-by Dylan DiBona
Not much compares to the high I got from binging Persona 5 for six or seven hours a day. I had no job, enough money to live and a PlayStation 4 connected to a nice television. I was in love with the game; everything from the aesthetics and gameplay just did it for me. After finishing it came the inevitable emptiness and existential ennui. But wait, everybody online praises Persona 3; some people even prefer the dark tone of 3 when compared to 5! I thought I had another gem on my hands, and maybe I do but it’s rough by today’s standards.
Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 is an interesting game solely for the reason of its influence on later Persona games. Things like “Social-Links” became a thing and soon the series felt like playable anime. I give credit to Persona 3 for this and also for still being somewhat unique for its tone.
I read somewhere that the brighter and much yellower sequel Persona 4 was designed in such a way to act as an opposite for the dark and suicidal themes of Persona 3. If this is true, I don’t know; but the third entry is a dark blue, jazz-pop filled bag of creepiness. I’m all down for something as different as that, but what really hurts this particular game is it’s sequels Persona 4 and 5.
Persona 4 is where things got a bit more cheery. Sure you were solving a murder case, but your friends were sillier, had more of an “anime-ness” to them and a good amount of energy. Same with 5 which is all about the colors and explosive pop of powerful characters. Nobody in my two and a half hours of Persona 3 even looked as interesting as somebody from the latter two games. I know, that amount of time is absolutely nothing for these types of games, but I can’t lie and say it didn’t discourage me.
Even worse are the mechanics. I was shocked to find out that in Persona 3 you can’t give commands to your teammates in battle (only yourself), leaving you with 1/4th the amount of gameplay of almost any other JRPG. I don’t understand this design choice, and I especially don’t understand not being able to shut it off.
I would be able to power through any less than exciting characters, but such a gameplay flaw? I can’t, not for 70-100 hours. Persona 5 is one of those examples of a new entry in a series doing everything almost flawlessly, that I just didn’t care enough to play it’s predecessor. It’s a shame honestly.
Have any of you guys had a similar experience? Sometimes sequels completely ruin original works! Let me know down below and I’ll try my best to reply. Sorry for the short post today. As always, thanks for reading and have a good weekend!