I'm in that weird limbo between taking an exam and waiting for the consequential set of very important results.There's nothing I can do now but sit and quietly panic about the fact that I could have potentially fucked up. There is no longer anything I can do about it. That's unhealthy. That's got to be unhealthy. Right?
I'm trying to keep myself busy with my existing videogames, seeing as I can't afford new ones. I spent my last £5 watching Scott Pilgrim at the cinema (It's awesome) and then borrowed £5 so I could buy Scott Pilgrim on XBLA (also awesome). I'm also trying to get excited for Forza 3, though my usual interaction is to open the decal designer and silently imagine it's vast potential before becoming completely overwhelmed and turning off the television.
The one game I have been playing in abundance is Epic Mafia. Epic Mafia is a free browser based game where players are given random roles, each with a unique ability, and divided into two groups - mafia and villagers. The mafia know how each other are but the villagers are all anonymous. The villagers have to find and lynch one person each day to try and remove all the mafia from the game. The mafia meanwhile are picking one person from the village each night and killing them. It's a game that revolves around intense mind fuckery. If you are a mafia you need to convince the villagers you aren't, usually by pretending to be somebody else. If you are a villager you need to help find the mafia, but without singling yourself out as a direct threat for the mafia to target. There's lots of backstabbing, uncertainty, misinformation and contradictions. All valuable life skills. Just ask HS21.
Speaking of fucked up social interactionsi'm also playing Persona 3 on my brothers PSP. It's... weird. It's certainly not Persona 4. There are big (bigger) gaps in the storyline that are completely un-nerving. I frequently find myself completely dumbfounded by the nonsense that Persona 3 requests me to swallow. There are plot holes everywhere, and the story lacks the general continuity that Persona 4 seems to have perfected. There is no relation between the tasks that you are being set and the relationships you have with your team - which makes the entire concept of s-linking seem secondary and trivial - and the grinding seem abstract and dull. Instead of having to rescue people you are just told to "explore these rooms before this date" which is both frustratingly vague and unrewarding. There are several aspects of the game which are just stupid. For example I seem to be buying all my weaponry from a POLICE OFFICER at THE POLICE STATION. "I don't know what's going on here, but I guess I just have to trust you" he mumbles, as he sells a Katana to a teenage boy.
The ease with which everyone seems to accept these completely surreal scenarios is a continuing bafflement to me. Persona 4 had, I felt, an appropriate knack for calling it's own insanity into a real context. If someone did something dumb, one of the characters would say "That's fucking dumb". In persona 3 they simply nod and agree, which makes me feel like i'm slowly being absorbed into some sort of cult. Well, it's not like we are going to mass suicide by shooting ourselves in the heads or anythi.... oh wait. Never mind.
I'm going to keep playing though.The social interactions are still fun, the characters are still interesting. The worst thing is, this game came out before Persona 4 so it has an excuse for not being as good - and that makes me hate myself for getting angry with it's shortcomings. But i'm still going to tell you what they are: The grinding is probably the worst feature, especially as it has such fixed boundaries. Like a womans period the boss battles cycle once a month and, like a womans period, they bring huge discomfort and inconvenience for everyone involved.
I should stop writing this blog before I drown in my own self loathing :D
Thanks For Reading