My bro!

My bro!

After last night’s session with Persona 4, I am about 7 and a half hours into the game and it keeps getting better. I now have free reign to go around and do what I want, which translates into how I’m going to spend my time after school and what I do before bed.

After school I have several options: I can explore the dungeon inside the TV world, hang out with my friends, or if it’s Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday, practice with the soccer team.

Going inside the dungeon is always a fun test in endurance that reminds me a little bit of Etrian Odyssey. Both games have you exploring a multileveled dungeon with progressively harder enemies on each floor. Both games force you to decide how far you should go before turning around. Try to do too much and you’ll likely die. You need to know when it’s time to fight and when it’s time to leave. This brings me to the one little complaint I have with the game. The enemies are visible on the exploration screen and to initiate battle you need to hit them with your sword, or they can attack you. To get an advantage in battle you need to attack them from behind, so this usually involves me standing around for a minute or two while I wait for these things to turn around.

Hanging out with my friends or practicing with the soccer team both go hand in hand, in that they both involve me leveling up my social links. Social links represent the bonds of friendship I share with people and leveling them up strengthens my personas, demons that assist me in battle. I look forward to going to soccer practice and hanging out with Kou and Daisuke. They’re fun and interesting. On the way home from practice one day we stopped at a restaurant and had some ramen. =D

Other than side characters, I can also hang out with main characters, like my bro Yosuke. We went and got some steaks from this great little stand in the shopping district. Little chewy, but still pretty good. Even if some jerks were gossiping about how Yosuke’s parents are ruining Inaba by bringing Junes, the chain super store, into their town. Hey, I’m from the big city, I love hangin out at the Junes food court. Don’t let the haters get you down.

I freakin love Junes

I freakin love Junes

Before I go to bed there are at least two things I can do. First off, I can study to increase my knowledge. This is all I’ve done so far since no other option has been open to me. However, I bought a book at the book store after school and the next time I jump into Persona 4, I’m reading it before bed. It better be good because it cost me 1200 yen.

Persona 4 has its hooks in me. They created a living, breathing world with intersting characters that I actually care about. Don’t get me wrong, the RPG gameplay is fun, but man I want to hang out with Daisuke and Kou some more. Them some cool guys.

Just some cool guys and some noodles

Just a couple of cool guys and some noodles

Trendy

Kids these days

I played the first three hours of Persona on Friday night. After those three hours I pressed the X button hundreds of times to get through lengthy conversations. I fought in maybe five or six actual battles. I might have had direct control of my character for thirty minutes. I’m pretty sure all I accomplished was the tutorial. I had a great time.

Persona 4 is all about being a high school kid in rural Japan and all the burdens that come with it. Including solving murders by going inside TV’s and fighting demons. Most of the time I played was spent being acclimated with the characters and the setting. I went to class a few times, made some friends, and went inside the TV a few times to meet a bear and rescue my friends from demons. There were a few anime cut scenes sprinkled in for good measure.

If there’s on thing I didn’t like it was that the game spelled everything out for me in the most painful fashion possible. It made me feel like I was a two year old that couldn’t even follow the most basic plot developments. For example, I was watching the news one night and after it was over, the main character would summarize everything he just heard. This summarization happens after almost anything plot related happens .

I look forward to the next time I sit down with Persona 4, at which point I’ll provide a more in depth look at gameplay, because like I said, I’m pretty sure I just completed the introduction to the game. Expect more Persona 4 later this week.

So, yea. Monster Hunter. Kinda, sorta might be playing that instead of reading Fragment and playing Devil Survivor. Oops. Blame Capcom for releasing Monster Hunter Freedom: Unite.

But fret not loyal readers! I have to finish Fragment by Friday so expect a review of that this weekend. I also recently completed Fruits Basket Volume 1 and that review will be up by tonight.

I’ll also be diving into Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 this Friday, and that too will get a write up. Don’t worry, that game won’t eclipse my normal duties.

If all of that wasn’t enough expect some more long winded opinion pieces from me and whatever articles Fred has hidden up his mysterious, magical sleeves (isn’t he great?). And if I feel so inclined you might just here about my monster hunting exploits from time to time.

So keep on tuning in and we’ll keep on serving up piping hot articles that are ready to eat.

It's tastey!

It's tasty!

DSv4

The Shin Megami Tensei games are a long running series of RPGs akin to Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest, and yesterday I took the plunge by buying my first one. Devil Survivor for the Nintendo DS is about a bunch of hip young Japanese youth trapped in Tokyo by a military quarantine during a demon invasion. When I first read that description I was sold on the story instantly. I’m a sucker for military quarantines, what can I say, and after the first hour I have not been disappointed.

Initial Impressions:

My character, Robert McKool (that’s right), and his friends have spent their time trying to find an escape out of the demon infested metropolis. It’s a nice change of pace from an amnesic youth who goes on to save the world.No world saving here. This game is all about survival and sacrifice on a personal level.

The game play also breaks conventions a bit by blending sRPG and jRPG mechanics. Battles play out on a grid, like in an sRPG, but when you attack an enemy it goes into a standard battle screen like you would expect from Dragon Quest. It spices up the formula and it’s fun. Your characters don’t do the bulk of the fighting either. Instead you rely on forging pacts with demons and making them fight for you. It’s just another cool little twist that adds a bit of that “gotta catch em all!” feeling.

So far I am enjoying Devil Survivor a lot. It manages to stand out as an RPG on a system that is positively drowning in them with a great story and funĀ  game play. Look for my full review in the near future.