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しおんの王

しおんの王

I’ve been busy the past two weeks. Between tests, class, and Persona 3, I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve been negligent of posting on the blog.

Consider this my turning of a new leaf, though. First of all, I’ve like to say how wonderful it is that so many people are actually involved in Animation Society this year. We’re an official organization under the University now, and ~if all goes well~ I think we can have an event very soon. I’ll run it by you guys at our next meeting on Wednesday, where we’ll be watching Shion no Ou (which is surprisingly good) and of course voting on the next showing, which will draw from the genre of mystery/supernatural. Look forward to it!

As I said in the first paragraph, though, I’ve been playing Persona 3, which I have to say has been one of the most amazing experiences of my gaming life. More after the jump.

A great game.

Amazing.

A game must have a couple of characteristics, in my not so humble opinion, to make it worth playing: first of all, it has to have memorable characters. Persona 3 one-ups that rather general requirement by making characters and their development an inextricable part of playing the game. “Social Links” as they’re called, take up a good part of gaming time in order to max out, each one having its own consequences and eventual denouement. Secondly, though, in order to add to this, there is your relationship to your team that you cultivate throughout the course of the game, even allowing you to date a couple of members if you play your cards right. Both of these flesh out the characters much more than you’d usually find in a simple JRPG, but combined, they are a powerful element.

The second characteristic that makes a game worth buying is the amount of time you spend on it versus the amount of time you spend doing worthless things within it (exempli gratia: collection quests, grinding, and forced metagaming). Persona 3 is a 70+ hour game, as it says on the package, and I spent 69 hours on my game without going out of my way at any time for grinding or superfluous tasks. Each thing I did within the game world carried its own weight and developed things and I rarely felt that I was being dragged along while levelling. However, I would suggest playing on easy or normal in the FES version, rather than hard, unless you’re playing it for the absolutely full experience, which can easily consume and upwards of 120 hours if you wanted to do everything and not even touch the extra story in FES, which is an epilogue of sorts.

Yukata FTW!

Yukatas FTW!

Now, you’re probably wondering what the third and final requisite for a great game is, and I’ll tell you: the intangibles, the feeling, the gut emotions during the endgame that drive you to finish it whether you’re neglecting the real world to do it or not. I was recently having adiscussion about the end of Persona 3 with a friend, and I commented to him that the only time I really felt this emotional connection as I have in Persona 3 is in Japanese titles, such as Metal Gear or Final Fantasy. The end of a game has never left me feeling so profoundly thoughtful and hopeful as has Persona 3. At this point, though, I’ll ask: which games have you been left feeling almost ecstatic after? Which have made this connection in your life? I’m really curious to see whether you agree about the Japanese point, or whether I’m just an otaku (though I might be asking the wrong audience).

My point in this rant being: if you haven’t played Persona 3, and you enjoy anime, then you probably owe it to yourself just to give it a try. It shouldn’t be too hard to find. In fact, it’s still in print in the extended edition on Amazon, so give it a try!

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