I have bought a lot of video games; what I haven’t done is beat a lot of video games. For whatever reason, I’ve decided to go back and give some of these games another shot: this is the Backlog.
This Week’s Game: Persona 4
It is only fair that I admit at the start that this is one of the newest of my backlogged games. I didn’t pick up Persona 4 until I started watching the legendary Endurance Run hosted on this very site. Something about the weird low-stakes (for a JRPG) story and high school shenanigans appealed to me in a way that nothing has in a long while – well, I guess I got pretty deep into The World Ends With You at some point, but I have absolutely no idea where my DS is at the moment.
Anyway, Persona 4! I bought it over the summer and downloaded it onto my PS3 and it has been providing me joy every time that I remember to boot it up. My wife thinks it is one of the dumbest things she’s ever seen in her life, so I generally don’t play it when she’s around. When I finally played it again this weekend, it had been a couple of months since I had last visited Inaba. I missed it!
Look, I’ll be honest: there isn’t anything I can say about this game that hasn’t already been said before. The writing is excellent and manages to capture all the weird social shit that defined my time in high school while also mixing in a murder mystery – a murder mystery! That is the extent of the stakes presented! No world-ending apocalypse or anything like that, just a rash of murders in a sleepy suburban town. It’s refreshing, after playing so many games where the world, universe, galaxy, or fabric of reality is being threatened. I’m still fairly early on (just rescued Yukiko way ahead of schedule, so there’s a lot of puttering around and social linking going on at the moment), but I am excited to get further in.
It’s strange that in spite of the fact that I have seen so much of this game played by Vinny and Jeff (how great was it for them to do the Persona Q quick look together?) I haven’t skipped any cutscenes or buttoned through any of the dialogue or anything like that. The game feels fresh, and for a game that came out two console generations ago, the visuals hold up surprisingly well – an advantage of its stylized look, I’m sure.
What it comes down to is that this game is a well-crafted masterpiece; you can take as much or as little time as you want to dig into its systems and still enjoy your time with it. I am sure I’ve barely scratched the surface, but I’m having a blast. Maybe in another month, I’ll play it again!
Note: Yeah, it's really short this week, but I was short on time and spent too much time playing Destiny again. Fucking Destiny.