Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Persona 4 + Persona 4: Arena

Out of season, but w/e :<
So a couple of weekends ago, I finally finished Persona 4.  Now, before I talk about anything important, I'm going to make the warning that this review or reflection about this game is going to be full of spoilers so unless you don't want the game to be spoiled, I recommend not reading the next few paragraphs.  I'll make the second point that if you have any intention of playing the game, you shouldn't read this as the story is one of the more important parts of the game.

I really liked Persona 4 both as a game and the story that it told.  The story was relatively simple story where a student transfers into the small town Inaba, and encounters these mysterious murders.  He's bestowed upon mysterious power that allows him to summon personas and goes around the town trying to save people, acquiring comrades and creating social links.  And after all of the murders have been solved, they get down to the real root of the problem on the last day where they fight and kill a god through the power of friendship.  It's a relatively story, but the message that they pass on through the story was powerful to me.

Bonds of people is the true power.
 When you're getting comrades and making social links, you become friends with the person.  At first, you only do casual things with them such as go and eat at some restaurant or go and hang out in the city. As you get closer, you begin to know who they are, and they begin to open up to you.  They tell you about their problems, and the hardships that they face.  You as the protagonist help them to overcome their problems.  In the end, they begin to realize these problems are created because they are unable to cope with a part of themselves.  Through your interactions with them, they begin to accept themselves for who they are.  The focus of all of these interactions with each person is that you need to accept yourself for who you are in the inside and from there, live your life.

The story itself also teaches another lesson.  Within Persona 4, there are multiple endings that can be seen.  There are at least 4 or 5 distinct endings, but there's only one true ending.  Since your original goal is to solve to murders and find the real culprit, and when you do so, it seems as though the gae may be over.  But on the last day, the day before you leave and go back to the city, you go around and say good bye to those you maxed your social links with.  After doing so, the game tells you should go home and rest since you're leaving the next day.  The correct choice is to say no, and go inside the TV.  If you went home then, you would only get the normal ending.  For the true ending, you have to "Reach Out to the Truth" so to speak.  Just because you found out who the murderer is doesn't mean all of the mysteries are solved.  How you obtained the power to use Personas before everyone else is something that needs to be answered.

Persona 4 has a cool message that is universal and is also a fun game so I think that Atlus did a great job.  I really want to play Persona 3, but for now, I'll just play Final Fantasy 6.

I wanna pick cross-dressing protagonist :<
Now that I'm lazy and don't feel like writing much else, I'm going to sum up my thoughts on P4A.  It looks fun, fast and interesting.  The game seems much faster paced than say Blazblue due to a much shorter combos.  Although the game hasn't fully developed considering it's only the second week that it's been out, the mechanics in the game seem to work out pretty well.  Unfortunately the amount of characters that I'm looking at currently is way too high.  I want to try out Yosuke, Aegis, Chie, and Akihiko.  Hopefully when I get my hands on it (someone dump the arcade rom somewhere ahhh), I'll get to explore the characters and have fun with the game ^^

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