Posts Tagged “persona 3”

Potentially spoilery.

One of the goods I got from AFA was Persona 3 Portable. In Japanese. I'm basing my playthrough on my knowledge of the original (well, the FES version), as well as about fifteen years of watching anime. It doesn't matter if I can't understand all of it, but just that I can understand enough.

This is still a surprising amount. Or at least surprising to me, despite the pitiful percentage it likely is overall. It helps that I know roughly what the plot is, so I'm not completely lost.

I'm still in the middle of it, so I can't really comment on the game as a whole, but wow the female main character is cute. For some reason, female characters seem cuter in my eyes if they're the ones I play as. I've expressed this sentiment before, but it bears repeating, possibly because if there were more cute female leads in games, they might get more fans like me.

And yes, I realize how chauvinistic it seems. I can't help it; if it matters, I think the cute female lead would be even cuter if they turned out to be as badass as the female route version of the main character in Persona 3 Portable is.

There are several gameplay changes and improvements, enough to almost make it a new game. (As it is, the changes make it about half of a new game.) The ability to control your party members directly in battle should be a good incentive to get this game.

Being the fanfiction writer that I am, I find myself imagining that every time the female main character sees that door at the end of the second-floor hallway in the dorm, she wonders about the strange feeling she feels in her heart. It is a feeling of the faintest of regrets, of loss, and the memory that never was, of what might have been.

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Minato and Minako, official wallpaper.

You can kind of tell how busy my week has been or is likely to be by checking when I post to this blog. As I keep saying, two posts a week without guarantee of quality. If both of these appear on a Sunday, it is a sign that the schedule of my life is going to be a pain for the next two weeks, and I will have to post again on a Saturday.

I've been trying out roleplaying on a MUSH. A PersonaMUSH, as it is so named. The general world of the Persona-verse as described in Persona 3 and 4 (and only as described there, since I've never played any other Persona games) is one of those, like the Negima-verse and the Nanoha-verse and the ZKC-verse, where I like to create characters in.

I've never MUSHed before. This is a learning experience, and the lesson that is being pounded into my Skull Of +5 Thickness is that I am in entirely the wrong time zone.

Most of the basic character concept comes from one of those discarded bits of proto-characters that always turn up when I am in the midst of storycrafting. (I realize this sounds a lot more formalized that it really is, but I can't think of any other term.) A useful trait of all these settings is that it's all magic, even if it's actually science fiction or superpowers or whatnot. Essentially, things that cannot be done in Real Life, but can be done in that setting because it's cool.

Unfortunately, I have to keep the aspect of Coolness subordinate to the aspect of Consistency, mostly because I like characters who find new and creative ways to use what powers they already have, and I can't do that if I don't know what these powers actually are. This may be why I get accused of being too much of a killjoy when it comes to Cool Things Happening.

At least in this MUSH the powers are already defined, in that they are the best approximations the MUSH can do to the game powers. Everything else is roleplay.

I must admit that the primary reason I'm in PersonaMUSH is because I can't wait for Persona 3 Portable, and the opportunity to play a female protagonist. I have made this point before, but I can't quite be bothered to search for the relevant posts, so you're on your own there. But my character's appearance was first inspired by that of the female main character, popularly named "Minako" (or alternately "Misato"), and then altered to be less obviously ripped-off. Her personality gains some bits from both the proto-character (formerly a researcher from the Nanoha-verse), as well as the manga depictions of Minato Arisato (aka Male Main Character of Persona 3) translated into girl-form. Her character story arc stems from Doctor Faustus.

So it goes.

If you do wish to drop by PersonaMUSH, it is at, port 2012. Shiori Hibiki will be there, likely whining to what few may listen about how annoying it is to have to live life Out Of Character at GMT+8.

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A vision of game data to come.

Perhaps late to the much-vaunted party, but I have been very slowly working my way through Persona 3 FES. I didn't exactly plan on it (I still have Freespace 2 to work on, courtesy of Good Old Games), but after spending a fruitless span of time attempting to articulate my thoughts on Spice and Wolf, I popped the disc into my PS2 for a break.

As the story usually goes, it became rather more than a break.

It's certainly one of the more anime-related games I've seen; now I understand the excitement among other, more timely anime bloggers, when the sequel anime was announced. (I don't remember what their reactions were after it aired; I need to start keeping track of that sort of thing, I think.) Even apart from the art style, there's plenty of anime-familiar dialogue choices, which would probably not make much sense to anyone who has never heard the "-tan" suffix before.

All the names are also in Japanese, and when faced with the Enter Name Here screen, I felt compelled to follow suit. So far, "Akira Hirazawa" (I wanted "Hiiragizawa" ie Eriol for various poorly-thought-out reasons, but the first and last names can only allow eight characters each; I hear his unofficial official name is "Minato Arisato") has struck me as the sort of laconic asocial JRPG player character (see: Neku Sakuraba) who probably has a snarky running commentary in his head on the various absurdities occuring around him. Since the game does not provide this, I've supplied my own.

The game is broken into two simultaneous phases, where the player party has to deal with school in the daytime, and fighting evil eldritch abominations in the night. Cram things together too much, and you get tired and sick, which interferes with both phases to a severe degree. Along the way, the player must deal with incredibly clingy friends, of whom one (of the females) will end up being the player character's girlfriend. Keeping everyone pleased will take up most of your time, and you'll end up actually grinding levels maybe once every two weeks in-game time or something.

Did I mention that you only have one year total to save the world?

Normally, I try to collect everything I can in a game, since I'd rather not have to find out three hours to the end that I missed a certain crucial item or procedure five minutes after the start. With P3F, though, I welcomed the news of a New Game Plus option which carries over at least all my non-combat stats, since grinding those have proven to be the most tedious part of the game. I would probably not mind as much if my goal were to live an everyday school life, or defeat the shadows and save the world. Both at the same time is a bit much, and my fellow NPC allies join me in bemoaning precisely that. I'm currently concentrating on Academics (for exams and such) and Charm (for a certain requirement), in that order; Courage can wait until the next playthrough.

And then there's the romantic entanglement aspect of the game. I kind of know how the main character in a harem comedy anime feels now; all (well, almost all) the girls are in some way desirable, in the sense that if they were actually in a harem comedy anime that I'm watching, I'd be switching loyalties pretty often. As it is, I'm probably going to stick with Yukari Takeba (the first girl you meet at the dorms and designated battle healz0r) this playthrough, if I can meet the minimum requirements; otherwise, Chihiro Fushimi (the shy bespectacled student council treasurer) seems like a choice I'd stereotypically make. I get the feeling that being greedy will likely result in what is generally known among certain anime fandoms as an ending worthy of a pleasant sea-going vessel.

The story itself is very… well, anime-serious is about the best I can put it. There's a great deal of introspective dialogue about the nature of self as we relate to others, as well as how Making Friends and Connecting With Each Other is the answer to all your stat-grinding needs, which strikes me as sort of a common theme among anime which purport to be "deep" and "complex". Maybe they're trying to tell us to stop playing games so much and go out into the world or something.

Of course, this kind of veers into surreality when the primary method of evoking one's Persona is to shoot yourself in the head. Repeatedly.

Being that I'm only a short way into the game, I have to admit that I'm enjoying it so far, but I'm well aware of the tendency of such games to turn out to be grindfests near the final boss. This is like stopping the plot just before the final episode, and inserting a 156-episode filler tournament arc. You'll eventually finish the story, but the payoff never seems worth it.

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