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Thread: FL Plays the Persona Series

  1. #241

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    Yes, it's the fault of adults, but that's what you would expect if you were a teenager with no say on social matters and being mistreated by a corrupt system that benefits the few at the exploitation of those who can't do anything to really better there lives. It's especially poignant since Japan is very hierarchical society and it's expected that the adults look out for the next generation, and instead the game has them only looking out for themselves. It's something I feel in my own country as my parents generation is certainly more interested in protecting their own self-interest than leave anything for my generation or the one after mine. So I would say P5's themes hit pretty hard and close to home.
    I can acknowledge the Baby Boomers have hurt the US without blaming "adults." As I said, everyone from Sae to Shido is lumped together. Sae is in her 20s I believe and Shido was 52 I think it was. They are not even close to the same generation yet " all" adults are trout on, and the adults themselves agree with this.

    The P4 cast got more screen time showing they were best buds, that I can agree on. Where I disagree is whether that was actually important to the plot and something that helped the game. For me, I don't feel like it did. P4 was too much "slice of life" and not enough "murder mystery". I don't care that Kanji is going to get another comical scene of himself tripping over his words as he confronts Naoto once again about his mixed feelings, or listening to Yusuke ramble on about the MC being his partner and only friend for the umpteenth time. I wanted to solve an intricate murder mystery, not see what the Scooby Gang does on their days off. So damn straight I love the fact that P5's cast stuck to their objective and didn't waste my time with Ski Trips and school festivals, and instead focused on actually trying to make the world a better place.
    Fair enough if that is your preference but Persona from 3 and onward has been about making cool anime friends. The plot is a secondary concern. That's probably why 4 is so much more popular than 3. 3 didn't give you nearly enough time with your buddies and instead focused a lot more on the plot. In games where your "bonds" and friendships are what ultimately save the world, I think showing those friendships should always be paramount.


    I liked the fact the MC had a moment of story and gameplay integration by having him be upfront about how he was using his social links as a means to an end. Hell I appreciated the fact the game drove us away from the typical student shenanigans of P3 and 4 and allowed us to focus more on the outcasts of society. Listening to your classmates opening gossip about you and treat you like dirt instead of being the Mary Sue the past protagonists have been was pretty damn refreshing.
    Fun fact: I initially took "The Deal" because I couldn't careless about anybody or anything, probably because everyone did treat me like dirt so I saw no reason to care about any of them.


    As for P2 versus P4, I agree with Fynn that P2 is largely a deconstruction on the whole "power of friendship" spiel. At least the first game does, but that's because P2 had a real villain who was pretty genre savvy and knew how to exploit it for his own benefit. P2 also had minor message of "adults are useless" before the second half completely subverts it, and it's the adults that ultimately set everything right. P4 is a typical anime plot where believing in yourself and your friends is enough to make the impossible possible, which is frankly a dime a dozen in this medium alone. That is why P4 is not as special to me, especially since I feel the real world is a bit more complicated compared to the overly idealistic game. It's why I like the fact P2 makes choosing to let your comrades deal with their issues is the right choice because while it's great to have friends who will back you up, it's important to also be self-sufficient and not drag other people into your own baggage, especially when it's dealing with things only you who can resolve. Oddly, P4 kind of did this as well since the only thing the party did was prevent the Shadow from killing their other self when they were denied. It is still up to the character to resolve their own internal conflict.
    I never did finish Innocent Sin but I don't see how it was particularly complicated with its evil principals and Nazis out of nowhere for no reason. (I mean from a writing perspective. There was absolutely no reason to make them Nazis) It all felt incredibly hokey and silly to me. Granted my memory of the game is not perfect and I'll never play it again because its gameplay is unforgivably terrible and probably the worst I've ever seen in a JRPG. But it felt like the game was going nowhere until the revelations about Maya and Jun. I certainly wasn't really interested in anything until then. So much smurfing padding. Plus a lot of important dialogue is to be found from randomly walking around and talking to people instead of proceeding with the plot. That irritated me.

    I hear Eternal Punishment is better but bleh. It apparently has the same battle system so smurf that noise.

  2. #242
    Radical Dreamer Cid's Knight Fynn's Avatar
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    Well, the main villain of P2 (and P1 by retcon) is an anthropomorphic representation of all of humanity's destructive tendencies - the dark side of the collective unconscious, if you will. He's the reason rumors come true and manipulates the events from before the game to the point that he causes the friends to meet and takes advantage of their friendship to doom humanity. Oh, and he wins. So yeah, in Innocent Sin, friendship actually dooms the world.

    I heard Eternal Punishment plays better and is more challenging, but eh, I doubt you'll like it if you hated IS so much.

  3. #243

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    EP is apparently harder but that just means battles will take longer. That's the last thing this battle system needs.

    And I know the Nya is apparently behind everything. Philemon and him made a bet and something something the world is destroyed.

    They should have talked more about that instead of wasting a ton of game on irrelevant fluff. You guys insist this game has a great story but you don't see any of it for most of the game.

  4. #244
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    Well, I'm replaying IS now and I actually feel like that's not the case. Of course, I take the time to talk to everyone, so you could blame the game for not putting all the stuff in a linear path, but I actually like it. Makes the town feel alive. And the game spends exactly as much time as it needs on the Nyarly exposition. And a lot of the stuff from the fluff parts, as you call them, pays out very handsomely at the end. I also notice it's one of those game when, on a replay, when you know the stuff that happens, all the weird goofy scenes from the beginning suddenly feel much more meaningful and not really as silly anymore.

    And I heard EP isn't just harder, but that the battles are somehow smoother and go by way faster. So it is an improvement however you look at it. IS was cakewalk, what with the game just giving you the best Personas.

  5. #245

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    So I kinda feel...inadequate in a way when I try to talk about SMT. I've only played Nocturne and Strange Journey (unless most of DDS1 counts but given there was barely a plot there, I don't feel it enlightened me about anything relating to SMT Cosmology) and until such time as SMTIV is ported to the Switch or the 3DS emulator becomes better, I won't be playing that.

    So I decided to start up SMT2. It's the only "classic" MegaTen title I really ever hear about. I figure I should give it a try.

    I've always heard the older SMT games are kinda...silly or hokey? Like the creators didn't take them all that seriously. I guess Nocturne was a dark twist or evolution. This beginning is certainly quite odd.

    Going just by "this one is strong, this one is intelligent and this one is kinda like you" I wasn't sure what to name "them." The strongest one I named Nik, the smartest one I named Akechi and the one like me I named Cloud. No rhyme or reason, just whatever came to mind.

    Red Bear kicked my ass the first several times I fought him. I got a Knocker which had Tarukaja and I figured that would be my saving grace. Only he got oneshotted. Turns out investing all my points in Stamina (defense) and using Gun instead of sword attacks was the key to victory. But now it costs 1200 Yen to revive Knocker. smurfing hell.

    This Fortune Teller told me that I already know Hiroko somehow so I made sure to accept her request to take her to Madam's Manor. She seems important and I have no idea what's going on so accept any clues I can find about who I am and what I'm doing.

    I guess the free Pixie was a tradition started later in the franchise since the only Pixie I've encountered so far is a High Pixie who did nothing but steal my EXP.

    Wow, we're really incompetent. We couldn't stop one stupid doctor from fiddling with statues. On he bright side, I have a name. I just went with Aleph because I heard that was the canon name for the SM2 PC. Plus I already kinda named somebody else Nik by mistake. I also have a new party member who will be mine forever.... I was wondering if any of the "named people" would be female. The fact the one named female is my apparent eternal "companion" is...maybe problematic? I named her Yuko after my teacher in Nocturne aka the only human character in that game worth a damn.

    Speaking of Nocturne, I remember Gaians and Messians from the handful of times they were mentioned in Nocturne. I don't really remember what the hell they did in Nocturne but they were definitely mentioned towards the start. I think Hikawa was involved with all that somehow but went "rogue" from whichever group he was part of.

    The gameplay is...something. It feels like Strange Journey but super primitive and dumb. There are so many needless rooms and hallways. I'm not even talking about obligatory time wasters in dungeons, even non-combat areas have a ton of wasted space. It's a really weird design philosophy.

    I was talking to someone on Reddit where a newbie whose first game was P5 was thinking about playing older Persona stuff. Somebody told him that "P2 is a 20-year-old game, it's gonna have problems." There are a lot of 20-year-old games people love and still regularly replay. It just seems like the 20-year-old SMT and Pesona games have aged ten times faster and 20 times worse than Final Fantasy VII or whatever. My conclusion is that they probably just weren't actually that good to begin with.

    But I just started SMT2. I'm not trying to be down on it. It's just that I'm kinda sleeping through gameplay right now just to try and advance the story. That is absolutely why I am here. I want to see more of the SMT Mythos

    Well my post came to a premature end 'cuz I'm goddam nanoyed. I went to try and stop King Frost and Basilisk but everyone in my party ended up dead. We fough tsome "Depth" monster that I didn't know what the hell to do because all it kept saying was it enveloped itself in water and I'm like what the smurf does that even mean. I had Yuko use Jionga on it which I guess worked but didn't seem super effective. It took forever to beat it. I lost a monster fighting it and decided to run away. Only I ran into Basilisk who poisoned MY ENTIRE PARTY so everyone died. I spent every last Yen I own to revive Yuko and Angel. My Jack Frost and Hag? Dead.

    I was so smurfing happy to finally have a real team at last. I got this Hag, Jack Frost, Angel and Alp plus Yuko. Only now I can't even get at some of my acquisitions because I spent every last bit of money I've gathered all game just to revive two of them.

    So I'm irritated and stopping for now. There better be a nice and easy way to grind money in this game. This game isn't exactly giving me any help. I have to figure out what half the items and stuff I have even do all on my own.

    P..S.

    Some jackass I remember on another forum talked about how he could fuse Metatron or Micheal in the first hour of this game and steamroll everything. smurf that guy.

  6. #246

  7. #247

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fynn View Post
    Pffff. Have you played FFVII lately? That thing is slow as molasses!
    I have, actually. I've replayed VII a few times in the last couple years. Not all the way through each time but still a decent bit of it.

    Sorry dude but even those few who will go to bat for P2 in terms of story have long since conceded it plays absolutely terribly.

    No one is going to vouch for Persona 2 having better gameplay than FFVI or VII.

  8. #248
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    I'll give you FFVI, but P2's gameplay is more fun to me than FFVII's at this point. At least in P2 the battles go faster because you can skip the animations. In FFVII, every stupid little fire spell gets 15 different camera angles to show off those amazing polygons they suddenly discovered that day. Seriously, people give IX crap for being slow, but at least in that game the ATB bar never stops, so you at least have stuff to do while the animations play out. In VII, even on active, all action is halted so you can watch the stupid spell animation. It's dumb. Makes me enjoy P2 more. But what the hell, call me wrong or whatever. Funny how people can have different tastes and trout.

  9. #249

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    You're free to like or dislike whatever you wan. I'd be the world's biggest hypocrite if isaid popularity = being correct seeing as how I really dislike P5 and it's widely beloved.

    But I feel it's perfectly fair to say the general opinion is one way or another. That's what I was getting at originally. FFVII is still replayed to this day by a great many people. Obviously they don't hate it. Nobody adds the qualifier "but it was made 20 years ago so be forewarned."

    Persona 2 being old is not its problem, basically.

  10. #250
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    I think this is also due to the fact that everyone and their mother played FFVII back in the day, but not Innocent Sin, so coming back to it is more familiar. Newcomers to FF are just as wary of the older titles as new Persona/SMT fans are of the earlier games. Still, with FF the gameplay changes pretty drastically from game to game nowadays, so maybe it's easier to expect something different from the past titles. With Megaten, it's all just slightly different takes on turn-based.

    But I digress. Haven't played SMT II myself, but I did beat SMT I on iOS and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was a great way to spend my commute and I was actually not at all bothered by the very basic battle system. The face that demons never leveled up is something I kind of miss in later titles now since it really encouraged you to experiment with fusion and all that felt very rewarding. I can only assume it works similarly in SMT II.

    Never really heard they were going for something sillier, tbh. From interviews with Cozy and Kaneko, I only heard that their main idea behind the series was maintaining a "punk-like attitude" - as in, the games are kind of meant to be counter culture. And they kinda succeeded - at the time, most RPGs were classic good vs evil storylines in fantasy (occasionally sci-fi) settings, and a modern/post-apocalyptic setting with demons and tons of moral ambiguity combined with a general sense of misanthropy (I mean, really, in the end humans are the real dicks of this universe, whether law or chaos aligned) goes in as far an opposite direction as possible at the time. And I really like that. Up until a certain point, at least (though I believe it's still at the whole series' core, even though some megaten redditors disagree), the series has this kind of defiance against what is safe and expected to sell well and usually doesn't compromise its messages for the sake of marketability.

  11. #251

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    It's interesting you would say SMT's message is Humans Are The Real Monsters when Neutral (Humans Are The Bestest!) is clearly the preferred option for the series.

    Secular Humanism, love your fellow man and beat the trout out of all demons, that is the message SMT really wants to convey. I totally disagree with that message though and am glad the game gives me options if I do disagree. But you still get the feeling going Law is kinda like blowing up the Brotherhood of Steel in Fallout 3. Sure you can do it but the developers don't want you to. They clearly have a preferred path built around what they think and that takes precedent over what you think.

  12. #252
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    I'm not really sure about that, tbh. The reason we see Neutral as the best choice is mostly (well, excepting SMT IV, I guess) quite possibly cultural. When you look at the fanbase in the West, most people will say Neutral or Chaos (sometimes) are okay, but Law is pretty much looked down on because our values are generally more centered on individualism, however. Law, however, is more popular in Japan than here, even if it's not the most popular option, simply because the Japanese society places such a big emphasis on harmony and obedience, to the point that this ideal vision of a still world isn't exactly seen as evil.

    I think the main point behind the entire series is that all of the presented ideologies have their fair points. Factions you end up joining/resisting are usually the most extreme forms of it, but there are just as many sympathetic chaos and law aligned characters in the series as there are neutral ones. And really, neutrality isn;t immune to it either - in SMT I the Neutral option is basically a Kill 'Em All scenario, with humanity being left directionless and lost in a broken world, while SMTIV: Apocalypse has the law and chaos endings as the premature bad endings, since the "main" multiple endings are various shades of neutrality. In the end, I just don't think the opinion of the creators is as clear-cut as we might think, since I'm pretty sure they really take a good look at the various aspects of these ideologies every time they make a new game, and I;m pretty sure their own views change and evolve overtime as well. Hell, even though YHVH is presented as the main evil in the earlier games, Kaneko himself has stated that that answer isn't exactly clear-cut.

    And regarding Humans Being the Real Monsters - it is heavily implied throughout the series that demons exist as an extension of humanity, and everything about demons is born from humanity. If there were no humans, there would be no demons, and demons wouldn't have the traits they have if humanity didn't have them too. Except humanity is capable of changing and demons are static. Ergo, humans can actively work to be morally good but still often opt not to, while demons pretty much don't have a choice since we've indirectly already determined their nature. In a way, that kind of makes them like animals, where you can't really say a tiger is an amoral murderer because the tiger is simply incapable of having morals.

  13. #253

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    Demons being the spawn of human thoughts or whatever is something I've heard about but given Strange Journey states they existed before humans did, I find that idea kinda suspect. Although each SMT game apart from 1 and 2 takes place in a different universe so maybe the rules are different.

    And of course Nocturne was big on how the Demi-Fiend couldn't change anything or have a Reason of his own which doesn't really make sense. As I recall, SMT still goes with the fallen angel myth of Lucifer. He was with YHWH but then rebelled which of course means he changed.

    I've noted this before but Persona isn't as different from SMT as one might think. In Persona's constant challenging of authority and insistence on individualism (taken up to 11 in P5), I see SMT Neutral. Neutral and Chaos have both been treated more fairly than Law ever has so far as I know. I can tell you that in Nocturne at least that True Demon (which is basically Chaos) has far more effort and thought put into it than any of the other routes.

  14. #254
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    Law is treated very sympathetically in Devil Survivor, for example. Neutral being kind is really a recent thing, with SMT IV especially being blatant about it, since the game is longer on Neutral, implying that it's kind of the "true ending" to the game. Aside from Nocturne, I also heard the second Raidou game is kind of more sympathetic to chaos than law, but I can't really speak for it. The early games, though? I'd say they treat the alignments pretty equally.

    I'm actually pretty hesitant on placing Persona/Devil Summoner games on an alignment scale, now that I really think about it, since the main point of alignments is that they're really only a reasonable reaction to an extreme situation, since it's obvious that in a regular functioning society everyone will default to Neutral since this is how you coexist in a stable society. Persona and the Devil Summoner games all take place in the same continuity where the apocalypse never happened, so I'd say that, even though there are certain call-backs and themes taken from the alignments (with Mark and Nanjo form P1 being basically your chaos and law companions but they're still good friends in the end), the situation is never really stressful on a deep enough, society-breaking level to make alignment choices a thing.

    EDIT: Regarding those demons - I don't think the fact that it's stated in the game that the demons are older than humans is necessary confirmation that this is a thing, since the demons come from our mythologies, and according to those mythologies, these demons have set origins that often precede humans, so of course everyone is convinced that is the case. It's kidna like the rumors in P2 wherein a person wasn't really a spy in the past, for example, but then when that rumor spreads it turns out they were a spy all along - even though they really weren't logically speaking. And then let's consider the fact that the Expanse doesn't necessarily obey the same rules of time that we do, so theoretically, by that logic, a demon made up in a specific time frame could actually show up in the past through the Expanse. This is more of a wild guess, though. I like my first theory better.

  15. #255
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    btw, I haven't played Apocalypse yet but I heard it actually makes this canon and gives the whole process of demons being defined by humans a name - Observation.

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