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Unread 04-13-2017, 06:31 PM   #21
Solid Snake
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WTF

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Originally Posted by Ryong View Post
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.
Maybe some of the minor supporting NPCs with Social Links in Persona 3 get a pass (if only by the virtue that we never see several of them interacting with women), but when it comes to the major guy characters the only one from P3, P4 or P5 who really escapes unscathed is Shinjiro (though I haven't romanced him as FemMC in P3 Portable, so there's content with him I haven't seen yet.)

And in Persona 4, it isn't just Teddie and Yosuke; Kanji has some truly questionable (not to mention potentially transphobic) moments with his crush Naoto and several scenes in Arena and Arena Ultimax are dedicated to showing he's just as terrible in his own unique way as the other guys are.

In Persona 5, there's Ryuji, Yusuke and Morgana and they're somehow the most offensive trio yet, and P5 does a much better job than the previous titles at ensuring that even the NPCs (ranging from Kamoshida to Mishima to other random adults who appear in numerous scenes) get to indulge in the rampant buffet of misogyny. Seriously, there isn't a high school aged guy character you interact with in the entirety of Persona 5 who isn't in some way defined as a person as harboring an unhealthy perspective on women (and poor Ann always deals with the brunt of their bad behavior.)

Like, really: Is "Only the vast majority of men are irredeemably scummy perverts and not literally every guy in the game" really the hill you want to make a stand on? Is that really a defense? And if my statement is accurate when it comes to all the important characters who are actually memorable from past games (seriously, does anyone remember someone like P3's Hidetoshi Odagiri?), was I really being all that hyperbolic?
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Unread 04-13-2017, 07:20 PM   #22
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How is Ken a pervert?
How is Akihiko a pervert? ( or does getting goaded into attempting to flirt make you a pervert? )
How is Dojima a pervert?

Kanji is confused as fuck throughout most of Persona 4 with regards to what he even likes and has, at best, a crush on Naoto which he isn't quite sure why because there's the gender confusion thing going on.

You're also ignoring all the character growth Junpei goes through simply because he begins the game as a pervert.
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Unread 04-13-2017, 08:18 PM   #23
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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.
Females that need a specific stat rank to continue their confidant: Futaba, Makoto (although she doesn't give a damn, it's for her friend that you need to be charming), Ann, Takemi, Hifumi. So 5 out of 9 total female confidants, or 55%.

Males that need a specific stat rank to continue their confidant: Yusuke, Sojiro, Iwai. So 3 out of 6 total male confidants, or 50% (although Mishima requires you to do requests, and Yoshida requires you to work at a ramen shop twice)

Those numbers are, of course, excluding confidants that progress automatically. Just because the game has more female confidants doesn't mean they are getting preferential "gateway" treatment.

Not to mention the stats needed make perfect sense. You need guts so you can physically handle Takemi's medicine, you need knowledge so you can keep up with Hifumi's shogi. It's not the most elegant solution, but from what I understand this is one of the core aspects of the Persona games. The mechanics aren't supporting or rationalizing anything, they are distilling complex social interactions into statistics and trivia.

I can understand you wanting a more involved system, and criticizing the game for that, but going on to insinuate that the game is pushing some kind of agenda because of that (whether the game is doing so intentionally or not is irrelevant) is asinine.

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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.
Or I can acknowledge the flaws, weigh them against the mountain of good things, and have fun playing the game instead of getting offended.

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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.
Yeah gonna completely disagree with you here. Persona's identity (from what I've experienced of it) is a solid JRPG with great mechanics that distill the complexities of teenage life into enjoyable pieces, with a good overarching story, with some of the writing relying a bit too much on common Japanese tropes. While the writing and story and character interactions are a prominent part of the game, it is definitely a "gameplay first" kind of game. Pretty much all aspects of the story and character development tie into gameplay mechanics. Occasionally the story suffers a bit from that, occasionally it excels because of it. But at the end of the day the parts that are amazing far outweigh the parts that are bad because the story is just a vehicle for the gameplay. It's a damn good vehicle, but the package it delivers is even better.
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Unread 04-14-2017, 12:21 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Arcanum View Post
Females that need a specific stat rank to continue their confidant: Futaba, Makoto (although she doesn't give a damn, it's for her friend that you need to be charming), Ann, Takemi, Hifumi. So 5 out of 9 total female confidants, or 55%.
Technicality: You need either Rank 2 or 3 Knowledge (I forget which) very early on with Makoto's link. I forget which one, but it's a threshold before the Charm one that applies because she's smart and likes smart people, I guess.

I don't have a problem with the game tying stat progression to actions, I have a problem with the game tying stat progression with an assumption of deepening intimacy with people. It's a problem with guys too, insofar as it's just as clunky and nonsensical when applied to the boys, but because there's no SJ issues there insofar as I'm unconcerned with how Atlus chooses to portray platonic relationships among men. The issues I have with Atlus and sexism is how the Persona series portray romantic relationships, so it's patently obvious that I'm criticizing the system from that comparatively narrow perspective.

Quote:
I can understand you wanting a more involved system, and criticizing the game for that, but going on to insinuate that the game is pushing some kind of agenda because of that (whether the game is doing so intentionally or not is irrelevant) is asinine.
Oh, the game is absolutely pushing an 'agenda' and that agenda is wish fulfillment fantasy for its presumed audience with a side helping of completely eroding the agency and independence of NPCs to ensure the wish fulfillment fantasy 'succeeds.' My objection is twofold: Atlus ignores the wishes of everyone outside the confines of its presumed target audience, and even then, Atlus misconstrues what its target audience actually wants. Either that or it's pandering to a subset of immature boys it really shouldn't bother pandering to; take your pick on the latter.

Now, you can argue that Atlus' agenda here is harmless (I'd disagree), but it's certainly the clear intent of three Persona titles and counting now to put the gamer in the shoes of a protagonist who, through some kind of combination of sheer willpower, the mechanics of the game world and the exigencies of the heroic narrative, lives some hyper-idealized life where all his desires (perfect grades, perfect relationships, perfect friends, even the existence of antagonists is necessary to provide heroic purpose) are within reach and require minimal effort or investment to achieve.

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Or I can acknowledge the flaws, weigh them against the mountain of good things, and have fun playing the game instead of getting offended.
You seem to be implying it's an either/or scenario where I see it more as within the realms of possibility to simultaneously both enjoy the game AND be offended.
I mean, I certainly wouldn't be nearing the end of Persona 5 now if I hated every second of it. I just think whatever it does well (and I've talked substantially on aspects of the game I really like) doesn't somehow immunize the game or myself from being appropriately horrified with everything it does poorly.

Quote:
While the writing and story and character interactions are a prominent part of the game, it is definitely a "gameplay first" kind of game.
Your description of the series isn't entirely inaccurate, but boy do I disagree with this.
I know 'gameplay first' gamers who wouldn't touch the Persona series with a ten-foot pole precisely because it's Story first with a capital 'S.' That much is readily evident when you consider the length of playthroughs and the sheer amount of time Persona invests in telling its longwinded narrative. Hell, Persona 4 famously has like eight hours of pure exposition before you even enter a 'real' battle. Persona 5 follows that lead. And before Persona 5, gameplay was so secondary that dungeons themselves were completely generic and randomized.

Now, the Persona series executes its gameplay quite well, I'd agree with that. But, if anything, the mechanics of gameplay during the segments of the game where you grind your stats and your social links furthers the story and requires you to be invested in the characters and the town you live in.

Quote:
But at the end of the day the parts that are amazing far outweigh the parts that are bad because the story is just a vehicle for the gameplay.
I take issue with any sentiment where either of us feel qualified to uniquely judge whether the good outweighs the bad because it's going to be deeply personal to each person.

Like, if you were a woman, or a member of the LGBT community, and the Persona series seems to take a deranged pride in seeking ways to mercilessly offend you, I'm guessing you'd have a very different perception of whether the 'good' outweighed the 'bad' content.

And part of being a functional human being is being capable of feeling empathy for others and relating to other perspectives than your own. Ironically, even the Persona series is well aware of that much, as often the platitudes to select that give you the most boosts in social link scenes involve you putting yourself in others' shoes and trying to relate to issues from their perspective as opposed to just judging situations selfishly or dispassionately.
(It might be sloppily executed and oversimplified in practice, but at least the Aesop's fable thesis driving this aspect of the series' interactions is well-intended.)
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Unread 04-14-2017, 09:22 AM   #25
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I don't have a problem with the game tying stat progression to actions, I have a problem with the game tying stat progression with an assumption of deepening intimacy with people. It's a problem with guys too, insofar as it's just as clunky and nonsensical when applied to the boys, but because there's no SJ issues there insofar as I'm unconcerned with how Atlus chooses to portray platonic relationships among men. The issues I have with Atlus and sexism is how the Persona series portray romantic relationships, so it's patently obvious that I'm criticizing the system from that comparatively narrow perspective.
But it's portraying those romantic relationships in the same way it portrays all other social interactions in the game, which is as a mechanics-focused aspect. You just want more out of the game's mechanics and dislike that the game is sticking to its guns when it comes to an aspect that you feel more personally invested in. And because those limited mechanics don't do justice to these complex social interactions you somehow think that it is Atlus intentionally sabotaging characters.

Quote:
Oh, the game is absolutely pushing an 'agenda' and that agenda is wish fulfillment fantasy for its presumed audience with a side helping of completely eroding the agency and independence of NPCs to ensure the wish fulfillment fantasy 'succeeds.' My objection is twofold: Atlus ignores the wishes of everyone outside the confines of its presumed target audience, and even then, Atlus misconstrues what its target audience actually wants. Either that or it's pandering to a subset of immature boys it really shouldn't bother pandering to; take your pick on the latter.

Now, you can argue that Atlus' agenda here is harmless (I'd disagree), but it's certainly the clear intent of three Persona titles and counting now to put the gamer in the shoes of a protagonist who, through some kind of combination of sheer willpower, the mechanics of the game world and the exigencies of the heroic narrative, lives some hyper-idealized life where all his desires (perfect grades, perfect relationships, perfect friends, even the existence of antagonists is necessary to provide heroic purpose) are within reach and require minimal effort or investment to achieve.
It's fine if you want Persona to be something that it's not, and it's fine to criticize Atlus for focusing too much on their target demographic (and as an aside, considering how well the game sells I don't think Atlus is misconstruing what its target audience wants at all and in fact it seems you've misconstrued who the target audience is), but you're saying a video game about a successful fantasy life is pushing an agenda that is harmful to society. That is just silly.

It's not Persona or Atlus's fault if someone plays the game and gets the impression that's how life is.

You might as well be decrying violent games for making people more violent.

Quote:
You seem to be implying it's an either/or scenario where I see it more as within the realms of possibility to simultaneously both enjoy the game AND be offended.
I mean, I certainly wouldn't be nearing the end of Persona 5 now if I hated every second of it. I just think whatever it does well (and I've talked substantially on aspects of the game I really like) doesn't somehow immunize the game or myself from being appropriately horrified with everything it does poorly.
I just don't see the point in getting offended at everything, especially since doing so would diminish my enjoyment of the game. I'd rather just shake my head at the scene in question and move on, but hey that's just me.

Quote:
I take issue with any sentiment where either of us feel qualified to uniquely judge whether the good outweighs the bad because it's going to be deeply personal to each person.

Like, if you were a woman, or a member of the LGBT community, and the Persona series seems to take a deranged pride in seeking ways to mercilessly offend you, I'm guessing you'd have a very different perception of whether the 'good' outweighed the 'bad' content.
I'd rather live my life by taking in the good and the bad and acknowledge the bad but not dwell on it and instead focus on the good. I don't think that would change depending on my gender or orientation.
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Unread 04-15-2017, 02:48 PM   #26
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It usually has to be pretty extreme and/or abundant to bother me. The lighter offenses I'll criticize but it's not going to exactly ruin my day or the game if it's gameplay isn't already at "meh" and below.

It also depends on the narrative as well. sometimes a character(s) is intended to be a dick. Or discussing an issue that setting is facing (Japan's dealing with these kinds of issues with their youth among other things).
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Unread 04-15-2017, 10:18 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Kyanbu The Legend View Post
It also depends on the narrative as well. sometimes a character(s) is intended to be a dick. Or discussing an issue that setting is facing (Japan's dealing with these kinds of issues with their youth among other things).
I promised myself I wasn't going to continue the conversation with Arcanum and Ryong on social justice issues because I think we've circled the wagons enough on that and there's really nothing more we can say to each other to change our perspectives.

However, I will take issue with one aspect of this comment: Having recently finished the game, it strikes me that Persona 5 is thematically much more a criticism and repudiation of western Old Testament style Judeo-Christian morality than dealing with innately Japanese history or mythology like Persona 4 did. Hell, the final boss is basically a renamed stand-in for Yahweh. Strikingly, it deals a lot more with conceptualizations of sin and guilt that are more 'western' in origin than 'Japanese' (though there's obviously more than a bit of traditional Japanese customs and traditions mixed in as well, given the setting.) The palaces of repugnant assholes like Kamoshida and Madarame drive the populace into the embrace of the Judeo-Christian guilt-based apathy of Mementos, wherein humanity deserves to be 'punished' for its 'sins', and the Phantom Thieves fight against both those extremes.

Honestly, had Persona 5 stuck to its guns on the repudiation of Old Testament style Judeo-Christian morality but simply given its supporting characters agency I probably would've loved it even as it explored and dissected all kinds of social taboos. Like, certain aspects of Persona 5 that seem weird at first glance like the adult / high schooler relationships actually start to make a twisted sort of sense when you reach a point where you understand what the game's thesis is and what it's trying to say about breaking free from repressive social norms. It's just that the message only really remains coherent so long as all the characters breaking away from the norms are still written believably as self-interested and three-dimensional human beings. Kawakami and the Protag can totally have a weird thing goin' on so long as Kawakami feels like a fully realized person (who'd presumably then be attracted to the Protagonist for legitimate reasons) and not just a collection of sexist wish-fulfillment tropes.

...Dammit, I told myself I wasn't going to get into social justice stuff in explaining Persona 5's theme and I went there anyway because it's hard to describe my perspective without its inclusion.
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Unread 04-16-2017, 01:46 AM   #28
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I promised myself I wasn't going to continue the conversation with Arcanum and Ryong on social justice issues because I think we've circled the wagons enough on that and there's really nothing more we can say to each other to change our perspectives.
Just popping in to say I will be helping you keep your promise to yourself by not continuing the conversation.

Also I beat the game. It is a good game.
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Unread 04-16-2017, 02:06 AM   #29
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Default If I did not enjoy most aspects of the game, I wouldn't bother to criticize it much

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Also I beat the game. It is a good game.
It might surprise you to hear me say this, but in the aggregate, I agree; it's a damn good game.
I do wish they did more with the ending, though. Persona 4's ending felt really emotionally resonant and impactful, even before all the added content padded it in Golden. When I first beat that game its ending devastated me for several days. Persona 5 just sort of ended after the final fight and the epilogue didn't hit me nearly as hard.

There's definitely a lot of room for a theoretical 'Persona 5 Platinum' or whatever they might call it to add some more content. I'll probably play it, and I'll probably still complain about it, but I'll only be complaining because I like lots of it and want reasons to like it even more.
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Unread 04-16-2017, 04:14 AM   #30
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How long was your total run time for the main game?
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