Persona 4

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Persona 4

Postby Danners » Fri Dec 12, 2008 10:16 am

So, I'm finally playing one of the Persona games. Other than hearing from you guys around here about how good the previous ones have been, reviews have been good and I've been itching for a JRPG.

Only being in two combats in the first 3 hours have nearly killed me, but the game is getting interesting so far. We'll see how it goes from here.
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Postby Alessar » Thu Dec 18, 2008 10:55 am

I was really disappointed how slow this one started. I was really wondering what the heck they were thinking, but it does pick up the pace soon.

For reference, Persona 2 Eternal Punishment had about 40 minutes of walking around talking to people before you got your personas and were dumped into the starter dungeon.

Persona 3, in comparison, had you in a fight about 15-20 minutes after you started playing the game. But, part of the set up of Persona 3 was that you, the new guy in town, meets up with a group of people who are already persona users, engaged in fighting demons.
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Postby Danners » Fri Dec 19, 2008 9:09 am

I'm FINALLY in the 3rd dungeon...and although my clock could be inflated a bit, it's still reading 17 hours. Is the game normally this focused on the social aspects? The problem I've had with the game so far is that the social dynamics are interesting and all, but feel forced, unavoidable and repetitive. Story elements that I piece together very quickly take several days to play out and even more annoying is the groups repetitive conversations. I don't mind strong story elements in RPGs (Lost Odyssey had plenty) but the combat was never insanely far off.

I hope the game begins to balance out the social and dungeon crawling elements a little better because even though I find the game interesting and unique, I hate "reading" a video games instead of "playing" a video game. I don't mind reading in video games and again, Lost Odyssey had segments of 5-10 minutes of JUST reading and they were very compelling and sometimes quite thought provokin. However, far too many times while playing Persona 4 I'm thinking "Will they just jump in to the damn TV and get on with this?"
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Postby Alessar » Mon Jan 05, 2009 11:25 am

The Persona series has always tried to break up the dungeon crawling. In 1 and 2, the mechanism of negotiating with the demons you encountered was a big part of it. In 3 and 4, you have the social links system. It's up to you how much you pursue the S-Links. They have the following effects:

1. Reaching Rank 10 in the S-Links unlocks the Ultimate persona of that Arcanum. Nice, but optional.
2. Increasing the S-Links of your teammates increases their capabilities in combat, and at rank 10 upgrades their personas as well.
3. Some S-links increase your non-combat stats
4. Some S-links are also part-time jobs and pay you significant cash for doing them.
5. Your rank in an S-link grants an XP bonus to newly conjured Personas. At rank 10, a new persona will typically gain about 5 levels and thus often unlock most of their pending skills. The game really expects you to create personas with this bonus xp more than it does level them up, but it's possible to do it the hard way or a mix.

So really, if you don't want to do S-links you can blow it off and compensate by doing more dungeon crawling.
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