Good news for fans of Japanese role-playing games and Sony PSP owners emerged today. Cult publishers Atlus USA announced that Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 will be available in America for Sony's handheld on July 6th.
Originally released on the Playstation 2, Persona 3 is a popular entry in the far reaching Shin Megami Tensei universe (check out this link if you're interested in learning more about Mega Ten). The original version was a hit with fans and critics alike, and eventually spawned a pseudo expansion pack, entitled Persona 3 FES.
Unlike most Japanese RPGs, games in the Persona universe aren't based in fantasy settings--they're set in modern day Japan and feature characters fighting and recruiting demons to aid them in quests that regularly involve heavy occult overtones. In this particular entry, students at a local high school must discover why the city is overrun by hideous monsters every night during an extra hour most people don't realize exists. The game tends to shock some audiences because the characters must summon their Personas by shooting themselves in the head with a special gun.
Atlus promises a revamped adventure that should convince veterans of both earlier releases to give the game another run-through. Players will be able to select the main character's sex this time out, which promises lots of changes in the title's deep social link system. Also included will be five new difficulty settings--everything from "beginner" through to the hardcore "maniac" mode. The company also promises streamlined interface elements, short load times, and countless other enhancements to make the game more portable-friendly.
Persona 3 was already a great game, but it looks to be getting even better with this PSP release. Jump past the break to watch the new official trailer. Silly J-Pop ahoy!