With rumours of a Remastered Persona 3 Portable on the horizon, our brains are starting to spin a little out of control, so we thought it best to put our desires into words about this prospective little gem of a game. Things were far from perfect on the PSP, but the Switch has the potential to revolutionise this underappreciated progenitor of the modern RPG. All being well, a few of our wishes below might just be granted, should it actually see the light of day…
We should preface this by saying that we don’t want it to go fully 3D, like the original or FES. Rather we would like to see the pre rendered backgrounds and graphics given a touch up, and elements like the UI given an extra bit of sheen, especially since a Switch version will have to scale up in resolution. We’ve played a version of P3P that has been scaled up to TV sizes, and it isn’t exactly what we’d call ‘pretty’.
When it comes to battle, then it goes without saying that things need a good amount of work. The block elements don’t have to be completely redone of course, but the lack of detail on some persona in particular can be very ugly.
The request system, which is essentially a form of side quests, does worry us somewhat when it comes to Atlus games. Modern games tend to do quite well, but when a tracker is completely absent from the UI, like in Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE, or it’s hidden two layers deep like Persona 3 Portable, tracking things can be a bit of a pain. We like the open ended style of the requests, after all this encourages exploration and this is kind of the point of Tartarus, but a bit of modernisation on the tracking system would really help. Make it easy to have fun with your extra content, Atlus.
We’ve already noted just how drab and dour some of the graphics are in P3P, and whilst we do understand that the portable platform had limitations, such things won’t be an excuse should the title be remastered for the Switch. That said, we’d really like to see battle animations sharpened up, with speed being the priority. We’re not expecting Persona 5 Royal levels of pace, but having seen the clunky and slow animation of Akihiko summoning his persona approximately one million times, we’d really like something a little more snappy. Hell, removing the actual shooting element and just having 2D art flash up when an ability is cast would be a great choice, in our opinion.
The Texture Of Tartarus
Functionally, Tartarus is very similar to Mementos, the seemingly infinite dungeon found in Persona 5, albeit one that went in the opposite vertical direction. We mention this because, well, Mementos wasn’t exactly a looker either, but it did feature a little more than a palette swap when sections were traversed… Alright so Mementos was almost as bad, but our point is that we’d like Tartarus to just offer some small amount of variation. We’re not expecting to find Persona Q2 levels of biome changes, but it’d be nice to not have to look at the same drab skull on the same wall, but with a different colour each time. This is hardly a dealbreaker of course, because we’ll still end up playing the hell out of any Persona 3 remaster, but it’d sure be nice to put a little more variation in there.
Look, we loved Shuffle Time back in the day. The thrill of seeing what you might earn for your weakness targeting performance was a great feature, and it encouraged players to lean into the battle system, but in its current form we’re afraid it has to go. Take it away and put it out to pasture, alongside timing based hit systems and day/night passive stat buffs.
Now, this doesn’t mean that we don’t want something after triumphing over opponents, but we’d rather it took the form of something like Persona Q. You did well, ended a battle with an All Out Attack or every enemy downed, so you get a reward – this makes sense. However, having cursed cards and the whole timing based button press just feels unnecessarily punishing, especially as the game progresses. Players seeing the shuffle time screen have literally just completed a challenge by winning the battle, don’t make them suffer a random loss just for the sake of it. It’s not fun, and that’s kind of the point really, isn’t it?