never ran into a problem where a decision completely screwed up my game.
Enemies are viewable within dungeons, offering the opportunity to engage them in battle or, if you're quick enough, get around them and make a mad dash for the stairway. It's a fantastic example of risk-reward gameplay. You live to fight another day, but may not survive that day because you missed out on leveling opportunities and rewards.
Persona, demonic manifestations of everything you are as a person, are a key element in Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 Portable. Everything you do while not in the tower affects your Persona in some small way. Some actions may increase their stats, while others may unlock new abilities. It pays to make intelligent, informed decisions while outside the tower rather than simply blowing them off as story filler.
Learning to manage your social life requires just as much strategy as combat. There are only so many hours in a day, and you have to find a way to get the most out of your time. You can choose a couple of easy tasks that don't take up much time, but taking on harder tasks usually end in bigger rewards. Even though one bad choice won't completely ruin you game, it can cause complications that make your decisions even harder.
Unlike the PS2 release, P3P gives you direct control over your party. The new combat system is more akin to Persona 4 than 3, which is a welcome addition. Party members can combat enemies with normal weapons, like swords and bats, or summon Persona to offer a little extra magical firepower. You're limited to one Persona per party member, though you can switch them out at any time.
Battles revolve primarily around finding an enemy's weakness and exploiting it, so you'll want a healthy stock of Persona in your group at all times. P3P adds a legion of new Persona to the game, though you'll have to participate in Fusions to unlock some of the better additions.
If you haven't played Persona 3 yet, take this opportunity to do so. It's a fantastic RPG stuffed with things to do and interesting, yet unusual, ideas. If you're curious about what it has to offer a returning player, the new female protagonist's story is probably enough, though only if you're itching for another trip to Tartarus.