Monday, June 29, 2009

Persona 4

I ended up taking a longer break from blogging than I thought! It's not that I was busy with productive things. In fact, since I graduated from my master's degree last May, I hadn't been able to do the things I said I was going to do with my photography hobby.

I did manage to get my driver's license. I had also been busy trying to lose some weight. My weight loss efforts were, unfortunately, pushed aside for a couple of days after I started playing Persona 4. It is really terrible, how much time I have been spending playing that game.

It is such great fun though! What really impresses me about the game is the meticulous attention to detail. It reminds me so much of Japan, and the years I had lived there. The department stores have posters of "yakitori" and "ramen" in the foodcourt. The shopping carts are exactly the same (green baskets that you can put on top of pushcarts). The music, the jingles. The train station, the platform, the yellow bands along streets. It makes me all natsukashii.

I had been playing Final Fantasy 12, too. I find that, even if I had always been a Final Fantasy fan, in the end, the game got to be a bit tedious. I just didn't like the main character, Vaan, so much. There was no chemistry between the characters, and, yes, like other reviewers and bloggers, I really found Penelo silly. Especially her hairstyle! I got tired of having to run around the sprawling dungeons. It became more a pain than entertainment. On a positive note, however, the voice actors were the best I had ever heard for an RPG game. And the graphics! Just beautiful. But all in all, still, tedious! I don't know if I'm going to get back to that game. Maybe after Persona 4.

Persona 4, though, is like a breath of fresh air. The way the characters "mob" the downed enemies, with the "wham, thwack, etc" sound effects in cartoony letters, made me really smile. I kind of like the fact that the dungeons aren't so big or sprawling. Also, you can move from one place to another using the square button when in the real world. As for the's a little formulaic and typical for someone who has seen as much anime and read as much manga as I have. I guess I'm getting a bit old for these kinds of things (that's an understatement!). Even then, the storyline makes me laugh a little. The characters are three dimensional(even if they're stereotypical). There's the delinquent biker gang dude, Kanji (but it made me laugh a little that his deepest fear is to be seen as gay); the girls who just want boyfriends (hey, this is a boy's game, still! at least, I think it is, since it has elements of a dating sim), the spoiled rich girl, the tomboyish girl next door type, the "idol", the quiet (cute) girl in class, they all just fit the same old formula. I say, I am getting a bit tired of that formula. But then, aren't romance novels the same in that sense? They follow that same old formula, and yet, they still hit all the bestseller lists! I guess it's because formulas are familiar. And, they don't require so much thinking (at least storywise!). I suppose that's why it's refreshing!

So, I dunno when I'm going to get back to finishing that Final Fantasy 12 game. Especially since I just bought a 2nd hand version of Persona 3!

I hope I don't turn Hikikomori from all this gaming!