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Unread 04-08-2017, 12:04 PM   #11
Marc v4.0
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I mean, yeah, I've never touched a Persona game for lots of very good reasons. My choice appears to have been rightfully justified given everything I've seen and heard so far.
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Unread 04-08-2017, 06:00 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Solid Snake View Post
"He's [X trait, Y quality], and a bit of a pervert, but he's a good person at heart" is basically how Atlus writes all its boy characters in every Persona game, and that's a huge source of criticism from me because it's tiring to see Atlus attempt to excuse all kinds of inexcusable behavior from boys as just 'high school boys being high school boys.'
I just popped in here trying to read the least amount of spoilers and saw this and I feel like pointing out that, out of the actual males in P3 and P4 that are perverts we have:

P3:

Junpei - jokes with the girls constantly, is constantly chewed out by Yukari and sometimes Mitsuru; there are times when the player is offered the option to chew him out or not. Ultimately shows that he has his heart in the right place, but is dumb and/or tactless for a long time.

Ryoji - Gigantic pervert, makes everyone uncomfortable and yet somehow no one actually chews him out too hard. Maybe it's a shadow thing.

Your Magician Arcana buddy whose name I forgot - Talks about nothing other than getting it on with an older woman. He's written as a character you hang out with for some unspecified reason.

P4:

Yosuke - Perverted, annoying and homophobic, supposedly huge bro. Fuck him.

Teddie - Gigantic pervert, constantly makes passes at girls, is also comic relief. Is constantly chewed out, but ultimately considered harmless by everyone.

I'm pretty sure that's the extent of perverted male characters in P3 and P4; technically you could include the player character itself since you can date multiple girls and given chances to make passes and/or be a pervert, so take that as you will.

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Unread 04-08-2017, 07:31 PM   #13
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Just taking a brief moment to say ignoring all the effects on gameplay it would have I would commit a felony for there to be a female option for the P5 protagonist just based off the following fan arts:

Like

just

look

at this

shit (personal favorite here)

---------- Post added at 08:31 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:55 PM ----------

Also I've been trying really hard to keep Arsene leveled up because I love his design but boy it feels like the game really doesn't want you to keep using him. I lucked out and managed to make a Growth 3 skill card (how I got one: turns out Izanagi Picaro can be transformed into it with the electric chair) which gives him 100% exp even if he doesn't fight, so it's gotten easier to level him up and keep him relevant. But still, he hasn't gotten any new skills in like 15 levels, and I'm not a fan of his stat distribution.

Is it common in Persona games for your starter Persona to be rather trash and ultimately discarded?
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Unread 04-08-2017, 08:53 PM   #14
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Is it common in Persona games for your starter Persona to be rather trash and ultimately discarded?
Yes. You're not supposed to keep your main character's starter Persona for long beyond the first or second dungeon.
You eventually unlock a new and improved iteration of said Persona near the end of the game, and that's the one you can basically use for the final dungeon and any NG+ playthrough.

EDIT: In mid-September now, and hahaha, the teacher-student relationship is so much more raunchy and inappropriate than I was told it would be. That Level 10 link scene was so bad I found myself physically cringing as I watched it play out.
This game is so ridiculous.
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Unread 04-11-2017, 09:48 AM   #15
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EDIT: In mid-September now, and hahaha, the teacher-student relationship is so much more raunchy and inappropriate than I was told it would be. That Level 10 link scene was so bad I found myself physically cringing as I watched it play out.
This game is so ridiculous.
I didn't trigger the romance with her and her level 10 scene was actually not that bad for me.
She talked about how great things are going with all the other students she has time to help now, and then started scolding me for not eating properly or tidying my room. So then she offers to help out if I ever need it, which yeah is a bit weird for a teacher to be doing so even if you did get to know each other really well over the past couple months.

So that scene itself wasn't too bad BUT THEN BOY DOES IT GET WORSE.

So of course she can't be seen giving such favorable treatment to one of her students, so she has to keep wearing the maid costume when she stops by. Uhh.. okay, sure. But hey, if you're ever super tired at night just call her up and she'll give you a special massage whenever you want. In her maid costume.

I appreciate the gameplay mechanic here Atlus, but couldn't you have implemented it in a less creepy/awkward way?
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Unread 04-11-2017, 08:32 PM   #16
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So that scene itself wasn't too bad BUT THEN BOY DOES IT GET WORSE.
If you think that's bad, go on Youtube and watch a video of how things play out if the romance is pursued.
Atlus is in desperate need of a few new writers to join their staff.

Today in Persona 5 Transphobia: So there's a character named Lala Escargot who's transgendered (she identifies with feminine pronouns and the game isn't exactly discreet in portraying her as trans), and she's actually fairly well written! She's certainly better written than, say, the queer adult men predators who pursue inappropriate relations with Ryuji at the beach (that's written as a gag and it's homophobic and terrible.) Unlike Ohya, the alcoholic reporter who hangs out at the bar who you can establish a Confidant link with (and ultimately romance, because you can seduce nearly every woman in this wacky game), Lala is much more realistically overprotective of you since you're a minor; she establishes genuine and well-written concern over you hanging out in Tokyo's red light district at night, encourages you to head home at a reasonable hour, and chastises Ohya for drinking too much when she gets drunk. That's cool! For a split second you think "Huzzah, Persona is learning!"

...Nope! Eventually you can get a job at this bar and the first thing you can choose to have the Protag ask Lala once you get the job cleaning dishes is "Do I have to crossdress too?"
Lala's a champ and she laughs it off as a dumb kid just innocuously asking an inappropriate question, and I suppose you technically do not have to ask this question as it's an 'optional' selection, but its mere inclusion in the game is stupid and Atlus should feel bad.
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Unread 04-12-2017, 10:13 PM   #17
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Hmm seems Atlus still has issues with being too edgy or offensive with their dialog. Or Atlus America is miss interpreting the heck out of the game's original lines during translation. Either way it seems I may be better off just enjoying the sound tracks to these games rather then playing them. At least the UI is pretty impressive.
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Unread 04-13-2017, 06:17 AM   #18
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Hmm seems Atlus still has issues with being too edgy or offensive with their dialog. Or Atlus America is miss interpreting the heck out of the game's original lines during translation. Either way it seems I may be better off just enjoying the sound tracks to these games rather then playing them. At least the UI is pretty impressive.
Just to be clear, these bad moments are very brief experiences over the course of a gigantic amazing experience. I have 80 hours into the game and am only now nearing the end of the story and all of these bad moments combined take up like an hour combined at most (with the stuff involving Yusuke being the most prolonged, everything else are their own brief scenes).

This game is absolutely fantastic, it's just that we've only really been talking about the bad bits in this thread. I highly recommend it to anyone who has a passing interest in RPGs. I'm not a big JRPG person, and Persona 5 has sunk its teeth into me as much as Zelda Breath of the Wild or Nier Automata.
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Unread 04-13-2017, 08:32 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Kyanbu The Legend View Post
Hmm seems Atlus still has issues with being too edgy or offensive with their dialog.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcanum
Just to be clear, these bad moments are very brief experiences over the course of a gigantic amazing experience.
Nah, I think Kyanbu's statement is a misinterpretation of what Atlus has done wrong.
The problem isn't that Atlus is attempting to be edgy or offensive with their rampant indulges with scenes showcasing transphobia, homophobia and sexism.
The problem is that Atlus' writers believe that what they've written is safe and normal.

Hell, I bet you if anything the one criticism Atlus' writers might make of their own content is that it's bland and unremarkable -- it's pretty much all the content that's been focus-tested for decades now and determined to be what the 'audience' wants -- though in reality it's just what a narrow subset of people who Atlus christens its audience might supposedly 'want.'

Like, they're practically following a mundane formula at this point. If you played any iteration of Personas 3 or 4, you know exactly what you're going to get. There needs to be X number of scenes where the attractive women in the game are coerced into objectifying themselves; there needs to be Y number of scenes where the men are predatory and their behavior is treated as humorous and comical. The Protagonist is perfect and universally beloved simply because he is who he is; his greatness is simply constantly told until it's practically a mantra. Because the Protagonist is amazing and incredible by sheer virtue of existing, every eligible bachelorette in town will bend over backwards and erode their own agency and independence for the mere chance to slobber over him. If the Protagonist is Casanova, all the other men in every Persona's cast is playing a variation of an Adam Sandler character, essentially incapable of making a solitary decision in life that isn't hijacked by a raging libido that leads them to hunt after every girl they know like they're Elmer Fudd in a Looney Tunes cartoon. And I've only just summarized the good guys; antagonists like Kamoshida just amp up the creep factor to pathologically criminal levels.

Furthermore, the very mechanics of the game that you laud are utilized to reinforce all these really nasty story themes. They're not minor blips, as Arcanum alleges -- they're ingrained into the fabric of the game itself. Take for example your Social Stats -- Knowledge, Charm, Proficiency, Guts and Kindness. The game encourages you to invest time into activities that presumably raise these stats, and raising the stats on their own unlocks additional relational content with the ladies. Hell, even Bioware for all its faults attempts to write their supporting cast in such a way that they're not merely gatekeepers demanding you gain X points in Y attributes -- and then immediately falling head over heels for you once you've pasted the litmus test. The game's mechanics support and attempt to rationalize the idiotic Nice Guy fallacy that women are objects whose affections can be 'earned' through correct behaviors or responses.

Real relationships are about chemistry and attraction and they're complex and truly character-driven; driven by our faults, our flaws, our needs and wants, our hopes and dreams. We converse to know each other better, not just to soothingly whisper empty platitudes at each other. Go back and watch any of the Social Link scenes with the Protagonist and notice what the 'correct' answers sound like. Every romantic scene with a love interest boils down to women attempting a real conversation with the Protagonist and the 'correct response' boiling down to the Protagonist simply saying some iteration of "Believe in Yourself" and that, combined with his Stats, apparently justifies a degree of affection that's downright irrational and harmful to the women the Protagonist is presumably helping.

You can tell yourself that the solution to bypass all this objectionable content is to simply enter into platonic friendships with everyone, or only indulge one monogamous romance so the Protagonist doesn't come across as a lying, cheating scoundrel with the universe's most bizarre luck erasing any consequences for his bad behavior. But then you're confronted with the fact that Atlus wrote supporting characters like Ryuji, and Morgana, and Yusuke, and they're all even worse. It isn't just one scene or one solitary moment. Yusuke openly and unapologetically obsesses over the possibility of drawing a high school aged girl in a nude painting for months on end and the game won't let you dare to forget it.

Hell, as late as December -- the last month of the damned game, when everyone's supposedly best of friends and the team's been together for months -- Ryuji coerces -- I mean, aggressively convinces -- all the female Phantom Thieves to wear bathing suits in a dungeon filled with enemy shadows because the particular opponent they're trying to cajole to write a document happens to be a huge pervert who can be seduced by high school girls wearing next to nothing.

I wanna be clear on one thing, I'm not necessarily even against the notion that some narratives demand the inclusion of an immoral perverted douchebag or two -- in the right doses a sexist asshole as an antagonist can promote healthy dialogue or a positive social message. Some of my favorite characters -- good or evil -- in fiction have quirks or flaws that I find questionable or problematic; that's what makes people human. But here's a huge problem I have with the Persona series, one of many: Every man in the Persona universe, good or evil, introverted or extroverted, quiet or loud, as teenagers or as adults, is written as a huge unrepentant pervert who begs for an opportunity to treat the women in their lives like shit. You can't argue that an awful character like Kamoshida even serves to make some sort of an incisive social commentary when the rest of the game openly refutes the premise that Kamoshida is in any way special or uniquely egregious because even the so-called 'heroes' view girls like Ann as exploitable objects.

And here's the kicker for me personally: This should really offend folks like me, the heterosexual men of the world, just as much as it offends women or members of the LGBT community who are the butt of all the Persona series' shitty attempts at comedy. Not just for the selfless reason that we should all be capable of feeling offended on a vicarious level for others, though that's certainly true too; but for the incredibly selfish reason that Atlus writing men this way should be conceived, on its face, as an insult to men everywhere.

In Atlus' eyes it is not at all edgy or unique or abnormal for men to behave like monsters. It's what they expect of us, and it's no coincidence that the men in the Persona series are much worse characters than the women because of it; every damn guy in the series seems to be tainted by their asinine interpretations of how boys are expected to deal with sexual desire.

In the end, and perhaps to my great shame, I still enjoy the Persona series despite all this because I'm the kind of fucked up person who will indulge in all kinds of cognitive dissonance in order to enjoy emotionally satisfying narratives in fiction. So basically, I try to concoct a fictional version of a fictitious story -- a headcanon similar to yet also fundamentally distinct from what Atlus displays on the screen -- so that I can thoroughly enjoy the content in Persona that I love and view that content as somehow different than all the objectionable content in the same exact product that I hate.

And, sure; there are good moments in Persona. The gameplay is as addictive as ever. While the women may have their personalities forcibly removed from themselves to become soulless automatons in their generic love scenes with the Protagonist, and while they constantly have to swat down Ryuji and Yusuke like flies, there's more than enough great scenes in the overarching plot with Ann and Makoto to put them on a short list of my favorite JRPG characters. The voice acting is generally pretty great. Your guardian has Papa Nier's voice, it doesn't get any better than that. And everything's so aesthetically pleasing, from the character designs to the menu screens to all the little meticulously rendered nooks and crannies of the alleyways and subway stations you could ever want to explore in Tokyo.

But to argue that those good moments somehow drastically outweigh the bad is, I think, to misconstrue what Persona is at this point, because I think a greater and greater percentage of Persona's identity as a series is in all the bad stuff I've written about. It's the reason why each iteration in the series has gradually gotten slightly worse, as opposed to better, when it comes to its characters. By the admission of the writers of the series, at its core, Persona is about friendships between characters; that's the whole theme of each game in the series, that's why there's so many speeches delivered on teamwork, that's why the foundation of each story is built on Social Links and Confidants. You can't have stories with that premise horrifically botch the portrayals of slightly more than half its characters by arbitrarily stripping them of free will for the sake of 'comedy' or 'romance' targeted at Neanderthals and have the narrative survive such an impact. You can't be so dismissive of supposedly 'brief interludes' of content that carry messages to its target audience that fundamentally dehumanize entire groups of people.

This isn't Atlus being edgy. Atlus being edgy would be a Persona title with a gay or transgendered main character, or with an attractive woman as a supporting character and a Confidant link who refused the Protagonist's interest, or a new Persona title with a diverse cast of characters who treated each other ethically and with comedy scenes that were actually funny instead of pandering to the hyperactive imaginations of immature heterosexual boys. (That's the kind of content that would actually offend certain idiots who've gleefully devoured all of Persona's past homophobia and misogyny.)

No: This is Atlus playing it quite safe. And the tragedy here isn't that Atlus created something incredibly offensive that was promptly and accurately derided for being edgy and offensive. The tragedy here is that, to a vast majority of its audience (even perhaps to a majority of women and members of the LGBT community in said audience who have lowered their own expectations to accommodate objectively offensive content because they're stuck in the world we all live in) this is normal and to be expected. The average critic and the average gamer doesn't take a few moments to reflect on what a character like Yusuke (or Ryuji, or Morgana, or...) is doing to Ann in an awful scene between them because this is par for the course in Triple A videogame storylines.
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Unread 04-13-2017, 05:29 PM   #20
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Every man in the Persona universe, good or evil, introverted or extroverted, quiet or loud, as teenagers or as adults, is written as a huge unrepentant pervert who begs for an opportunity to treat the women in their lives like shit.
Bit of an overstatement, innit?

I played P3 and P4 and I can't name more than 5 - 7, if you want to count the protagonists too - perverted men. One of them, Junpei, stops being a pervert halfway through the game.

P3's Ryoji and P4's Teddie could maybe be excused because they're shadows and both only know how to be perverts and jokers who may or may not do it to hide their true nature but, on the other hand, why the heck is that the default state for a shadow to be? Perversion and humor really don't strike me as some sort of primordial facets of sapience.
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