Another Entry, another dozen hours of my life consumed playing Persona 5. I’m not complaining though, as I’m greatly entertained by the game! It has a lot gameplay improvements that I strongly approve of. I love the abundance of options during your daily life to explore, study, work, read, socialize, relax, train, and so many more. Each day feels like I need to optimize it, and that keeps me constantly paying attention and thinking about my actions.
My current system is to prioritize completing the Palace, because I always feel a tinge of guilt when I want to hang out, and the characters go “DON’T WE HAVE BETTER THINGS TO BE DOING FOOL?!?” I know they’re video game characters, but it means something to me.
Like okay I get it, a crazy abusive artist is going to report us to the police, get us all expelled, and jeopardize one of our characters’ art scholarship’s, but I mean, we have English Quizzes to worry about! Don’t you care about filling in Scantron bubbles? Helping society can wait.
But with that introduction out of the way, let me continue documenting the experiences and opinions I have in the May edition of the Persona 5 Diaries!
Entry #1: Night Life
Sakura trusts me, an ex-criminal, to wander the streets of Japan at night, on my own, and not cause any trouble? Well, he would be correct, because I didn’t understand the importance of the evening in Persona 5 and spent it studying and reading comic books like a loser. I still had the Persona 4 mentality, where nighttime = time with Nanako, Dojima, or small tasks in your room.
Persona 5 was slightly overwhelming with the amount of activities present during daytime and nighttime. Personally, I would prefer to be overwhelmed with an abundance of pastimes, rather than be bored by a sluggish drip feed of new content.
The amount of good content in Persona 5 astonishes me as well. It may not be a massive open RPG, but it is still quite large, with events and things to do packed into every corner of Japan. There is never a dull occurrence in Persona 5, as you are constantly going to new places, trying new things, improving your character’s stats, improving your confidants with other people, and much more. It keeps the game incredibly addictive, and I haven’t had my life so consumed with a game like this since, well, Persona 4: The Golden.
There’s a perfect balance between area size, and content density. Persona 5 doesn’t have unnecessary variations on anything, or if it does, it comes at a cost. For example, studying at the cafe will give you Knowledge. However, studying at the diner will let you buy food, which increases another stat, while you gain knowledge. It just costs a bit more Yen. Everything has a purpose, and it never feels like you waste your time with any decision.
Entry #2; Beautiful Boys Coalition gains another member
It’s as if ATLUS heard my call to create the Beautiful Boys Coalition (BBC) and gave me another member. Yusuke Kitagawa is a character I really like. The socially awkward, artistic shut-in whose vision of the world does not match the mainstream’s makes him the perfect outsider and candidate for the Phantom Theives.
I also enjoy that the writers of Persona 5 portrayed Madarame’s abuse to him in a subtle way. I feel it would be ruined if it was melodramatic. Like, there would be a scene of Yusuke crying in the rain about his torment. Yusuke believes the neglect and poor treatment he receives is normal, and willfully ignores it because of Madarame’s care of him. Even after it is revealed that Madarame was partially responsible for Yusuke’s mother dying, Yusuke still claims that, deep down, he can never truly hate Madarame.
One of my favourite parts of Persona 4 was how it handled Kanji’s homosexuality. Rather than turn him into a sex-crazed lunatic which has become grossly common for gay characters in fiction, they truly fleshed him out as a human being who is conflicted about who he is, who he should be, and how others perceive him.
Yusuke gives me a similar vibe to Kanji. Yusuke has a legitimately serious topic of discussion, but rather than use it for cheap drama or edgy shock value, it helps characterize him. Your confidant with him allows him to improve as an artist, but as an autonomous person as well.
Entry #3: Goodbye Progress
I DIED AND LOST AN HOUR OF PROGRESS.
Whenever an RPG has random battles that actually require your attention, I’m always supportive. Persona 5 accomplishes this by having a simple rule:
Hit the weakness, mess ’em up.
Every time a weakness is struck, you are granted an extra turn. This unfortunately can turn battles into steamrolls more often than not, but thankfully, not every enemy has a weakness. Debuffs, Buffs, and status ailments are valuable as well, so battles do require strategy to overcome them. It thankfully isn’t just, “spam every move until you find the weakness and exploit that.” Only most of the time.
Entry #4: How Many Cups of Coffee does it take?!
Sakura takes so many friendship points to progress his confidant. I just keep making cups of coffee and I always get treated to “It doesn’t seem your bond with Sojiro Sakura will deepen yet…”
Does he just hate me? Did he not want to take me in that much? I bail him out when shady individuals approach him, is that not good enough for you Sakura? I’m taking all of your baggage and you still don’t acknowledge my coffee making skills?
But I do like Sakura. I get a tough love vibe from him. I mean, he threatens to kick me out of the house at least once a day, but he cares! Trust me!
Entry #5: T h i c c
Entry #6: Codename: Kids Next Door
Ryuji continues to give me mixed feelings about whether or not I like him. I know he’s supposed to be the main character’s best friend, and I know he’s supposed to be the brawn of the group, but he has such cheesy lines. I appreciate his loyalty to his friends and his willingness to protect those who matter to him, but I don’t appreciate his vulgarity and inhuman stupidity. I think his loyalty and trust stems from the lack of a cohesive family structure, and the conflict he had with the track and field team in the past.
But what bugs me most about Ryuji is his hatred towards adults. He reminds me of the Kids Next Door, with his irrational hatred of older people. News flash Ryuji: in two years, you turn 18, and you’re officially an adult now. Enjoy the taxes and responsibility the Japanese curriculum never prepared you for!
Ryuji’s confidant isn’t gripping me like Yosuke’s did in Persona 4. Ryuji is the best-friend character, but he never really seems to help you in any way. It feels like you constantly do favours for him and cover up his weaknesses, while he never supports you. Maybe this changes later on in the game, but I’m still lukewarm about this character.
Entry #7: Ann, or, AHN
I don’t know if the mispronunciation of Japanese words is intentional, but if it is, it is slightly obnoxious. Maybe that’s my inner weeaboo. I don’t think I will ever naturally pronounce Ann as “AHN” like they want me to in game. 20 years of developing the English language creates some fairly nasty habits.
I really like Ann as a character though. She’s really sweet, but she has insecurities and issues to resolve. Ironically, I feel that she makes a better best friend character for the main character than Ryuji. She is supportive, understanding, and actually listens to others when they have issues. She has a stronger sense of empathy.
Which is why I will friendzone her. Nyuk nyuk nyuk!
Again, I didn’t want to focus on story events in this entry because that’s unanimous for every player. I moreso wanted to focus on my opinions on occurances and observations I have made so far. I’ve just finished June in Persona 5, so I will start working on that entry as well after some other topics I wish to write about first. Hopefully you’ll stay here with me for that!
Also, gettin’ reeeaaal tired of CUUUAAAAPTAAAAIIIN KIIIIIIID.