The demon's in the details.
I popped in to the Atlus booth to get a fresh Day 3 band-aid and to chat with the nurses who were equally cute and intelligent, when I noticed that the Persona PSP station was free. When I popped by the previous two days someone was always filming it or doing an interview around it. I pounced on it before anyone else could snap it up, and began to explore the game with a friendly Atlus helper.
The demo wasn't going to show a lot of story, but it did give me free reign of the city. I wandered around, and to my surprise was pulled into a random encounter — having played copious amounts of Persona 3 and 4, I wasn't used to being attacked on the streets. I noticed immediately that I could recruit the demons facing me. My Atlus helper explained that each member of my party had several abilities that could be used to talk the demons over to my side as companions. "No problem," I reassured him, "I was really good at recruiting in Nocturne." He sort of smiled blandly at me, and I quickly began to understand his amusement.
It's close to midnight and something evil's lurking in the dark.
Each monster has visible traits such as timid, aggressive, haughty, etc. When attempting to talk a demon over to the player's side, a diamond shows up which has angry, scared, happy, etc; as I used a variety of coaxing methods, the colour associated with each side of the diamond began to fill it up. My first enemy I accidentally sent into a total rage, as its anger section quickly filled to encompass the entire diamond and it attacked me out of turn. After that, they didn't want to talk to me at all so I slaughtered them instead.
Combat is still menu/turn based, although weaknesses do not appear to give extra turns. Personas level up independently from the characters, as they can swap around — this ability is no longer limited to the main character. My persona even levelled up mid-combat, which surprised me. I did not notice at first that each character has a finite attack range; I killed the closest enemy to the far right male in my party and he was unable to reach the sole remaining enemy on the far left of the screen. Once I finished combat, I took off down the street again. I ran into two other random encounters; it turns out I'm really bad at recruiting mobs since I scared a pair of zombies totally away from combat and also failed to recruit a zombie nurse. Maybe that latter one was for the best...
Sadly, yet another camera crew arrived to spotlight the title, so I had to leave it behind. Even worse is there's no really solid release date for the title yet, so I'll be pining away for the next Atlus Faithful newsletter for now.