Rob Fahey of Eurogamer writes: So what is Persona 3? Well, to begin with, it's a bundle of contradictions. A spin-off from the dark, apocalyptic and sprawling Shin Megami Tensei series, it's actually the fourth Persona game - Persona 2, on the PlayStation, was divided up into a pair of volumes, each an individual game in its own right. Connected only thematically with the rest of the series, Persona as a whole is a light-hearted, funny and generally sunny simulation of high school romance - interspersed with scenes of violence, demonic possession and teenagers shooting themselves in the head. Another contradiction: it's an RPG with randomly generated dungeons to crawl, but is still really, really good.
Surprisingly, too, it looks great. Even to our next-gen trained eyes, it has a lovely sense of style - supported by a wise decision to use 3D characters and environments for battle and navigation, but to fall back on lovely 2D artwork to convey expressions and emotions. (PS3 owners take note, it looks especially gorgeous when upscaled.) The dungeon levels do get rather repetitive, admittedly, but some very original monster and Persona designs definitely help to lift the visuals on that side of the game.