Friday, February 25, 2011

persona 3 unexpected update 1

persona 3 unexpected update 1
persona 3 original article

i wasn't expecting to want to write an update on this game, but I've been plugging away at it, and the gameplay does kind of change after you get so far in, and get so familiar with the game mechanics. Also, where my enthusiasm went up and then down, it has come back up again. The game does lag for the second 10 hours or so, but it picks up again as the story takes a few turns. Also, the figure for playtime on your save game (18 hours, 13 minutes, for example) is not really indicative of how long you've played the game. You see, as stated, you will restart boss fights numerous times, and each of the "good ones" takes at least 20 minutes. So I've probably been playing over 24 hours not including that time my save got deleted.


What happened was I hit a point in the game where I expected it to turn "standard" and remain that way. You see, there are a lot of little things that happen initially in this game that really make it stand out. The "days" (you play a whole year as a silent protagonist, one day at a time) are partitioned off into "morning", "before school", "lunch", and so on, and you have to pick how to spend your time within each period. In the beginning, interesting things will happen where other students approach you and offer to hang out with you, unexpected events will cause you to have to go straight home after school, final exams come up, and so on.


What happens is after a while, you start to "understand" how the game, its time mechanics, and the social mechanics work. You start to see the programming behind what is initially a random-seeming world. Lots of times you have to decide on which friend to hang out with, weighing your personal interest in them and practical benefits as well. But after a while, you start to look at these interactions not in terms of personal commitments or anything like that, but as numbers and stats. You start to "plan" your days, using numbers and statistics as your reason for doing this or that rather than your own personal interests. I was sad to see the game become that way. For a little while, it really does feel like it is of critical importance, deciding whether to tell one friend to "take it easy" or "toughen up", or decide whether to cancel plans with another friend because your in-game girlfriend is distraught. After a while, though, what is usually a tough decision becomes routine as you do it one day after another. As I started to notice this, I became a little sad to see an initially-great game start to lag.

Fortunately, though, the game keeps a few cards up its sleeve, constantly updating the story with new information, and adding new characters for you to use in battle. Your romantic relationships are pretty tough to manage, as the game sets you up with a potential girlfriend early on. You meet her and you get to know her, follow her story as you spend time with her and so on. You pass various thresholds of relationships, have several interactions like this and become a couple. Later on, though, you get familiar with other girls as you experience pieces of the story, and things can get a little messy if you try to date someone else. Yes, they're only 1s and 0s, and yes it's about as pathetic as playing with paper dolls, but for the duration of gameplay it's pretty fun and challenging. You have a "courage" statistic that you build by doing things like karaoke and movies, and I thought it was pretty funny when the game told me that in order to beable to date 2 girls at once, I needed to have my courage built to "badass". My current level was "timid". Also, I have to mention that the game has phenomenal music. I don't know if it's my own taste or just the fact that I appreciate how much it compliments the visual style, but it's lovely.

Like FFXIII, it goes so unbelievably well with the battles. It's hard to explain just with a clip of the music, but you're going to have to trust me.

I'm surprised how much the game has kept things fresh as I approach the half-way mark. The game allegedly ends when you defeat 12 "boss" monsters, and I've beaten 6 so far. Personal relationships between characters, story events, and constantly-developing plots are making me want to continue this game, and even play it again. I don't usually replay RPGs just because of how loooooong they are, but this is a game that allows you to discover something new every time. I don't even mean that like the game has things that are random. It is 100% because of the fact that there's so much to do in the game, and so many people to get to know that you can't possibly see every last event on one playthrough. I thought I had spoiled a lot of the story simply by reading FAQs on the game, but the event that I thought was the "endgame" has only just happened, so I'm excited to see what happens. Also, I forgot last time to include what summoning a persona looks like.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Can't find it?