Persona 4- More than just a wacky adventure

Posted by MikeHawk (382 posts) -

                Now I know that I'm preaching to the choir by writing a blog post on GB about how much I love the Persona series, but I wanted to analyze what makes the series so endearing and effective to me. It all hit me when I was talking to my sister yesterday. We were talking about how people we know (myself included) have picky eating habits. At one point, I almost told her that I had a friend who can't stand eating tofu. I realized that I was thinking about my adventures in P4 the night before, where I learned that Yosuke doesn't like tofu. 
               This near mix-up made me realize how fleshed out the characters in P3 and P4 are. I genuinely feel like the members of SEES and the Investigation Team were my real friends when I play the game. For the record, I'm not a socially awkward person. I have friends with many different interests and personalities, but the characters Atlus has invented are so realistic that I care about their outcomes and confuse my time spent with them and time spent with real people. I feel that any video game that can establish that deep of a Social Link... err emotional connection deserves to be recognized. I do thoroughly enjoy the wackiness and extremely Japanese nature of Persona, but I also enjoy the feeling of friendship that these characters can effectively emulate.
             In a related note, has anyone else ever did something similar due to playing a game?

#1 Posted by MikeHawk (382 posts) -

                Now I know that I'm preaching to the choir by writing a blog post on GB about how much I love the Persona series, but I wanted to analyze what makes the series so endearing and effective to me. It all hit me when I was talking to my sister yesterday. We were talking about how people we know (myself included) have picky eating habits. At one point, I almost told her that I had a friend who can't stand eating tofu. I realized that I was thinking about my adventures in P4 the night before, where I learned that Yosuke doesn't like tofu. 
               This near mix-up made me realize how fleshed out the characters in P3 and P4 are. I genuinely feel like the members of SEES and the Investigation Team were my real friends when I play the game. For the record, I'm not a socially awkward person. I have friends with many different interests and personalities, but the characters Atlus has invented are so realistic that I care about their outcomes and confuse my time spent with them and time spent with real people. I feel that any video game that can establish that deep of a Social Link... err emotional connection deserves to be recognized. I do thoroughly enjoy the wackiness and extremely Japanese nature of Persona, but I also enjoy the feeling of friendship that these characters can effectively emulate.
             In a related note, has anyone else ever did something similar due to playing a game?

#2 Posted by imsh_pl (3296 posts) -

The characters were definitely the reason why Persona 4 is my all-time favourite game (alongside StarCraft II, that is).

#3 Posted by mutha3 (4985 posts) -

A big part of my enjoyment from these games is the  excellent sense of style. From the music, to the character design, even the goddamn interface--
 
Every single element in P3/4 feels handcrafted to evoke the feel the respective game tries to get out of you. Kazuma Kaneko and Soejima Shignori are also a match made in heaven as far as art direction goes. Kaneko's striking cold Personae designs are a great counterpart to Soejima's warm, appealing and stylish human designs. 

#4 Edited by Do_The_Manta_Ray (668 posts) -

I've had a few situations like that. Issue with most game-characters, and what makes it hard for them to actually feel like real human beings is the often limited ways in which we can experience them. Persona 4 really lets us interact with these people as if they were our friends, though. Every day we wake up, trudge our way to school, have a chat with our pals, maybe help 'em out with a subject-based problem, and afterwards maybe go out for some decent food while chatting about the first thing that comes to our juvenile minds.

It's something we all know from our childhoods. And then throw yourselves and your friends into a life-threatening situation that constantly stresses you; and the relief you find in your friends' company is almost palpable. And Atlus actually understood that, and made characters which even helped to make the gameplay more interesting, say.. Kanji's homosexuality being something he'd learn to face, and accept over the course of your friendship; as well as the dungeon shaped after his worries.

Man, never really stopped to thinking why I liked those characters so much before.. Atlus sure knew their stuff.

Don't think I've ever felt that close to any other game-characters before, except maybe Minsk from Baldur's Gate.. Because.. Well... Come on.

@mutha3 said:

A big part of my enjoyment from these games is the excellent sense of style. From the music, to the character design, even the goddamn interface-- Every single element in P3/4 feels handcrafted to evoke the feel the respective game tries to get out of you. Kazuma Kaneko and Soejima Shignori are also a match made in heaven as far as art direction goes. Kaneko's striking cold Personae designs are a great counterpart to Soejima's warm, appealing and stylish human designs.

Was going to say that the two contrasts really helped shape the game; but I think you put it better than I could have, mate. Spot on.

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