October 26, 2019 at 3:59 PM #997
Rating: 1.5 – Bad
A Recap of Recap Inside of a Recap Inside of a Text Message
Persona 5 begins with an exhilarating action sequence but quickly plummets from the peaks of mountains upon mountains of repeated dialogue. Persona 5 has a 40 hour campaign, tops, stretched thinly over 100 hours. The crew repeats and recaps nearly every single plot beat as if it was complex, as if the average player couldn’t possibly understand what’s going on. It’s quite pretentious when game designers feel the need to go into insane depth to explain their plot’s "complexity."
The game itself is quite fun. I played it on Hard, and even though I died a fair amount early on, I quickly learned that the game was less hard and more…cheap? Often in the early hours of the game (by early hours, I mean the first 15…because the first 2 to 3 hour dungeon is stretched and bloated to 15 hours), I would die at full health because certain enemies are overpowered.
Cleave. I read the word and knew I was dead. I’d played for nearly 30 minutes without saving. I was dead, just as I suspected….
This happens over and over again until all of your basic abilities are available.
The game isn’t hard at all, however. Once you move on to Palace 2, 3, and even 4, you realize all but the bosses take any thought whatsoever. Persona 5 boils down to this: find weakness, exploit, kill. That’s it. No challenge, no skill. Just figure out the weaknesses by trial and error and you’ve won the game. Although, my favorite way to find out the weaknesses is by creating the Personas in the Velvet Room (a place where you go to discuss your character’s purpose in the story as well as serving as a room for monster creation). I go through the motions of creating a persona of the enemies I’m fighting and check their weaknesses. It almost feels like cheating, but it was an exploit that I quickly found so it couldn’t possibly be considered cheating….
To recap (hey, Persona 5 does it repeatedly, so why can’t I?), the enemies are only difficult in the beginning prior to unlocking the basic skills required to survive in the game. So this, in my opinion, is fake difficulty and leads to MANY cheap deaths early on.
After 15 hours you finish the first of 7 or 8 dungeons. Here, is where I stopped for a day or two. I thought to myself, "do I really want to keep pumping nearly 20 hours into this game for each dungeon? How many hours is that? Over 150 hours? How is this possible? I thought. Then I thought, no way, the game’s pacing has to pick up from here. No way Persona 5 is THIS long…. Boy, was I wrong. Reaching Palace 4, I had over 50 hours. That meant the game was nearing the halfway point when this dungeon ends…So is it 120 hours, then? Ugh….
Every dungeon was the same and proceeded as follows: 15-20 hours of time for each dungeon. 15-20 hours for each month of game time. Every month a new bad person would show their face (creating a horribly cheesy formula and felt predictable). You talk to your crew. You recap your situation. You confirm your objectives. You dungeon crawl for an hour. You repeat this process over the new few weeks of game time. But you can easily finish a dungeon in one or two visits, leaving the rest of the month to talk to your friends, leveling up their relationships with you.
These relationships are called Social Links. These "Links", as they progress, teach you new skills and boost your persona creation skills. These links are for the most part charming, yet they feel a bit…meaningless to the overall plot, maybe. They don’t really progress the story much and besides a few moments out of an entire S. Link chain, they don’t really do much in terms of character evolution. This was done better in Persona 3, imo.
My game was doomed. I realized I hated it and didn’t want to "take my time" anymore. Persona 5 was literally stealing my time away from me and I thankfully had the foresight to DELETE my save files to put myself out of my misery. 52 hours. 52 hours, the usual length of an RPG or the length of two fairly decent sized games. Just thinking of the fact that it could have taken at least another 70 hours of my time gave me the chills and still does while I’m writing this review. 120 hours? I’d never spend that much time on Persona 5. It would be a massive waste considering the fact that I could play two or three other better games in that many hours. In fact, Persona 5 is one of the few games I wish I could get my time and money back after finishing/forfeiting my playthrough.
In closing…I have to say my 2017 in gaming feels much different than most people’s. It seems like many people are saying 2017 is the greatest year in gaming in a long, long time. And I have to disagree. People praised games like: NieR Automata, Horizon Zero Dawn, Breath of the Wild, and Persona 5. And, while I have never played BotW, I am not seeing the appeal of this year whatsoever. NieR Automata was a horribly designed game with a horribly written story, Horizon was decent but felt a bit amateur with horrible voice acting, and Persona 5 was an incredibly bloated, unbalance experience that stole 50 hours of my life…but at least I saved myself from wasting another 70.
I give Persona 5 a 1.5/5. It’s not just a bad game…it is a recap of a recap inside of a text message about what you just did five minutes ago stretched over 100+ hours of tedium. 2017 might have single-handedly ruined my interest in gaming. Time to get some reading done and quit wasting my life on horrible video games, because clearly this medium (for me) died a long time ago.
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