- Persona 3 Portable and Persona 4 Golden are finally available on all modern consoles and PC.
- Persona 3 Portable has a significantly lower player count on Steam compared to prior Persona entries including Persona 5 Strikers and Persona 4 Arena Ultimax.
- Some of the attributed reasons can be narrowed down to a flawed port and decision to port the PSP version of the game instead of the PS2 original.
It seems that Persona 3 has launched to a bit of a whimper from the PC crowd this time with a staggeringly low player count. Falling drastically behind the re-releases for Persona 4 Golden and Persona 5 Royal. Not only that, it appears that even the spin-offs such as Persona 4 Arena Ultimax and Persona 5 Strikers had a higher player count.
When Persona 4 Golden was finally released for Steam, the game managed an all-time peak of 29,984 players within a day of its launch. While it was the first time the series made its foray into Steam, the re-release of Persona 5 Royal tells a similar story. The game reached a peak of 35,474 players on release day.
Persona 3 Portable, on the other hand, maintains only a modest player count of 3,515 at its all-time peak on launch day.
Since its announcement, the Persona 3 Portable remaster has been a game that many have been excited about. A remaster of what is easily one of the best and most beloved entries in the Shin Megami Tensei franchise.
However, there had been much skepticism about the scale of this re-release. The game currently has a Mostly Positive rating on Steam with 75% of the 808 reviews on the generally positive side. This contrasts the Overwhelmingly Positive reception that Persona 4 Golden and Persona 5 Royal had on Steam.
Is it due to the game itself or is this on the quality of the remasters?
Further inspection of the reviews reveals many issues prevalent in this remaster. Audio that sounds worse than the originals, poorly upscaled art causing worse looking backgrounds and artifacts as well as little to no gameplay improvements.
Of note is the particular removal of the ability to choose which skills to inherit from Persona to Persona. This was a feature added to the re-release of Persona 4 Golden and even the often-maligned and overpriced port of Shin Megami Tensei 3 Nocturne.
A disappointing port coupled with the fact that it’s a remaster of an inferior PSP release instead of the PS2 version and it shows why it’s not doing as well as the other games did. Though to its credit, it did end one of the longest running debates in the Persona community.
It also has to be mentioned that Persona 3 is one of the entries that few people really talk about. While Persona 4 and 5 remain at the crux of every Persona-related conversation. Older entries in the series remain mostly out of the conversation for a lack of relevancy.
Even though Persona 3 is personally one of my favorite games in the franchise, it’s both easy and a little disappointing to see it fail to reach the popularity of its peers.
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