[During the month of June, everyday is Persona 4 appreciation day! Come see for yourself, and get in touch with this latest series of blogs!]
I was bored last night, waiting for when I could conclude my eyes were heavy enough to fall asleep. Too tired to do much of anything, not tired enough to lay in bed content that I wasn't supposed to be doing something at that moment. Anything. So, I considered doing a blog. Too tired for that too, but an idea did come to me. It was the most brillaint, perfect idea I had ever had! It's definitely better than that idea I had for a full-body shave suit.
See, I just so happened to begin my journey to finally finish Persona 4 yesterday, with still so many hours ahead of me. It is also now June first. "Let's work with this.", I said.
So, welcome to the first iteration of a blog series I hope to keep daily throughout this next month. Call it a diary of sorts. Everyday this June, I'm going to detail whatever's been going down in my world of Persona 4 because that's how obsessed someone can get over these games. Believe it or not, I don't foresee me running out of content anytime soon, so let's hope this works out!
I should cut to the freaking chase and out that I'm not playing the original version, but the Vita's Golden iteration. Why? Well, it's got not only the better everything but more of that better everything! I prefer the new Chie. I prefer the new Teddie. In fact, a whole lot more. It's also got a Halloween event now, which is my favorite holiday!
Perhaps my preference has something to do with much of my exposure to the original release being through DSP, who is, despite becoming a tad less insufferable since I last checked in on him, still a dickweed.
For those who don't know, DSP (or "DarkSydePhil") is a let's player on YouTube who's become outstandingly infamous for not only his inability to play almost any video game but his poor attitude (to say the least). He doesn't just get frustrated, he whines. His whining turns to blaming the game, which incites aggravation in his viewers. Then that aggravation incites aggravation in Phil, which leads to him making himself look even worse. He doesn't play nice, but not in a charming sort of way. Not at all. He's just an asshole with little conduct or sportsmanship.
To add to that, his commentary is awful. He always laughs at his own stupid jokes, he's inflammatory (during the credits sequence of Bioshock Infinite, he was forcibly insulting the cast members in their reprise of "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" like a high school jock), and he suddenly turns 13 whenever he sees a pair of tits. He doesn't come off as sarcastic or satirical, but genuinely obnoxious. Dare I say, incredibly sexist.
My sick curiousity peaked, though, because I knew he had been playing Persona 4 recently.
More of DSP's nonsense aside, it's made me appreciate Golden even more. I always thought OG Chie sounded a little too much like Yukiko with a sore throat, despite them being two completely different characters. I feel her new voice fits to her personality much more while distancing herself from many other female characters I've heard. She's occasionally a little too squelchy when she's yelling or frustrated, but I generally prefer it. As someone who's been around several gigantic tomboys while growing up, every bit of her now feels ever so nostalgic.
I also thought Teddie's scratchy original VO was a bit too on the nose. I get it... he's a cute bear. *Rawr* *Snarl* and all that. His new VO, though? I love it. It's still cute, but it now has a smooth and endearing "draw" to it. There's still a hint of his original VO here and there, but it's appropriate enough. They handled the voice direction really well with this re-release slash expansion and that holds true for what I've heard from Marie thus far as well.
This screen does not do it justice. In Golden, the Velvet Room looks absolutely gorgeous!
Quick! Somebody get him a tissue, it snot too late!
Just as fitting as it is the month of June, I begin my Persona 4 playthrough during a week that has seen lots of rain in my local area. Thankfully, we, specifically, have not seen the worst, but you may have heard that the state of Texas has been getting hit pretty hard recently. For me? A soft rain and the subtle dottings of thunder provided a fitting backdrop for my first day in Inaba.
If there's a following fog and murder mystery afoot, I'm going to lose my shit.
When I originally played Persona 4: Golden, I was absolutely blown away by literally everything about it. The story, the poppy visuals, the presentation, the level of polish, the music, all of it! Even when I had decided to waste time with Chie-chan and all I got out of it was... I-I don't even know what the hell this is.
One of the aspects I found most impressive was how the story tackled people's "inner selves". It made me think how my "Shadow" would appear before me and how I would react to it. To be honest, I'd probably react the same way as the protags and that's especially if I were several years younger than I am now. It was interesting and totally radical.
However, having now had a second run with the early sections of the game, I can't say I still feel it's as masterful a set of plotpoints as I once thought it was.
It's easy to see what they were going for and it's commendable, but some elements feel just a little cheesy or inexplicit. I get that Yu's "wild card" was a way the developers felt was appropriate to contextualize player choice, but it's actually silly how special you're made out to be (if that makes any sense). It may've been better to actually just let the mechanics be rather than try to explain them in a way that loosely fit into the narrative. Yu didn't have to even "face himself" in any other way than just doing what he did naturally in order to gain his Persona, whereas everyone else has a "Shadow" counterpart to tackle. Hell, they aren't even the ones who have to take care of actually battling the things!
I could further nitpick, but I won't. I still love the characters and what the story tries to be in relation with it's mechanics (the murder mystery aspect is a whole 'nother discussion that I'll probably get to as the game comes to a close), but it can sometimes come off as corny. Persona 3 handled this aspect better, I feel, in that it didn't really explain them at all beyond "You're special because you're the hero and others have Persona's because they've awakened to them or something... Dark Hour... I don't know.". Inexplicit still, but less offensive.
To close out each EIGAYJ (catchy!), I'll be featuring some Persona-related media. Namely: one Persona 4 song and one Persona 4 R34. I've got plenty of both, honey.
I decided to finally delve into Lotus Juice's (the hip-hop artist featured prominently throughout the franchise) solo work several days ago in part for my preparation for Persona 4 and have been both entertained and disappointed. Most of my music is conveniently located on Spotify, but he only has a single album available on the service. Beary sad. Even then, some of the material is far far away from my personal tastes.
Don't get me wrong. I like "sex, drugs, and rock n' roll", but, when it's applied to hip-hop, it often sounds... creepy. I mean no offense to those who produce or enjoy them, but songs like Buzz just don't sit well with me. With rock, there's usually energy and a lovely melody to it. With hip-hop, the vocals come off as genuinely seductive and I'm just not turned on by alchohol and the artist wanting to see my booty bounce.
With that said, much of his CARPE DIEM album is very pleasant. One song, in particular, stuck out to me. Do For Love, in fact, features not only long-time Persona vocalist Yumi Karamura, but composer Shoji Meguro! Whoa! I know! It sounds a lot like a lost Persona 4 track, right down to it's mixing and the tone of the instruments. Some of it's in Japanese, but that's okay. It's surprising how well Lotus Juice can rap in English even though English was a second language to him and he has spent much of his life in Japan.
I never said booty wasn't completely off-limits, did I?
See ya next time!