There aren't many games that tackle high school life very well. Bully now stands as one of the best American games to examine the life of the teenager. Square-Enix's surprisingly effective The World Ends With You covers much of the same territory as Persona 3 FES and it pulled it off with less embarrassment. Persona 3 FES falls prey to the same localization issues that plague most Japanese imports.
Stiff voice acting and ellipsis abuse cause many scenes to lapse into cliché. For every muffed line, there's a sharply written, lively character like Junpei. And Igor, the mysterious gentleman with the oversized schnoz in the game's Velvet Room, delivers some of the best voice acting X-Play have seen in an Atlus game.
The game's perky music, especially the track with the funky rap bits, is downright embarrassing. As role-playing games have continued to prove, all this junk can be forgiven if the nuts and bolts of play are compelling enough. The three interwoven role-play threads in Persona 3 FES are so deftly sewn that it's easy to tune out the rest of the noise.