Persona 3 review

July 9, 2008

Typical gay emo shitDidn’t Evangelion already teach us that kids shouldn’t be the ones saving the world?

After reviewing that horrible piece of garbage, “School Days”, I figured I should break the mold of anime reviewing and review a J-RPG. J-RPGs are really no different then watching anime, just once in awhile you have to move a certain direction, and sometimes enter combat in which you select your actions.

So let’s talk about Persona 3’s gameplay. It’s kind of a cross between two horrible styles. You’re either spending your time going to school, talking to people, developing relationships with these people, improving your stats (which includes education, good looks, and your will to do stupid shit). Now, I want to talk about two aspects of this waste of time; hanging out with people, and raising your stats.

Just leave me alone, dude.

Just leave me alone, dude.

This entire “hanging out with people” garbage is really a big waste of time. Most of what you do on your free time is a waste, actually, but this is a pretty big one. With most people you just start out hanging out with them and getting to know them, but over time you learn about these people’s worthless problems like it actually matters to you. Just nod your head and go along with they say through the choices you make (if one of your friends is looking down while eating food, ask him what’s up as opposed to stealing his fries), and your relationship will improve. Your relationship will have an effect on certain powers during combat, but I’ll get into that later.
So, while I can forgive this for being completely pointless, but the game really pushes on the social aspect. During lunch at school, (which is kind of strange they have lunch when there’s no cafeteria in the school. I’ve looked, damnit.) characters will meet up with you and request that you speak with them right after school is over. They usually come 3 or 4 at a time, which really screws me up. Some of them arn’t at school, like a grade school girl who hangs out at the shrine and a girl you chat with on a MMORPG, so how am I supposed to know when I should chat with these people? Damn, they can’t get anything right in this game.
Another thing about the social crap is that virtually every girl in the game will fall in love with you if your relationship builds up to it’s halfway mark. So, we can’t just be friends? What’s the big deal? And what if I don’t LIKE you that much, why would I want to be your boyfriend? The game also stats that if you’re caught hanging around with another girl, she’ll become upset. Oh okay, so I should only hang out with guys? Won’t she worry that I’m gay if that happens? I don’t get this game at all.
Here’s my final complaint, and it doesn’t upset me too much, it just leaves me in a stat of confusion. There are sequences that sometimes happen, right before going to bed, in which one of the people you’re hanging out with will call you via cellphone and request to hang out with you on Sunday. These sequences are pretty pointless, be it a date with the girl that likes you (not that you like her or anything) or one of your male friends wanting to go do boy things, like spray-painting cars and eat fast food. There might be a choice in a couple spots, but it’s pointless crap for the most part and never really improves your relationship at all. The dating thing adds on a part in which, at the end, you can give a girl something nice, like a teddy bear or chocolate. It’s pretty much all guesswork to know what she likes (unless you actually pay attention to what she says, but that’s doubtful) and won’t really effect anything.
But my very favorite aspect of this, is if you decide to cancel plans you’ve already arranged with another, so you can hang out with someone else. If you do this, they’ll reply pissed off and then hate your guts forever. Wow, that was quick! I’m trying to imagine having to cancel my plans with someone else, and seeing that person hate me forever over something that small. I didn’t know those Sunday hang-outs were that special to them, half the time it’s just to go get some food.

Because doing this stuff IRL wouldn’t make any sense.

Now, for the second aspect of this part of the game: raising stats. It’s even less important then the social part really. When not chatting with people, you’re probably going to spend this section of the game reading books to improve intelligence, doing well in school to improve good looks (if that makes sense at all) and singing in karaoke to improve bravery (more like stupidity). Doing this will have very little effect on the game. A couple people (mostly pretty girls and fat assholes) will only like you if your stats are at a certain level. And, depending on your intelligence, it will help you ace tests that have no point in the game. That’s about it, though, it’s just for the social-simulation aspect. But it’s a real waste of time and really unfun, and there’s very little variety of what to do. For education, you can either read books at the library or at home, or you can eat at a certain restaurant that will make you smarter… somehow… As for good looks, you do this by being cool in school, watching sappy french films, and drinking coffee. Just like in real life. As far as bravery, you do this by singing, watching action films, and eating at fast food places, because the combat aspect doesn’t make you brave at all.

Now, for the second part of this game: The combat and RPG elements. This is where the plot mostly takes place. The plot has something to do with “the dark hour” killing humanity, so you and a couple other kids are going to save the world or something. You know, like in Evangelion. Maybe less angst, but that part is still there.

HYAARAGH

HYAARAGH

So, the story sucks, how does the combat and gameplay fair? Well, it’s mostly horrific. Sure, it controls fine, but you can only control yourself: your allies just decide what they do for themselves. And they’re stupid as hell, always making dumb moves and result in killing the entire party. You can give them commands, but it’s pretty limited. Just let me control these useless pricks, Mr. Game, please!
Other then that little bugger, this is pretty standard RPG stuff. You run around with your little friends, killing stuff in a dungeon, which is randomized every time you enter. You know, like it .hack, except less gay.
One other problem I have to mention is the stupid leveling up thing: you’ve got around 10 people in your little brigade of 14-year-olds, but you can only bring about 3 of them with you into battle. You can’t just level up your personal favorite characters alone, either, because sometimes they can’t join you in battle when you really need them (like during a fixed story event), or worse: they die during story progression in which they leave the party forever. This only happens once (twice if you count one going to the repair shop, in which you won’t see her for months), but it’s annoying, it’s as if the game WANTS you to grind your ass off.

You’re also supposed to make as far as you can go before the full moon comes along, because if you don’t you might get pwned by whatever story-progressing monster comes along during that point in the game. Fixed events, you know the drill. I guess that’s supposed to make you actually WANT to do this crap.

contrary to popular belief, this game is not based on a true story

Now, for the final gripe I have with the RPG elements: The Persona Summoning System. What you do in this game, is you shoot yourself in the head with a gun (they call it an “evoker” or something, but I know a gun when I see one), and a monster will come out of your head and will kill other monsters. There’s also a weird shuffling card game that happens after combat, in which you can more Persona’s in card-form, and you can fuse them and make bigger, better ones.
Now, here’s where the social sim aspect comes into play: being closer to certain people will improve certain types of personas. Don’t ask me how listening to your friends problems will improve the ability of monsters that come out of your skull, but that’s what the game does.
You could, of course, just ignore the Persona thing completely and just attack everything with whatever weapon you have equiped. That’ll save you time, money, and your sanity. Still, I guess it’s there for the RPG nerds to feel sucsessful if they have their charcter well costomized or whatever.

So, other then that, there’s not a whole lot to say about this game. The two modes of play I just mentioned are pretty bad. OH, let’s not forget the soundtrack: It’s filled with horrible J-pop, really gay rap, generic piano pieces, and techno. Not only does it lack consistency, but every piece of music is pretty horrible, and it really kills the mood in alot of spots when they’re trying to tell the story. Not that the story is very good, but still. Speaking of the story, there’s alot of oddly-placed anime sequences, which are poorly animated and feel like a bad ripoff of Serial Experiments Lain. Also, the graphics suck, they don’t look half as good as the games on the PS-triple. And, as you all know, graphics mean everything.

Anyway, this game is just bad. Maybe not as bad as Golden Sun or Final Fantasy VI, but pretty terrible none the less.