The basic gameplay is more or less the same, so if you wanted to do a non-New Game+
of Persona 4
, it's almost like a new game of Persona 3
The Yosuke-analogue in P3 (Junpei Iori) is a great deal more annoying. I found Yosuke to be so much better that I couldn't understand the claims that he's a Jerk Ass
(in a typical teenager kind of way) until I stopped to think about it.
The battle system is almost
the same, but P4 refined it in several ways to make it slightly easier for the player. Which means that if you play P3, you'll have to re-learn everything and forget muscle memory. (For example, attacking an opponent who's Down doesn't dizzy them; it brings them back up.) You also can't directly control your teammates.
You will hate
the Fatigue system. Weirdly, you probably won't need to grind in dungeons that much; I found that exploiting weaknesses allowed me to overcome storyline bosses so early that I gained three to four levels upon their defeat.
You can go up Tartarus. You can't go back down, unless you go all the way to the lobby (via checkpoints or a rare item), go back up to the nearest checkpoint, and then work your way back up. Since the floors are truly randomized, you probably don't need to do this anyway. The "go back to the beginning" item (Traesto Gems) is not sold in normal stores, unlike the Goho-M in P4.
Social Links are a lot
harder to do hundred percent completion on, especially in non-FES. Also, I don't know if this is also in P4, but there's a sort of time limit per social link in P3 where you have
to see them, or they'll Break and you have to spend time to repair it. This time limit varies depending on whether they're male or female, and whether the female link is after a certain rank (whereupon they automatically become your girlfriend), and whether you've seen any other female social links in that time. (I got bitten by this in my first play-through of P3.)
Some Personae are in different arcana. It's occasionally confusing.
Overall, I like the city-atmosphere of P3 better, but I really
like the gameplay improvements of P4. (Apart from the Early Bird Boss
of Yukiko's Shadow.) There's a strange sense of urgency in P3 that I felt a bit lacking in P4, possibly due to the more lax Social Links, or possibly because in P3, the storyline bosses turn up on schedule at fixed dates, rather than being able to defeat them within a certain window.
P4 is also significantly happier, and less DOOM-y.
Also: the animations in battle (apart from the individual flair each character does when shooting themselves in the head) in P3 are significantly less awesome than in P4.
edited 10th Jul '09 10:54:12 AM by dkellis