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Spoon
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"Persona 4, now that's out in the US" , posted Wed 10 Dec 13:40post reply

So, Persona 4.

For those of you that have played it, harangue us with your opinions about it.

For those of us who are playing it, post so that we can track your opinion of the game as you progress through it.

I've recently started playing Radiata Stories again because slowly stabbing 600-900HP dwarves to death with my 6 dmg knockdown thrust is just as entertaining as I remembered it being. I'm not sure if I'll be able to beat the game (I deleted my old save so that I could free up room to make a save file for... I'm not sure what, Raw Danger?), but beating up civilians is one of the things that I love about Western RPGs that is joyfully present in Radiata, and allows the game to be played for just a few minutes with a sense of fulfillment.

Meanwhile, I will continue to wonder whether or not P4 will finally mark the occasion of me beating a Persona game.






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Pollyanna
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"Re(1):Persona 4, now that's out in the US" , posted Wed 10 Dec 15:30post reply

My final verdict on the game is that it was entirely too long for its own good. It had a lot of good elements, some genuinely likable characters and was a huge improvement over P3 in many ways, but in the end, it just failed to deliver.

I enjoyed much of the game and had faith that it was going good places for quite a while, but when it started to go sour in the last 20 hours or so, it became a chore to play. After forcing myself to finish the game, I had to remind myself that the game was actually fun in the beginning.

So...my advice to anyone who plays it is: if you start getting sick of the game, quit while you're ahead. It only gets worse. Leave with your happy memories before they sour.





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Samson
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"Re(2):Persona 4, now that's out in the US" , posted Wed 10 Dec 18:01post reply

quote:
My final verdict on the game is that it was entirely too long for its own good. It had a lot of good elements, some genuinely likable characters and was a huge improvement over P3 in many ways, but in the end, it just failed to deliver.



Do you feel the same about P3 ?





Pollyanna
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"Re(3):Persona 4, now that's out in the US" , posted Wed 10 Dec 18:27post reply

quote:

Do you feel the same about P3 ?



Kind of. P3 was definitely too long.

I mean...in P3, I felt like the characters were (almost) all shameless stereotypes, so I lost any hope that they would develop in an interesting manner very early on. In Persona 4, I'd call it "untapped potential", but in P3, I'm not sure there was any potential to begin with.

Also, the mazes in P3 are...well, they're not really "mazes" and that part of the game becomes ridiculously easy and monotonous by about the halfway point, so that wasn't as good, either.

But...yeah, I guess I still have to say that I felt the same way, because I eventually lost faith in the characters in P4 and the mazes eventually got monotonous and annoying (although they maintain a level of challenge at least). I just think the "quit while you're ahead" point comes a lot sooner in P3.

I might want to mention, to Persona 4's credit, that it has excellent boss fights that I enjoyed even after the rest of the game lost its charm.





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"Re(4):Persona 4, now that's out in the US" , posted Thu 11 Dec 06:23post reply

This isn't exactly reassuring. It sounds like the exact same thing as P3

Maybe I'll hold off on buying this until the price drops....





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Phoenix
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"Re(4):Persona 4, now that's out in the US" , posted Thu 11 Dec 07:41post reply

I'm like 60% (?) done with P3 and I haven't touched it in months...

I like the cutscenes and story but the game feels like a chore...

I think the primary problem of JRPGs nowadays is in the pacing. Many of them are just too long for their own good. If it's long to tell a long story then fine. But when it's long cuz of other artificial crap that just sucks.

If P4 has better characters and combat that's great. But if the pacing sucks again that's horrible. What about the story and the ending? Are they better than P3?





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"Re(5):Persona 4, now that's out in the US" , posted Thu 11 Dec 08:20post reply

I have a lot to say about this game, but there's one point I want to make very clear:
Persona 4 is much better than Persona 3 in almost every way.

That being said, I can move on...

quote:

If P4 has better characters and combat that's great. But if the pacing sucks again that's horrible. What about the story and the ending? Are they better than P3?



It has better characters, better bosses, better dungeons and a much improved commu system. I became irritated with just about everything in P3 very quickly, whereas it took many many hours for P4 to wear thin.

The problem is the ending is so bad that it makes me want to invalidate the rest of the game. I felt that the story was decent when I was playing it, but when I realize that it isn't building up to anything worthwhile, then it makes it all seem pointless.

But that's not quite right, because when I think back on it, there are so many scenes and so many lines from P4 that I still love...that are really good memories. I still love (most of) the characters. I can't say that about P3 at all.

I dunno, the best way I can put it is that in like...Innocent Sin, the characters all have scenes that kind of "cinch" their stories toward the end of the game. There are emotional scenes throughout the story that are key developing points for them. In P4 each character's big scene comes extremely early and while there are many enjoyable scenes with them later in the game, none of them have any impact (either on the character or emotionally). The plot is extremely character-focused, so when the characters are so static (even if they're enjoyable) it seems kind of pointless.

This is made worse by the artificiality of the commu scenes. In P4, completing the commu scenarios of your party members is really important. Not only does it make them stronger in battle, it feels more relevant, because they're closer to you than the (mostly) random people that take up the other commu. The problem is, all the developments that occur in the commu scenes are totally optional, so in a way, it's like they never happened at all. Well, that...and like P3, most of the scenarios are painfully typical and bland.





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"Re(2):Persona 4, now that's out in the US" , posted Thu 11 Dec 09:52:post reply

quote:

I enjoyed much of the game and had faith that it was going good places for quite a while, but when it started to go sour in the last 20 hours or so, it became a chore to play. After forcing myself to finish the game, I had to remind myself that the game was actually fun in the beginning.
Oh nooooo it's Tales of the Abyss/FF XII syndrome!

Edit: wait, it's Tales of the Abyss syndrome and reverse FF XII syndrome! I almost grounded out when Vaan was sneaking around the dumb banquet hall.

What, the topic? I can't believe none of my friends and I never played any Megaten games.





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[this message was edited by Maou on Thu 11 Dec 10:13]

Pollyanna
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"Re(3):Persona 4, now that's out in the US" , posted Thu 11 Dec 11:32post reply

quote:

Oh nooooo it's Tales of the Abyss/FF XII syndrome!



I'm just going to dominate this topic and try not to feel bad about it because I actually have something to contribute for once.

I liked the end of Tales of the Abyss! Well, the ENDING I liked. The animation was beautiful and it had a kind of strange, bittersweet feeling. Like "I'm not sure this is what I wanted, but I know it's right."

On the other hand, the incredibly forced speeches before the final boss were lame as well as the "no, you go ahead" scene I've seen 1000 times before. Still, I ended the game feeling good about it, which is surprisingly rare these days.

It does seem that so many RPGs these days self-destruct at some point. Then you have games like Blue Dragon and Tales of Vesperia (and Trusty Bell, to a lesser extent) that are a joy to play and wonderfully paced, but have such painfully mundane stories that they're destined to be forgotten. RPGs like that have given me renewed faith that some developers actually respect that someone will be PLAYING their game, but my faith that they can actually tell a decent story is still severely shaken.





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Phoenix
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"Re(6):Persona 4, now that's out in the US" , posted Thu 11 Dec 11:35:post reply

You summed up a lot of my gripes rather well. I love a lot of things about P3 but I don't like how everything is optional and these optional things are rather important story-wise and gameplay-wise.

Maybe that's why I loved the SNES RPGs? Perhaps they had less options and customizations and open ended adventure. But when it comes to delivering a good story, I do want some sort of a linear narrative that gives structure to the story. Too much optional quests and open ended game design hinders the story telling (especially the pacing)...which is at the heart of every good RPG. This critique applies to both JRPGs and western RPGs.

Back to P4, what you are telling me reminds me of Valkyrie Profile (which I love) in some way... VP had great characters but it was way too difficult/illogical to know how to get the best ending. And the regular ending was a let down. Anyhow, I think I'll wait until P4 drops in price then let it join my gigantic backlog list of RPGs to play. Thanks for the in depth response as usual Polly.

edit: As you say, it really does feel like it is getting hard to find a RPG that I feel good about after finishing it these days.





[this message was edited by Phoenix on Thu 11 Dec 11:39]

Pollyanna
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"Re(7):Persona 4, now that's out in the US" , posted Thu 11 Dec 11:49post reply

quote:

Back to P4, what you are telling me reminds me of Valkyrie Profile (which I love) in some way... VP had great characters but it was way too difficult/illogical to know how to get the best ending. And the regular ending was a let down. Anyhow, I think I'll wait until P4 drops in price then let it join my gigantic backlog list of RPGs to play. Thanks for the in depth response as usual Polly.

edit: As you say, it really does feel like it is getting hard to find a RPG that I feel good about after finishing it these days.



I know I just posted, but I have to reply to this. Hahaha...

I loved Valkyrie Profile to death. I don't think it's aged well in some regards (the special moves in battle take way too long), but when I played it, it was dangerously close to becoming my favorite RPG.

But you're right, the ending most people got totally sucked and the "true" ending was an absolute insult. Sure, the events leading up to it were good, but the horrible "animated by one guy" cheapo FMV with a stupid romantic "love conquers all" deus ex machina stereotyped ending made me almost forget that the rest of the game was any good at all. I thought "how can you have a game so strikingly original that blows it in the last 5 minutes!?"

Poor Tri-Ace/Crecendo! VP2 was so much fun to play (and had a phenomenal soundtrack), but had one of the most ridiculous plots I've ever seen. Then Trusty Bell comes out, with good pacing (from a gameplay perspective), an absolutely brilliant battle system, a wonderful soundtrack...and...brutally uneven storytelling and lifeless characters.





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Maou
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"Re(4):Persona 4, now that's out in the US" , posted Thu 11 Dec 11:54post reply

quote:

I liked the end of Tales of the Abyss! Well, the ENDING I liked. The animation was beautiful and it had a kind of strange, bittersweet feeling. Like "I'm not sure this is what I wanted, but I know it's right."

Ah, you're right! I guess I meant, Tales of the Abyss syndrome up until the ending battles and credits, which were fantastic. If I could just delete everything after the FIRST time you kill the last boss before a terrible 20 hours before you have to do it again, that game would be really really tight. Perso--what?





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"Re(6):Persona 4, now that's out in the US" , posted Fri 12 Dec 00:23post reply

quote:

I dunno, the best way I can put it is that in like...Innocent Sin, the characters all have scenes that kind of "cinch" their stories toward the end of the game. There are emotional scenes throughout the story that are key developing points for them. In P4 each character's big scene comes extremely early and while there are many enjoyable scenes with them later in the game, none of them have any impact (either on the character or emotionally). The plot is extremely character-focused, so when the characters are so static (even if they're enjoyable) it seems kind of pointless.



I think I know what you're referring to: the fact that

Spoiler (Highlight to view) -
shadow versions of every character appear before you even get them in the party

End of Spoiler

? I think it was somewhat of a bad move because it really resolves whatever issues each character had very quickly, unlike in Innocent Sin where they tackled their demons more gradually, with everything wrapped up by the time you reach their zodiac shrine. Atlus must have lost some of its better scenario writers. I think Persona 4 is miles ahead of Persona 3, but I definitely feel that the characters are still lacking compared to those in either of the Persona 2 games. Oh well. I'm still interested in playing through this game, but I hope they really nail it if they do another one. They're getting close.





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"Re(3):Persona 4, now that's out in the US" , posted Fri 12 Dec 01:28post reply

quote:
Edit: wait, it's Tales of the Abyss syndrome and reverse FF XII syndrome!

I think that's why I liked Raidou 2 : I hated every single character from the very beginning (except maybe Godô, but it didn't last long) so I didn't care how badly written they were or how unbearably cliché their lines were, because I skipped them anyway. Nothing was spoiled for me !