Persona 3 Artbook review

Persona is enjoying a recent explosion lately with the games getting updates and new exciting titles coming out like Persona 4 Arena. Not to be left out, Persona 3 has an art book that is sure to please any fan of the game. Detailing many aspects of the game such as the characters, their personas, and the dungeons and enemies of the game. If you’ve ever wanted to know who Polydeuces or Orpheus was, this book, filled with comments from Art Director Shigenori Soejima, helps convey the absolute passion the Persona team had for the game.

Reading through the book, the comments help make you realize the absolute depth and thought that was put into the game. Everything from the character designs to their Personas and the people of myth they were based on all fits neatly into the themes of the character and the game. It’s hard to tell when playing the game, but reading the book adds depth to the themes and characters, a depth that was there, but you couldn’t necessarily tell. From an excerpt on Akihiko Sanada’s Personas design:

Polydeuces, the elder of the twins that make up the Gemini constellation, was known for having an “iron fist”. I tried to express that in his design by shaping his right hand like a tank cannon shell. The fact that Polydeuces has a small head and overdeveloped body is a reference to Sanada’s immaturity during the early stages of the game. In contrast, Ceasar represents the power Sanada eventually gains, as well as the maturity to consider how that power should be used. [Soejima]

 

The details showing the direction that the game started out at, and eventually made its way to, is a very interesting look at the creative process behind these games. The way they designed the main character to have a neutral expression and appearance as to help emphasize the fact that the player is the main character, and other subtle details put into the game are shown here in the book. I actually felt the strong urge to go back and examine the game again to pick up anything else.

At 140-pages long, this book details every major detail of the game; like the enemies, the social links and their design, the side characters, the environments, and even the concept of the tarot cards. Filled with beautiful illustrations and artwork, it is a must have for any Persona 3 fan.  The only thing I wished it had was if they included the new stuff from Persona 3 Portable, or even the after-story, The Answer, which has my personal favorite character, the female protagonist.  However, the book comes packed full of everything for the main game and is a good read for any fan. I would recommend it for sure.

Grade: B+

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Mark Marquez
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