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    Sacred Stones

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  1. I looked up the social link scripts again and Chie really picks up when you hit 5. That's pretty true in general, actually. The first 3 or 4 ranks tend to be socializing and small talk while the last 6 ranks or so introduce and (at least partially) resolve some sort of character-specific story arc.
  2. Whoops, fixed that. Sorry. There's not really a ton of character depth in the story-mandatory scenes in P4. The development of party characters is really reserved for the social links in that game. Chie especially has a very good social link, so if you're unhappy with her character development then either you and I have differing tastes or you haven't ranked her link up enough yet. If I remember your thread right you're planning on maxing all the links anyways, so this shouldn't be an issue, but in general you have to actively pursue a character to learn more in P4, unlike P3 where a lot of the development happens in story scenes. The only exception I can think of are the mandatory social links, which have character growth linked into plot progression for pacing reasons.
  3. OK, fair enough. It was good fun and of enough quality to not detract from the story, but it's certainly not a world-class work on philosophy. I'll agree with you there. Again, I think we can agree here. Teddie did a decent job as a plot device and comic relief, but I just can't understand why some people call him a very well done character. Yosuke's social link was a lot better than his story scenes, so that does help redeem some of his less shining moments. As far as the seniors are concerned, the game does display genuine warmth from Akihiko towards both Shinji and Mitsuru. He's hit hard by and concerned about Mitsuru's well being as she copes with Mitsuru isn't an outgoing character, so you do have a point with her, and Shinji is very broken character by the time the events in the game roll around, so he does appear rather distant as well. Hm, perhaps I did overestimate this. They certainly were close as some point in past, though. Junpei might not be quite as much of a buddy with the MC as Yosuke was, but there is at least a decent level of respect there, along with the bond that comes from fighting side by side. It's a much more strained relationship, but honestly I think that has more to do with Junpei being the significantly deeper and well written character. I massively enjoyed watching him grow as a character throughout the game.
  4. Persona 3 is certainly flirting with being an emo edgelord game, but I think the plot and characters were done well enough to save the mood. There are a lot of things that seem to be put into the game purely for shock value (play a few levels of Tartarus when a roommate has friends over - the evokers are always good for a laugh), but visual elements aside there is a rather level-headed discussion of dark themes going on. It's not revelling in death and blood just because it can, but instead uses this imagery as a means to discuss questions of meaning and purpose in life. You can argue whether or not Atlus managed to pull it off, but at least it's not hard to see what they were trying to do. Then again, maybe it's just me having more patience for characters moping about various life issues then some of the antics in P4. I found Yosuke and Teddie to be extremely offputting when they spent their time hitting on girls and being perverts. The members of SEES not being friends, though? That makes no sense at all. First off, Mitsuru, Akihiko, and Shinji are obviously close for the entire game. They've known each other for a long time and fought together. Mitsuru/Shinji can get a bit strained as they don't see eye to eye on responsibility and duty, but nevertheless their friendship is hard to deny. Yukari and Junpei take a lot longer to integrate, not really coming into their own until the events in November and December, but by then they are obviously integral parts of the group, and not just because of their combat prowess. It's especially obvious in Yukari, who goes from being barely able to lift an evoker in the opening cutscene to being the only one who can console Mitsuru on and even softening towards Junpei after the conclusion of the Chidori arc. Perhaps I'm missing something, but I don't see it. So yes, P3 can be hilariously over the top. Even so, it works, at least for the most part.
  5. My first Blazing Sword game I managed to get Kent killed off, and then accepted the loss, finished the chapter, saved, and moved on. Fortunately it was early enough that I was able to bring Lowen up to speed and finish the game, but I find it hilarious that I would even consider accepting a unit's death as a necessary part of gameplay.
  6. For me, Persona 3 has a slight edge over 4, but just barely. As far as game play itself is concerned, it's really hard to dispute that 4 is better than 3. Really, being a sequel one would hope that improvements were made. While having your party members under AI control gives them more of a feeling of being independent characters rather than pixels and stat blocks, it does force you to manipulating the tactics and AI into doing what you want, and this often forces the main character into roles and actions that don't fit with what you want to accomplish. Compared to the combat from 4, trying to pick a heal spell in such a way to get your healer to do an AoE heal instead of a single target heal is not particularly fun or engaging. One thing I think Persona 3 nailed perfectly that 4 didn't was the sense of being involved in a larger series of events. SEES both imposed structure on the game and gave the main character a direction and goal, while in Persona 4 I felt that the main cast was acting way out of it's league and meddling in places where they didn't really belong. The main character's solving a murder mystery and sharing a house with a cop; he should go downstairs, face Dojima, stick an arm in the TV, and get some help. I suppose it also helps that I really like the entire Persona 3 cast (even if Fuuka's voice acting is subpar and she has one really cross-eyed portrait) while both Yosuke and Teddie could really get on my nerves. Persona 4 was beary good, but I got along better with 3.
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