I don't know that anyone out there thought that we would still be going strong on these Persona 4 Endurance Run videos after ten weeks. I don't really know if I'd ever considered doing them for this long when we first started doing them. I figured someone (you or us) would lose interest, or perhaps we'd ruffle some feathers over at Atlus and they'd politely ask us to stop broadcasting their game start to finish. I reckon that our pacing is such that anyone who wants to play the game will certainly have plenty of time to do so before we start spoiling things about it.
But here we are, 50 days later, still going. I get the impression that there's a decent number of people out there who picked up Persona 4 after seeing us play, people who wouldn't have given the game a first look, let alone a second look, under normal circumstances. I've always felt that one of the main things people in my line of work are supposed to do is connect people with the right games, especially when those games might otherwise go unnoticed. While that isn't quite what our aim was when we kicked this off, that's really where it's ended up. With the way the game's progressing, I feel that I really can't recommend it enough.
Though we haven't finished the game (yet), I feel like I can safely say that Persona 4 is one of the best RPGs I've ever "played." Of course, I haven't seriously played a console-only RPG in ages... mostly because they're so boring and so predictable. That's probably my favorite thing about Persona 4. Every time you think it's heading one way, they go in a slightly different direction, or at least get to the point in an unexpected way. And I've been totally impressed with the dialogue. The characters seem to call each other out more than I'd expect. More than once I've started getting exasperated at a dumb line of dialogue only to have the in-game response call it out, too. It's well-written and localized in a way that retains the Japanese feel without feeling overtly "foreign." That's a tough balancing act.
It's kind of funny to see the reaction to the videos. I've been doing a little googling to see what people are saying elsewhere. It's funny to stumble upon some serious-style RPG forum and see people complain about how we're "the worst Persona players ever" or something. I think they're sort of missing the point, and that's part of why RPGs have fallen out of the mainstream. The genre has become more and more impenetrable over the years, to the point where picking up the average Japanese RPG now is nearly impossible for the average player. The games have been built upon one-another to the point where if you haven't been paying attention all along, you're going to have a tough time getting in.
There are a lot of things that Persona 4 does well, but I feel like it leaves too many of its systems unexplained... or at least poorly explained. Things like the way fused persona randomly inherit skills, or the actual importance of Social Links... the game just sort of mentions that stuff in ways that make them seem totally optional, but stuff like that ends up being pretty core to the experience. So when we're fumbling through parts of the game, it's because we're not sitting there with a FAQ, figuring out the exact best way to spend every day... and it's because we're spacing out our play time in such a way that we rarely remember anything for very long.
Anyway, my thoughts will become a bit clearer on the subject as we keep playing, but with a UI overhaul, some pacing adjustments, and more in-game descriptions of core systems, there's no reason Persona 4 couldn't appeal to a larger crowd of players. Of course, at that point you have to start worrying if those changes would alienate the game's existing fanbase. The RPG dudes seem pretty set in their ways.
On top of all that, Persona 4 is currently the most popular game page on the entire site. That's pretty cool.