ResetEra Games of the Year Awards 2017

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Oct 25, 2017
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I agree with you that the randomization of blades is awkward but...common blades are a dime a dozen and you can use them. The game never seriously fucks you over.

I would prefer a) no gacha-esque mechanic at all and just a slew of story blades or, failing that, b) pulling blades in a common pool and then assigning them to characters. But the game compensates for its randomization.
 

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Oct 26, 2017
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One year later, is Mass Effect Andromeda worth playing?

I am a massive, massive Mass Effect 2 fan. Probably one of the best gaming experiences I've had. Mass Effect 3 was a step down, but I still enjoyed the campaign.

The gameplay of these two games was very good, and I personally love the ME lore. I don't think there is any other 'sci fi epic' in the industry with the exception of Halo.

Or is it such a bad game that it's not worth playing?
As a self-professed massive Mass Effect fan, imagine you lowest possible expectations. Now go even lower. That's when you are ready to play Andromeda.
 
Oct 26, 2017
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Well... about the best I can say is that the results were expected. I wonder if it's even possible for a GotY contender to go under the radar anymore.
 
Oct 25, 2017
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Been playing persona and it makes me sad that it didn't win more style or aesthetic or art awards. I don't think I played a game this year that oozes with all those things as persona does
 
I would recommend not engaging with him on XB2, for some reason he/she has a crusade against it.

Literally spewing his/her hate for the game across multiple threads, ranging from "worst game that you played and actually finished" to the performance of the game in December 2017 thread, to even this thread and was suspended for a day based on his/her history.
Potential ResetERA's ninjablade?
 
Oct 25, 2017
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Been playing persona and it makes me sad that it didn't win more style or aesthetic or art awards. I don't think I played a game this year that oozes with all those things as persona does
Persona 5 was unfortunately released in the same year as Cuphead.
 
Oct 25, 2017
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Nier Automata is my favorite game of the year and deserves all the placements it got on here.

....except best PC game. Too many issues with the port and none of it being addressed by the publisher/developer. This is why there should be votes for each category, not just take the votes for best overall game, and separate those into different categories. I understand that would take much longer to tally though.
 
Oct 27, 2017
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Era, this is impressive. I'm impressed. You've impressed me.

Going through people's top ten before putting in my own, I saw a lot of what the list came out to be. Well done making this happen.

I think the Switch is going to have a great year.
 
Oct 28, 2017
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Excellent Top 10 from ResetEra. I bought 8 games out of the top 10 this year. And Xenoblade deserves to be in this list. It's not like the other games have no flaws. Even Zelda has many.
 
Oct 25, 2017
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I'm about 15 hours into xb2, start of chapter 3, and I think I may be agreeing with rahx more than not. Dunno if this is the type of thread to go into more details or not as this isn't really a xb2 thread.

Just...please tell me Tora dies. And soon preferably.
 
Oct 25, 2017
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I'm about 15 hours into xb2, start of chapter 3, and I think I may be agreeing with rahx more than not. Dunno if this is the type of thread to go into more details or not as this isn't really a xb2 thread.

Just...please tell me Tora dies. And soon preferably.
Chapter 2 is pretty bad but I say keep playing. Chapter 3 is where the whole thing starts to get going.
 
Nov 8, 2017
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What do you mean? If your talking about the Nopon Wisdom you can just do the mercenary mission instead...
Should've explained it better but Cartridge basically summed it up I just wasn't a fan of that whole plotline and I wanted to know more about the greater narrative hinted at in Chapter 3 at that point instead. The game just gets better from there though especially Chapter 6 and onwards.
 
Oct 25, 2017
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Should've explained it better but Cartridge basically summed it up I just wasn't a fan of that whole plotline and I wanted to know more about the greater narrative hinted at in Chapter 3 at that point instead. The game just gets better from there though especially Chapter 6 and onwards.
I really like chapter 3 and everything after chapter 4.
I know it’s a knock agains the game, but it doesn’t truly “start” until chapter 3. You get a lot of new moves that make the combat feel complete and the story starts getting stakes.
 
Oct 25, 2017
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Well I finally recieved both Xenoblade Chronicles 2 and Breath of Wild and I'm not sure which one I should start first. A part of me wants to play XC2 since I'm feeling more of a RPG mood than a Zelda one, however I also plan on playing the Mario and Luigi remake because thanks to Odyssey, I've been on a Mario kick. Though juggling two RPGs at the same time...I don't know?
 
Oct 25, 2017
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Well I finally recieved both Xenoblade Chronicles 2 and Breath of Wild and I'm not sure which one I should start first. A part of me wants to play XC2 since I'm feeling more of a RPG mood than a Zelda one, however I also plan on playing the Mario and Luigi remake because thanks to Odyssey, I've been on a Mario kick. Though juggling two RPGs at the same time...I don't know?
I might recommend playing BotW first if you're also playing Mario and Luigi since two RPGs at once might be a bit much. It also sounds like Xenoblade 2 is going to continue getting patches with QoL improvements as the dev team works on the DLC. If you start Xenoblade 2 later on, there might be another patch out by then.
 
Oct 25, 2017
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For me 2017 was alright. NieR was the standout and made it all worth it.

1. NieR
2. MHW beta
3. Persona 5
4. Sonic Mania
5. Nioh

Never played Cuphead since I don't play games on my PC, but I think the game is super cool and it would be up there if I did for sure. I played Zelda but it was one of the most boring games I've ever played, so there's that. I'm looking forward to tonight to say the least.
 
Maybe the problem would be solved if people used these lists as recommendations for games they might want to look into, rather than trying to validate their own opinions and getting angry when not as many people liked the same games to the same degree.
This comment should be stated at the opening of every thread on game of the year. My personal preference was Horizon but I won't lose a minute sleep because it didn't win it. Guerrilla made a great game and I hope they build on it for the sequel. I'd be annoyed if it was a one and done, than it not winning game of the year.
 
Oct 26, 2017
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This comment should be stated at the opening of every thread on game of the year. My personal preference was Horizon but I won't lose a minute sleep because it didn't win it. Guerrilla made a great game and I hope they build on it for the sequel. I'd be annoyed if it was a one and done, than it not winning game of the year.
People playing for the "win" here is a problem yah. I wonder if they strategic vote or just "why isn't my popular game the MOST popularrrrrrrrr".

Me on the other hand over the years have had 26th (Tactics Ogre:LUCT), 12th (Virtue's Last Reward), 70th (SMT: Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers), 57th (Legend of Grimrock II), 4th (Rocket League), 74th (Xanadu Next), 42nd (Trails in the Sky the 3rd) so the concept is just so foreign to me. People need perspective.

Im almost assured this is why 2012 and 2014 was weak on votes as they were "weak" so you had less of that kind of voting as there were less of THOSE games to fight for dominance.

The rest of it is vehement X2 hate; that just ain't healthy.
 
Oct 28, 2017
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ATX
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I voted Zelda over Xenoblade, mostly on the merit that I had not even finished Xenoblade as I did Zelda.

I just reached chapter 7 tonight, I think if I would revote, I would put it over Zelda. The music alone elevates it. Exploring in Zelda was excellent, but honestly the exploration in Xenoblade X was better, especially when you got the Skell. To this day, morning matxhes the experience of Skell flying in Xenoblade X, does it?
 
Oct 25, 2017
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For what it's worth, I agree with His Majesty . I think most GOTY awards and lists are nothing but popularity contests, but the voting methodology of RPG Codex is likely to produce more interesting results where niche games can get recognition if the community loved them.
 
Oct 25, 2017
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I voted Zelda over Xenoblade, mostly on the merit that I had not even finished Xenoblade as I did Zelda.

I just reached chapter 7 tonight, I think if I would revote, I would put it over Zelda. The music alone elevates it. Exploring in Zelda was excellent, but honestly the exploration in Xenoblade X was better, especially when you got the Skell. To this day, morning matxhes the experience of Skell flying in Xenoblade X, does it?
chapter 7 was also the moment where xb2 shot to the top of my list
 
Oct 25, 2017
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Chapter 4 of XC2 is a very "Japanese" chapter. There are many old mecha anime references in dialogues and plot. I could understand why the writer loves this chapter because he himself has written for mecha anime. Personally I find it hilarious, but also understand why many of you don't like it.

From the gameplay standpoint, there are multiple ways to get to the dungeon. It is also why I appreciate this chapter a lot. Different people with varied play style have different experiences. You may dash through Lv80 enemies in the field, or jump into cloud sea to swim through the map, or follow the "normal path" by going through the ruins next to the dungeon. After I finished the chapter, I was surprised by the amount of people on the Internet who run through the field without knowing the ruin next to it. Pretty interesting.

Edit: And yes. Chapter 7 definitely elevates the game from good to great. Lots of great moments.
 
Oct 28, 2017
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ATX
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Just read back a few pages to see all this Xenoblade talk!

The poster who nailed his list of complaints about the Catholic Church, I mean Xenoblade, made solid points about Xenoblade 1 and 2. Neither games are perfect and it's really hard to elevate one over the other. I haven't finished XB2 yet, but I did go back recently and play XB1 on 3DS. It's a rough visual, but still impressive how vast the environments are. The music is still top notch. But the combat system.... eh, it's a bit simple, but not as much as I thought. Those "visions" that require you to take control of the party members to prevent the attack is pretty fun and keeps you invested in what they have equipped.

Xenoblade X, by comparison, I went HOURS eve outfitting my other party members with weapons or armor or upgrading skills. I just kept my Player Character up to speed and everything went fine. One thing that I like about the Xenoblade series is how much of the game is "optional".

The list of things you can completely ignore and still finish the game in Xenoblade series is astounding:
In Xenoblade 2 alone:
You don't need to ever do side quests.
You don't need to sleep at the INN to level up
You don't need to participate in Merc Missions
You don't really need to salvage at all
You don't really need money (because reasons below)
You don't need to purchase Weapon Chips from stores (you get plenty from enemy drops)
You don't need to refine those Aux Cores to make your blades stronger (same as above)
You don't need to level up your Blades skill trees (it only makes your Arts specials stronger)
You don't need to play that Tiger Tiger! game
You don't need to ever use the Pouch Item system, and buy food, etc.

... I could go on!

If your only goal is to just "finish" the game, it's not much you HAVE to do to keep yourself strong enough to fight through the story bosses in the game. If you participate in half of what the game has to offer, you're going to be fine. I do overall enjoy that about the game as XB1 and X do likewise with all of its systems. You don't have to master or fully understand everything to enjoy the game, and ultimately finish it.

Xenoblade X is still yet to be topped by anything in video games for its exploration and huge open world, IMO. Getting the Skells is like nothing yet to be reproduced. I hope they port it to Switch and fix some issues (LIKE THE TINY ASS FONT, WTF!)
 
Oct 27, 2017
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Ha ha, I won't defend bad porting practices, but the core game in Nier is just that damn good. I've been listening to the import OST in my car and am itching for a replay. I'm still working on and enjoying XB2 (n Ch. 8 which drags and has too much predictable on the nose jRPG exposition, but where I've finally felt truly comfortable with battle system. Completing your own driver arts really speeds things up!). But as fun as it is, it doesn't deliver the constant gut punches of Nier:A. Also, thinking about Nier, I really feel that its style/aesthetic resonates with its core themes in a way that P5 (just as stylish but empty) doesn't pull off and that XB2 (not really that stylish) doesn't even attempt.
 
Oct 27, 2017
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Ha ha, I won't defend bad porting practices, but the core game in Nier is just that damn good. I've been listening to the import OST in my car and am itching for a replay. I'm still working on and enjoying XB2 (n Ch. 8 which drags and has too much predictable on the nose jRPG exposition, but where I've finally felt truly comfortable with battle system. Completing your own driver arts really speeds things up!). But as fun as it is, it doesn't deliver the constant gut punches of Nier:A. Also, thinking about Nier, I really feel that its style/aesthetic resonates with its core themes in a way that P5 (just as stylish but empty) doesn't pull off and that XB2 (not really that stylish) doesn't even attempt.
How is Persona 5 empty?
 
Oct 27, 2017
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Not empty in terms of content obviously. But thematically I found it a (beautiful but) empty shell. The story has no bite after the first ten hours or so, and most of the characters never really go anywhere. It may be that this was an unavoidable side effect of the picaresque storytelling.
I disagree with you somewhat but I’m sick right now and not in the mood for a big discussion. So I’m just gonna concede this one.

Thank you for explaining.
 
Oct 27, 2017
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I disagree with you somewhat but I’m sick right now and not in the mood for a big discussion. So I’m just gonna concede this one.

Thank you for explaining.
No worries - I recognize interest in dungeon crawling and idiosyncratic differences in how much the characters resonate could go a long way in driving different opinions on this one. I was just disappointed after I got so into the story and characters in P4, and I just couldn't get into 5 despite real good faith effort.
 
Oct 29, 2017
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Not empty in terms of content obviously. But thematically I found it a (beautiful but) empty shell. The story has no bite after the first ten hours or so, and most of the characters never really go anywhere. It may be that this was an unavoidable side effect of the picaresque storytelling.
I strongly disagree. The story takes a noise dive in the fifth arc, but recovers fairly quickly. Especially everything regarding the 7. Arc and beyond is even better than the beginning.

The 4.arc especially shows how much more actual story is in P5 in comparison to P4. Replaying P4 after 5 was really eye-opening, that P4 did almost nothing with it's story premise, because it doesn't have enough story to back it up.

Despite the picaresque structure the plot manages to be more connected than P4s narrative, where you could cut everything from the first dungeon to Naotos and nothing would change.

P5s story is connected via societies perception of the Phantom Thieves.

Their actions as well as that from the antagonists are heavily influenced by this perception, too, which I found was a very good way to structure a cohesive story, even with its picaresque nature.
 
Oct 27, 2017
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I strongly disagree. The story takes a noise dive in the fifth arc, but recovers fairly quickly. Especially everything regarding the 7. Arc and beyond is even better than the beginning.

The 4.arc especially shows how much more actual story is in P5 in comparison to P4. Replaying P4 after 5 was really eye-opening, that P4 did almost nothing with it's story premise, because it doesn't have enough story to back it up.

Despite the picaresque structure the plot manages to be more connected than P4s narrative, where you could cut everything from the first dungeon to Naotos and nothing would change.

P5s story is connected via societies perception of the Phantom Thieves.

Their actions as well as that from the antagonists are heavily influenced by this perception, too, which I found was a very good way to structure a cohesive story, even with its picaresque nature.
I get the perspective but it didn't work for me at all. The developers didn't seem to have anything interesting to say about rebellion or thought as conditioned by social media. The themes didn't resonate with the dungeon arcs in interesting ways, and the characters didn't seem to develop beyond their initial states.

P4 was a mystery, and a reasonably good one. It was about trying to solve a mystery with friends, and so the character development in the early going when the overall plot was stalled paid off for me. The overarching connection between the different episodes and characters in P5 relied too much on a sophomoric ra ra fight the power thing that I found offputting. Mind you, I stopped after about 50 hours, so I'm willing to consider that something super interesting happened after that. I was just so burnt out on dungeon crawling broken up only by more dungeon crawling and spending time with irritating and poorly written characters.
 
Oct 25, 2017
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Hmmmm...

My thoughts on P5 in my GotY ballot (second position):
Persona 5 - This is my sentimental GotY. It came at a bad time for me and helped me both obscure that and move past that and come to a decision about where else to take my life. It also is incredibly cathartic in Trump's America: at other times I'd side-eye the pulp-y take on fighting the system and the disturbing nature of stealing hearts, but in this climate it felt good to cut through the bullshit and make the guilty admit the corruption of their souls, something they will never do in the real world. The game itself is an incredibly polished follow-up to Persona 4 that is miles ahead in terms of dungeon crawling, even if, while being more even and more to my taste, falls behind somewhat as a social simulator. I think it is a great last hurrah for Hashino Persona, being both the best game of the bunch and also a clear indication that he has run his course with the games. Makoto also has a special waifu-shaped place in my heart :P.
Why do I like this game (to make some things in that blurb more specific)?

  1. I love the battle systems. The combat is fun and satisfying with abilities that have clear impact and use cases, leading to characters having unique usefulness, good party play, and battles where you size up and then dominate the enemy in varying ways. Persona 5 improves on the formula through the baton pass system, which de-emphasizes the main character somewhat and raises the other characters' usefulness, leading to better party play. Reintroducing demon conversation is great for two reasons: it is the best demon acquisition system in the series having actual impact on the battles and it brings the actual demons, with their marvelous designs, into the combat in lieu of the less impressive shadows. The meta-combat game is also fun as you manage your resources and try and make your way through well-designed labyrinths, which are a big step up from those in previous Persona games. This is all reinforced by great artistic design which makes the dungeons fun to explore, abilities fun to watch, and the demons fun to collect. The Phantom Thief theme is well utilized throughout, with the focus on ambushing and stealth, the "hold-up" mechanic, and the focus on stealing treasure.
  2. I love the simulation. Persona characters have a tendency to both appeal to the id and to be something more than just the tropes they express. There is a sense of human being there, which can be lacking in video games. I've listed some ways I was disappointed by said characters below and their stories, but generally speaking those are the sorts of things that you don't get to be disappointed about if they aren't first characters. I think Persona 5 has the most even set of social links in the Hashino games, even if it doesn't have my particular favorites of the franchise. Beyond that, I just love the rhythm of Persona and the seesaw between dungeon crawler and life simulation. I love the whole package. And of course, the character artwork is amazing and this multiplies the appeal.
  3. Makoto: I'm sorry this is a GAF post but there is no other convenient way to link the content (it is a lot :P). I also found her struggle to find a new way forward in life and to find and fight for her values personally inspiring (and throw herself against the demands and expectations of a corrupt society, which she had been dutifully fulfilling). P5 came at a bad moment in my life and she in particular inspired me to attempt to find an answer.
  4. As I said, in the day of Trump, just cutting through the bullshit, even in a morally questionable way, is such a pulp catharsis.
  5. The art, the UI, the music, etc. The game is an extremely pleasing aesthetic experience.

If I had to list my main disappointments with P5 (which I don't, but I want to :P):

  1. I felt they did Kamoshida Ann well.

    She's both conditioned and put upon in such a way as to encourage her situation, but she also puts herself in that situation (for the sake of her friend) and is trying to manage it even as it is overcoming her. It is awful and horrible and Kamoshida is taking advantage of her but she still has an active engagement with it.

    The whole time she is telling you to back off and that she'll handle it. And she is playing with fire and engaging in a business she'd rather not be in, but she is engaged and doing what she thinks is incumbent on her, even if she doubts this later.

    When you talk to her in a cafe you do help her have the courage to not surrender and to try and continue the song and dance without having to give Kamoshida herself, but...you don't decide that for her or take the Kamoshida situation out of her hands. She decides not to accept his request and continue as she has been.

    So it is like you have an Ann who is very aware of the way she is seen and the power that gives her in a twisted situation, and even if she doesn't want to be seen that way and even if she doesn't want to be in that situation and even if she finds herself suddenly out of her depth and lost at sea, she is still, at base, conversant in what she is up to.

    Moreover, they also don't play her for a complete damsel in distress, even though she has that allure. The Kamoshida palace allows her to assume agency over her situation and put it to a close.

    It is a very noir-ish story and Ann is a very troubled kid who is world wise enough to be a self-endangering fool. I found her quite compelling.

    And you do lift a huge cloud that's over her head, but I'd think that some of this darkness should have remained in her social link, at least.

    In particular, I was disappointed with the "body" story surrounding Ann.

    In the Kamoshida arc, the supposition is that she's a slut because she is blonde, part foreign, and has a nice body. The point though was to subvert this understanding of her, which it does but yet...I feel this story is tabled.

    What it does continue to do is remove the idea that she wants to do something with her body. Her social link and general conduct are tied up in this narrative about her being naive about her sex appeal. Ann's issues with being reduced to body are played as a cutesy, chaste playfulness from the Madarame arc on and she is routinely used as the object of male lust, including that of the MC (player willing or not), which is also played for humor.

    It is an odd tonal shift around what is a serious issue and one that subverts her being stereotyped as the slut by turning her into a sort of clueless bombshell, which tends to speak more to a jealous male's concerns about her rather than her own concerns about how she's perceived.

    They took Ann and her issues quite seriously for the Kamoshida arc but in its aftermath this aspect of her experience isn't taken seriously.

    So that aspect of Ann's depiction disappointed me and is part of the general shift from thoughtful, depressed, lonely depiction of Ann to airheaded Ann that I just find too stark. I wish there had continued to be a more serious eye on her even as she cheered up and the goofy eye appeared.
  2. The plot-line surrounding Shido leaves dangling threads throughout the game. It is the centerpiece and takes directly from the core original inspiration behind the game. Yet, it all feels incredibly rushed and under-developed when it comes down to it, imo, with the main value in it being very much the theme of it all, rather than the particular content.

    The Mental Shutdown theme is largely dropped between the train incident and the death of the principal and Haru's dad, rather than there being any significant building action and elaboration of that plot. Shido's accomplices are largely nameless and undeveloped. Most of the information about the conspiracy you get as info dumps while Shido/Akechi revel in how evil they have been and will be (and even those aren't entirely informative, as discussed below).

    I think the biggest disappointment for me in all of this is how there never is anything more to Shido/Sojiro/Wakaba. Mostly this is I wanted an actual story of Sojiro's past beyond the Wakaba thing.

    I think the latter was well done and it was interesting seeing different angles on it from Sojiro's and Futaba's account. I think it is interesting how Futaba puts a more romantic light on it, whereas Sojiro is obviously more searching as to what it all meant and is more "she wasn't into me."

    But Sojiro is one of my favorite characters and I wanted more about him quitting politics, just what his relationship with Shido was, etc. and I think they dangled this before our noses, having Sojiro recognize and get unresponsive when he sees Shido, having him have quit that career, etc.

    Beyond that, the specifics of Wakaba's death are unclear. What exactly was her research? How was she/Shido using it without Yaldaboath's application? What were Shido's plans before Akechi showed up?

    You don't even know if Akechi killed Wakaba or someone else. Akechi alludes to her as having "had to die" but is he just rationalizing what his boss did or was he there already at that point? Did he wake up to his powers 2 years before the MC already? Is Wakaba's murder another reason why he has to stay the fuck away from the party in a future rerelease beyond Haru's dad? (:P).

    Beyond this I think Akechi (a huge part of the cruise ship arc) is a huge disappointment and then the way he is treated after his betrayal is just...so anime.

    He goes from being the voice of an alternate morale perspective, which lingers at the back of the game's mind and then he is just revealed to be "an evil hypocrite who of course doesn't believe what he's saying and is worse than you all with respect to it after all!" He goes from being a genuinely interesting rival to a stereotypical "dark" anime rival with daddy issues and then gets an obnoxious send-off.

    And finally, in this whole bundle, I wish there’d been a better conclusion to the Sae/Makoto story. Sae just sort of wakes up, becomes a good guy, and then awkwardly hangs around your group (and you in particular). I think they needed at least an emotional scene between Sae and Makoto to cap it all off. It feels like a dangling thread that really just needed to be tied off.
  • Persona 5 has a more innately appealing tone and cast of characters to me, even if I feel in actuality Persona 4's cast and setting are better realized. Inaba felt very well realized to me and touched home, as I grew up in a small hick town. The bubbly, dumb "scooby gang" of friends also charmed me far beyond its innate appeal to me. There is probably way too much Junes text, but the friendships just felt much more realized than the relatively sterile text interactions of Persona 5 allowed.

    Persona 5 also had “one foot out the door” wrt the high school setting and, after Makoto stops spying on you, you might as well not even be there. The lack of social links and daily activities that kept you in school contributes to a weaker school setting.

    Moreover, the Tokyo setting that could be its replacement doesn’t cut it, imo. I like Sojiro, I like the coffee shop. I do not think that it provides a better “home” setting than the Dojima residence. If they wanted to focus outside the school, I think they should have experimented with neighborhood slice of life. Some of their ideas do tend in that direction--friends showing up at your place and the Futaba, Sojiro, and you scenes—but I think they should’ve leaned into that to the extent that they “abandoned” the school. Make Makoto and Sae your neighbors or something.
  • I feel like they mostly botched the "fame" arc, putting it off mostly on Morgana. Ryuji is puffing himself up being a Phantom Thief and trying to get bigger and bigger and this obsession with size feeds into that thing with Morgana. But they never really peel that onion back wrt him, instead he's just an ass in that story line and the thrust of the whole thing is just that Morgana belongs with you all and has been feeling useless as his Metaverse knowledge is mostly passe now and he's not much of a planner, thanks to Makoto, nor directing your battles, thanks to Futaba, anymore either. He's in a rut wrt his usefulness and he's also not making any progress on his search for himself, which ties right into his frustration at just how shallow his metaverse knowledge seems to be. They don't use this to reflect back on Ryuji at all.

    I also don't feel that the fame story this whole thing feeds into reaches an end point that says much about him, in particular. Rather, they just sort of pull the plug on it with the death of Haru's dad. Ryuji does react quite violently to this and you have to stop him so that constructive work can be done, but there isn't much talking time given to undermining the lust for fame thing. You just sort of say "we lost our way" and move on.

    Both of these were a great opportunity for a Junpei-like arc, which explored jealousy about roles and importance in the group, which is what Ryuji is expressing with the whole Morgana thing: an acute sensitivity to the worth of members, which despite, his obsession with fame and his relative lack of usefulness, oddly stops short of his own door and you are left being annoyed that Ryuji is being such a jerk and forcing you to chase the cat bus yet again and that there is no resolution to this. Instead, Morgana just has to surrender. Moreover, it doesn't seem in conversation with his confidant, which is about Ryuji trying to take control of his temper putting off the idea of control onto you and letting you be the one to tell him to calm down. Add in that you can't even head this thing off by trying to talk to Morgana about his problems and this whole thing is just frustrating and poorly plotted.
  • Don't really need a spoiler tag for this one: homophobia. Particularly given the inspiration for the game and the theme of the game, they should've reached out and lifted up groups buried under the bullshit of Japanese society rather than piled on. Even if it had more homophobic content Persona 4 at least had the veneer of trying to explore queer topics, if that exploration was aborted and confused with how everything landed normal in the end, which, well, okay but there was no statement that not normal was even okay in the end. In general, I think Persona 5 had less horrible anime moments along these lines than Persona 4--which had more overly pervy scenes and the fat-hating scenes on top of homophobia--but I do think that the content was less confused on this particular issue, to its detriment.
I think Persona 5 is, in many ways, a better and more polished production than previous Persona, has its unique charms, but is also both a bit too iterative on 4 in terms of structure while seemingly wanting to be something a bit different and escape the confines of Persona 4-style school simulation. I think it is simultaneously the best Hashino Persona, and also a good place for a new creative team to take over.
 
Oct 29, 2017
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I get the perspective but it didn't work for me at all. The developers didn't seem to have anything interesting to say about rebellion or thought as conditioned by social media. The themes didn't resonate with the dungeon arcs in interesting ways, and the characters didn't seem to develop beyond their initial states.

P4 was a mystery, and a reasonably good one. It was about trying to solve a mystery with friends, and so the character development in the early going when the overall plot was stalled paid off for me. The overarching connection between the different episodes and characters in P5 relied too much on a sophomoric ra ra fight the power thing that I found offputting. Mind you, I stopped after about 50 hours, so I'm willing to consider that something super interesting happened after that. I was just so burnt out on dungeon crawling broken up only by more dungeon crawling and spending time with irritating and poorly written characters.
I found the motivation and anger from the characters pretty reasonable, considering what they went through.

The rebellion aspect was also most of the time implemented well, Makoto for example. The difference how the characters awaken their Persona, in contrast to P4, shows the rebellion attitude of each of them. They all take action to do something, which is very important aspect of P5 themes, but that get obvious later in the game.

P4 wasn't a good mystery imo, because you actually do nothing important to solve the case for like 90% of the game. The conclusion is also arbitrary enough that it could've been someone else, without changing to much.

My problem with P4s story is that the major aspect, accepting the truth, and how the view of others influence someone, is completely underdevolped. The characters don't get enough time during the story, to show their struggles. Despite having dungeons based on the characters the game shows almost nothing of their problems.

This is especially oblivious in comparison to P5s 4.Dungeon, which shows how much potentiall ies in this premise.
P5 does in general it so much better, because it gives it characters enough time and don't shy away to show their suffering.
P4 uses the majority of its time for anime fluff like the camping trip or the hot springs.

P4 is a great game, my second favorite Persona after 5, but when it comes to story or themes it is pretty underwhelming in comparison to 5.
 
Oct 27, 2017
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I actually agree re P4's inability to do very much that was interesting with broader themes of accepting one's true self (though I liked how Kanji's arc handled this, and Naoto's). Particularly not as it related to the central mystery. But the friendship and mystery storylines were enjoyable enough to carry me through, and the dungeon crawling could be dealt with quickly.

I guess I'm not that into the Persona writers' ideas about deeper truths, and P5's over reliance on that killed it for me. I like what they can do with bubblegum plots and fun and genuine character arcs when those are more the focus. The teenage angst and Jungian babble is actually somewhat embarrassing to me when it takes central stage.

But I was also at very different places in my life when I played the two games and that could have affected my engagement.
 
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