The last three main Persona games have all followed similar themes and structure. You go to high school, make some friends, date some people, work a part time job, and casually save the world from some kind of bored or pissed of deity on the weekends. While the core materials that construct a Persona game have been extremely consistent, the presentation of these elements is where we see the most change from game to game. One element of a Persona game that largely changes from each entry to the next is the color pallet. For me, Personas color pallets are substantially effective in altering my overall mood while playing these games and Persona 5 is no exception to that.
The murky greens accent the cool blues in Persona 3 in a chilling way. Blue is predominant through out Persona 3 during the day to day life but switches to green when the dark hour strikes. These two colors work well together and the combination of the two creates an eerie and almost longing feeling for me. Persona 3 largely deals with apocalyptic themes as well as death and the acceptance of loss. The decay like shade of the green in the dark hour is in contrast to what regular shades of green normally represent (life, greed, nature). Instead, the green comes off as more of sickness within the world and a representation of the forces behind the dark hour as they become more malevolent and gain momentum towards their apocalyptic goals. Overall the blues and greens of Persona 3 feel good in a calming yet chilling way, I never felt overly stressed while playing. The mood and color pallet of Persona 3 might be my favorite overall, it just has a real cool kinda vibe.
Ah, good old P4. Remembering my time with Persona 4 invokes similar feelings of remembering past vacations from my childhood. The all encompassing yellow of Persona 4 initially may seem like a strange choice. Yellow is usually great as an accent or trim color but very rarely is the color used predominantly. In P4, it was the perfect color to use. Persona 4 focuses largely on introspective and what it means to truly understand and accept yourself. The weather is almost constantly raining or foggy in the town of Inaba as you play through Persona 4. The predominant yellow is a nice contrast from the constant rain and bleak nature of the weather. Yellow can also be see as an obvious representation of The Sun, it pairs well with the dawning or re-awaking characters like Chie and Yukiko face after tackling their inner demons. I always had such a warm feeling Persona 4, no other game has really made feel quite this way. Persona 4 feels like eating a warm cookie your grandma just made while riding your bike outside on a perfect day. Whenever it is raining or a little gloomy outside, I always feel an urge to hop back into the world of Persona 4 and just hangout for a bit.
Persona 5 amps up the series fascination with Western European Religion. The deadly sins play a large role in Persona 5 as well as the way our inner psyche is capable of shaping the real world around us. The color pallet is also pretty hard not to notice...It is a very obvious theme what with the game focusing around "stealing peoples hearts" who are sinful in nature. What is really effective at is being EXTREMELY STRESSFUL to look at. It is no obvious fact that color red is an alarming color that triggers stress-like feelings emotionally. Especially given how a lot of people are feeling overly stressed while playing, it isn't crazy to assume that large amounts of red in this game are not helping. While I really enjoyed my play through of Persona 5, I also felt stressed out almost the entire time playing. For me, the stress largely came from me wanting to max out all confidants and seeing everything I could. But this is how I felt playing Persona 3 and 4 as well. I never felt so increasingly anxious the way I did while playing Persona 5.
The other two predominant colors seen through out Persona 5 are black and white which really doesn't help down play all the redness in the game. The dark and light shades only further draw attention to all the red throughout this game and there is A LOT of red. Persona 5 more so than its predecessors really digs into its style and color pallets, it does so both at its benefit and cost. Persona 5 is the most stylish game I have played for sure and the style goes a long way to make sitting down to play for 100 hours or so worth it. I just wonder if a different color pallet would have soothed my stress during the time I spent with Persona 5.
I'm pretty positive I don't really need to convince anyone as to why EA Origin is a terrible service. But I'm on the phone with some punk kid who sounds stoned trying to activate my demo version of Battlefield 4. Let me repeat this. I am on the phone with customer service to activate a free demo on Origin. What angers me the most is that there is already a PC digital platform which works almost flawlessly but EA is so greedy they just have to get a piece. I am literally typing this as I hear 3 kids arguing about how to fix my problem. Ridiculous.
It is one thing to offer a competing service, we should only be so lucky, but to create such a poor platform and force customers to use their service by putting select games only on the origin platform is gross. Furthermore, some of these games don't even functionally work. I bought DA: Inquisition and was surprised to find that game was impossible to play as it stuttered and froze up every 5 seconds. The only redeeming part is that I was able to get a full refund (A feature I never needed with steam because in the 70+ games I own, none of them are functionally unplayable.) Also I realize it's more of a coding issue with Bioware, but I'm still placing the blame on Origin because fuck it.
It seems like the only redeeming feature of Origin is all the free stuff they give away. Getting the Titanfall DLC for free was great and same with some old classic PC games like Wing Commander. But when you step back and look at the situation, it just doesn't make sense. They are giving away games, refunding the broken ones, and trying to manage all of this through a poorly designed digital game service. It only makes sense when you remember that EA is a greedy company that just wants more money and more power, which they seem to lust after in an almost blinded like fashion.
GTA V has been quite the divisive game this year and certainly the most divisive GTA Rockstar Games has put out to date (I don't count IV because I feel that games criticisms came unfairly as it was almost universally loved at release but nick picked in its later life for things that future open world games would implement). One of the biggest complaints I have heard from game critics, and us regular folk as well, on GTA V is how "despicable" the characters are. They are mean, testosterone filled, selfish and neurotic, and I loved it. Critics complained that they could not identify themselves with the main characters and I have to ask why would you want to? These characters steal cars, rob just about anyone, kill people, kill ALOT of people, and just spend a lot of time doing nasty things. To that I would ask, why would you want to identify with a character in these games in the first place?
I hope people don't think take this the wrong way but I feel most gamers are oddly selfish in terms of how they want games presented to them. One main factor that I think separates myself from a lot of people who play video games is this: Unless the game calls for it, I don't role play as myself in the shoes of the main character. I had quite a few friends same something very similar along these lines when speaking about Bioshock Infinite (major plot spoilers to follow), "Man I thought Elizabeth was so attractive and it made me when feel weird when I realized she was my daughter." Wait, What? To me, Elizabeth was not my daughter at all, she is Booker Dewitt's daughter. I just happened to be seeing the game/story in his perspective throughout the whole game. This is an interesting trope that only in a medium such as a video games can be experienced. Because video games are such a solitary experience where the entire narrative and game duration is entirely dependent on your progress, it is very easy to get ones self absorbed into the game world.
This rational isn't usually tied into other mediums like TV, movies, and literature. Take the highly coveted (as well as my all time favorite movie) Martin Scorsese gangster film: Goodfellas, for example. In many ways there is a lot of comparisons to GTA V. The movie follows a group of gangsters and their exploits including robberies, murders, and drug deals/addictions. Guess what? These are not "good" people either, despite the name of the movie. And while I am certainly not comparing the overall story between Goodfellas and GTA V (Goodfellas is better) It's interesting to me how one is praised for its monstrous portrayal of its characters while the other is criticized.
So to wrap things up, that is why I loved the characters in GTA V and personally hope Rockstar does not listen to closely to the people complaining about how mean and unidentifiable the characters were. In a murder/crime city simulation game, I don't really think anyone should be identifying to closely to any one character, But instead, loosely fantasizing the notion of being in the characters predicaments, just as you would in movies. Also, I am not saying the story had no faults either. I felt the story could have been stronger if the "Michael movie producer" bit was dropped entirely in favor of more focus on Franklin who was probably the most wasted potential in the game.
I am curious to know how the Giant bomb community feels about this as well. I didn't exactly see a thread focusing on specifically this part of the game. I also knew I would talk way to long for a regular forum topic so I just decided to write it up as my first blog instead. However, I still consider this post to be very much up for discussion/debate and would greatly like to hear back from you guys as far as your opinions on this topic. Thanks duders!