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Thread: FL Plays the Persona Series

  1. #1

    Default FL Plays the Persona Series

    So I don't know what exactly it was seeing as I've been considering doing this fo ryears but I finally decided to start playing th ePersona series.
    And I'm starting with 2 'cuz everyone says 1 sucks. I suppose part of the motivation was being reminded that of the JRPGs I've played, like 95% were Final Fantasy. I want to branch out some. Also I was reminded again of Persona 3 and 4 and all the endless adoration I saw for them years ago. I really want to see how they stack up for me.

    But they are two games away. I am playing Innocent Sin now, just defeated Principal Hanya to try and fix this curse. Thoughts thus far:

    1. This is the first modern Earth JRPG I've ever played. It's really weird that everyone has normal names and we're going to a (relatively) normal school. I can kinda dig it, though.

    2. The Contact feature is fascinating, if frustrating. I don't quite get it. I think what you want is to get peak interest from the demons? So you should focus on that instead of the emotions part?

    3. Related point, what do the Tarot Cards do? The exposition slime said they help our Personas?

    4. Speaking of Hanya, was the fight with him supposed to take forever? We were only doing like 20-something damage at most. First boss and it took a long time so I was worried I was doing something wrong.

    5. Speaking of long fights though, it took over an hour to get to any real combat. Kind of unexpected, most JRPGs don't drag that much. I don't mind seeing as this is all new and interesting but it might b ea real pain on replays.

    6. So far I think my favorite character is Lisa. I suppose I'm just racist. Also her dad is kind off a weaboo or a sexist pig or both.

    7. This game is very..."whacky." They have actually played the "womp womp womp waahhhhhhhhh" noise a couple times so far. (I'm trying to spell that out best I can, hope you know what I mean) I heard Eternal Punishment is much darker and this one is kinda kooky. It's certainly living up to that so far.

    8.Only other thing I know about this game is that it has some twist like FFVIII? I just recall reading once that this game did "we all grew up together" better than FFVIII. At least I think so. Everyone does keep saying they "remember" Maya so seems possible.

    Overall, it's very different from any other JRPG I've yet to play. Very promising and fun start.

    P.S.

    I promise to actually finish P2, 3 and 4. Stuff just came up with FFVI an Baldur's Gate. Nothing will stop me here! I must play these games and then ran tabout how they're not as good as everyone says!

  2. #2
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    Yeah, it's almost traditional that the Persona entries start off a bit slower than other RPG series. MegaTen in general tends to build a bit slower than other entries.

    Combat may have been slow due to the game being a bit bad about explaining Fusion Spells, casting certain moves in a specific order will create combination moves like Chrono Trigger's Dual/Triple tech system though in this game some moves can use up the whole team. The Fusion spells are based on basic moves all Personas have so don't worry about switching out Personas too much cause you can still potentially use the same Fusion Spells as long as the current personas you use have the correct abilities. One of the important things about this system that separates it from CT though is that turn order is important. It's not enough to have the required abilities to make the fusion happen, you also need to have the characters use the moves in the correct order. Luckily the game lets you select fusion moves directly once you've used them, but if you run into an issue where you can't get a certain fusion spell to work because it involves Eikichi (usually the slowest party member since he's the heavy) to use his move first, then you'll have to manually set him first and potentially let the enemies get their turns before you use your death bringing spell. It sounds more complicated than it really is.

    For pointers, you should be able to use Towering Inferno, which requires a Water spell, Earth spell, and Fire spell in that specific order.

    You should also know that there are some unique Fusion Spells that require very specific Personas like Ohm, which requires Shiva, Vishnu, and Brahma all using their unique skills to do 999 damage to all enemies.

    As for conversations, Excited is the best emotion since you can obtain Tarot Cards from demons, Happy will let you get an item/money/ask to leave or inflict them with happy status that makes them waste turns. Scared makes them run away, angry gives the enemy a free round to murder you. It is also possible to get all four emotions going at once. The key is to figure out the demons personality and choose the correct characters conversation skill to entice them. Depending on how you answer questions party members give you or due to plot elements, new styles of conversations which allow multiple party members to interact can be made. For instance, Eikichi will ask Tatsuya if he plays guitar and if you say yes, you'll unlock a dual conversation skill where Eikichi Sings while Tatsuya plays electric guitar.

    Tarot Cards can be traded in at the Velvet Room to purchase new Personas. Every demon in the game is aligned with one of the 21 Arcana and so getting them excited will make them hand over the tarot cards of their Arcana, in addition you can also obtain Free Cards from them which the Demon Painter in the Velvet Room can change into any Tarot Arcana you want barring Fool and the Minor Arcana since Fool is special and the Minor Arcana can only be obtained through Mutation. The Free Cards are also important because some Arcana can't be obtained through conversation. Sun, Moon,. Emperor, and Empress can't be obtained normally.

    You'll need to balance fighting and gaining cards to get stronger as you'll need lots of cards to get the best Personas but Personas are often unlocked by your party level so talking your way out of problems will keep you low level so find a balance that works for you.

    Characters have Arcana Affinity, which means that the effectiveness (SP Cost) of a Persona is based on how good of an affinity a character has with them, it will also affect how quickly the Persona will level up. Some Persona, have poor affinity with everyone and some can only be used by specific characters.

    Also a Persona levels up based on how often you use them but level even faster when you use Fusion Spells. It is also possible for Personas to experience Mutations which will either unlock a hidden move (every Persona has one) or some Personas can be transformed in the Velvet Room into a new Persona, this is the only way to Get Persona's of the Minor Arcana (Sword, Cup, Wands and Coin) which are pretty powerful and usually have Great Affinity with everyone.

    Glad you're liking it so far. EP is just as kooky at times but certainly a bit darker in its themes and content.

  3. #3
    'Just Friends' Formalhaut's Avatar
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    Never played the P2 duology myself, so I'll be looking forward to this! Persona is one of my favourite series, so I'll be glad to have someone else to discuss it with.


  4. #4

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    Thanks a lot for all your help, WK. The game didn't explain Fusion at all.

    Looking ahead though, should I just get P3 and 4 off PSN for my PS3? I don't have any handhelds but I hear there are like, 3 versions of Persona 3 and 2 versions of 4. The version on PS3 is "FES" which isn't as good as "P3P" or something?

    And I don't know about Persona 4 Gold or wahtever but I don't think I can play that anyway. Is it a lot better than the original like how FES is a lot better than original Persona 3?

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    Radical Dreamer Cid's Knight Fynn's Avatar
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    FES is unarguably much better than the original P3, whilr P3P is favored by some and considered not as good as FES by others. The main thing it has going for it is the ability to play as a girl which significantly changes many aspects of the game.

    As for P4 vs P4 Golden - P4 in general is much more polished than P3 was so the additions made to Golden, while still pretty fun, are not as necessary and gameplay-refining as the changes made to P3 FES. So yeah, if you have no handhelds, go with P3 FES and vanilla P4.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Forsaken Lover View Post
    Thanks a lot for all your help, WK. The game didn't explain Fusion at all.

    Looking ahead though, should I just get P3 and 4 off PSN for my PS3? I don't have any handhelds but I hear there are like, 3 versions of Persona 3 and 2 versions of 4. The version on PS3 is "FES" which isn't as good as "P3P" or something?

    And I don't know about Persona 4 Gold or wahtever but I don't think I can play that anyway. Is it a lot better than the original like how FES is a lot better than original Persona 3?
    I can really only given you opinions on the versions I've played, which happen to be the most recent incarnations:

    Persona 3 Portable: So basically, as opposed to the other two incarnations, it plays more like a visual novel. Cutscenes are done in a standard visual novel style, as opposed to before that had 3D cutscenes which played out before you. You cannot walk around either, so I guess it is fair to say it is menu based. The combat has been tweaked closer to Persona 4, which means that you can manually control your party members instead on relying on A.I presets. Tartarus is made easier (and a bit shorter) because you no longer have to worry so much about your party's stamina.

    The biggest change though is introducing a female protagonist path. Before, it was male only. P3P adds a female path and having played both, it is written better (they probably had time to refine their original writing). There are differences in social links and romance, which is great because the male path really mucks up links with females.

    I think it also introduces the 'Desert of Doors' sidequest, which is nice, and ties in a character from P4.

    There are other minor changes, but they're the main things. What might stop you getting P3P is the dramatic shift to a menu base as opposed to 'walking around'. If you're fine with that, P3P is the best option. If you're not, then probably FES.

    Persona 4 Golden: It adds two social links, and with it, two arcanas: Aeon (which appears in P3P), and the new Jester arcana. It adds new difficulty levels, and other additions to the flow of battle and new exploration options, chief among them is being able to hop on your scooter and travel to places.

    Noticeable changes are new English VAs for Chie and Teddie. This isn't a big deal, but if you've played original P4 before, it can be a bit of shock. Thankfully, Golden is the only one I've played. Beyond that, there's new music tracks, additional dialogue, and Winter is expanded upon, with January and a bit of February playable. Personally, it is better in every way. I know some people really dislike Marie, the new Aeon S.Link, but I don't find her that bad. I suppose you'll see.


  7. #7
    Radical Dreamer Cid's Knight Fynn's Avatar
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    FES also contains an additional chapter that takes place after the game. Imo, it's a grindy mess that doesn't really have that good a story, even though a lot of people adore it for some reason, but it's worth a shot if you're into the game!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fynn View Post
    FES also contains an additional chapter that takes place after the game. Imo, it's a grindy mess that doesn't really have that good a story, even though a lot of people adore it for some reason, but it's worth a shot if you're into the game!
    Yeah, the Journey. I've never played FES, so I can't comment on it particularly!


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  10. #10

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    Chie's voice actress....



  11. #11
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fynn View Post
    FES also contains an additional chapter that takes place after the game. Imo, it's a grindy mess that doesn't really have that good a story, even though a lot of people adore it for some reason, but it's worth a shot if you're into the game!
    IMG_65626383799723.jpeg

    Hush you, The Answer isn't that bad. Yes it's more Dungeon Crawler (since it wipes out the element that made P3 interesting such as Social Links and the Calendar system) but it makes sense in context why. The plot itself isn't that bad and actually does a pretty decent job of addressing the aftermath of something like P3, which I found to be quite refreshing.

    Honestly FES is the way to go for P3. It was too weird for me to deal with the Visual Novel UI after playing both P3 and FES on the PS2. Also FES added in all of the cool features like Nihil Weapons, an extra Social Link that doesn't feel quite as tacked on like the new ones in P4 Golden, character costumes, and it actually gave you a reward for completing all the social links in one cycle (and thankfully made it much easier to do so than the original) along with a bunch of other extras from the original.

    The Answer is also a fun little Epilogue that deals with the aftermath of P3's story and gives some more backstory to the cast. It also has one of the most badass battle themes in the series.



    With that said, the FemMC route from P3P is pretty awesome as well and the best selling point for P3P, but I would also point out that a lot of what makes it so cool is a bit lost on people who may not have played the original because there are a bunch of subtle elements that work best when you compare/contrast the two stories. With all that said, P3 was designed as a console game first and I still feel the PSP version doesn't quite do it justice.

    I never bothered with Golden, largely because I couldn't justify getting a Vita, and even this late in its life cycle, I still feel like I made the right choice. I have read up on some of the changes and while I like some of the gameplay changes (you mean I can make Naoto useful now?) like Fynn pointed out, it's not quite the gameplay/story leap from P3 to FES from its original. It's not a bad game either but I feel you are fine playing the original.

    SHIN.MEGAMI.TENSEI .PERSONA.2.full.810108.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf Kanno View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Fynn View Post
    FES also contains an additional chapter that takes place after the game. Imo, it's a grindy mess that doesn't really have that good a story, even though a lot of people adore it for some reason, but it's worth a shot if you're into the game!
    IMG_65626383799723.jpeg

    Hush you, The Answer isn't that bad. Yes it's more Dungeon Crawler (since it wipes out the element that made P3 interesting such as Social Links and the Calendar system) but it makes sense in context why.
    Eh, no, it really doesn't. It really, really doesn't.

    The AnswerThe friends who save the world together, who have been through so much trout together, lost friends, become allies, saw each other's innermost weaknesses... These people all suddenly act completely out of character and become total assholes towards each other, start to fight over a brand new magical macguffin to the point that the world is in danger of fragmenting over temporal distortions. No, no it doesn't make sense. It's poorly written, poorly implemented, lacks a lot of what made the original great, and really doesn't fit with the character growth that we see of the team throughout Persona 3.

    Literally the only good things about it were the fact that it stars Aigis, and the revelation of Minato's actual Answer at the very end of the chapter.

    Everything else is terrible.

  13. #13
    Radical Dreamer Cid's Knight Fynn's Avatar
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    Agree with Skyblade. The story is basically a step by step guide on how to write forced, implausible conflict.

    Still, if you get FES, you should play it just to have an opinion of your own on it

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    Having *watched* The Answer (NOT The Journey, ugh, silly Formy), the best I can say to justify it is how the team kinda falls apart from the (SPOILER)death of Minato/MC and the hole he leaves in the group. So you can see it as going through the stages of grief, and the character conflicts springing up because of that.

    I do agree though, they could write it better. But I can see where Kanno is coming from, and The Answer definitely isn't a useless addition. I suppose when you play it yourself, FL, you'll be able to decide for yourself.

    Honestly, having thought about it some more, FES isn't a bad shout. I've never played it, but it does retain the console vibe that P3P does not. I was okay going into P3P, but the different interface is jolting.

    Persona 4 vs Golden? I'd still say Golden, as it adds a truckload of content and the game looks much fresher. Marie is unpopular, but if you find her annoying, just skip through the cutscenes or just avoid her completely. I agree with Kanno: it really shouldn't be on a Vita because it would lose the console feel on the small screen, but you can just avoid that by purchasing a PS TV for dirt cheap (and they are cheap) and play it on the big screen. That's literally the main reason why I purchased a PS TV - just to play Golden.

    And I will disagree about the size of the leap between P4 and P4G. Story wise, P4 ends at the end of December, then leaps to March for the final day. P4G extends playability and cutscenes across January and half of February. And throughout the game there are new cutscenes that doesn't exist in P4. P4G isn't essential like FES or P3P was to P3, but honestly I don't think I could play P4 having played the updated version.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Formalhaut View Post
    Having *watched* The Answer (NOT The Journey, ugh, silly Formy), the best I can say to justify it is how the team kinda falls apart from the (SPOILER)death of Minato/MC and the hole he leaves in the group. So you can see it as going through the stages of grief, and the character conflicts springing up because of that.

    I do agree though, they could write it better. But I can see where Kanno is coming from, and The Answer definitely isn't a useless addition. I suppose when you play it yourself, FL, you'll be able to decide for yourself.

    Honestly, having thought about it some more, FES isn't a bad shout. I've never played it, but it does retain the console vibe that P3P does not. I was okay going into P3P, but the different interface is jolting.

    Persona 4 vs Golden? I'd still say Golden, as it adds a truckload of content and the game looks much fresher. Marie is unpopular, but if you find her annoying, just skip through the cutscenes or just avoid her completely. I agree with Kanno: it really shouldn't be on a Vita because it would lose the console feel on the small screen, but you can just avoid that by purchasing a PS TV for dirt cheap (and they are cheap) and play it on the big screen. That's literally the main reason why I purchased a PS TV - just to play Golden.

    And I will disagree about the size of the leap between P4 and P4G. Story wise, P4 ends at the end of December, then leaps to March for the final day. P4G extends playability and cutscenes across January and half of February. And throughout the game there are new cutscenes that doesn't exist in P4. P4G isn't essential like FES or P3P was to P3, but honestly I don't think I could play P4 having played the updated version.
    I actually got a Vita just for Persona 4 Golden, and I do not regret it. It really is the "definitive version". Unlike choosing between FES and P3P, you don't sacrifice anything by going with it (The Answer or Female Protagonist, respectively for the others). It just adds to the original experience. Graphically, in terms of story, in terms of writing, in terms of mechanics... It's just more goodness.

    Get a PSTV if you need to for it. But play Golden. It's well worth it, by far the best way to experience Persona 4's world.

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