“Do you think dating is too confusing? Do you”
It’s all sorts of confusion, Horse. Some of it is cute but most of it is WEIRD and AWKWARD.
Well well well, looks who’s finally writing something up here again. Yeah, I know its been a while, but I wanted to talk about games and me again (oh wow, big surprise), but not in a critical or artistic way like I do on my other tumblr.
I just wanna kinda talk, and I’m certain no one’s going to listen or care, but whatever.
Lately, I’ve been playing a lot of Persona 3 FES. Like, a LOT of it. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve fallen in love with the game (answer; yes I have) or because the game just honestly demands that much of your time. I think it’s a little bit of both, but something special has happened to me while playing this game.
Many of my friends probably know I take an extreme critical eye to almost every game I play to the point where it’s probably annoying. Sorry guys, but that’s just how I think about stuff. I can still appreciate a good game and even a bad one just AS a game, though. I mean, one of my favorite games of all time is No More Heroes, and that is probably one of the most flawed games I’ve ever played! And Persona 3 is not without its flaws for sure.
Added onto that, I am not a huge fan of RPG conventions. Often gameplay is plodding and arbitrary and stories are too heavy handed and are written like a Saturday morning anime dub, just because that’s what’s expected of them at this point. But somehow, Persona 3 just wasn’t content with being that game. It wanted to be something more.
Now, I don’t need to tell you what makes it an awesome game— you probably know this already. The modern day setting, the melancholy theme of blues-like emotions (hittin’ a little close to home there, guys), the innovative all-out battle system, yadda yadda. And admittedly, I really dig all this stuff… a lot! But what appeals to me most is a game that is confident in its message. And Persona 3 has done just that to me.
Going into the game, I was ready for Animal Crossing combined with a mindless dungeon crawler. Half the time I’d get to satisfy my need to be a suave smooth-talker and the other half I’d get to mindlessly stretch my tactical brain, but not surprisingly, the two halves of gameplay go hand in hand more than you might think.
I remember reading a thing where somebody discussed the purpose of the Evokers within the confines of the game (or for those of you who haven’t played it yet, shooting yourself in the head with a gun to summon the Personas). It was not so much suicidal as it was sacrificial— giving up your own body and mind to allow that of a Persona to take over and do that which you cannot do. And in the case of the protagonist, you’re lucky enough to get the choice of who you want to do the job for you.
This definitely goes back into the gameplay of going to school and making friends and meeting girls and stuff. In the real world, you meet a lot of different people. Each have their own problems and different personalities. They deal with issues of requitement, commitment, loneliness, depression, social anxieties, denial, and generally just struggling to find their own footing in the world. And by interacting with these folks, they connect with you and eventually open up to you, relying on you for guidance and support. You’re always given a choice of what to say to them— will you say what’s truly on your mind, or what they just want to hear? Or both? And how is this any more different than killing yourself to allow someone stronger to fight for you? You’re just suppressing what you want to say a lot of the times just get on the good side of so many people. There’s both a sentimental tone to this as well as a somewhat condescending one. You should feel bad for being this person, but it’s what we all do to get by.
This also struck me kinda close, as I’ve found that over the years, I’m the kind of person a lot of people tend to confide in as well. Like, a lot of people. I dunno, I guess people find me approachable or non-threatening in one way or another. But is this me, or is it my Persona? I feel like I listen to a lot of these people and tell them something to help, but it almost feels like there’s no one to turn around and do the same for me. My Persona says I’ve got it all under control, that it’s all cool, but the real me says it’s not.
The real me lays awake at night, wondering, for just a moment, what would it be like if I could (figuratively) shoot myself in the head and let a Persona take over, doing my life better than I? With more confidence and more strength, doing the things I can’t seem to do… be smarter, find success, discover love, everything I can’t.
Every time I see my avatar blasting himself in the temple, these thoughts honestly run through my head. Every time I push ‘X’ just to get these virtual people to smile, I feel myself drifting from my true self. I give these people power, but do they give me it return?
Well, yeah, actually. If you are ever carrying the Arcana of the people you interact from day to day, you are more likely to get along with them. From what I can tell, this basically means that they’ll react more positively to what you have to say. I dunno, there’s something about picking the wrong dialogue choice, intentionally or not, but still having your friends react with a smile that feels hopeful. If your Persona can mess up sometimes and everything turns out alright, well maybe you can risk putting the Persona aside once in a while too.
I always know a game has effected me if it’s all I can think about both while I’m playing it and not. It happened with Thirty Flights of Loving and Bioshock for me, but Persona 3 is one of the few times a game has held a mirror back to me, not only demanding that I ask questions of myself, but I go out to seek the answers too.
I really look forward to playing Persona 4 after this, as that game has a much more vibrant and uplifting mood than Persona 3 does. Hell, you can see that alone in the color schemes of the two games— Persona 3 has a lot of cold, blue tones, with sharp slanted shapes all over, while Persona 4 adopts a much warmer tone, with round shapes and flowers adorning all its assets. Actually, it reminds me a lot of the rampant happy-go-lucky consumerism in modern-day Japan.
But anyway, the point is lately I’ve been wrestling with a lot of anxieties. Games offer me a refuse of escape as well as a safe introspective environment for me to think about stuff. I don’t know if I’d say Persona 3 has helped me resolve a lot of my personal issues right now, but it’s certainly got me thinking. Before I played this game, if you handed me an evoker and told me using it would allow someone to come along and live my life better, I would’ve easily lept at the chance. But now, I may have the barrel pointed at my head, but I am hesitant to pull that trigger… maybe the real me might be better suited for this job than I originally thought.
I’m gonna go ahead and say it. I killed it at MAGfest.
Hey, now, who’s this sexy fellow in the RetroforceGo shirt?
Anamanaguchi - 「MEOW」
Fact, I love two things in this world. Ghosts and pizza. But I love piza even more.
I spent ten minutes trying to dream up something to write about that would sum up my 2012 in gaming—a GOTY write-up or something, maybe?—but was coming up short. This was an important year, but not simply because of the flood of amazing goddamned games (Hotline Miami, FTL, Dishonored, Thirty…
Oh hey, its a second episode of that show I do now.
Hey guys, hope you all are enjoying the holidays! I know I am! Which is why I took my resting opportunity to sit back and finish editing this episode that was recorded a week or two ago. And by edit, I mean stitch together the audio while possibly leaving somewhat embarrassing audio about…
Remember when I used to write blogs with words on this tumblr? Well I cheated on you and wrote one on my art blog. OH AREN’T I THE WORST.
What, a blog with words and no drawings? Yeah that’s right. I kinda was in the mood to write another blog again, but since I’ve all but abandoned by past two writing projects, I decided to just post this one here. It’s related to art in a sense, and it’s my blog, so I can do what I want.
Now then. Ahem…
I wanna take some time out to talk about my ten favorite cartoons of the past year— movies and television. Cartoons are some of my favorite things in this world, and its only so often I come across people who love the art of animation and such where I can geek out with them. So I’m going to take this opportunity to yell out into the void that is the internet about what I really enjoyed this year and is definitely worth your attention.
So without any further ado, here are my top ten cartoons of 2012.
Hey guys, we’re here to present to you the very first episode of a new podcast starring four friends, John-Charles, Nick, other Nick, and Maya talking about… I dunno, whatever the hell we feel like. We’ve come together on the common grounds of video games, but this isn’t your regular news show or hot-button-topic-issue-roundtable of the week. No no no. What we do talk about are things like the end of the Wii, Star Wars Legos, toys and the kids who buy them, and, I dunno, pizza or something.
You can download the episode from our page on Soundcloud for now. We will probably have one of those feeds things down the road, but for now let’s focus on the present.
The present of pizza.
Morning, all. Wanted to share with you all one of my latest projects, a new podcast with me and a coupla friends just talking about video games and pizza and stuff. Check it out!
Games I Played in 2012 - Rhythm Heaven Fever
I wish I could do what Gigi does with lighting and color. Sweet lord.