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Shin Megami Tensei: Persona

7thCircle7thCircle Proofer of the RealmRPGamer Staff
edited September 2009 in Staff Review Blogs
Date: 8/16 1:00 AM
Game Time: 12 hours

My PSP is charging for the fourth time since I started Persona 1, so I guess I'm around 12 hours into it. Usually, I prefer to start out with an impression on the front page before I open a review blog, but I don't feel like messing with the html template right now. I'd much rather do that at work on Monday while getting paid to do other things.

I will say this though: my first impression - my immediate impression - of Persona was that the soundtrack is fantastic. In all fairness, I am a big fan of Meguro's work, but even given that, the music in this game is outstanding. It's gotten to the point where I am going to start rethinking how I score the "Music and Sound" subscore in future reviews. Lately, so many RPGs have had great music that I feel the need to raise my standards for what I call "average." Also, I would highly recommend pre-ordering this game if you are considering buying it anyway and you enjoy listening to video game soundtracks. This is the first PSP game that I've played this long without muting it. Excluding Patapon, naturally.

As for the game itself... it's very SMT. Interesting characters, weird plot involving demons and potentially the end of the world, awesome music, and meh graphics. Aside from the soundtrack, the other thing that's surprised me about the game is how fresh the battle system feels. SMT spinoffs have been recycling Nocturne's battle system for 5 years, and Persona 1 - since it pre-dates that - works in a very unique manner. You can talk to enemies to convince them not to attack you. Best of all, you can do this at any time. I've already avoided a few game overs by frantically convincing demons to leave me alone when they were a turn away from finishing me off.

===================
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Date:8/18 4:30 PM
Game Time: 18 hours

So a random thing I noticed today: I was listening to the soundtrack while working, and the song that plays during battle came up. And it's in English. Poor, ridiculous English. English so un-Englishy, I thought the song was entirely in Japanese the hundreds of times I heard it play during the game. The clarity on the soundtrack must be sharper than what is on the UMD, or my PC plays it clearer than the PSP does, because I can make out many poorly pronounced English words (that form sentences that make no sense at all) when the CD plays on my computer.

Odd.

One other random thought. Someone at Atlus USA has excellent grammar. "Alright" is not a word. It should always be two separate words "all right." During battle, Persona PSP prompts you to confirm if everything is "all right." It's one of those grammar errors that I am so used to seeing, it catches me off guard to see the correct spelling every time I read it.

===================
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Date: 8/22 8:45 AM
Game Time: 23 hours

Oops. I finished the game last night. I was going to write more here before completing it, but because I procrastinated on the impression for a couple of days, and I really just played the game in four or five separate sessions, that didn't happen. I got the bad ending. Oops again. I checked out a walkthrough to see where I went wrong, and it looks like the good ending is quite a bit longer than the bad one, so don't freak out at the low game time. My current plan is to restart and take the Snow Queen path at the start.

For those who don't know, if you do a certain sequence of actions near the start of a new game, the world freezes over -- or something, I didn't read spoilers -- and the entire plot of Persona doesn't happen. Instead, you play out an entirely different quest. This "Snow Queen" sequence was cut out of the original US release on the PlayStation, but is included now in the PSP version.

From the little bit I've read, it sounds like the Snow Queen events are harder than the normal game, but much shorter. Later today I'll bust out a walkthrough to see what exactly I have to do to trigger it, and I'll write about it here for however long I keep playing it.



The lesson here is that dreams inevitably lead to hideous implosions.

Comments

  • valsarvalsar Member Full Members
    edited August 2009
    Have you played the PS1 version? If so, how does this compare to that because that's what I'm gonna base my decision to buy this on.
    I had some problems with the exploration in the PS1 version, such as the everything in the school looking the same which lead me to getting lost a lot.
  • SiliconNooBSiliconNooB Member Full Members
    edited August 2009
    Yeah and is the 3D engine for the first person segments faster and smoother?
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  • DravDrav A Serious Man Full Members
    edited August 2009
    My PSP is charging for the fourth time since I started Persona 1, so I guess I'm around 12 hours into it.
    Wait, so there is no in-game clock? Man I hate that.
  • 7thCircle7thCircle Proofer of the Realm RPGamer Staff
    edited August 2009
    I didn't play Persona on the PlayStation, so I can't compare the two on personal experience. I've already written most of the impression I plan to post today or tomorrow, and I addressed the interface before anything else. Everything moves quickly in the game. There's also a "run" button that lets you sprint absurdly fast through the dungeons, and an option to turn off battle animations to make combat quick too. Right now, I have battle animations off, but I rarely run in dungeons. I kept overshooting the turns I wanted to make, and the regular speed is plenty fast.

    The walls all look the same, but there is an automap. A portion of it is always visible, and you can push a button to pull up a large map that shows everywhere you've been in the current dungeon. Also, the minimap shows the last several steps you took, so there is absolutely so way to get turned around in this game.

    There is a game clock, but it's not working right. I don't know if it is a PSP firmware update issue, an issue with Persona, an issue with the review UMD, or an issue with my PSP. For this blog, I'll have to estimate my game time via PSP recharges.

    EDIT: Talked to a smart person about the game clock issue. I keep my PSP in sleep mode when I'm not playing it, so it's counting the time while it's sleeping. I didn't know some games did that. So I can't tell my real game time from the clock now, but if you turn it off between sessions, you'll be able to.



    The lesson here is that dreams inevitably lead to hideous implosions.
  • 7thCircle7thCircle Proofer of the Realm RPGamer Staff
    edited August 2009
    *updated*
    The lesson here is that dreams inevitably lead to hideous implosions.
  • OyashiroOyashiro NEEDS MOAR UNDERBOOB! Full Members
    edited August 2009
    Since P3 most of the songs have been in English, or should I say Engrish. laugh.gif
    Give me Underboob, or give me death!
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  • Michael BakerMichael Baker RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited August 2009
    Quote: wrote:
    One other random thought. Someone at Atlus USA has excellent grammar. "Alright" is not a word. It should always be two separate words "all right." During battle, Persona PSP prompts you to confirm if everything is "all right." It's one of those grammar errors that I am so used to seeing, it catches me off guard to see the correct spelling every time I read it.

    and from the Merriam Webster online dictionary...
    Quote: wrote:
    * Main Entry: al·right
    * Function: adverb or adjective
    * Date: 1887

    : all right
    usage The one-word spelling alright appeared some 75 years after all right itself had reappeared from a 400-year-long absence. Since the early 20th century some critics have insisted alright is wrong, but it has its defenders and its users. It is less frequent than all right but remains in common use especially in journalistic and business publications. It is quite common in fictional dialogue, and is used occasionally in other writing <the first two years of medical school were alright — Gertrude Stein>.
  • DravDrav A Serious Man Full Members
    edited August 2009
    I can't read "all right" without thinking of Arrested Development.
  • 7thCircle7thCircle Proofer of the Realm RPGamer Staff
    edited August 2009
    I think of "alright" as a colloquialism. You'll see me write it in IRC, but never in a review. I had a teacher who was one of those critics who insisted "alright" was wrong. That's why it surprises me to see "all right" in Persona - I didn't think many people were that picky when it comes to grammar.
    The lesson here is that dreams inevitably lead to hideous implosions.
  • CribanoxCribanox Member Full Members
    edited August 2009
    I've never played Persona, but I did play Persona 3 (non FES) when it came out for quite a few floors. How does Persona relate to P3? Do you go from School, to your Dorm / Whatever, then Dungeon Crawl, then repeat?



    \"A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.\"
    -Herm Albright.
  • 7thCircle7thCircle Proofer of the Realm RPGamer Staff
    edited August 2009
    No. Persona 3 was the first game in the series to add the sim mechanics. P1 and P2 are straightforward dungeon crawlers with unique battle and character growth systems. P1 dungeons are in first person, like how all the older SMT games were. The protagonists are high school students, and there is a school, but it's just where the story starts. There are no classes, no home base, no social links -- you get the idea.
    The lesson here is that dreams inevitably lead to hideous implosions.
  • 7thCircle7thCircle Proofer of the Realm RPGamer Staff
    edited August 2009
    *updated*
    The lesson here is that dreams inevitably lead to hideous implosions.
  • 7thCircle7thCircle Proofer of the Realm RPGamer Staff
    edited September 2009
    Well that was a bit of review blog fail. I didn't write much at all. I'll do better next time.

    Review: 3.5/5 - Good
    The lesson here is that dreams inevitably lead to hideous implosions.
This discussion has been closed.