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Thread: SMT/Persona: General Discussion (P4 Arena, P4 Golden, P5, SMT: IV, Etc.)

  1. #41
    リビングデッド Living Dead Uberchoco's Avatar
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    Nocturne is the best one to start with, in my opinion. Long enough, has the typical elements of the saga, and the atmosphere is pretty absorbing. Persona 3-4 may give you a, uh, "wrong" idea of what classical SMT games are.

  2. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by Gilgamesh View Post
    And on the other hand, games like Persona 3, Persona 4, Digital Devil Saga and what have you... they also have great epic and gripping stories. The way you make it sound like "epic story" vs "good characters" is pretty unfair, I think. Because I personally found the story in, say P3 and DDS to be much more gripping and intense than in Nocturne. Yeah, sure, Nocturne deals with heavy religious themes and flipping Apocalypse, but that doesn't make the story that happens in Persona 3 any less grand or awesome.

    Personally, I like the newer games more than the older games. While I love stuff like the SNES games, Nocturne, and the first Persona... I find myself enjoying stuff like Persona 3/4, Devil Survivor, and Devil Summoner 2 a lot more. But, I think I've already established I'm a rabid fan of the franchise as a whole. But I think the great thing about it is that there are games in it for any type of RPG fan, since some of the games are so drastically different. You take Digital Devil Saga, Persona 4, and Devil Survivor and look at them back to back and with how they play completely differently, feel differently, and have drastically different stories... you'd probably never assume they were the same series until you actually played them and noticed the core themes and elements that tie them together.
    Except assuming that 'epic' is synonymous with 'interesting' is a mistake. Personally, I found Nocturne boring when I came back to it after playing stuff like Persona and DDS. It was still ungodly hard, but it didn't really hit any notes with me after getting used to a character driven story from Atlus. Not to say that Nocturne or whatnot is actually not very interesting, but it's not something for everyone. To me, epic is about the scope of the story, where you decide the fate of the world as incredible beings look on or impede you. Games like Persona will have 'save the world' plots, of course, but they're much smaller in focus.

  3. #43
    the master of infinite roads lantzblades's Avatar
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    well. for newbs I'd recommend Nocturne and persona 3 the former because even now I can play the hell out of it (although I wish we had Raidou as the guest character rather then dante) and it's very the world is in your hands type of story (mention to mention the demi fiend is bad ass looking) and the latter because it was good but if you play P4 before you play 3 you might never finish 3 because 4 improved the battle system a lot. (in my opinion I liked the characters more as well)

  4. #44
    Well, if you play P3P, the improved battle system is sort of moot, since they included pretty much everything better from P4 (like being able to control your companions manually). Plus! You can choice the female main character!

  5. #45
    死徒二十七祖 The Twenty Seven Dead Apostle Ancestors Gilgamesh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fatuous One View Post
    Except assuming that 'epic' is synonymous with 'interesting' is a mistake.
    I wasn't. I was talking in scope as well. I think a story like Digital Devil Saga or Persona 3 is just as "epic" as Nocturne, it's just that they start out gradually and work their way towards their plot, whereas Nocturne is pretty much "END OF THE WORLD HAAAY" from the moment you start it up.

    I never really saw the point of comparing and pitting different games in this series against each other like this, though. I think each game is different enough that they compliment each other nicely, some making up for what others lacked by going in a different direction. And speaking of which...

    Quote Originally Posted by Uberchoco View Post
    Nocturne is the best one to start with, in my opinion. Long enough, has the typical elements of the saga, and the atmosphere is pretty absorbing. Persona 3-4 may give you a, uh, "wrong" idea of what classical SMT games are.
    There is no "wrong" idea of what SMT games are. They play differently, yes, but so does almost every SMT game that comes out nowadays. You could easily say that Devil Summoner 2 would give the "wrong" impression since it is an action-RPG and isn't like SMT1, you can say the same for Devil Survivor (SRPG with menu-based exploration), Digital Devil Saga (no demon summons or fusions), and pretty much every game in the series. In that vein, you can then say even games like Nocturne and all the first-person older games would give the "wrong" impression of what the series overall is as well, since it's constantly changing and trying different and new things.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fatuous One View Post
    Well, if you play P3P, the improved battle system is sort of moot, since they included pretty much everything better from P4 (like being able to control your companions manually). Plus! You can choice the female main character!
    As much as I enjoyed P3P letting me play as a female main character, and implementing the P4 battle system, I don't recommend people play P3P to experience P3 for the first time. I'd say P3:FES is the best version for that. P3P in many ways feels like a stream-lined version of P3, and I think P3P's lack of having the actual characters on screen alongside the art makes the story have much less impact when certain things happen and the lack of controlling the character model itself as opposed to a little ball makes a big difference in terms of feel. Not to mention with the addition of The Answer expansion, FES has more story for your buck.

    I'd definitely suggest Persona 3: FES on the PS2 as your first Persona 3 experience. I think P3P is more for people who were already fans of the PS2 version, so if you like it so much that you are willing to buy a different version and experience the story slightly differently with some gameplay changes, then go out and buy P3P.

  6. #46
    闇色の六王権 The Dark Six Chaos Greyblood's Avatar
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    I could guess that for the flow on P3P they tried to make it similar to a VN, but I think they could have made a little more effort or to be more precise, just leave the cutscenes as they were in the original versions.
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  7. #47
    I wasn't. I was talking in scope as well. I think a story like Digital Devil Saga or Persona 3 is just as "epic" as Nocturne, it's just that they start out gradually and work their way towards their plot, whereas Nocturne is pretty much "END OF THE WORLD HAAAY" from the moment you start it up.

    I never really saw the point of comparing and pitting different games in this series against each other like this, though. I think each game is different enough that they compliment each other nicely, some making up for what others lacked by going in a different direction. And speaking of which...
    Then we just have different views of scope of things, because I never viewed DDS or Persona (any of them, really) as very big from a far view. As I said, you eventually got a mission to save the world, but that doesn't necessarily make it 'epic' to me.

    And it's sort of silly not to compare gameplay and story elements when someone's asking for suggestions on which to play. :/ They both have their strong points, but if you're looking for recommendations, you need to bring up their weaknesses too.

    As much as I enjoyed P3P letting me play as a female main character, and implementing the P4 battle system, I don't recommend people play P3P to experience P3 for the first time. I'd say P3:FES is the best version for that. P3P in many ways feels like a stream-lined version of P3, and I think P3P's lack of having the actual characters on screen alongside the art makes the story have much less impact when certain things happen and the lack of controlling the character model itself as opposed to a little ball makes a big difference in terms of feel. Not to mention with the addition of The Answer expansion, FES has more story for your buck.
    That's merely difference of opinion. I never felt significantly connected to the 3d models that pretty much all looked the same except their hairdo (barring party members, who had varying outfits), and P3P actually added character sprites for a number of (minor) characters like the teachers.

    I did feel that the Answer was an important epilogue to the ending, and enjoyed it quite a bit in terms of story, but in terms of gameplay mechanics, it was very poorly executed compared to the rest of the game. I never want to play that grind fest again. D: I'd almost recommend people just watch a youtube walkthrough of it even if they bought FES unless they loooove grinding levels.

    I could guess that for the flow on P3P they tried to make it similar to a VN, but I think they could have made a little more effort or to be more precise, just leave the cutscenes as they were in the original versions.
    Uh, they couldn't. The reason they changed the style to a more VN format is because they needed to cut down on memory usage. Cutting down a PS2 game into a PSP game isn't exactly an easy task.

  8. #48
    the master of infinite roads lantzblades's Avatar
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    while Femc is nice the sheer down grade in presentation was what kills it. the least they could have done was do like the older persona games and give us a sprite to control on screen instead of a blue circle. FES ought to be the first persona experience but honestly skip the answer. it's nice but not worth the effort just watch the clips.

    personal want is a continuation of strangeness in inaba from P4 with the P 4 characters returning as adults or what have you and Nanako as a main character this time.

  9. #49
    闇色の六王権 The Dark Six Grant's Avatar
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    The Answer part of FES is supposed to get back to that 'hard as hell' sensation the old games had. Good about P3P, you can actually control your teammates in battle and play as a female character. The bad is that the abilities of the PSP are significantly less than those of a PS2.

  10. #50
    The problem with the Answer isn't that it's hard, it's just that it's boring. I LOVED the conclusion of the story, but grinding the necessary levels to defeat a number of the bosses in it was painfully dull.

  11. #51
    Space Conquistador
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    I may be the only person here who thought Nocturne wasn't that hard.....I found P3 harder.

  12. #52
    死徒二十七祖 The Twenty Seven Dead Apostle Ancestors Gilgamesh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fatuous One View Post
    Then we just have different views of scope of things, because I never viewed DDS or Persona (any of them, really) as very big from a far view. As I said, you eventually got a mission to save the world, but that doesn't necessarily make it 'epic' to me.
    Fair enough, they definitely felt epic to me.

    And it's sort of silly not to compare gameplay and story elements when someone's asking for suggestions on which to play. :/ They both have their strong points, but if you're looking for recommendations, you need to bring up their weaknesses too.
    What I mean is, if you intend to get into the SMT franchise, I don't think you should consider it a "okay, which are the BEST games out there because those are what I want" thing, as each game is different enough that comparing them just comes down to personal opinion. Therefore, in order to really experience what the franchise has to offer, you need to play several games. They all compliment each other and went for different things is all I am saying. If you read my earlier posts in this topic, obviously I don't mean to intend that you must never look at the differences between them.

    That's merely difference of opinion. I never felt significantly connected to the 3d models that pretty much all looked the same except their hairdo (barring party members, who had varying outfits), and P3P actually added character sprites for a number of (minor) characters like the teachers.
    Yeah, fairly big difference of opinion, but I never said P3P was bad. I love P3P and if I am going to play P3 nowadays, it'll likely be the P3P version. I just don't think it should be the first experience people have with the game, as overall FES feels like the more complete version to me. Even with all the additions added to the P3P version, it doesn't make up for what was taken away in terms of a first experience.

    I did feel that the Answer was an important epilogue to the ending, and enjoyed it quite a bit in terms of story, but in terms of gameplay mechanics, it was very poorly executed compared to the rest of the game. I never want to play that grind fest again. D: I'd almost recommend people just watch a youtube walkthrough of it even if they bought FES unless they loooove grinding levels.
    I personally hate just watching cutscenes of a game on youtube. I love the SMT stories, but I also play video games for gameplay and satisfaction of beating it. The Answer is a very stripped down experience compared to the main game of P3, as they took away the school and social elements, but the core SMT battle gameplay is still there and still great. I really enjoyed the Answer, and I don't see how it's any more of a grindfest than, say, Nocturne. Although the main appeal of The Answer IS to serve as a nice story epilogue to the main Persona 3 ("The Journey"), the gameplay is still a major driving factor. Plus, I love the boss battles in The Answer. It seriously comes down to strategy. I found the main game of Persona 3 very easy, but The Answer kicked my ass many times and forced me to think about who I needed to bring and what Personas I should use, and come up with a specific formula to taking them down. I feel like The Answer really took the P3 battle system to the limits it could be pushed.

  13. #53
    Space Conquistador
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    FES is much more of a grindfest than Nocturne, if only because YOU CAN'T FUSE! WHO THE FUCK THOUGHT THAT WAS A GOOD IDEA?! Not to mention every boss goes "lol, I have a weakness but you'll never be able to hit me with it!" Why not just go the Nocturne route and say "NO WEAKNESS BITCH, GOOD LUCK!"?

  14. #54
    死徒二十七祖 The Twenty Seven Dead Apostle Ancestors Gilgamesh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KENTA View Post
    FES is much more of a grindfest than Nocturne, if only because YOU CAN'T FUSE! WHO THE FUCK THOUGHT THAT WAS A GOOD IDEA?!
    What are you talking about? You can fuse in both The Journey and The Answer.

  15. #55
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    Ah, that's right, in The Answer you couldn't use your book. Also dumb idea.

  16. #56
    What I mean is, if you intend to get into the SMT franchise, I don't think you should consider it a "okay, which are the BEST games out there because those are what I want" thing, as each game is different enough that comparing them just comes down to personal opinion. Therefore, in order to really experience what the franchise has to offer, you need to play several games. They all compliment each other and went for different things is all I am saying. If you read my earlier posts in this topic, obviously I don't mean to intend that you must never look at the differences between them.
    That's a fair point.

    But I don't think I ever said anything like that, so I'm not sure why it was addressed to me. The closest to it was what I personally found most enjoyable.

    I personally hate just watching cutscenes of a game on youtube. I love the SMT stories, but I also play video games for gameplay and satisfaction of beating it. The Answer is a very stripped down experience compared to the main game of P3, as they took away the school and social elements, but the core SMT battle gameplay is still there and still great. I really enjoyed the Answer, and I don't see how it's any more of a grindfest than, say, Nocturne. Although the main appeal of The Answer IS to serve as a nice story epilogue to the main Persona 3 ("The Journey"), the gameplay is still a major driving factor. Plus, I love the boss battles in The Answer. It seriously comes down to strategy. I found the main game of Persona 3 very easy, but The Answer kicked my ass many times and forced me to think about who I needed to bring and what Personas I should use, and come up with a specific formula to taking them down. I feel like The Answer really took the P3 battle system to the limits it could be pushed.
    The problem with the Answer is that it's too condensed. You go from level... what was it, 10, if not lower, to level 70 if you want to have an easy time of at by the end. (I think I was at around level 60 or so and had a fun, if moderately challenging end boss.) And there's just not that much story content to make all that leveling worth it. Nocturne, on the other hand, is a full game worth of story even if it's not character driven. You have large breaks of dialogue or whatnot between all the fighting. With the Answer, you have a 10 minute cut scene and then you need to grind for about 5-10 levels to keep up with the enemies, and then repeat. Over and over. Hence, grindfest.

    I may be exaggerating the leveling gap a bit, but it was still a huge amount of dungeon crawling for a very tiny scene, and then repeat, repeat again.

  17. #57
    死徒二十七祖 The Twenty Seven Dead Apostle Ancestors Gilgamesh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fatuous One View Post
    That's a fair point.

    But I don't think I ever said anything like that, so I'm not sure why it was addressed to me. The closest to it was what I personally found most enjoyable.
    It was just a natural progression of my thought train from my initial response to you, to the conversation as a whole, since the overall conversation stemmed from suggesting SMT games.

    The problem with the Answer is that it's too condensed. You go from level... what was it, 10, if not lower, to level 70 if you want to have an easy time of at by the end. (I think I was at around level 60 or so and had a fun, if moderately challenging end boss.) And there's just not that much story content to make all that leveling worth it. Nocturne, on the other hand, is a full game worth of story even if it's not character driven. You have large breaks of dialogue or whatnot between all the fighting. With the Answer, you have a 10 minute cut scene and then you need to grind for about 5-10 levels to keep up with the enemies, and then repeat. Over and over. Hence, grindfest.

    I may be exaggerating the leveling gap a bit, but it was still a huge amount of dungeon crawling for a very tiny scene, and then repeat, repeat again.
    Yeah, I think you start at level... 25? And, well, yeah... but The Answer is not supposed to be a stand-alone game so you gotta give it SOME leeway. Even though there was more gameplay than story this time around, I still found the gameplay fun (I like battles and dungeons in Persona 3, so I never saw a problem with just doing that in The Answer) and the story we DID get was really good in my opinion. I thought it gave the already well fleshed out and developed characters even more depth and backstory during the first parts of the game, and I was personally very interested in where the story of The Answer wound up going. I found it to be a great addition to Persona 3 and on top of all the other various things in the PS2 versions (character models, cutscenes, etc) it is what really tops off FES as being the best Persona 3 package if you only intend to get one.

  18. #58
    リビングデッド Living Dead Uberchoco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KENTA View Post
    I may be the only person here who thought Nocturne wasn't that hard.....I found P3 harder.
    You may very well be, unless you played it directly in Hard. I played both in Normal and I found P3 a lot easier. Even more, grinding in P3 was a lot more boring than in Nocturne to me.

    The Answer was a nice challenge, but it was still not hard enough for my standards at least.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilgamesh View Post
    There is no "wrong" idea of what SMT games are. They play differently, yes, but so does almost every SMT game that comes out nowadays. You could easily say that Devil Summoner 2 would give the "wrong" impression since it is an action-RPG and isn't like SMT1, you can say the same for Devil Survivor (SRPG with menu-based exploration), Digital Devil Saga (no demon summons or fusions), and pretty much every game in the series. In that vein, you can then say even games like Nocturne and all the first-person older games would give the "wrong" impression of what the series overall is as well, since it's constantly changing and trying different and new things.
    Persona 3 isn't exactly a Shin Megami Tensei game. It's a Megami Ibunroku, some kind of spin off. It's some sort of Atlus USA quirk to put the "SMT" label in everything and Persona 3 and 4 definitely aren't. But that's just a little point I'm making here.

    What I'm talking about here is the general feeling of the games. Comparing Strange Journey, or Nocturne, or even the old SMT games to Persona 3 or 4 we can see they don't have that much in common beyond some gameplay elements. The themes are different, the atmosphere is much more important and the "You against the world" feeling is a lot more marked. Not to mention the Law vs. Chaos duality present in the main saga's games. No Loki raping teachers either. Oh wait, that was in the novel. Never mind.

    My point is that, yes, they play similarly and with lots of variations while keeping the basis, but the themes and development are pretty different. That's why I said it could give a "wrong" idea, with the quotation marks.

  19. #59
    Space Conquistador
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    Played both on normal, and Nocturne's only really challenging part was Matador. FUCK MATADOR!

    But P3's Tower bosses always gave me trouble.

  20. #60
    リビングデッド Living Dead Uberchoco's Avatar
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    Matador was troublesome for everyone. Personally I hated Kin-Ki and his buff-debuff psychological war. I had to literally throw Arahabaki to his face in order to deal massive damage to him, after buffing the party for a while and Dekaja-ing him. That was the most memorable example of the nonsense I had to pull outta my ass in that game. God I loved it.

    Regarding P3's bosses, I remember dealing with them like this:



    AKASHA ARTS SPAM! JUSTICE WILL PREVAIL!
    Last edited by Uberchoco; March 17th, 2011 at 06:13 PM.

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