Anyone else bothered by everyone comparing the game to Persona?

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#1 Posted by Junpei (735 posts) -

Yes, I realize the game is made Persona Team. I'm a huge fan of theirs and of the SMT teams as a whole, but I can't help but get annoyed every time I see the reviews saying that it isn't like Persona enough or trying to compare the conversation/sim aspect to Persona's. It wasn't meant to be that and people knocking it for not being that seems pretty dumb and shows a lack of knowledge or appreciation/opinion of what was made instead and why. It's only natural that when a series suddenly gets a boost in popularity the way Persona has that all of those new fans want an immediate fix, but there were two Persona games practically back to back. I'm glad the Persona team got away from it for a bit and honestly hope that a new SMT game comes out before we even hear anything more about Persona 5. As much as I love Persona, comparing a game to a development teams other game (which is very different in terms of content) is absurd. It would be similar to comparing Vagrant Story to Final Fantasy. Both are made by SquareSoft and VS takes place in Ivalice (as did FF12 and Tactics) but they play so different that comparisons beyond that point are irrelevant.

#2 Posted by AlexW00d (6228 posts) -

I'm pretty sure that probably happens on this site because everyone feels the need to publicly love on Persona due to the staff playing it.

#3 Posted by Jeust (10537 posts) -

Also it has a background that sets Catherine in the same universe as the Persona games. 

#4 Posted by Hockeymask27 (3683 posts) -
@AlexW00d: Oh it's just not this site. I feel it's the Rockstar syndrome all over again. Not every Rockstar game is GTA but that won't stop people trying to think it suppose to be.
#5 Posted by Animasta (14667 posts) -

@Jeust said:

Also it has a background that sets Catherine in the same universe as the Persona games.

um, how so exactly?

#6 Posted by Jeust (10537 posts) -
@Laketown said:

@Jeust said:

Also it has a background that sets Catherine in the same universe as the Persona games.

um, how so exactly?

That's what the reviews I read said. ^^ 
 
I bet same monsters, summons, and happenings. :p
#7 Posted by Sanj (2364 posts) -

@Laketown said:

@Jeust said:

Also it has a background that sets Catherine in the same universe as the Persona games.

um, how so exactly?

Well, Vincent appeared in Persona 3 Portable.

#8 Posted by Animasta (14667 posts) -

@Sanj said:

@Laketown said:

@Jeust said:

Also it has a background that sets Catherine in the same universe as the Persona games.

um, how so exactly?

Well, Vincent appeared in Persona 3 Portable.

um, that was just an easter egg

#9 Edited by Sanj (2364 posts) -

@Laketown said:

@Sanj said:

@Laketown said:

@Jeust said:

Also it has a background that sets Catherine in the same universe as the Persona games.

um, how so exactly?

Well, Vincent appeared in Persona 3 Portable.

um, that was just an easter egg

So? There is more evidence to suggest Catherine is set in the Persona universe than there is evidence to suggest otherwise..

#10 Posted by Animasta (14667 posts) -

@Sanj: other than the fact that persona 3 takes place in... 2009? There is evidence that Catherine takes place much much later (I saw a sign with the date of 2050 on it, in fact)

#11 Edited by Sanj (2364 posts) -

@Laketown said:

@Sanj: other than the fact that persona 3 takes place in... 2009? There is evidence that Catherine takes place much much later (I saw a sign with the date of 2050 on it, in fact)

I saw no such sign, and judging from a quick google search, nor can I find any further discussion that this game took place in 2050, so I call bollocks on that. Besides, there is nothing in the setting of this game (other than this alleged sign) that makes me think that it's set 40 years in the future. Furthermore, WHY would they want to indirectly suggest that this game is set that far into the future, when it looks like it's set in modern times? It makes no sense.

#12 Posted by biospank (657 posts) -

@Sanj: but then it is set in the shin megami tenseo universe but I caint see how its set in the digital devil saga or lucifers call(nr3)

#13 Edited by Animasta (14667 posts) -

@Sanj said:

@Laketown said:

@Sanj: other than the fact that persona 3 takes place in... 2009? There is evidence that Catherine takes place much much later (I saw a sign with the date of 2050 on it, in fact)

I saw no such sign, and judging from a quick google search, nor can I find any further discussion that this game took place in 2050, so I call bollocks on that. Besides, there is nothing in the setting of this game (other than this alleged sign) that makes me think that it's set 40 years in the future. Furthermore, WHY would they set it that far into the future in the first place, especially when it looks like it's set in modern times? It makes no sense.

you obviously did not get the true freedom ending

#14 Posted by Sanj (2364 posts) -

@Laketown said:

@Sanj said:

@Laketown said:

@Sanj: other than the fact that persona 3 takes place in... 2009? There is evidence that Catherine takes place much much later (I saw a sign with the date of 2050 on it, in fact)

I saw no such sign, and judging from a quick google search, nor can I find any further discussion that this game took place in 2050, so I call bollocks on that. Besides, there is nothing in the setting of this game (other than this alleged sign) that makes me think that it's set 40 years in the future. Furthermore, WHY would they set it that far into the future in the first place, especially when it looks like it's set in modern times? It makes no sense.

you obviously did not get the true freedom ending

Got True lovers. Anyway, I still can't find any mention of this on the net (other than you that is). Right now, I believe that you think you saw a sign that suggested this game is set in 2050, but until I see further mention of this, I'm going to go with the Persona-universe thing. If what you're saying is true though, it's dumb.

#15 Posted by RE_Player1 (7557 posts) -

@Sanj: They have stated that the character in Persona 3 Portable was not actually Vincent and that Catherine is in a different universe.

#16 Posted by Animasta (14667 posts) -

@Sanj said:

@Laketown said:

@Sanj said:

@Laketown said:

@Sanj: other than the fact that persona 3 takes place in... 2009? There is evidence that Catherine takes place much much later (I saw a sign with the date of 2050 on it, in fact)

I saw no such sign, and judging from a quick google search, nor can I find any further discussion that this game took place in 2050, so I call bollocks on that. Besides, there is nothing in the setting of this game (other than this alleged sign) that makes me think that it's set 40 years in the future. Furthermore, WHY would they set it that far into the future in the first place, especially when it looks like it's set in modern times? It makes no sense.

you obviously did not get the true freedom ending

Got True lovers. Anyway, I still can't find any mention of this on the net (other than you that is). Right now, I believe that you think you saw a sign that suggested this game is set in 2050, but until I see further mention of this, I'm going to go with the Persona-universe thing. If what you're saying is true though, it's dumb.

you didn't see the space tourism sign either? or hear people talk about it?

and there's really nothing dumb about setting this game in the future, especially when the alternative is it being set in Persona land, which is still silly.

#17 Edited by Nexas (625 posts) -

Catherine is not tied to any of the Megaten games in anyway. It has none of the series' trappings, nor does it have the SMT named attached to it. It doesn't even have the Megami Ibunroku title that is attached to all the spinoff games in Japan.

Also Catherine is set in America, so unless Vincent took a trip to Japan offscreen that P3P easter egg didn't happen.

#18 Posted by Adus (68 posts) -

@AlexW00d said:

I'm pretty sure that probably happens on this site because everyone feels the need to publicly love on Persona due to the staff playing it.

This pretty much hits the nail on the head. Persona has a history here, and may very well be why some people are on GB in the first place. I think maybe there were some hopes in the backs of people's minds that if it was clever and endearing in the same vein as Persona that they'd ER it or something. The comparisons are less severe or nonexistent pretty much everywhere else.

#19 Posted by Junpei (735 posts) -

I'd be more than willing to believe that Persona and Catherine are in the same universe just fine. I don't see any real reason why that can't be. My only issue is constantly comparing the two games in terms of gameplay when they aren't meant to be similar in any way what-so-ever. I got the true lovers ending but I may have missed the part about the date as well. The only thing I recall is the time lapse leading to the ending, but that wasn't 40 years. I'll have to look at it closely next time.

#20 Edited by Sanj (2364 posts) -

@RE_Player92: BUT....THE T-SHIRT!!!

Well, can't really argue with Atlus. I reckon the Persona team originally intended Catherine to be set in the same universe, but decided to go a different route during production or something

@Laketown: Oh yeah, now that you mention it, people did talk about going into space a few times...didn't really think much of it though. The dumb thing isn't that it's set in the future, just that it doesn't need to be set in the future. Like I said before, what reason would they have to indirectly suggest that the game is set that far into the future, when it looks like it's set in modern times? Well, I guess there's no point arguing about it anymore.

I think it would have been pretty neat if it was set in the Persona universe, solely for the possibility of cameos of Catherine characters in future Persona games or something.

#21 Edited by Catolf (2653 posts) -
@Sanj: . Go get the true freedom end or watch it via youtube. That and Toby talking about space tourism and the guys interest in it and that Vincent didn't have the money, and then the poster on his wall. And how absurdly cheap it is to go on a space tour. No it did not have to be set in the future but why the hell not?
#22 Posted by Turambar (6710 posts) -
@Sanj said:

@RE_Player92: BUT....THE T-SHIRT!!!

Well, can't really argue with Atlus. I reckon the Persona team originally intended Catherine to be set in the same universe, but decided to go a different route during production or something

@Laketown: Oh yeah, now that you mention it, people did talk about going into space a few times...didn't really think much of it though. The dumb thing isn't that it's set in the future, just that it doesn't need to be set in the future. Like I said before, what reason would they have to indirectly suggest that the game is set that far into the future, when it looks like it's set in modern times? Well, I guess there's no point arguing about it anymore.

I think it would have been pretty neat if it was set in the Persona universe, solely for the possibility of cameos of Catherine characters in future Persona games or something.

If its just some easy fan service you're after, remember, Raidou Kuzunoha was a cameo in Persona 4, despite the two being in completely different universes.  We don't need to shoehorn two completely different settings and worlds together to get that effect.
#23 Edited by Sanj (2364 posts) -

@Turambar said:

@Sanj said:

@RE_Player92: BUT....THE T-SHIRT!!!

Well, can't really argue with Atlus. I reckon the Persona team originally intended Catherine to be set in the same universe, but decided to go a different route during production or something

@Laketown: Oh yeah, now that you mention it, people did talk about going into space a few times...didn't really think much of it though. The dumb thing isn't that it's set in the future, just that it doesn't need to be set in the future. Like I said before, what reason would they have to indirectly suggest that the game is set that far into the future, when it looks like it's set in modern times? Well, I guess there's no point arguing about it anymore.

I think it would have been pretty neat if it was set in the Persona universe, solely for the possibility of cameos of Catherine characters in future Persona games or something.

If its just some easy fan service you're after, remember, Raidou Kuzunoha was a cameo in Persona 4, despite the two being in completely different universes. We don't need to shoehorn two completely different settings and worlds together to get that effect.

Well, I was thinking more in terms of the actual characters showing up, like they did with Persona 3 stuff in P4. These two settings aren't completely different either; I would have had no trouble believing the world in Catherine is part of the Persona world...apart from the whole future thing, which obviously changes everything.

Not to say I wouldn't mind the Raidou-type references like they had in P4. I'm sure there'll be a few of those.

#24 Edited by FluxWaveZ (19321 posts) -

Elements that indicate the game's futuristic setting: 
 

  • Space tourism publicly accessible for only $50k.
  • A device that determines when rain is going to stop falling.
  • A Stray Sheep poster that shows a motorcycle with the model year "2060" under it.
  • Space colonies.
Elements from Persona: 
 
  • A Gekkoukan High poster.
  • A Persona 3 FES poster.
  • A Rise Kujikawa poster.
  • Teddie dolls and poster.
  • Jukebox songs.
No, this game probably doesn't take place in the same universe as the Persona series as the Vincent in P3P was officially said to just be a Vincent look-alike and there's no other evidence, except for the easter eggs stated above, that suggest that the game's set in the same universe. That doesn't mean that easter eggs from Catherine won't be in a future Persona title. 
 
And I've only read the Giant Bomb review, but any review that establishes a comparison between a Persona game and Catherine isn't worth reading. With the exception of some aesthetic elements, those games aren't remotely similar.
#25 Posted by Animasta (14667 posts) -

@FluxWaveZ said:

Elements that indicate the game's futuristic setting:
  • A device that determines when rain is going to stop falling.

when did that show up? I don't remember that part

#26 Posted by natetodamax (19191 posts) -

@FluxWaveZ said:

  • A Rise Kujikawa poster.

o_O There's a Rise poster in Catherine? Where?

#27 Edited by FluxWaveZ (19321 posts) -
@Laketown said: 

when did that show up? I don't remember that part

The scene which this song first accompanies: 
  
 Or to put it plainly, here it is: 
    

@natetodamax
said: 

o_O There's a Rise poster in Catherine? Where?

Somewhere in the Stray Sheep.
#28 Posted by alternate (2693 posts) -

From the start Atlus promoted it as "from the Persona Team" and to be fair if they had just put it out as a vaguely hentai inspired block puzzler I doubt it would have sold as well in the west.

#29 Edited by Catolf (2653 posts) -
@FluxWaveZ: Nice catch! Also there is a persona 3 Fes poster that you can spot behind Orlando and his wife in the Katherine true end I found.
 
@alternate said:
From the start Atlus promoted it as "from the Persona Team" and to be fair if they had just put it out as a vaguely hentai inspired block puzzler I doubt it would have sold as well in the west.

Not even close to even being vaguely hentai.
#30 Posted by FluxWaveZ (19321 posts) -
@Catolf said:
@FluxWaveZ: Nice catch! Also there is a persona 3 Fes poster that you can spot behind Orlando and his wife in the Katherine true end I found.
Is that one different from the Gekkoukan High poster?
#31 Posted by Catolf (2653 posts) -
@FluxWaveZ said:
@Catolf said:
@FluxWaveZ: Nice catch! Also there is a persona 3 Fes poster that you can spot behind Orlando and his wife in the Katherine true end I found.
Is that one different from the Gekkoukan High poster?
I never spotted the Gekkoukan High poster, It was just all persona 3 characters going against their persona/ face to face.
#32 Posted by FluxWaveZ (19321 posts) -
@Catolf: Ah, cool. So that's another easter egg.
#33 Posted by Catolf (2653 posts) -
@FluxWaveZ said:
@Catolf: Ah, cool. So that's another easter egg.
Here we go, I found it, also I'm not sure if it's as much of an easter egg as it is a..mistake (unless Boss is being a dick to do that XD) but Katherine's name is Spelled Catherine on the chalk board.
 
 

 Here is the board one.
 
#34 Posted by Sayishere (1840 posts) -

Wow, theres alot of Persona references i missed in Catherine.

#35 Posted by Catolf (2653 posts) -
@Sayishere said:

Wow, theres alot of Persona references i missed in Catherine.

if your watching while Vincent is in his room more than a few of his books say "PERSONA" on them as well.
#36 Posted by metalsnakezero (2290 posts) -

Man, I kinda missed those references. Anyway I pretty sure Atlus stated that Catherine was set in a different universe and not in the Persona universe.

#37 Edited by mutha3 (4985 posts) -

Well, it has the same distinct art direction and a lot of other key components that the Persona series has. Its understanble, TBH.

@Sanj

: There is a poster in the game advertising a car race that took place in 2060(which is what Laketown is talking about). Catherine probably takes place much farther in the future than that even.
 
I believe we've had this discussion before, and I'll say the same thing I said back then: none of the SMT games are connected in any meaningful way outside of fan-service. Catherine not taking place in the Persona universe will probably have no bearing on whether there will be cameos or not.
 
@FluxWaveZ said:
And I've only read the Giant Bomb review, but any review that establishes a comparison between a Persona game and Catherine isn't worth reading. With the exception of some aesthetic elements, those games aren't remotely similar.

The day-night split? The presence of super natural elements in what is (seemingly) modern day?
 
Catherine feels very much like a Persona game. In the same way that SMT games feel like they come from the same series without actually having anything to do with each other.
#38 Posted by FluxWaveZ (19321 posts) -
@metalsnakezero said:
Anyway I pretty sure Atlus stated that Catherine was set in a different universe and not in the Persona universe.
I don't think they have.
#39 Posted by mutha3 (4985 posts) -
@FluxWaveZ said:
@metalsnakezero said:
Anyway I pretty sure Atlus stated that Catherine was set in a different universe and not in the Persona universe.
I don't think they have.
They have:

 
It was cleared up in an interview preformed by Shuukan Gēmu no Shokutaku that Catherine is not considered part of Atlus' Shin Megami Tensei franchise, or has any specific ties to the Persona sub-universe outside of "fake" Vincent's cameo in Persona 3 Portable. The mole that the Vincent in P3P wears was said to be a sign that this is not the exact same Vincent as the one you play in Catherine.

#40 Posted by MiniPato (2727 posts) -

Sure the gameplay is wildly different, but when every piece of news regarding this game is prefaced with "from the team that brought you Persona 3-4" comparisons are going to be made. From all the criticisms I've seen of this game, none of them seemed to be "it's not Persona 3/4."

As for Catherine being in the Persona universe? I wouldn't think anything of it. In Metal Gear Solid 4 Meryl's whole squad is a big 'ol reference to Policenauts as well as the Metal Gear Mk2 being straight out of Snatcher. It's fun to try to tie universes together and in a cooler world it would be acceptable, but in these cases they're just references to one another.

#41 Posted by NickL (2246 posts) -

A lot of the people that bought this game bought it because they loved the persona games. I see no problem with the comparison.

#42 Posted by FluxWaveZ (19321 posts) -
@mutha3: Ah, I stand corrected then. I thought the only thing they said in regards to the universes being the same was the Vincent look-alike but I guess not.
#43 Posted by Sanj (2364 posts) -

Oh man, didn't realise how many references about the game being set in the future there were, but there are quite a few it seems. I must admit it's pretty cool, although I still don't get the reason for doing it (I have to suspect there's a bigger picture the devs know that we don't know about...maybe for the sequel, in which case I'm all for it).

#44 Posted by Brodehouse (9770 posts) -

Something tells me the next original IP Kojima does will be unfairly compared to Metal Gear.

When Rocksteady stops making Batman and makes a game about climbing fucking blocks, people are going to bring up the fact that they could be working on Batman.

#45 Posted by Elazul (1327 posts) -

I have much more of a problem with the fact that the game doesn't seem to be very good than it not having anything to do with Persona. In fact at this point I'd much rather have a new main series SMT game than anything else out of that team.

#46 Edited by Marokai (2860 posts) -

I haven't actually publicly compared to the game to Persona much at all, but the more that I actually think about it, the more that Jeff's complaints (and to a lesser extent, Patrick's complaint about the ending) can totally be attributed to Persona 4 just as easily. Characters behaving really frustratingly, being so unrealistic, and with bizarre and incomprehensible motives, gameplay aspects being really bothersome, the false endings/odd dragging of the ending of the game, etc. It's just surprises me that Jeff loves Persona 4, but all of these same problems you could arguably say were present in Persona 4 as well, totally ruined his enjoyment of nearly every aspect of Catherine. 
 
And they are different games, granted, but they're made by the same people, so similar in tone, in very similar (but not identical) universes, that it's practically a Shin Megami Tensei puzzle game. I've only compared the two games to myself insofar as I found Jeff's attitude interesting, if not contradictory.

#47 Edited by mutha3 (4985 posts) -
@Marokai said:

I haven't actually publicly compared to the game to Persona much at all, but the more that I actually think about it, the more that Jeff's complaints (and to a lesser extent, Patrick's complaint about the ending) can totally be attributed to Persona 4 just as easily. Characters behaving really frustratingly, being so unrealistic, and with bizarre and incomprehensible motives, gameplay aspects being really bothersome, the false endings/odd dragging of the ending of the game, etc. It's just surprises me that Jeff loves Persona 4, but all of these same problems you could arguably say were present in Persona 4 as well, totally ruined his enjoyment of nearly every aspect of Catherine. 
 

I disagree with all of your points.  And I can 100% see where Jeff is coming from as someone who loved the game.
 
Well, I disagree with the both of you that the characters in Catherine (or P4 for that matter)behave all that unrealistically-- self-destructive, unreasonable behavior is not the same as "unrealistic" behavior. And a lot of the supposed "unrealistic" behavior in P4 can be justified when you consider how long the narrative spans in the eyes of the characters.
 
Anyway, outside of that supposed list of "flaws" the two games share, there are a hell of a lot more differences there:
 
-The characters in Persona are supposed to be likable/appealing and endearing, the characters in Catherine on the other hand, are merely supposed to be sympathetic(not necessarily likable) and  interesting.
-  Further supporting the above: the game instantly creates a disconnect from Vincent and the player with the Golden Playhouse set-up. The game instantly sends you the signal that Vincent is not a representation of you. This is the EXACT opposite of what Persona 4 did.
- While both are character-driven stories, Persona 4 sets a clear plot structure from the start and when it fully shifts into gear in the last two months, it doesn't feel off....Catherine on the other hand awkwardly shifts from a character-driven narrative to a bizarre story-driven tangent near the end.
-Catherine has a shoddy sense of player agency, while P4 has a really cool way to allow you to personalize your experience with the S-link system.
 

There is nothing unusual about liking one and disliking the other.
#48 Posted by Spoonman671 (4588 posts) -

Both apples and oranges are round fruit that have a sweet taste, however apples have smooth skins whereas oranges generally have a more rough, dimpled texture.
 
See, it's ok to compare things.

#49 Edited by jtt02 (28 posts) -

Catherine and Persona are both in our universe.  So it's OK to compare them; the youngest child in a family might be compared to his/her siblings and maybe try to live up to them.  Maybe that's not a good thing for a kid, but video games don't have feelings so I don't think they will care about the comparison very much

#50 Edited by Marokai (2860 posts) -
@mutha3: I should probably preface this by saying that I really like Catherine a whole lot. But it's not without it's flaws, and alot of the problems I can see in Catherine, I could just as easily see someone arguing are in Persona 4 as well. I felt only momentary frustration in either game with the characters, as well. So I don't want you to take my post above as me saying I think Catherine is riddled with problems. I was merely trying to see the game from Jeff's perspective.
 

Well, I disagree with the both of you that the characters in Catherine (or P4 for that matter)behave all that unrealistically-- self-destructive, unreasonable behavior is not the same as "unrealistic" behavior. And a lot of the supposed "unrealistic" behavior in P4 can be justified when you consider how long the narrative spans in the eyes of the characters.

I do keep in mind that A) The characters in Persona 4 were highschool kids and that B) It took place over nearly an entire year, but the characters in Persona acted insanely frustrating at times. It never dawned on me until I was replaying Persona 4 on Expert mode (which I just finished a few days ago) how often they reiterate things. How many times they ask dumb questions. How they can never seem to be two and two together. How insane was it, in particular, that toward the end of the game, Dojima is in a car crash, Nanako gets kidnapped, you have to climb up Heaven to go save her, but don't forget to be up for school the next morning! It stretches believability at a certain point. There's obviously no direct comparison to make in how characters act from Persona 4 to Catherine, considering the different themes involved, but I can see how someone would think they both had utterly ridiculous moments, especially with character motivations, which I'll expand on more below.
 

-The characters in Persona are supposed to be likable/appealing and endearing, the characters in Catherine on the other hand, are merely supposed to be sympathetic(not necessarily likable) and  interesting. 
-Further supporting the above: the game instantly creates a disconnect from Vincent and the player with the Golden Playhouse set-up. The game instantaly sends you the signal that Vincent is not a representation of you. This is the EXACT opposite of what Persona 4 did.

I agree with you on your first point here, but I don't think that stops them from being retarded at a certain point. While characters in Persona 4 were idiots and unable to connect any dots unless they were thrown right in front of them, Vincent in Catherine is an idiot that repeatedly goes to the bar every single night and gets smashed, repeatedly keeps talking to this girl, and gets shocked that she won't leave him alone and that he keeps ending up in less-than-desirable situations. Both games have idiot characters in their own ways and situations that stretch believability to the point of not having any anymore.
 
And I know you would respond by saying "Well that's the point, Vincent is supposed to be a lazy douchebag!" and you argue that Vincent isn't supposed to be me playing him, but I just don't buy that. If Vincent isn't supposed to be my avatar in the game world, don't give me the ability to control his responses in conversation. Don't give me the ability to answer profound moral questions that alter the core of who Vincent is. The mixture of "Vincent isn't supposed to be you, but here, define his very moral fiber for him" just don't go together, IMO, and I don't think that's a fair thing to point to as something that profoundly separates Persona 4 and Catherine enough that you can't level the same complaints against them. In very similar ways you control both Charlie Tunoku and Vincent in the same way, it's just a question of what degree it's taken. In Catherine, it's just a little more shallow.
 

- While both are character-driven stories, Persona 4 sets a clear plot structure from the start and when it fully shifts into gear in the last two months, it doesn't feel off....Catherine on the other hand awkwardly shifts from a character-driven narrative to a bizarre story-driven tangent near the end.
-Catherine has a shoddy sense of player agency, while P4 has a really cool way to allow you to personalize your experience with the S-link system.

This first point I just don't agree with in any way. Persona 4 gets ridiculous near the end just as much as Catherine does, it's just that the transition in Catherine is more jarring whereas Persona 4 just starts making you refuse to believe anything you're being told by the game anymore. How many "we caught the killer!" moments were there? Like, four? Five? When it comes down to it, both stories are intensely supernatural and just plain weird. In Persona 4, people get thrown into the TV world for having intense personal problems and show up dead on antennas after it rains for a few days. In Catherine, cheating men get nightmares of people chasing them for their infidelity and die if they can't climb a tower of blocks. These two setups are equally preposterous.  And also:
 

But Catherine's story and writing get called absurd and Persona 4 retains it's "beloved" status? That makes absolutely no sense to me whatever way you cut it. At least your second point about the S-link system being way better and deeper than Catherine's conversation system is totally correct. 
 
As for your spoiler-tagged point; you may be right about that, but I'm trying to see this from Jeff's perspective and from the average gamer's perspective. I have precious little experience with Shin Megami Tensei games outside of the Persona series. I think that's a very "splitting hairs" distinction to make and only one you could make if you were intimately familiar with the SMT games. To me, there are an incredibly number of similarities and overlap in style between SMT games and Catherine that it doesn't make sense to love Persona 4, but hate almost every aspect of Catherine. I don't think you seriously can do that.

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