Tag: Persona

My Top 3 Games of the Year

It has been a little while since I wrote a video game post or a list. Here’s my top three I played this year:

#3: Marvel’s Spider-Man (PS4)

Marvel’s Spider-Man had me hyped from day one, but the game delivered more than I had expected. I even went as far as getting the platinum trophy. I am glad now that I skipped the DLC, but I could use a sequel as soon as possible.

#2: Hollow Knight (Switch)

Hollow Knight took me by complete surprise. I expected to like it, but I did not expect to love it. For a few weeks, I obsessed over the game, going as far as defeating a really challenging optional boss. This game was an absolute blast and one of my favorite game experiences in 2018.

Dishonorable Mentions

  • Persona 5 (PS4) – I wanted to like Persona 5, but I didn’t take to it. I haven’t deleted my save though. I do intend to give it another try in the future.
  • Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age (PS4) – Absolutely beautiful, the latest Dragon Quest did nothing for me. I hated the characters, I was bored by the story, and the gameplay did nothing for me either. I know that Dragon Quest games are “vanilla” by design but I had hoped for some hidden sprinkles. There were none.
  • World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth (PC) – For an expansion dominated by my favorite race, trolls, it was a huge disappointment to last less than a month and leave behind the three months I prepaid for. This was a terribly weak expansion.

Honorable Mentions

  • Ni No Kuni 2 (PS4) – It was good enough to finish!
  • Dead Cells (Switch) – I played a ton of this on Switch. Though I was never successful enough to finish it, it was a lot of fun.
  • Donut County (PS4) – I didn’t play this indie game directly. Instead, I watched as Diane thoroughly enjoyed it. We both laughed together at the jokes. It was an incredibly funny experience given the odd subject matter.
  • Frostpunk (PC) – I wanted more than what I got with Frostpunk, but it was still an incredible experience. I love a good city-builder and the fusion of that with survival mechanics to make a game I dreaded playing was a match made in heaven (or in this case hell).
  • Overcooked 2 (PS4) – It is Overcooked only better. Our couples nights playing this game every weekend were just as fun as when we did them for the original. I consider Overcooked 2 to be superior in every way.

#1: Slay the Spire

At over 700 hours, I have one achievement left to get in this blend of roguelikes and card games. I cannot think of a better game to carry me on now that I am completely done playing Binding of Isaac. That said, my obsession is currently waning, so I doubt I get to 1,000 hours unless they add something new when the game finally launches early next year.

Persona 5, I Yield

I am dropping Persona 5. Before some of you burn me at the stake for my sin, do know that I really have no issues with the game itself. “It’s not you, it’s me” is cliche but accurate in this case. As much as I wanted to love Persona 5, the more I tried to play it, the less I did, and the less I played the more I realized this was not a JRPG for me.

In general, it is hard for me to enjoy any JRPG that is not strictly fantasy. The only exceptions would be various entries in the Final Fantasy series, but those at least had “Fantasy” in the title. It didn’t dawn on me until I went to write this that I have not completed any JRPG that had a modern or science fiction setting. I dropped Xenosaga about three hours in, though I always attributed that to having sat through about two and a half hours of cut scenes before getting to the half hour of gameplay. I tried a Star Ocean game once and managed to get really far, but when I realized I had gone too far in the game’s final dungeon and was going to need to grind to get anywhere, I dropped it too. Xenoblade? Hated.

That’s a shame too because I would’ve loved to watch Persona 5 as an anime. The setting and characters didn’t grip me as a game, but this is exactly the kind of show I’d enjoy. It’s bizarre to me that I have such a cognitive disconnect. Maybe it is a time commitment thing? It’s one thing to spend my time and attention on a full season of an anime, and another thing entirely to experience the same story in game form of a much longer period requiring much more involvement.

Further annoying me, Persona 5 was fun, at least when I felt like I could play it. The game takes its time introducing things, which I enjoyed, but it never stops introducing things, which I hated. I even enjoyed all the atypical bits, like training your character’s skills or building character relationships. I am not sure I enjoyed both together though.

The combat I did like. I loved the weakness system and wish I had more time in my 15 hours or so having played the game. I also enjoyed recruiting monsters, though the whole system was a little weird and likely needed more time for me to really get the hang of it.

Other things I loved: presentation and humor. Persona 5 is a gorgeous game graphically, but, more importantly, it is a gorgeously designed game. Even the font has a sense of style and bravado. I loved every single random encounter because once I was done, my characters walked away triumphant rather than standing in place doing a dumb dance until I hit the button. I also laughed a lot at this game. It is hands down one of the funniest games I have played in recent memory and I enjoyed its insanity all the more because the character’s recognized how crazy things are too.

I could easily see myself regretting this decision and trying again another time. I don’t plan on deleting my save at least. Persona 5 has a lot to love, and I wanted to love it, but when something doesn’t hook me I rarely find much success in forcing myself forward. Worse, with so much choice and so many awesome games out there, I hate the feeling of wasting my time as I force myself uphill in a battle I know I will ultimately lose. Persona 5 is probably the great game that so many have recognized it as being, but we aren’t sympatico, at least not yet.

Persona 5: One “Dungeon” In

Over the last month plus, I’ve been trying to tackle my first ever Persona game and … my feelings are mixed.

When Persona 5 dropped (and, to be honest, before it dropped too), it was a huge hit. My days of playing every JRPG are largely behind me, but the game did peak my curiosity. A friend offered to loan it to me after he was done, which is how we’ve arrived at this point.

I don’t think I have ever been more confused, more interested, or more overwhelmed all at once by a video game. I wouldn’t say I love it, but after beating the first palace (which seems loosely equivalent to a dungeon), I am ready for more.

The game is a weird mix of living an alternate life AND playing a JRPG, only you do it at the same time. Just like my real life, I have to carefully balance the few hours I have in the day for entertaining, self-improvement, relationship building or some mix of the three.

It isn’t my ideal game or my ideal RPG, but it is growing on me. I am genuinely excited to find out what sort of pseudo-psychology, acid trip we are going on next. BUT I don’t want to be playing this game for the next three months either.

We shall see.

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